How to Dismantle a Bike

How to Dismantle a Bike
For many, the most common reason to dismantle a bike is for purposes of boxing and shipping the bike. Others may only need to store a bike and are perhaps finding that space is a bit of an issue. Whatever the purpose, when dismantling a bike, the primary intent is to reduce the overall size of the bike while making it relatively easy to reassemble it when the time comes. These steps are similar to those employed by bike shops when boxing a bike for shipment.


Difficulty: Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Pedal wrench
  • 3 to 4 large plastic bags
  • Standard set of Allen wrenches
  • Twist ties
Step 1
Use a pedal wrench to remove each pedal. Remember that the left, or non-drive side pedal is reverse-threaded. Turn this particular pedal spindle clockwise to loosen the pedal. Place both pedals in a plastic bag.
Step 2
Remove the front wheel only and place the wheel skewer in a plastic bag. The skewer passes through the center of the wheel and, when tightened, keeps the wheel in place. Loosen the skewer, turning the nut counterclockwise, to remove the wheel. Place the skewer in a plastic bag.
Step 3
Use a proper-size Allen wrench (usually 3 or 5 mm) to remove the Allen bolts attaching the handlebar to the handlebar stem. There may be as many as four bolts or as few as two. Place the bolts in a bag.
Step 4
Loosen the seatpost collar Allen bolt. Instead of an Allen bolt, some collars will feature a quick-release; open the quick-release.
Step 5
Remove the seatpost and saddle assembly. If boxing the bike for shipment, cover the seatpost/saddle assembly in plastic and tie it to the rear wheel. Twist ties work fine.
Step 6
Lay the front wheel against the left, or non-drive, side of the bike. Lay the handlebar on top of the wheel. For drop- or road-style handlebars, hook the drops over the top tube of the bike frame.

Tips & Warnings

If shipping or storing your bike, wrap the frame in plastic wrap, which will help protect the frame from scratches and other damage.
If the bike will be traveling by air, deflate high-pressure tires to around 24 PSI (pounds per square inch). This will prevents them from potentially bursting because of the low atmospheric pressure inside the plane.

Article Written By Matthew Ferguson

Matthew Ferguson is a writer living in Savannah, Ga. He has been writing for over 10 years and his work has appeared on various online publications. A collection of his short stories was published in spring 2010. He is a graduate of Appalachian State University.

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