Here’s our roundup of the best bike boxes The Evoc Bike Travel Bag Pro packs small, is light, and is easy rolling There’s a plastic block with Velcro to attach the frame to the moulded base The GPRS Race from BikeBoxAlan is a benchmark in the world of hard cases It contains a GPRS tracking device so you can monitor its location The Buxum Tourmalet is certainly a looker It’s constructed from 6061 aluminium panelling There’s a ton of space, and a crush pole for added protection The Pro Bike Bag from Chain Reaction Cycles is great value It’s a padded soft bag that isn’t the easiest to drag, but master it and you’ve got a bargain The Polaris Bike Pod Pro is supremely rigid and crack resistant The frame sits between the wheels, with plenty of padding to keep it from getting scuffed The Pro Travel Case Mega hits the sweet spot between low weight and protection It has an inner foam lining and foam blocks to keep your bike safe The Scicon Aerocomfort TSA 3.0 is pricey, but it packs down and rolls wel It comes up pretty heavy though, so keep an eye on airline weight limits If you take your bike on holiday with you, the right bag or box can make the difference between it arriving safely or in several pieces. Here’s our pick of the best travel cases we’ve tested so far this year. How to fly with your bike Tips for planning the best bike holiday ever Choosing the right bike box or bag Choosing the right case for bike travel is important if you want it to arrive in one piece. There’s always some anguish when you hand over your pride and joy at the airport and see it disappear into the unknown, so having faith in your choice of box or bag can make a difference. More of us than ever are travelling with bikes, whether it’s for a holiday, training camp or a race, and it shouldn’t be difficult as long as you do your research when choosing which airline to travel with and how to transport your bike. Just because an airline charges to take a bike, it’s no guarantee your ride will be cared for as you might hope. Some don’t have a separate bike allowance, but will let you take it as part of your luggage allowance, and some charge by the kilo. A bike box is an invaluable piece of equipment for any travelling cyclist. There’s no perfect answer as to which is the best, because they all have their trade-offs, so it’s important to weigh up your needs before you buy. 8 reasons why your next riding holiday should be a package trip Things to consider when choosing a bike box 1. Handles Handles can make a huge difference to transporting your bike. One handle might work well for pulling it along, while others make lifting easier. It’s a small addition that can make a big difference. 2. Hard cases These are made from tough plastic or aluminium. They’re the most robust, offering good protection. The trade-off is that they’re usually heavier and more cumbersome than soft cases. 3. Soft bags These are made from soft hard-wearing fabric and usually feature added padding and hard bases for extra protection. They’re lighter, which makes it easier to hit airline weight limits. 4. Portability When you have a week’s worth of luggage, your bike bag/box needs to be as portable as possible. Wheels are a must, and having at least two that steer is helpful. Drag handles make life easier too. 5. Size Make sure the box will fit in your car/hire car and check airline size restrictions. Not all bike boxes are easy to carry, but if yours is, it might mean it’s less likely to be dropped by airport staff. 6. Supports and crush poles Crush poles, made from aluminium or carbon, are used in the centre of a hard case to avoid crushing your frame and components. Supports in soft bags help them keep their shape. How to plan a cycling holiday on a budget 6 tips and tricks for boxing a bike 1. Deflate your tyres Most airlines require you to deflate your tyres because of potential changes in pressure that could cause them to go bang. They don’t need to be pancake flat, but it’s worth reducing air just in case. Some airlines check, some don’t. If you carry CO2 inflator cartridges, check your airline’s policy — some allow them in limited quantities while other won’t take them at all. 2. Know your setup The last thing you want to be worrying about is whether your bike is set up the same as before you left. A piece of electrical tape around the seatpost before you remove it will mean you get the same saddle height. Use a marker pen or take a photo before removing the bars so you know how many spacers you need above and below the stem. 3. Make the most of your box Whatever your choice of bike box it’s worth making the most of the space and weight available. Your bike box is the perfect place for packing tools, a track pump, shoes and nutrition products. Remember these can get thrown around during transport, so pack smartly for damage limitation, especially if you have a carbon bike. Clothes can also be packed for added protection in soft bags. 4. Protect it Foam lagging (used by plumbers to insulate pipes) is cheap and ideal for wrapping around your bike’s tubes for added protection during transportation. Alternatively, some quality bubble wrap or similar will help keep your bike safe and shiny. Also, both will avoid scuff marks from securing straps or other things floating around in your box. If you’re in a rush and don’t have either, an old t-shirt should do. 5. What to remove All the bike boxes here require the removal of wheels, which is easy. Some also require removing pedals, bar and stem, saddle and seatpost, and derailleur. When packing, it’s important to make sure the items you’ve removed are protected and secure, so as not to do damage to them or other parts. Be considerate when it comes to any cables, (electronic or not), making sure to avoid any kinks or stretching. 