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How to Ship a Bicycle

There are several steps to take to fully prepare your bike for transport. The best way to do this is by packing in a box, to avoid damage to the bike. However, if you can spare the space, wrapping the bike up in bubble wrap without disassembling could work for a short trip. Otherwise, follow the instructions below to learn how to ship a bicycle.

Collect Your Supplies

  • Two bicycle boxes. If you check a few days in advance, you may be able to pick them up at little or no charge from a bike shop. Try to find two boxes where one is just a bit smaller than the other one.
  • Extra strips of cardboard.
  • Scrap wood.
  • Duct tape or packing tape.
  • Thin rope or twine.

Disassemble The Bike

In understanding how to ship a bike, you should also understand how to disassemble and reassemble the bike.

  • Give slack to the cables by shifting gears.
  • Let half of the air out of the tires.
  • Remove the seat and post together.
  • Detach the front wheel. Tape a block of wood between the front fork dropouts.
  • Loosen the brake cables or remove the front brake and rotate the handlebars 180 degrees.
  • Detach handlebars and stem together.
  • Remove the pedals.
  • Place a piece of cardboard against the right side of the frame, then place the front wheel on the other side of the cardboard. Tie the wheel and cardboard to the frame.
  • Undo the rear derailleur and tape or tie it to the back wheel. Pad it with cardboard.

Pack The Bike in the Box

  • Carefully slide the bicycle into the smaller of the two boxes.
  • Add pads of cardboard wherever sharp parts of the bike touch the box.
  • Wrap the handlebars, seat, and pedals in cloth and secure them in the box.
  • Place tools for reassembly in a bag and secure it in the box.
  • Seal the box with tape.
  • Slide the box inside the second box (You might need to adjust the box so that it fits).
  • Seal the outer box really well with tape.
  • Label the box with your name and return address, your destination and your flight number.