www.zinncycles.com  Zinn Custom Road Mountain and Travel Bikes  Zinn Online Store
 Instructions for Packing a Zinn Cycles Travel Bike

  • BEFORE PACKING: Take apart the bike, separate each part, and wrap them in their respective pads. Once bike is ready for packing, continue with the following steps. Watch the video on the right for visual instructions.
  1. open case
  2. place bottom part of security net and case supports in case
  3. place front end of bike with fork into case
  4. Put in rear wheel, cogs down
  5. Put in handlebar
  6. Add rear triangle
  7. put in other wheel and pack small components into spaces
  8. place case supports to prevent case from being squashed
  9. Strap down security net and position case supports
  10. close case while checking to be sure nothing is caught

travel bike packing step 1

1. open case

travel bike packing step 6

6. Add rear triangle

travel bike packing step 2

2. place bottom part of security net and case supports in case

travel bike packing step 7

7. put in other wheel and pack small components into spaces

travel bike packing step 3

3. place front end of bike with fork into case

travel bike packing step 8

8. place case supports

travel bike packing step 4

4. Put in rear wheel, cogs down

travel bike packing step 9

9. Strap down security net and position case supports

travel bike packing step 5

5. Put in handlebar

travel bike packing step 10

10. close case while checking to be sure nothing is caught


Zinn travel bike assembly instructions – putting your bike back together when you arrive at your destination.
This is how to get your Zinn coupled travel bike together and ready to ride after it’s been in its case. After you have done it a few times, this process will take less than half an hour. The http://www.facebook.com/video/?id=61846853456(paste it in, rather than using the link, if it says your browser is incompatible) packing video shows you how to get it into the case, and you can use it to also visualize most of the below assembly steps, except in reverse.

  1. Remove any padded covers from the frame members, fork, and components.
  2. Assemble the frame by screwing the tube couplers together. Tighten them with your coupler wrench.
  3. Install the seatpost to the proper height (it was marked with tape or with a clamp-on flashing taillight when we sent it out), line up the saddle, tighten the binder bolt and, ideally, clamp the seatpost into a bike stand.
  4. Screw the stem coupler together and tighten it with your coupler wrench.
  5. Install the wheel quick-release skewers into the appropriate wheel axles.
  6. Bolt on the front brake and tighten the nut with 5mm hex key. Center the brake pads relative to the fork legs by eye; you’ll finalize this once the front wheel is on.
  7. Install the front wheel and center the front brake by grabbing the entire caliper and twisting it until the pads are spaced equally from the rim. Check that the mounting nut on the back of the fork is tight.
  8. Install the rear derailleur by tightening its mounting bolt into the derailleur hanger on the rear dropout, making sure the stop tab on the derailleur is behind the tang on the bottom of the dropout derailleur hanger (see Fig. 5.5 in your Zinn and the Art of Road Bike Maintenance book).
  9. Slide your housing ends and housings into the slotted cable stops for the front derailleur, rear derailleur and rear brake. Make sure the rear derailleur cable comes from the right lever down the right side of frame.
  10. Screw together the cable splitters for the front derailleur, rear derailleur and rear brake (don’t connect the male end of the front derailleur cable splitter to the female end of the rear derailleur cable splitter and vice versa; I’ve done that and it’s very confusing when you start riding!).
  11. Check that all housings are fully seated into housing end caps, which in turn are fully seated into all slotted cable stops, levers and front derailleur barrel adjuster.
  12. Check that the rear derailleur cable is in its plastic guide slot under the bottom bracket shell.
  13. Install the rear wheel.
  14. Install the entire crank if it’s a Zinn-tegrated crank *(see below) or another integrated-spindle crank. Install the right arm onto the spindle if it’s a Zinn (or other) square-taper, ISIS, or Octalink crank, and tighten the crank bolt fully.
  15. Install the chain, if it has a master link and has been removed. (If you don’t have a master link, you already had to untangle it to accomplish step 7). See below for instructions on master links.
  16. Double check that all couplers and cable splitters are tight (couplers with a coupler wrench; cable splitters by hand). Check that all brake quick-releases and wheel quick releases are securely closed.
  17. Take a test ride to ensure that the brakes and derailleurs are functioning properly. Fine tune cable tension adjustment with the inline barrel adjusters on the derailleur cables, and/or with the barrel adjusters on the rear derailleur and brake calipers. If everything checks out, you’re done.
  • *Installing a Zinn-tegrated crank (or a SRAM or TruVativ GXP crank):
  1. From the right side, push the spindle through the cups as far as you can (the spindle splines will protrude from the left bearing).
  2. Slip the left crank on the splines, ensuring that it is at 180 degrees from the right arm.
  3. Tighten the left arm with an 8mm hex key – torque is high; use 400-450 inch-pounds (33-37 foot-pounds, or 45-50 N·m — this is about as tightly as you can tighten it with a long 8mm hex key).
  4. Recheck the torque after one ride, as the crank may settle in so that the bolt would need retightening. Periodically check the torque from then on.