6. Use baby wipes A pack of baby wipes is a useful item to have in your bike box. They’re brilliant at removing any dirt and grease from your hands after working on your bike, and equally good for cleaning your bike if the need arises. How to pack your road bike for a trip abroad Best bike boxes and bags Evoc Bike Travel Bag Pro 4.5 out of 5 star rating The Evoc Bike Travel Bag Pro packs small, is light, and is easy rolling Tredz £469 / $TBC Buy the Evoc Bike Travel Bag Pro from Tredz Size: 147 x 85 x 36cm Weight: 8kg Highs: Packs small, light, easy rolling Lows: You pay a premium price Evoc’s Pro offers a good balance of protection, low weight and portability. This robust bag is given extra in-use support with removable composite canes and PVC tubes. The frame sits on a plastic block that uses Velcro to attach it to the moulded base, while the fork is housed in a padded sheath. Everything is held securely with Velcro straps. It’s easy to pack once you’ve done it a couple of times. Read our Evoc Bike Travel Bag review BikeBoxAlan GPRS Race 4.5 out of 5 star rating The GPRS Race from BikeBoxAlan is a benchmark in the world of hard cases BikeBoxAlan £570 / $TBC Buy the BikeBoxAlan GPRS Race direct Size: 105 x 90 x 30cm Weight: 11.74kg Highs: Solid, neat packing, easy rolling Lows: Fewer grab handles than some BikeBoxAlan has become the hard case benchmark, offering excellent protection without excess weight or costing a fortune. But the USP of Alan’s top-end GPRS is its tracking device that can be monitored by SMS or smartphone app. The wheels use a skewer to attach to one side, with Velcro securing the frame and components to the other. The fixing clamps work well and have provision for a padlock or zip ties. Buxum Tourmalet 4.0 out of 5 star rating The Buxum Tourmalet is certainly a looker Buxum £744 / $TBC Buy the Buxum Tourmalet direct Size: 113 x 78 x 30cm Weight: 12.6kg Highs: Beautifully finished, easy to pack Lows: High price loses it a mark The Tourmalet is a work of art with its cool-looking 0.5mm-thick 6061 aluminium panels, which are riveted to supporting skeletons. Wheels fit around the frame in the bags supplied and QR and thru-axle adaptors are available. There’s lots of space and a crush pole to keep everything solid. The top is held secure with quality latches while sealed bearing wheels and sprung handles make it easy to manoeuvre. Read our Buxum Tourmalet bike box review Chain Reaction Pro Bike Bag 4.0 out of 5 star rating The Pro Bike Bag from Chain Reaction Cycles is great value Chain Reaction Cycles £249.99 / $TBC Buy the Chain Reaction Pro Bike Bag from Chain Reaction Cycles Size: 140 x 79 x 28cm Weight: 8.7kg Highs: If you can handle it it’s good value Lows: A little unstable, fixings are crude This padded soft bag fits a range of bikes and does a good job for the money. Attaching the bike to the base is crude with lots of Velcro, blocks and ties but it works well. It’s quick release and thru-axle compatible. Zipped wheel compartments keep your hoops safe, plus there’s hard plastic hub protection. Dragging the Pro isn’t easy because the low handle lifts the bag high, making it a little unstable. Polaris Bike Pod Pro 4.0 out of 5 star rating The Polaris Bike Pod Pro is supremely rigid and crack resistant Chain Reaction Cycles £524.99 / $TBC Buy the Polaris Bike Pod Pro from Chain Reaction Cycles Size: 116 x 86 x 30cm Weight: 11.4kg Highs: Superior build quality, very secure, compact size Lows: Requires significant dismantling of the bike The Polaris Pod Pro is constructed from polypropylene and it’s not only supremely rigid but also very crack resistant. All the hardware, handles, wheels and clasps are bolted into place and fully replaceable. Of the four clasps, two are lockable for added security. Inside, on each side of the box, are fitments for the wheels that allow the hubs to centre. These are locked into place with integrated position guides and reusable zip-ties. The frame is then sandwiched between the included foam and plenty of straps are included to lock it down. Pro Travel Case Mega 4.0 out of 5 star rating The Pro Travel Case Mega hits the sweet spot between low weight and protection Cycle Store £379.99 / $TBC Buy the Pro Travel case Mega from Cycle Store Size: 94–134 x 80 x 30cm Weight: 8.5kg Highs: Spacious, easy to tow and lift Lows: Lacks the protection of a hard case The Pro Mega is a good performer both in terms of its low weight and — for a soft bag — the protection it offers. Inside, an alloy base frame with sliding adjustable clamp brackets copes with a wide range of wheelbase lengths. The wheels slip into side pockets with hub protectors and there’s plenty of room for shoes, tools and a pump. This bag features a protective inner foam lining and foam blocks to keep things safe, while four removable rigid rods help keep its shape. Below, four independently steering wheels and plenty of grab handles make it easy to tow and lift when necessary. Scicon Aerocomfort TSA 3.0 4.0 out of 5 star rating The Scicon Aerocomfort TSA 3.0 is pricey, but it packs down and rolls well Wiggle £569 / $TBC Buy the Scicon Aerocomfort TSA 3.0 from Wiggle Size: 109 x 103 x 50cm (top) / 103 x 93 x 25cm (bottom) Weight: 8kg Highs: Packs down small, light, smooth-rolling Lows: Price is the biggest one The Aerocomfort 3.0 uses an integrated stand with adjustable wheelbase that’s compatible with quick-release and 12-mm thru-axle systems. The bike’s held securely using straps across the saddle and bar, wheels slot into side pockets and there’s a stash pocket for skewers. The bag is secured using straps across the top tube. Balanced packing stops it tipping and its 8kg weight allows you to pack additional kit.
