You are the second person with a favorable comment. How tough is it to break the bike down and reassemble it? When touring, what do you do with the case? Ship it home or send it to a future location, ie, motel to hold? Bob
Disassembling and packing an S&S bike is about a 30 minute job if you are experienced and a lot longer the first few times. The actual couplers come apart in seconds and, assuming you have cable splitters for the shift cables and rear brake, they disconnect very quickly too. You also have to remove the pedals, rear derailleur (let it hang from its cable)and the bars/stem assembly.
The slow part is padding each frame tube with the Velcro-fastened padded wrap that comes with an S&S equipped bike. Cutting them to custom length for each tube the first time takes quite a while but you only do that once.
Once the padding is in place, the various parts are placed into the case in a specified order. The tires of a 700c bike have to be deflated (not removed) to get the wheels in and the whole case closed on the resulting jig-saw puzzle.
Reassembly is a bit faster but still a 20-30 minute job. Be sure to pack a good frame pump or strong mini-pump. The Topeak Road Morph pumps are particularly good for this.
I've never traveled point-to-point with my bike so the case remains at my starting point and I pick it up for the return trip or I just take day trips. I use mine only for vacation and business trips.
I think if I were going to tour so that I couldn't return to the start, I'd either not bother with the couplers and pack the bike in a cardboard bike shipping box from an LBS or disassemble it but use a disposable packing carton that was smaller than a bike box.
Note to MRVere: NEVER Loctite the couplers. S&S recommends a teflon based high-pressure DuPont grease which works very well and absolutely prevents seizing and galling of the coupler threads. As I said above, tighten them properly and they stay tight until you want to uncouple them.
This message was edited by DaveB on 12-2-08 @ 4:23 PM