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  • Rigid plastic cases offer the most protection, but they are expensive, don't fit large frames (anything over 62cm is trouble), and essentially force a loop itinerary, since they cannot be shipped easily. Furthermore, they are heavy to lug around on public transport.
  • Cardboard boxes are the most common choice. Cardboard bike boxes should be easily available for free from your local bike shop (although some like to charge for their waste disposal). These are cheap and offer good protection but either need to be folded down and rebuilt or stored at the other end.
    Hard bike cases offer good protection, but as explained in the Bike Bag Guide above, are a real pain to stash in the back of a hire car or hotel wardrobe.
  • A large soft bag is an unconventional but effective option. It costs very little and can folded so it doesn't take a lot of space. Surprisingly, it protects the bicycle reasonably well: luggage handlers see that the item is a bicycle, and appear not to throw it around as much.
Packing instructions:
Tools required
  • Packaging Materials
  • Masking tape
  • Suitable Allen Keys
  • 15mm spanner/pedal spanner
  • Brake spacers/cardboard
  • Fork spacers

Remove the pedals by turning right pedal anti-clockwise and left pedal clockwise with a 15mm spanner or pedal spanner. Wrap the pedals in something and put them in a place where you won't forget them! Pack the spanner with them.

Remove the wheels by undoing the quick releases. Remove the skewers and carefully wrap them and put them with the pedals for packing later.
Let the air out of the tyres as airlines do not want inflated tyres on the planes (some check too)
Package the wheels using some polystyrene to protect the disc rotors from being bent and place the wheel in a wheel bag if available. Put the wheel bags to one side until the bike is ready to be put in the bag. 
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