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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am going to take my first bike trip to Moeb. Still in the planning stages but I want to take my bike so was looking into boxes. I was leaning towards buying a crate works bike box. $160 plus $25 for shipping seems a bit steep, then I came across this web site : http://members.shaw.ca/boxyourbike/

I am not sure I like this design as much as the crate works approach and it occurs to me I could make my own box that is very similar to the one crate works sells. I am thinking of building it as 2 halfs that slide together just like the crate works. I am thinking I can build them much like the boxes that produce come in, i.e. the sides are folded back into the box so the sides have 2 layers of material. I was then thinking that on the bottom of each box I could add a second layer for additional strength.

I first called home depot and lowe's and neither sells corrugated plastic. Then I looked in the yellow pages and found a place under sign supplies that sells corrugated plastic. On the internet it looks like there are some special plastic fasteners for this material, hopefully the sign supply place will have them.

If anybody has any refinements let the ideas flow.
 

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I brought my bike by plane on the original box from the store. Just make sure you have a lot of cushion inside, like magazines or newspaper. I don't know the name of this tape in english, in spannish its Cinta Canela, wich is a brown tape that it's used for carboard. Use that tape to strenghten the box.

If you don't travel much that could be very cost efficient. If you do a lot of traveling, maybe a special bike bag is what you need.

My .02
 

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Shipping box for a bike

I built a box for airline transport for my Id. Main material is shower liner board (Lowe's), which is fiberglas reinforced vinyl. It is about an eighth inch thich, can be cut with a fine tooth saw or with a little more effort a box cutting knife. I chose to make one side of the box come completely off because it is a lot easier to pack. The lid has the edges reinforced with aluminum angle (Lowe's) that is pop riveted on. The walls of the box are held with zip ties through holes drilled around the edges. A hot glue gun was then used to help seal the seams also-general purpose glue sticks to the zip ties and the vinyl well. The strapping material to hold the lid on and make the handles is available at upholstery stores, and other places too. Tools needed at the very least are hand drill, handsaw with fine teeth or boxcutter, pop rivet tool, glue gun and scissors or knife. The box is 26" square and 10" wide on the inside, so a little larger outside. This pretty closely fits the standard airline allowable dimensions, which has to add up to 62". If have large tires, you may have to deflate them a little, but otherwise you can get every thing in this box. I have to take the rear suspension, fork, and the handlebar off the fork. I got cable disconnects for the three lines going back, I run avid mechanicals. It takes about 30 minutes to take the bike apart, pack all the pieces in specially cut foam pads, and seal it up. There isn't much empty space, but I fill it in with clothes. I labeled all the padding material and took some pictures of how it fit in so I can remember next time how to do it. It took several hours to figure it out the first time. Takes about 45 minutes to put the bike back together. The box and bike weigh about 40 pounds or a little more, limit is 50. I get close to the limit by packing in other things. The airline did take a divot out of one side of the box about an inch square, but otherwise the bike came through fine. The wheels and tires actually reinforce the box and add some protection for the parts which are packed in and around them.
 

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bike box

Most airlines have baggage limits (generally two bags plus a carryon):
Length + Width+ Height= 62"
Weight < 5#
These are the dimensions of about the bigest suitcase you can buy, unless of course my wife packs it, in which case it gets wider and weighs 80# :D

The airline didn't charge me anything or even measure it once they saw it weighed 48# on the check in scale.

I didn't have to open it for security, but it went through x-ray and I made it so they could open it if they wanted to. Getting it all back in the box may have been another thing......

You can make a shipping box with this technique almost any size you want because the fiberglass/vinyl comes in 4'x8' sheets, about $25 as I recall. The aluminum edge does hold the lid very securely, and makes the box very much more rigid, but there may be easier ways to do it. A box with more nylon straps to hold a lid on would be easy to do, the nylon strap is purchased by the yard, and the buckles as well. A more traditional full size case for a bike that you can't take the rear triangle off of could be built for $100 I bet, and would take 2-3 evenings. It took me longer because I learned a lot along the way and threw the first box away. The next one would be easy. Putting the box together with zip ties made it a whole lot easier, you don't need any clamps or jigs, and the hot glue sets quickly so you can move right along. The fiberglass vinyl has some give to it so it should take some abuse. I couldn't find sheets of ABS plastic, and Lexan is too dang expensive but would be really tough.

Good Luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
decided agtainst building my own but have some more info.

I thought about building a box, I thought about dissasembling if you do a search there is an earlier thread that has some pictures of disasembled bikes fitted into suit cases. I decide that I didn't want to mess with taking apart and reasembling and re-adjusting.

One of the reasons I decided not to build was the dimensions. If you look in the yellow pages under plastic you can find places that sell 4' x 8' 6 milimeter corrugaged plastic sheets(same material used by the crateworks) for about $23 each. The 4' dimenstion restricts the dimensions to something that would be a bit tight for your bike and wheels.

I like the idea of building a box that fits the bike and wheels and can be transported as lugage. Seeing the previous post it occurs to me that with a single sheet of corrugated plastic you could build a box with the same dimentions as the above post. Basically you would build a top and a bottom that would fit into each other(same as the crateworks box, or the box from colorado cyclist).
 
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