World Cup racing, Marco Aurelio Fontana, Mont-Sainte-Anne, Quebec, Canada. Photo: JK/Mountain Bike Action The post Throwback Thursday: Mont-Sainte-Anne, 2013 appeared first on Mountain Bike Action Magazine.
Nothing will derail your ride more than rear-derailleur problems. Shifting troubles can be extremely frustrating, mostly because the main source of the problem is often overlooked. When new cables and housing don’t fix your shifting woes, it’s time to check and see if your derailleur hanger is properly aligned. In order for your drivetrain to shift buttery smooth, your hanger must be aligned straight and true. But, how do you do that? Well, let’s dive into this month’s “Garage Files.” Before you begin tweaking your derailleur hanger back into position, first make sure that the hanger is actually the source of your shifting problems. Start by checking that your rear derailleur is set up properly, paying close attention to your B-tension screw and ensuring that your cables have proper tension. With modern 1x drivetrains, the upper pulleys on derailleurs don’t have as much axial play, allowing for quicker shifting but requiring more fine-tuning. If those adjustments don’t fix your problem, it’s more than likely you have a bent derailleur hanger. For this repair you will need a Derailleur Hanger Alignment Gauge such as the DAG-2.2 from Park Tool. Any good local bike shop should have a tool similar to this, but if you like to do your own repairs, this tool will cost you $75. That said, it might make sense to share this tool among your riding buddies. Whether the damage happened during a crash or a shuttle ride, this is the tool that can fix the problem. The first step when straightening a hanger is to remove the derailleur from the hanger. It can be helpful to take photos with your cellphone to ensure the rear-derailleur is reattached in the correct position. The hanger is designed to be pliable enough to bend during a crash, preventing damage to more expensive parts. It is imperative that the thru-axle is as tight as it is when riding. Never assume that a brand-new bike or brand-new derailleur hanger is perfectly aligned by default. Sometimes the alignment will have been overlooked during the bike’s assembly or damaged during shipment. Screw the tool’s threaded tip into the rear derailleur hanger’s mounting hole. If you have some grease handy, put a little on the threads. Be sure to not over-tighten the tool, as this will damage the threads. Any plane requires at least three points of reference to be verified. The alignment tool can be adjusted to check three points from its position. This is why the bracket support slides vertically, as well as in and out, to accommodate different wheel sizes and hub spacings. Position the tool (as shown in the photo) and slide the indicator until it is about 1mm from the outside edge of the rim. Rotate the tool 180 degrees and make sure that the indicator is the same distance from the rim as it was before. If your wheel is not perfectly true, you should check the same point of the rim in order to avoid any misreading. To make it easier, you can refer to the valve stem. If the difference between these two readings is less than 3–4mm, you may want to leave your hanger untouched and move on to the next step. Realigning your derailleur hanger is a delicate operation. Be careful when pulling or pushing on the tool and make sure to use as little force as possible. The goal is to just to get it back to its original form without stressing the material. This will minimize any weakening of the hanger. If you are worried that the hanger’s integrity has been compromised, it’s best to purchase a new one. Check that the tip of the indicator is approximately the same distance from the rim as you work your way around the wheel. Check at least three positions. Push or pull on the tool until the alignment is as close as possible for all three points of reference. The more practice you have with this task, the easier it will become. Reinstall your rear derailleur, paying attention to its bracket stop and how it mounts on the hanger. Refer to your cellphone photos from Step 3 if needed. Next, make sure to not over-torque the rear derailleur, as this could misalign the hanger again. Keep in mind that the your derailleur’s high- and low-limit screws will likely need to be readjusted as well as the cable tension. THERE ARE SO MANY WAYS TO GET ELECTRIC BIKE ACTION In print, from the Apple newsstand, or on your Android device, from Google. Available from the Apple Newsstand for reading on your iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch. Subscribe Here For more subscription information contact (800) 767-0345 Got something on your mind? Let us know at hi-torque.com The post How To Align Your Derailleur Hanger appeared first on Electric Bike Action.
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