It may seem awkward to ship a bike. The shape, size, and sometimes compliance with the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) may prove challenging when it comes to transporting a bike. Perhaps you might be figuring out the best way to move with your bicycle. You’re probably wondering whether to disassemble your bike or travel with it in its assembled form. Here are a few tips to help you pack and ship your bike safely.
It may make sense to use a hard or soft case if you intend to be flying with your bike often. Packing cases are the most popular option and are highly regarded due to low costs. While hard cases are more protective than the soft ones, they are a bit expensive. You have no other choice than to pack your bike in a cardboard box if you want to travel with it. You could contact your local bike shop a few days before you move to borrow or buy a bike box. Often, local bicycle vendors usually ship bikes once in a week and some throw their boxes out as soon they assemble the bikes. Note that cartons used for packing mountain backs are slightly larger than the ones used for road bikes.
You will probably need to disassemble both the front and rear wheel for your bicycle to fit in the box. However, you might only need to remove the front wheel if you are using cardboard bike boxes. The first step is to shift the gear before packing the bike in a cardboard box. That helps move the derailleur away from the outer edge of the box to avoid damages. It is also essential to remove accessories such as a computer or fenders before turning to the next page of your packing list. You can use electrical tape or masking to mark the seat height before removing the seat post from the frame. That way, you won’t struggle to assemble the bike when you get to your destination.
You may ask shippers such as Luggage Forward to hook you up with people that deal with bike protectors. You may use bubble wrap or foam, plastic fork protector, plastic hub protectors, or plastic derailleur protector disc to protect your bike from tilts during transit. You can use bubble wrap or masking tape to cover as much of your bike’s frame. Moreover, pay attention to anything made of carbon such as the derailleur especially if you don’t have plastic protectors. You could insert some stiff foam between the electrical tape and the fork dropouts if you aren’t using fork protectors. You could protect the handlebars by adding padding. Alternatively, you can hook the handlebars around the top tube and wrap them with zip ties for protection. The goal is to position the bars into a profile that makes the bike as slim a possible.
Wrap the Box
Once you have packed the bike, you can close the box and wrap it with clear packing tape. You could add tape around the box handles to prevent it from wearing out. Adding tape on the bottom of the cardboard cases also prevents wearing out as people tend to drag large boxes on the ground.