If you’re planning on shipping a bike, there are a few things you’ll need to do to ensure it arrives safely. First, you’ll need to measure the cycle and get the appropriate size box or crate.
You’ll also need to disassemble the bike and remove the pedals, handlebars, and other loose parts. Once the cycle is packed up, you’ll need to choose a shipping method and calculate the shipping costs.
In this article, BSXInsight will cover all information about how to ship a bike, what you need to know, and some helpful tips when shipping for you.
Bike Shipping Prep: What You’ll Need is Listed Below
- Cyclist’s Storage Container
- Equipment for Bicycles
- materials for absorbing impact, like air cushions, bubble wrap, or foam tubes
- Zip ties
- Ample Cardboard
- Bags with zippers or a compact box for hardware
- shipping tape with a width of at least two inches
How To Ship A Bike
To prepare a bicycle for transport, follow these steps:
Take The Bike Apart Piece by Piece
- Take off the leading tire.
- To take off the pedals.
- Take off the handlebars and anything else that could get lost or damaged inside the box or protrude out and cause harm. Wrap or cover up any remaining points or edges.
- A secure bag or box is the best place to store small components.
- It would help if you stowed the container within the bike’s shipping crate.
Bring The Bike and All Its Pieces Inside
- Place a strip of packing tape (at least 2 inches wide) around the perimeter of the bottom of the box. Seal it and then place it upright.
- Put air pillows or packing peanuts at the bottom of the box.
- Wrap the frame in protective material and place it in the box to avoid scratching it.
- Put a cardboard spacer in between the frame and the wheel before installing the latter.
- If you can fit them, pack your bike’s extras in the empty space around the frame, or prepare a separate shipment for them.
- Lock the bike box and give it a good shake. Put in more padding or use cable or parts ties to keep the pieces from rattling around in the frame.
Keep The Bike From Leaking Out of The Box
Tape the top of the box, is shut using packing tape at least two inches wide. A strip of tape around the middle of the box, securing the top and bottom flaps, will provide extra reinforcement.
Just because you write “This End Up” on your box doesn’t mean it will stay that way in transit. If you put your label on top, it’s more likely to be shipped in the right direction.
Advice for Packing: Learn How To Ship Bicycles With These Helpful Hints
- Avoid the wear and tear that comes from constant metal-on-metal contact by wrapping your bike frame.
- Wrap or cover anything that might scratch the box or poke a hole in it from the inside.
- Put cable ties to good use by fastening moving parts to the frame before shipping your bike to avoid any mishaps.
- Reinstalling bolts into their original mounting holes is an important step in disassembly. Doing so will make it less likely that you will misplace them and will speed up the process of putting the bike back together again.
- Before placing anything inside the bike box, make sure every piece is safely encased in its own sealed box or bag.
- You shouldn’t let your tires get too low. Cushioning your wheels in this way can prevent dents and bends.
- Carry your bike’s tools with you so you can fix them when you get there. Alternatively, you could inquire about reassembly services from a bike shop once you get there.
Shipping Choices for Bicycles
Bicycle shipping is available from major providers like UPS and FedEx for a fee. If you choose to ship your bike directly with one of these companies, you’ll also need to figure out how to pack it.
Also, there are a number of companies that focus specifically on transporting bicycles, such as ShipBikes, BikeFlights, and Sports Express. Costs will depend on factors like bike size, travel distance, and type of service provided.
Using a service like BikeFlights is beneficial because it will walk you through each step of the process. You can place an order for a box that will work for your bike, and they will send it to you as soon as possible. They have guides online to help you break it down and pack it, and then couriers will bring it up for you.
Because of their high volume and extensive experience with bike shipping, this service also enjoys preferential pricing from transportation providers. If you’re the type of person who might ship a bicycle once every few years, you should call UPS and ask for their “rack rate.”
Costs between $75 and $400 are typical for shipping a bike in a box, which weighs about 30 pounds when packed. That is, indeed, a large variation. In the following section, we will demonstrate some sample costs associated with transporting a bicycle from New York to San Francisco.
Cost is most heavily influenced by how quickly you need your bike delivered from one location to another. The lowest prices are available for orders that can be delivered in four days.
Following is a breakdown, with the trip from New York City to San Francisco serving as an example stop:
Bicycle shipping via third-party logistics providers (NY to SF)
- FedEx: Prices for shipping services range from $75 to $175, with the latter being the highest possible rate for express shipping. Insurance is not included in the price but can be purchased separately.
