Have always used a Carboard bike box to take my pride and joy abroad.They're normally free from most local bikeshops and seem to hold up pretty well.I normally ask for a Giant box if possible they seem to be nice and tough,put of plenty of fragile tape on it and bubble wrap inside and bobs your uncle.
Sounds as though the chain could have a stiff link as previously mentioned,check it again and again it may not be visible straight away.The size of your chainrings is fine,that shouldn't make a difference.
I would have to agree with dan.If it was me i would personally ditch the 9 speed chain and opt for something alittle wider like a standard width BMX chain and try that before anything else.
I recently stayed at this Hotel:
Was within walking distance of all central places,including the bus station that takes about 20 minutes to get to and from the Airport.
I also managed to stumble across this shop whilst going to the food shop,it's called Espai Bici sold alot of nice modern parts and a suprising large range of BLB components nice shop.
Nice to read stories like this,after having a nasty accident and then the fear of it being lost/stolen would be gutting.
Only to find a decent cyclist did what he did.
Good effort Tryingtoreturnbike
Don't spend £70 on a Profile spline drive sprocket definately opt for the Tree lite.
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Congrats to Tao on winning the Giro