Master Link Instructions: Opening and closing your master link (in most cases, we would have supplied you with a Wippermann ConneX master link; see item “c” below):

a. The SRAM (Sachs) Power Link, Super Link, and KMC Missing Link

These links are the same; SRAM (who purchased Sachs) licensed the Lickton’s Super Link design (see Fig. 4.24 in your Zinn and the Art of Road Bike Maintenance book), and the Missing Link works the same way (note that the SRAM 10-speed Power Link and the discontinued KMC Missing Link II are not supposed to be openable). The master link is made up of two symmetrical link halves, each of which has a single pin sticking out of it. There is a round hole in the center of each plate that tapers into a slot on the end opposite the pin.


1.            Put the pin of each half of the link through the hole in each end of the chain; one pin will go down and one up (Fig. 4.24).

2.            Pull the links close together so that the each pin goes through the keyhole in the opposite plate.

3.            Pull the chain ends apart so that the groove at the top of each pin slides to the end of the slot in each plate.


1.            While squeezing the master-link plates together to free the plate from the groove in the pins, push the chain ends toward each other so that the pins come to the center hole in each plate. If you have a pair of master link pliers, grab the two rollers with them through which each pin of the master link are inserted (Fig. 4.25). Squeeze the pliers at the same time you squeeze the link plates toward each other with your fingers. The link will come right apart. Master link pliers are one of the slickest tools in existence; with them you can easily open SRAM 10-speed master links, which are supposed to not be openable.

NOTE: Without master link pliers, this is often hard to open an old, dirty master link. The problem may seem to be that you don’t have enough hands. Try squeezing the link plates toward each other with a clothespin or a pair of Vise Grip pliers set on very low pressure to disengage the link plates from the pin grooves while you push the ends toward each other. In desperation, you may have to just open the chain somewhere else, reassembling it with a chain tool or using a second master link.

2.            Pull the two halves of the master link apart.

c. Wippermann ConneX link

The Wippermann link works much the same way as the SRAM Power Link just discussed, but unlike other master links, the edges of the link plates are not symmetrical. This asymmetry means that there is a definite orientation for the link, and you want to make sure you don’t install it upside down.

Orient the ConneX master link so that its convex edge is away from the chainring or cog (Fig. 4.26). The link plate is bowl-shaped, and if you have the convex bottom of the bowl toward the cog or chainring, then when it is on an eleven-, or twelve-, maybe even a thirteen-tooth cog, the convex edge will ride up on the spacer between cogs, lifting the rollers out of the tooth valleys and causing the chain to skip under load. Another way to think about this orientation is to notice the pair of attached holes where you pop the link together forms a heart shape. When the chain is on the top of the cog or chainring, make sure that the heart is right-side up.

So, remove and install the ConneX link the same way as the SRAM Power Link in section 15a above, but make sure the convex link edge is facing outward from the chain loop (Fig. 4.26), so that the concave edge can run over the cog spacers on the smallest cogs without lifting the chain.

Finally, here are some key points on packing not explicit in the video:

There is a bit of pushing to close the case, because we intentionally supply three case supports that are longer than the case is wide to prevent flex in the side of the case during transport from hitting the end of the axle. When closing, you should be able to determine that it is only at those three points – the caps of the case supports – that the lid is contacting when you’re pushing it closed. Make sure you don’t have a tire, a cable, or, worse, a cable splitter caught in between the case edges when you close it.

