Thanks for a great podcast! A couple of things that I thought of while listening. I fly with my bike a lot to races and fun places ride:
The level of inspection that TSA does to my bike and case before it gets loaded onto the plane seems to vary a lot. Sometimes, it looks like they barely crack the case open, stick the little card in, and close it up. Other times, it looks like they’ve taken everything out, including the foam packaging, strapping, etc. When that happens, it also seems to vary how well it all gets put back. I’ve gotten to a hotel and opened my case to find that everything is loose and totally floating around (literally falls out of the case). One thing that seems to help, though, is to make everything packed as visible as possible. So the tip, is to use as many zip lock bags as possible for parts, pieces and tools, and although it is always tempting to cram clothing as padding around the frame, etc, I’ve found that seems to be “TSA friendlier” to use small pieces of foam pipe insulation at the rub points, combined with those little ball bungees as strapping. In a nutshell, make the inspection easy for them. If I put clothes in my bike case, I just put them in a bag that can be taken out and inspected without taking the bike packing all apart. No guarantees, but this seems to help. And forget about trying to hide the C02 (illegal to pack on a plane). You might get away with it sometimes, but when you don’t, count on everything you spent time packing being torn apart… I just plan on picking up a cartridge or two at my destination.
Disconnect your Di2 at every exposed junction, and take the little plastic tool to fully re-seat the connectors once you arrive (or if your battery is easy to get to, just disconnect there). On two different occasions, I’ve arrived with a totally dead battery (fully charged when I left) because something shifted and depressed a shift trigger the whole trip. And take the rear mech off.
When I’m at home packing my bike before I leave, I put every tool that I used for disassembly in a bucket. Once my bike is all strapped in, I go through the tools I am planning on taking with me and compare to what is in the bucket. Sometimes, you’ll find the mini-tool you’re taking on the trip is missing something you need to put your bike back together (Torx T30 for a stem bolt, for example). It sucks to be at the hotel and missing a tool…