a) I removed the handlebars, and laid them as flat as possible with the brifters facing upwards. Has anyone had issues with damage to the brifters?
b) As recommended, after removing the skewers/QR from the wheels, I placed the second piece of foam over the frame, placed the wheels on top of the foam, placed the third piece of foam on top of the wheels, and closed up the case.....I had to use some moderate pressure to get the case to close up appropriately....any issues with damage to the wheels?
I am hoping that the rather tight squeeze on the partially disassembled bike was deliberate design by Trico, to prevent movement, and thus prevent damage.
Has anyone had issues with damage specific to the tight fit?
I own a BikePro but loaned it to a friend who was too tall for his bike to fit in a Trico and used the Trico he could rent twice in the late 90s. I had problems both times. On the second trip, one of the hubs pretty much went through the downtube and the other dinged the seat tube. I really don't know what was wrong but had packed the bike as you have. I didn't have any problem with the brifters but can't recall how I packed the bars. I suspect I put the bar under the top tube with the brifters perpendicular to the case.
I suspected that I might have done up the buckle too tightly but really can't say what happened. Needless to say, I've never used an Iron Case again and don't plan to. I've never had a problem with the BikePro (nor did my son who took it to Europe and Brazil for races) or the case for the S&S bike I use now for travel.
But from memory, I take the bars out of the stem and leave the stem on the steerer. I tuck one end of the drops under the top tube and the other is in front of the stem, so the shifters are vertical in the case. I take off the rear derailleur, wrap it in a rag and zip tie it to the chainstay. I use chains with a removable master link so I pull the chain and pack it a plastic box. I put the metal rods/wingnuts in place in the dropouts to prevent compression damage, the key here is to offset them slightly so the upper parts do not stick up excessively. Saddle/seatpost obviously pulled as well, I tuck it in up by the fork/downtube junction with the seatpost wrapped in a towel and along the downube. I put an old T-shirt rag around the drive train and driveside crank arm as well. I usually put my shoes in a shoe bag and put the pedals inside the shoes, along with a smattering of tools and my wheel skewers, then place this below the saddle near the bottom of the front fork. My frame pump, water bottles and extra tubes also get packed in this level.
Then the 2nd piece of foam gets overlaid and I place the wheels. I never pack carbon wheels in this box, just too risky. I have had the metal rods that are in the dropouts push through the foam once and leave a little artwork on a Campy Eurus, that is why I suggest making sure the rods do not stick up too high on level one. Then the 3rd piece of foam and the top of the case. It does feel a little awkward tightening the case down, but that is the secret of this case in that everything is snugly encased in the foam. The main problem is that in most instances it is going to get opened by TSA agents and you will have no control over how they close it up. At SFO last fall I got to watch while a female TSA agent opened it, then struggled to get the top back on, then watched 2 male co-workers come back from break and gorilla the thing back together. I just cringed and walked away. There was no damage when I opened it up back at home, surprisingly.
i packed the bars as you, Bigger Gear, recommended, so hopefully no issues with the brifters.
thanks for the tips about wrapping the frame up.....i wrapped as much as i could with bubble wrap.
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