- UPS: will charge you around $145. Insurance is an optional extra that can be added to this price if desired.
Transportation of a bicycle via bike shipping services (NY to SF)
- BikeFlights: estimates that the total cost of shipping a bike, including disassembly and packaging, will be around $85. You’ve reached the preferred customer experience of our company.
- ShipBikes: the typical price of shipping a bicycle, including disassembly and packaging, is $65. Midway through the year 2023, however, Shipbikes stopped actually shipping anything and instead started selling boxes. When shipping costs drop, maybe they’ll get back into the game.
- Sport Express: The cost will set you back a minimum of $174, not including the price of disassembly and packaging materials.
Bicycle as checked luggage on an airplane (if you are flying) Between New York and San Francisco
- To further complicate matters, the dynamic nature of a COVID and post-COVID environment calls for a reevaluation of the rules governing each airline. Price varies by airline, but expect to pay an extra $35 to $55 on top of the cost of your plane ticket.
Spending a little extra on bike protection is a good idea, regardless of which shipping method you choose. You can rest easy knowing that all of these services come with comprehensive protection and insurance packages. This way, you can relax and not fret over the bike’s safety.
Receiving the Bike While It’s in Transit
You have a few options for how the bicycle will be delivered to you. Don’t skimp on the bike’s quality if you’re sending it across the country or the world to compete in a destination race or take part in a once-in-a-lifetime ride.
Have the bike shipped to a local bike shop before you leave on your trip so that it can be expertly dismantled, packed, and reassembled for your return. Why not have a pro assemble your bike before shipping it to compete in an A-Race?
If you are sending a bike to a buyer you met on eBay or another online marketplace, you can skip the local pickup and send it straight to them. How they put it together is entirely up to them.
Those who will be away for an extended period of time, such as “snowbirds,” may prefer to have their belongings shipped to their second home or condominium while they are away. If that’s the case, double-check that you’ll have everything you need to put it back together when you get there.
Marking important locations on your bike before disassembling it will make putting it back together much simpler and more precise. When assembling a bike, it’s helpful to make notes along the way about how things should look and fit. For instance, you can mark with a marker or tape how far you want the seat post to go into the seat frame.
Common Mistakes Made When Transporting Bicycles
Bike shipping is a popular way to transport bikes, but it’s not without its risks. Here are some of the most common mistakes people make when shipping their bikes:
- Not packing the bike properly. This is by far the most common mistake people make when shipping their bikes. Be sure to take the time to properly pack your bike using bubble wrap, cardboard, and/or a bike box.
- Not ensuring the shipment. Another common mistake is not ensuring the shipment. This is a risky move since if something happens to the bike during transit, you will not be compensated.
- Shipping to an unsecured location. Make sure to ship your bike to a secure location, such as a friend’s house or a bike shop. Shipping to an unsecured location, such as a public storage unit, is asking for trouble.
- Not tracking the shipment. Once you’ve shipped your bike, be sure to track the shipment, so you know where it is at all times. This will help you locate it if it goes missing.
- Shipping during bad weather. Try to avoid shipping your bike during bad weather conditions such as snow storms or hurricanes. This can put your bike at risk of being damaged.
By following these tips, you can avoid making common mistakes when shipping your bike.
What is the cheapest way to ship a bike?
The cheapest way to ship bikes internationally, a bike interstate or across the country, is by using ground transport offered by specialty bike shippers.
Is it cheaper to ship a bike via UPS or FedEx bike shipping internationally?
Parcel shippers like FedEx and UPS are capable of shipping bicycles with faster delivery timelines than USPS, with multiple delivery options available.
How much does it cost to ship a bike USPS?
How much does it cost to ship a bike with USPS? It costs approximately $204.95-$250.50 to ship a bike with USPS, depending on the distance of travel. Shipping costs may be lower for shorter distances.
Is it worth it to ship a bike?
Bike value: Shipping your bike makes the most sense for relocating custom, specialty or high-value bikes or if you’re participating in a race. If you’re moving, older, cheaper bikes are often best sold and replaced in your new hometown.
Shipping a bike can be a lot of work, but it’s important to avoid common mistakes in order to have a smooth process. By following these tips, you can avoid any trouble during the shipping process. If you have any questions or need assistance, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’re always happy to help.