important: Nuts and bolts on your bike should always be tightened to the manufacturer's specifications.

How to Box Up Your Bike for Shipping

Learn how to safely package your bike in a cardboard box.

Today we’ll learn how to package your bike in a box for shipping.

What You’ll Need

For this job you’ll need a bike box. Your local bike shop should have one, but it’s a good idea to call ahead with the size of your bike. They should also have some extra fork and axle protectors. Most decent bike shops won’t charge for these materials.

You will also need: packing material such as cardboard, pipe insulation, bubble wrap etc., string or zip ties to fasten padding materials, 4, 5 and 6mm allen wrenches, a 15mm pedal wrench and a 15mm open end wrench if your bike has nutted axles. If you have a bike repair stand, it will make this job a lot easier, but is not necessary.

Tire Pressure

First you’ll want to deflate your tires. You don’t have to deflate them completely but just enough so they are soft. This prevents any damage that could occur with changes in air pressure associated with air travel.

Pedal Removal

Now remove your pedals. Loosen the right pedal by turning counter-clockwise. The left pedal is a reverse thread, so you’ll have to turn it clockwise to loosen it. See the tutorial titled “How to Replace Your Pedals” for more tips on removing and installing pedals.

Brakes

If you have caliper brakes, disconnect your front brake cable and remove the front wheel. For more tips on wheel removal see the tutorial titled “How to Remove and Install Your Wheels“.

Front Quick Release

If your wheels have quick release axles, remove the quick release skewer, and thread the end back on in order to keep it together. Press the axle protectors into each side of the front axle. Slide the fork protector up into the fork drop-outs.

Saddle Removal

Now loosen your seat post clamp and pull the seat and post up and out of the frame.

Protection

Using the cardboard or bubble wrap, wrap the entire bike frame, crank arms and ends of the rear axle. Use zip-ties, string or tape to hold these in place.

Stem Removal

If you have a threadless headset, loosen and remove the top cap of the stem, and then loosen each individual side bolt. Now you can slide the stem up and off the forks steerer tube. Be careful to hold the fork in place so the headset bearings stay in place. Tighten a zip tie around the steerer tube just above the headset, and then thread the top cap back in place and slightly tighten it just enough to keep it in place.

If you have an older quill type stem, loosen the top bolt about a centimeter and then give it a light tap with a hammer to loosen the quill. Now you can pull the stem up and out of the steerer tube.

Packing the Box

Rest the bike on the ground and tie the bike wheel onto the left side of the frame, making sure the axle is not touching any part of the frame. Also make sure your left crank arm is carefully tucked into the wheel spokes so that it does not touch the wheel rim.

Rotate the forks 180 degrees so they are facing backwards. Carefully tuck the handlebars into the right side of the frame. You may need to twist them to ensure the package maintains as low of a profile as possible. Fasten them in place with string or zip ties. Use cardboard or padding as needed to ensure no part of the bars or stem are touching the frame or wheels.

Now lift the bike and slide it into the box.

Wrap your seat and seat post for protection and fasten them to the rear wheel so they don’t rattle around the box.

Now place your pedals, quick release, and any other spare parts in a bag or small box and slide it down just behind the fork.

If you have extra materials such as sleeping bags or clothing you can stuff these into the remaining spaces for extra protection.

Now you’re ready to close your box and secure it with packing tape on both the top and bottom. Make sure any holes in the box are also sealed.

Related Links

Related Tools

Categories

Discuss this topic in the Bicycle Repairs and Mechanics Forum

It's late. I'll do it tomorrow.

Lastest post 15 hours ago

I suppose I should wait until daylight to do the job. My new lever shifter came a couple of days ago and tonight the handlebars arrived. Maybe I'll just remove the brake levers, twist shifter, grips, computer and light and then get some sleep. Well, it's stripped down. Maybe I'll just put the bars on and then get to bed. Yes, they look good but they'd look better if I just put the new lever shift...

Read more

Hello bike riders! Newbie here, happy to join. Visited fam during the holidays. Found my old Fuji mountain bike in the attic. Took it back home to use for weekend rides and occasional commuting. It has rigid fork. I prefer to swap it for suspension fork. I want it to be a DIY project. My first bike build in other words. Might get overwhelming at start. So where do I begin? Anyone here has done rig...

