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Since posting this question I went on a tour for a few months which involved flying with my bike twice. Both times it was packed in a cardboard bike box from a bike shop. It may have been unclear in my original question, but my question was specifically about the disc rotors, not how to pack a bike in general. When searching elsewhere I found there was ...


I have flown 6x with my bike (Cyclocross Disc) in a soft padded bike bag and never once had issues with the rotors. Numerous other MTB friends never remove the rotors either and have not had trouble when flying. Echoing the comment by @Daniel, I'd be more focussed on the dropouts and RD and making sure those are supported. You are way more at risk ...


A torque wrench is definitely recommended, but some people develop a "feel" for the correct torque. There is usually blue threadlocker compound on the screws. There are small, cheap simple "flexion" torque keys that do the job quite well. My MTB came with one, actually.

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