What is the best foam to use for packing and shipping a bike through an airline. I have a hard shell case but believe in over preparing.
I’ve used a combination of pipe insulation and bubble wrap. I think the most important part is to protect your forks and rear triangle. I’ve used a combination of bolt/washers/wingnuts to brace both ends (like a QR skewer on steroids). I’ve also made cardboard “columns” (folded over sections of cardboard wrapped with duct tape) to place about the bike to prevent any crush injuries from occuring
If you’re tight on room in your packing box (as I am in my hard shell case), I recommend rubber carpet padding. Not as protective as the pipe insulation, but easier to work with and as I said doesn’t take up as much room. Might also be a nice complement to wrap smaller places not conducive to the pipe insulation
Which case do you have? I’ve got a Bike Box Alan, have transported bike and wheels a dozen or more times with no issue and no extra foam or protection. Hard to conceive of anything that would get through that case that wouldn’t also make a wreck of any foam inside, and everything inside is firmly velcroed down so doesn’t move at all. Only real risk I can think of is if airport security decide to open it up and start taking things out. Try to avoid that by looping the baggage sticker through the handle so that I would at least know if it had been opened up.
Sorry, know I didn’t really answer your question, just trying to set your mind at rest that those cases are pretty bullet proof!
Just don’t get the kind that’s sticky on the inside. I’m still occasionally peeling off bits from a steel frame I flew with two years ago.