Instructions for Dissembling your bike and putting it back in the case
This is assuming you’re disassembling your bike while traveling and don’t have access to a bike stand. Consequently, it starts with the bike standing up and has you do as much disassembly as you can before removing the wheels or breaking down the frame.
1. Release the cables and housings
  1. Unscrew the cable splitters.
  2. Pull the end of each piece of cable housing out of its cable stop or barrel adjuster so the cables and housings are free to dangle and won’t get damaged during packing or travel.
  3. Pull the rear derailleur cable out of the cable guide under the bottom bracket to un-tether the rear derailleur. We have pre-cut the loop holding the cable in its groove so that it will come out.
  4. If you have electronic derailleurs, you will need to wait until you disassemble the frame at the couplers to disconnect the internal wires; with a wireless system, there is nothing to disconnect.
  5. If you have hydraulic disc brakes, you will have to remove the brake calipers, leaving the hoses connected and rolled up. You will have to remove the rotors from the wheels as well (Center Lock rotors make this much easier than six-bolt rotors).
2. Remove the front brake caliper.
  1. Don’t unscrew the cable from the brake.
  2. Unscrew the brake center bolt from the fork with a 5mm hex key (or, sometimes, a Torx T25 key).
  3. You can leave the recessed nut in the fork, as long it is clear that it’s not going to fall out during travel. Otherwise, screw it onto the brake bolt.
  4. If you don’t put the nut back on the bolt, store any washers that are on the bolt or that fall off the front of the fork crown. Put them in a bag, tape them to the frame, or put them on one of the wheel skewers once you’ve removed them.
3. If you have a chain master link, remove the chain (it is not mandatory to remove the chain; removing it keeps the bike cleaner and less scratched).
  1. If you have a 10- or 11-speed SRAM chain with its own master link, you will need to use master-link pliers to remove it. If you are using a Wippermann or other aftermarket master link (even if it’s 11-speed), you may be able to open it with your fingers.
  2. Squeeze the master link’s plates toward each other while pushing the link ends toward each other (either by hand or with the master-link pliers).
  3. Once the pins on either side are free and have moved to the large keyhole in each link plate, pull the plates away from each other to open the chain.
  4. Put the chain and master link in a bag.
4. Remove the crank.
If you remove the crank, there is no reason to remove the pedals (which take longer to remove than an integrated-spindle crank anyway). With many bikes, there is room in the case for the rear end of the frame with the crank still installed, but it is harder to fit in, and the chainrings will tear up the finish of the front rim and tire.
  1. If you have a Zinn-tegrated or SRAM or TruVativ GXP crank, unscrew the crank bolt on the left crank arm with a long-handled 8mm hex key; this will push the left crankarm off. You can now pull the drive-side (right) arm off; it may require a light tap on the end of the spindle to free it from the bearings.
  2. If you have a different type of crank, follow the instructions for that crank (removal/installation instructions for all crank types are in Zinn and the Art of Road Bike Maintenance (http://www.bigandtallbike.com/Zinn-and-the-Art-of-Road-Bike-Maintenance-5th-Edition_p_427.html)).
5. Unscrew the rear derailleur from the rear dropout.
  1. This will usually take a 5mm hex key or torx T25. check your derailleur before traveling.
  2. Put the derailleur in a bag, making sure the end of the cable housing is separated from the barrel adjuster to reduce the chances of bending the barrel adjuster. If you did not remove the chain, wad as much of it as you can into the bag with the derailleur.
6. Remove the seatpost (with the saddle attached).
  1. This will usually take a 4mm or 5mm hex key.
  2. Make sure the seatpost is marked for the correct seat height before pulling it out. Keeping a taillight clamped around it at the insertion point is a great way to ensure proper seat height.
7. Loosen all couplers.
With the coupler wrench, loosen all of the couplers so that they can be unscrewed the rest of the way by hand (but don’t unscrew them completely yet).
8. Deflate the tires completely. If you have bigger tires than 700 X 26C, you may have to remove the tires to fit the wheels into the case.
9. Remove the wheels from the frame and fork.
10. Remove the quick-release skewers from the wheels, and put them in a bag.
11. Unscrew the couplers completely. Separate the frame sections and the handlebar stem at their couplers. (If you don’t have a Zinn coupled stem, unscrew the bolts clamping the stem to the handlebar, after first marking the position of the bar relative to the stem clamp with a paint pen. Secure the bolts so they don’t get lost in travel. Bringing a small torque is recommended to ensure that you tighten the bolts sufficiently that they don’t slip when you hit a pothole on your first ride at your travel destination, and that you don’t overtighten and strip the bolts so you can’t ride the bike.)
12. Wrap pads around the fork legs, frame sections, coupled ends, and cranks. Besides being time-consuming, this step also adds bulk and consequently makes fitting in the case more difficult. So you may find, for instance, that with an unpainted titanium frame, leaving the chainstays and seatstays unwrapped will make packing easier and will not result in significant damage to those parts, as the spokes of the wheels will polish a stripe down the seatstays and that’s it. Similar comments apply to leaving the seatpost unwrapped as well. Make sure you wrap the fork well, though, and we recommend covering the main frame tubes and the couplers as well as the cranks.
13. Follow the instructions for packing your bike into the travel case. See above for those instructions.
  1. Removing the front brake caliper, opening all of the cable splitters, and having slotted cable stops (rather than barrel adjusters screwed into welded-on mounts) at the head tube allows you to completely un-tether the handlebar from the bike. This allows you to fit the stem/handlebar assembly in more easily (this is generally the most challenging item to fit into the travel case).
  2. The Zinn coupled stem (http://www.bigandtallbike.com/ZinnKGS-Travel-Stem-wSS-Coupler_p_186.html) makes for very quick removal and reinstallation of the handlebar while maintaining the same handlebar tilt and clamping torque.
  3. A small floor pump, compact multi-tool, and long 8mm hex key are necessary travel accessories. Master link pliers, standard pliers, small torque wrench for stem bolts, and cable cutters can come in handy sometimes, particularly on extended travel with other, less-prepared cyclists.
  4. A short, clip-on rear fender, a taillight and possibly a headlight are useful travel accessories.
  5. Spare items like inner tubes, cables, and crank bolt assemblies (and tools to remove them), as well as a spare tire and perhaps even a spare chain can come in handy, particularly on a long trip.
  6. TSA prohibits air travel with full CO2 cartridges in checked or carry-on luggage.
  7. Tubeless tires can be a hassle to travel with, as the beads may become dislodged during transit while deflated. If the beads are not engaged, the tires can sealant all over the inside of your bike case, and inflating the tires can require using CO2 cartridges (not permitted on air travel) or an air compressor. We recommend sticking with inner tubes for your travel bike.

-- Zinn Cycles Inc./ 303.499.4349 / 7437 S. Boulder Rd. / Boulder, CO - 80303 / USA / sales@zinncycles.com --