Read more

I ruined my expensive dynamo powered front headlamp. This is the kind that adjusts to motion and knows what time of day it is as well as having a built in ability to charge my phone and other electronics. I was ecstatic when I hooked it all up and went out on my first night ride with it through Forest Park in Portland, OR with four other buddies. I was over the moon in the early morning commutes t...

Read more

Hello, bike riders! Our community member Gabriel has shared his unpleasant experience with Deore T610 brake levers: "After 2 years of very limited use ... I'm still trying to understand why is there so many holes in such a critical place" Can anyone help by explaining the reasoning for such lever design and what might be the cause of the particular break (material quality, usage, design flaw)? ...

Read more

I have just acquired a Cervelo Soloist 2006, has the Ultegra 6600 groupset. It was making a clickity grinding sound whenever I'm on the larger 2 or 3 sprockets (doesn't matter which chainring) when I'm pedalling hard and fast. Anyways, took my crank, chain rings, and bottom bracket off to clean, inspect, regrease and retorque. Greased my new pedals and torqued them on. Adjusted my front derailleu...

Read more

New wheels for 1984 Bianchi nuovo

Lastest post 1 week ago

Hi, I posted this on reddit and got the suggestion to come to the experts here instead so here I am I recently had my front wheel of my vintage Bianchi stolen. First I was looking to just replace the front wheel but since the rear wheel is pretty old as well I'm thinking I might just change them both and at the same time size up from 23mm to 25mm for a little extra confort Does anyone have an...

Read more

Hello, My apologies for the simpleness of this question. I have a 1995 Gary Fisher Hoo Koo E Koo that I need to replace the front axle on. How do I find what to buy to replace it? It is missing so I cannot look at the existing part for guidance. Thanks!...

Read more

Rear disc brake is rubbing

Lastest post 2 weeks ago

I have a brand new MTB and the rear disc break is already rubbing/squeaking. What are the easiest fixes? Thanks...

Read more

Shimano hubs

Lastest post 2 weeks ago

Hi, bike riders! Can anyone recognize these Shimano hubs as seen on Schwinn Tune bicycle in NYC? Kudos to whoever gets this right! I'll post the answer by the end of the week.   schwinn-hubs-1.jpg (Size: 125.11 KB / Downloads: 36)   schwinn-hubs-2.jpg (Size: 124.7 KB / Downloads: 34)   schwinn-hubs-3.jpg (Size: 167.41 KB / Downloads: 37) ...

Read more

Help! 2018 Diamondback Line

Lastest post 2 weeks ago

I have a 2018 diamondback line 27.5” . I rode it a few times and the crankset makes a popping noise as i pedal most likely due to being 230lbs. Any recommendations on what i could replace the old ones with that would work better with my weight and handle my riding better....

Read more

Shimano ultegra shifting issues.

Lastest post 3 weeks ago

Hey everybody, New to world of cycling, recently my bike started to not shift as smoothly as it was before so I thought I would check to see if the cable was frayed. I detached the RD cable and inspected it, found no issues relubed it and re attached the cable. Since I have done this, my shifter will only click 7 times, and I have a 9 speed so it should click 8. I’ll walk you through what I d...

Read more

Weak disc brake

Lastest post 3 weeks ago

Back disc break on my Orbea commuter got much weaker this week. Front break is strong as always. I dont think that smth special happened, like crash, that damaged the brake. Never worked much on disc brakes. I want to fix this myself but I dont know where to look first and dont want to mess smth up. Where should I start? I have Shimano mech disc brakes....

Read more

Triple front derailleur

Lastest post 3 weeks ago

A couple of years ago I bought a new front derailleur from my LBS. He said it will work for a triple chain ring. I didn't install it right away, and in the meanwhile I stopped dealing with him because of numerous botch jobs. When I put the derailleur on the bike, it won't work on a triple chain ring. I can make it work on the small and middle ring, or the middle and large ring. So I'm stuck with ...

Read more

Chain Cleaning

Lastest post 3 weeks ago

Disclaimer: I am not a professional bicycle mechanic! After reading many procedures/methods for chain cleaning, utilizing many solvents/lubricants and/or water; I have only found one method that actually does the job properly and effectively. I am not here to "poo-poo" other means of accomplishing this goal, just providing what I have found has worked for me without fail. First: "wiping off" a...

Read more

REAR DERAILLEURS

Lastest post 4 weeks ago

What (if there is any) is the difference between 9, 10, 11 speed rear derailleurs?...

Read more