Adventure Cycling Association Forum

Bicycle Travel => General Discussion => Topic started by: BigBlueToe on January 06, 2006, 02:46:33 pm

Title: Amtrak Boxes for Tall Bikes?
Post by: BigBlueToe on January 06, 2006, 02:46:33 pm
Question:  Do the Amtrak-supplied bike boxes fit exceptionally large bikes?

Background: I'm a tall guy - 6'4" - and I have a tall bike.  (I'm not sure of the size.)  I bought it from Nashbar many years ago and, luckily, saved the box.  In 2004 I took a bike tour down the Oregon Coast.  I rode Amtrak to Portland.  I thought I'd box my own bike to make sure it was done properly.  I went to the local, high-volume bike shop and asked for the biggest box they had.  I brought it home and, alas, my bike was too big.  I had to haul the original box down from the rafters of my garage, and use it.

When I got to Portland I dragged the box out onto the sidewalk outside the train station and started assembling.  When I finished I had no recourse but to put my old box into the nearest dumpster.

I would like to take another tour this summer, and may have to use Amtrak.  Since the big box I had is gone, I'm wondering if anyone knows whether or not their boxes will fit a big bike like mine.

Thanks in advance!

Title: Amtrak Boxes for Tall Bikes?
Post by: wanderingwheel on January 06, 2006, 07:53:51 pm
Amtrak boxes are designed to be used with minimal disassembly.  If I recall correct, my 56cm bike fit in one by simply turning the handlebars and rolling it in.  Didn't have to remove the wheels or lower the saddle.  You will probably have to remove your saddle, but I can't imagine that you would need to do much else.


Title: Amtrak Boxes for Tall Bikes?
Post by: DaveB on January 06, 2006, 08:27:05 pm
If you have a particularly large bike (I'm guessing yours has a 62 or 63 cm frame) you may need two boxes and have to invert and telescope one over the other to get adequate height.

This message was edited by DaveB on 1-6-06 @ 4:27 PM
Title: Amtrak Boxes for Tall Bikes?
Post by: TheDaltonBoys on January 11, 2006, 09:02:45 am
The Amtrak designed bike boxes are meant to have the handlebars turned sideways, and the pedals removed and that's it. Your question as to whether your bike will fit will probably require contacting Amtrak direct (be patient). The other issue is that baggage car items can only be put on, or taken off at "baggage service" stations. the exception would be Amtraks running between Kansas City and St. Louis Missouri and stops along the KATY Rail/Trail. Telescoping idea sounds promising....their boxes are in the $10.00-$20.00 range. Hope this helps....Enjoy the voyage....Mark of the Dalton Boys

Title: Amtrak Boxes for Tall Bikes?
Post by: driftlessregion on January 14, 2006, 07:38:09 pm
I understand the frustration. My 64 cm barely fits into my box I got from Colorado Cyclist. You might want to contact a shop at the end of your ride and see about having them save a big box for you to get home.

Title: Amtrak Boxes for Tall Bikes?
Post by: dombrosk on January 16, 2006, 07:55:56 pm
Fortunately, I happen to have an Amtrak box in the basement!  The height measures 41".

My bike is not especially tall (nor am I), but when I packed up I pulled my handlebars "up and out" and duct taped them to the frame because of my bar ends.  Not a big deal, and I am a bicyclist of VERY limited mechanical proficiency.  (Others who know better might well suggest other solutions.)

I've had many great experiences on Amtrak, with and without a bike along.  Happy Training!