Firstly there are a few things we need to clear up: Carbon is not abrasive friendly. Bags and cardboard are not abrasive friendly. Simply covering tubes with lagging foam does virtually NOTHING to stop external blunt force from distorting and cracking the frame. The general rule to safely transport a bike in a soft bag/ cardboard requires 2 things:
1- Create a ‘soft’ frame around the bike to avoid contact with the frame itself.
2 – Covering the surfaces with non-abrasive padding to avoid abrasion and additional impacts
Here we go:
1 – Wheels/ seat post/ pedals/ rear mech/ bars from stem cap off.
2 – Unscrew the hanger from the dropout instead of only removing the rear mech. Why? This is exposed to a corner impact and can damage to carbon dropout. The hanger itself does the damage.
3 – Cut lagging (shown in grey) to your frame tube size and ducktape the surface leaving the slit open. Label each one for easy re- fitting.
4 – Fit a dropout protector where required (shown in red). We repair 90% of chain/ seat stays as a result of not having a protector in place.
5 – Unscrew the stem cap and gently roll the bars around the fork until they fit nicely around the headtube and fork blade. Keep trying and eventually you will see how easily they can fit in this position. Don’t over bend the cables. The bars also act a a protection for the fork.
6 – Wrap the rear mech in foam and place the chainring on a sturdy foam base as you lock the frame in. Bottom impacts often bend the teeth. The base must withstand this. Replace after impact has damaged this base.
7 – Once you have stuffed as much of your kit/ helmet etc into spaces, it is time to fit the outer frame (shown in blue). I use ducktape covered polystyrene sections squeezed into the front/ back and top covering from the seat post hole to the stem. If your wheels fit either side of the frame then you do not need to pad the sides.
8 – Lastly DO NOT deflate the tyres completely. If you do the rims get a pounding from impacts. Semi deflated the tyres can also help absorb impacts and act as further padding.
It takes about 20 min to pack and 5 min + to unpack.