How To Pack A Bike - Scicon Edition!

I have had several bike boxes and have packing a bike down to an art and a science. It seems like Jason and I are always flying somewhere with our bikes - to train or to race - and packing up a bike can be a bit of a chore. However, my life changed when I got my Scicon Aerocomfort Triathlon bag, as it's super easy to pack, light and agile to travel with, and turned a half-hour packing job that often required help from Jason into about five minutes on my own.

I will show you what I do with my TT bike, because of all my bikes it takes the "longest" to pack, and that's because I'm pretty paranoid  about damage so do some extra steps to help protect it.  But honestly, if you want to, you could be done in less than five minutes using a Scicon Aerocomfort!

My Shiv before being packed up.

The only steps you HAVE to do are: take wheels off.  Yep, really.  However, I also remove the pedals (so they don't damage my wheels - I race on Enve 7.8s which I don't want pedals sticking into the carbon rim). Additionally, I remove the rear derailleur (sometimes).  Scicon bags come with this very cool metal cage that you can put over your derailleur so you don't have to take it off.  I do this when I'm travelling by myself, because I don't like doing derailleur adjustments and am not confident that I can put it back on perfectly without having to tweak the trim.  But when I travel with Jason, I (he) remove the rear derailleur and strap it to the chain stay, then re-install when I unpack the bike.  Then I just clamp the bike into the frame of the case, put the wheels in the pockets, and done.  All of this takes about 7 minutes.


Wheels go into pockets on each side. Easy peasy.

Rear derailleur removed and zap-strapped to the
chain stay. An extra, unnecessary step if you use Scicon's
derailleur protector. But it makes me feel better.

Because I love my bikes more than any person probably should, I wrap protective film all around my bike frame to make sure it doesn't get any dings or chips.  The case itself comes with some padding - really high quality to protect the bars, saddle, top tube and seat post. I supplement it with some bubble insulation (you can buy rolls of it at any home supply store).  I have cut lengths into specific sizes that fit different parts of my bike, and I've labeled them so it's quick and easy.  I secure them with velcro straps.  This adds probably another 10 minutes to my packing, but totally worth it.  

Literally bubble wrapped.
My final step - and you don't really need to do this if you have the triathlon model of the bag - is to take off the aerobars.  I do because it gives me piece of mind; my shifters are at the end of the bars, and while it comes with a special aerobar protection sleeve, it only takes a couple of minutes to pop them off.

My "extra" step of popping off the aerobars
and velcroing them to the fork. Not needed as
the case is built for aerobars, but again makes
me feel better.

All packed!

Bonus - the case easily fits my pillow. I'm a
princess and insist on travelling with my own pillow.

All packed!

My version of packing light.

The bag looks huge, but I've had it in the trunk
of a rental car!

If you're thinking of flying with your bike, and wondering what kind of bike case to get, I really do recommend the Scicon.  I have had hard cases, and I hear people talk all the time about preferring them for the protection the case provides. Which is true... until the TSA opens your case (which they WILL), moves things around, and then isn't really sure how everything should fit and closes it back up by brute force. I've seen this happen many times, and seen bikes scratched and even cracked because of this.  With a soft case, and the bike clamped in, there really isn't any way for the TSA to mess things up and damage your bike.  I've had both, and will choose this case every time.  There is literally no guarantee with any case that your bike won't get damaged somehow.  But I take all the steps I can to protect my bike, and hope for the best knowing I've done everything.

Happy travels!

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