Laura Siddall’s Tips for packing & travelling with your Scicon Bag
As a Triathlete it’s fantastic to be able to travel the World training and racing, getting to visit some fabulous places.
What isn’t so great is travelling with a bike. This is mainly due to the restrictions that the airlines make, which constantly makes me dread the check in process at an airport. I could happily rant about this for longer and get up on my soap box, however that’s not the point of this article.
The good thing, though and that what makes travelling with a bike easy and packing your bike for your trip, is having a Scicon AeroComfort Triathlon bike bag. Although Scicon have a tag line of #packsaferidefast, from my experience it can also be swapped around to #packfastridesafe, well ride safe AND fast! But it’s the pack fast that amazes me every time.
My record for packing my bike in my Scicon bag is about 3mins 30sec as seen in this “friendly” challenge with fellow training partner and Scicon athlete Sarah Piampiano.
Having a bike bag that makes it this easy and simple to pack is a huge benefit and relief when it comes to getting ready for a trip. A Scicon bag takes so much stress out of the equation, with it being so easy to pack and then transport.
Things I love about my Scicon bike bag:
– It has wheels making it super easy to pull/push/maneuver about, as you travel.
– I hardly need to take anything off my bike to pack it. It’s compatible with integrated seat posts, integrated handlebars and/or electronic gearing and aerobars.
– Several options for attaching straps, making it easy to pull or lift etc. You do need to take these straps off when you check in though as they could get caught on machinery during transit.
– A new addition to the latest model is an actual loop on the side of the bag for the airlines to attach the luggage tag. Simple things matter.
– It takes me under 4mins to pack my bike.
>insert image of laura siddall and bike bag<
Here is my guide and steps to packing your Scicon bag and the little things I do to ensure easy and safe travel.
What you need:
1 x Scicon Triathlon Bag which includes additional padding protection, mini pump, spare wheel, rear derailleur protector, quick-release skewers and TSA padlock.
1 x bike – I ride a Boardman AirTT/9.8 complete with Profile Design 58 Wheels and Campagnolo EPS.
1. I like to remove pedals from the bike. You don’t necessarily need to do this but I’ve found that some airlines require it- you can check their policies page before to see. If you do take them off don’t forget to take the Allen key with you, so you can put them back on at the other end. There are lots of pockets in the bag to keep these little tools, and the pedals in.
2. Remove the wheels and place the bike onto the adjustable antishock frame situated inside the bag. Tighten and clamp the bike frame in using the provided QR skewers.
3. Fit the rear derailleur protector.
4. Don’t forget to disable your battery if you have electronic gearing systems!
5. Put the additional protection on the top tube, aero drop bars, aero extensions & saddle.
6. Use the integrated strap system to further secure the bike, first over the saddle and then over the aero drop bars.
7. Put the bike wheels into the padded wheel compartments on the inside of the bike bag.
8. Zip up the bag and lock it with the provided TSA padlock and that’s pretty much it! I tend to put a few other soft items into the bag like towels, clothes and my training buoy. Don’t put hard items into the bag as they can scratch and bump against your bike during transit!
So it’s simple really and quick. Time to put your feet up and have a beer!
Other tips I have:
1. I actually try to make it so my bike is my only check in bag. We triathletes get “stung” enough for the bike anyway by airlines, so I try to ensure that the bike is the only bag I check in and really ‘cut down’ on other things I need, so that these just go in a roller / carry on case. For most races / training weeks I can normally get away with this.
2. Check the airline baggage policies for bikes and who is operating your flight. I’ve booked flights with one airline (with favorable bike charges) only on arrival at check in, to find it’s operated by another airline, with non-favorable charges, who have no desire to uphold the fees for the airline I’d booked. Scicon have put together a series of airline comparison fee articles for the US, Europe and Oceania.
3. Buy a bike bag with wheels, that’s 4 wheels so it’s completely rollable (not the two wheel type where you still have to lift one end of the bag in order to roll it)…. Oh that would be a Scicon AeroComfort then! It seriously makes travelling across the airport, across towns, on buses and planes so much easier.
4. Spares – always a good idea to carry a few spares with you. I carry a couple of spare spokes for my wheels and some other little handy things. Chances are you won’t need to use them if you’re travelling with a Scicon bag or case, but having them makes it a lot more straightforward, if things go wrong and you’re in a foreign place trying to get things fixed.
Happy travels, safe and speedy packing!
British but living in San Francisco via Sydney.
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- Laura Siddall’s Tips for packing & travelling with your Scicon Bag - 12 October 2015