Well packed, travels well
Points to note
Pack and protect your bike well and Ship to Cycle will make sure it travels in style.
Whether you buy our STC Full Protection Insurance or rely on the standard courier transport conditions, in the event of damage, any reimbursement will require that the bike is adequately packed and documented using photos.
Ship to Cycle reserves the right not to reimburse damages caused by inadequate packing.
Only your bike should be packed in the box.
This is to keep the box light so It’s easier to manage physically and for any customs processes. Your bike must be free from dirt/soil especially if it is travelling to countries who have strict biosecurity checks eg. New Zealand, Australia. Click here to go to the customs information page
Take photos of your bike before it is dissembled, taking note of any special features (for example, non-standard components you may have added). This is particularly important if a damage claim needs to be filed.
Take photos before closing the bike box and afterwards when it is closed to show your handiwork.
Type of boxes accepted
Rigid bike box. Specifically designed bike box in plastic or similar material. Follow the manufacturers packing guidelines and include additional protection.
Semi rigid bike box/bag. Specifically designed bike box/bag that incorporates nylon material, padding and solid support. Follow the manufacturers packing guidelines and include additional protection.
Strong, double-walled cardboard/carton bike box. Be sure to check it is in good shape. It’s likely that you will only be able to use it for one journey and with appropriate padding the bike can be well protected.
Ship to Cycle can not transport bike bags that do not have any rigid structure.
Suitable materials to be used for bike packing
• Padding such as bubble wrap/polystyrene/cloth/foam to cover the bike and fill all empty spaces
• Zip ties to secure padding or to attach your bike to the bike box to prevent movement
• Packing tape
• Plastic bags to cover chain/flywheels
• Fork spacers
Put screws and bolts in a plastic bag to tape to the component of the bike to which they belong. This will make assembly easier once the bike has reached its destination.
Cover all the pieces with padding (bubble wrap/cloth etc) and secure with tape. Pay attention to adequately covering protruding parts and carbon components.
If you are going to fill up the bag or box, make sure rigid items like pedals aren’t free to move around the bag, potentially scratching the frame or damaging the components.
For many bike-specific cases, both the front and rear wheel of the bike will need to be removed in order for all the parts to fit in the box.
General packing pointers
Derailleur: it is highly recommended to remove the derailleur to avoid it getting bent or broken. However, should you choose not to remove it, shift your gears into the largest ring on the cassette. This will move the derailleur closer to the bike and away from the outer edge near the bike box.
Pedals: wrap in bubble wrap or similar
Accessories: remove and wrap racks, mudguards etc. Remove computer, lights – these should be transported in your own luggage
Wheels: if your bike has a quick-release axle, remove it completely from the wheel. If it is left in the wheel, the axle may cause damage to the bike box. If your bike has a thru-axle, reinsert the axle into the fork.
If you have disc brakes, insert spacers between the brake pads. Make sure air has been removed from tyres. If you have tubeless tyres, semi-deflate them to no less than 10 PSI. It may get messy if the liquid seeps out so wheel bags are a good idea or wrapping in plastic.
Handlebars: before removing, use tape to mark the position/angle
Remove time trail bars. Remove the faceplate on the stem to free your bars from the frame. Replace faceplate and bolts once the handlebars are removed. Do not remove the stem.
You should be able to leave the brake and shifter levers secured to the handlebar; however, if any cables are stretched unnaturally when you place the bike into the box, you may need to remove these from the bars.
Saddle and Seat Post: use tape on the seat post to mark the height before removing it. You should be able to leave the saddle attached to the seat post.
2. Add protection
Use tape and foam/bubble wrap: to cover as much of your frame, fork and components as possible. Pay special attention to your derailleur if you have not removed it and do not have a plastic derailleur protector disc. Put bubble wrap on the inside bottom of the box by doing so it will prevent it sliding and you can add a little bit of extra cushioning which will reduce the effect of impacts and knocks during transport.
Insert fork spacers or use plastic fork protectors: if you don’t have any you can insert some stiff foam between the fork dropouts and tape it into place.
Add padding to protect the handlebars: if you have drop bars, hook them around the top tube and secure with zip ties. You may be able to get away without using zip ties if you have straight bars. The goal is to get the bars into a position that makes the profile of the bike as slim as possible.
When using a cardboard bike box, place the front wheel on the opposite side of the bike from the handlebars and carefully feed the crank through the spokes of the front wheel. It may take some adjusting to find a place where the crank can slide into the wheel. Make sure there is no metal-on-metal rubbing and make sure the wheel hub isn't hitting the frame. Tightly secure the wheel to the frame with zip ties, trying to keep the wheel as close to the frame as possible.
Once everything is together, make sure no parts are moving and everything is well-padded. Add padding to the seat post and cover the seat (to protect the material).
Place small parts (pedals, quick-release axle, etc) and any tools you may need to reassemble the bike into a small cardboard box or plastic bag. This will ensure no parts fall through the opening in your bike box and will protect the frame.
Insert the bike into the box. You may consider cutting small holes to use zip ties to attach your frame to the box. Pay close attention to any areas where the bike comes into contact with the box. You may need to add an extra layer of cardboard in these areas. If there are any pointy bits, they could puncture the box, increasing the chances of damage. After the bike is inserted into the box, make sure there is no wiggle room. If your bike can move from side to side, that movement could cause damage to the bike.
After you’ve placed your bike in the box, insert the individual parts of the bike. Make sure that the ends of the components do not touch each other. Fill up all the empty space with loose fill packaging/cloth etc. This stops your bike and parts from sliding around, keeping it all secure. Keep the box as light as possible.
Give the box a gentle shake to make sure the bike is securely in the box. Any movement of the bike or parts has the chance to cause damage.
Take photos before closing the box.
3. Double check you have put everything in the box, pedals-axles-bolts-seat etc before closing the box
Close the box and secure it with plenty of clear packing tape. Add additional tape around the handle holes of the box to prevent them from tearing. Adding additional tape to the corners and bottom of the box is also a good idea as people tend to drag the boxes on the ground.
Take photos of closed bike box.
Attach your printed labels to the box and, if necessary, any other documents as per email instructions sent by Ship to Cycle.
Ready to start the adventure?
Ship To Cycle, now