SMASH-Dimond's Brianna Frank's Tips for Packing Your Bike Without Stress

As an athlete living in Hawaii I have only a few options for local triathlons. That means I have travel off island for the majority of my racing, which means I'm taking my bike apart many, many times each year. In order to keep travel costs down, I invested in the Armored Hen House from Ruster Sports. This is a fantastic bike bag that can be checked with regular luggage and helps avoid oversized charges. For me, its been a must. In addition to providing extra protection from damage, theres tons of extra space for storing your other race gear.  


But of course you still have to disassemble your bike. Breaking down and rebuilding your bike can be stressful and the last thing you need before a race is more stress! Here are some tips Ive found help:

  1. Learn your bike

    Having owned a few different brands of bikes, I can confidently say the Dimond is by far the easiest bike to break down and build up on my own. Knowing I would need to travel with my Dimond this year, I disassembled and reassembled it several times at home before I left to make sure I was confident about how to put it together and could do it while jet-lagged on a hotel floor in the future!

    When taking it apart, I usually start by deflating the tires, taking off the wheels, carefully laying it down on a few yoga mats, and generally working from back to front. Ive also bought a lot of spare bubble wrap, foam, and tape. While it may take extra time to wrap different parts, its worth it for the peace of mind when your bag is being thrown onto a conveyer belt. 
  1. Invest in the right tools:

    I made a travel tool box and never travel without my pedal wrench, hex wrench, torque wrench, extra tubes, and valve extenders. Good tools will do the work for you, so if you know youll be traveling a lot it can be worth investing in a good set of bike tools. Wrenches with long arms will come in handy.

  1. Know your bike bag:

    By knowing what you can fit in your bike bag, you can avoid disassembling more than you have to. When I starting riding my Dimond I realized I could travel without removing my seat post from the beam. This saves me time and the risk of human error. Ive can also figured out exactly what I can fit inside. At this point, I only travel with the Hen House and a carry-on and manage to get all the triathlon necessities inside my bike bag.
  1. If in doubt, ask for help:

    To feel more confident, I took my bike to my local tri shop and asked for help on how to take it apartcoming clean that I knew little about most components. I took pictures of what my bike looked like broken down. I took a video of how my fork needs to be correctly assembled. I also saved notes to my phones on what goes where. Bike shop bros can be smug, but dont let that bother you. Its your bike and you deserve to know how it works.

I learned these tips the hard waysee my grease stains for proofso I hope theyll help you. Best of luck and have fun traveling with (and racing) your bike!

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