How to Box Up Your Bike for Shipping
Learn how to safely package your bike in a cardboard box.
- How to Remove Pedals
- How to Remove and Install Your Wheels
- How to Securely Fasten Zip Ties
- How to Re-assemble Your Bicycle
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.
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.
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.
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.
Now loosen your seat post clamp and pull the seat and post up and out of the frame.
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.
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.
- Park Tool HXS-1.2 Hex Wrench Set
- Park Tool Wrench Combo Set
- Park Tool SK-3 Starter Mechanic Tool Kit
- Park Tool PK-3 Professional Tool Kit
- Park Tool PCS-9 Repair Stand
- Park Tool PCS-4 Repair Stand
Discuss this topic in the Bicycle Repairs and Mechanics Forum
Patching a tireLatest post 2 weeks ago
In the past I have had a lot of punctures. When they happened, I patched the tube, but the holes in the tire were so small, they did not need patching. After many more kilometers, rubber started coming away around two of the holes in the tire, exposing the chords. If I did not do anything, a rock could cut the chords, destroying the tire. I wanted to get more use out of the tire. I cut patches fr...Read more
Schwinn Meridian Drive Wheel Missing Feather KeyLatest post 3 weeks ago
Hi, So I bought a used Schwinn Meridian sight unseen online auction for $59 & drove 8 hours round trip to get it. It appears to be brand new actually. When I got it home, the next day I checked out my score. When I sat on it and pressed on the pedals, they moved but the bike did not. I inspected the bike and realized that whoever put this trike together, forgot to put what appears to be ...Read more
I fell off my bike and slightly damaged my hand brake, resulting in a weak front brakLatest post 1 month ago
I had a previous incident with my bike, and the front brake got bent. Now when I try to use the front brake, it is very weak (when I ride the bike and fully depress the front brake, the bike does not stop quickly). I tried to fine-tune the disk brake caliper (I did it many times before), and it looks good and tight, but the front brake. What could be the reasons for this?...Read more
Full Rebuild vs ServiceLatest post 1 month ago
Hi, I've had my Giant Defy for two years now and have done about 4000 miles on it. I keep it clean and generally only ride in dry or damp conditions (never pouring rain). Apart from a potentially stretched shifter cable (won't go in highest gear despite adjusting barrel adjuster and limit screws) the bike rides fine. I keep on top of basic maintenance, cleaning, checking for chain wear etc... an...Read more
Sloppy front deraullierLatest post 1 month ago
Hi there how do i tell if my front deraullieur needs to be replaced on my hybrid it has a ton of play back and forth....Read more
Cracked shimano DI2 front derailleurLatest post 1 month ago
Hi, I got a cracked shimano DI2 front derailleur (see picture attached). I try soldering it but no luck (probably don't have the right solder). Any suggestions on how to fix that please? Thanks 20230206_170038.jpg (Size: 47.7 KB / Downloads: 33) ...Read more
Calculating bottom bracket spindle widthLatest post 2 months ago
Hello, I’ve got an old set of square taper FSA tempo cranks (2x) that I want to swap from a single speed 120 OLD bike to a 1x10 135mm OLD one. Any tips on how to calculate the spindle width for correct chain line? I can’t find anything for that model on the manufacturers website, and i don’t think measuring the one on the single speed will work with the different chain line....Read more
Help with headset preloadLatest post 2 months ago
First time adjusting a headset and I'd like to get it right. Brand new giant reign with a carbon frame, that I do not want to damage I finally have the preload set to where there is no play but I'm concerned that it is to tight... Stage 1- obvious play/clunk Stage 2- no clunk, but if I lock up the brake and push and pull hard, I can feel some very slight movement Stage 3 - no play or movemen...Read more
8 Speed on 7 Speed Freehub BodyLatest post 2 months ago
Awhile back, I was able to hack a 7 speed freehub body and get an additional speed out of it by using a 9 speed cassette with the narrower spacing. Note that these older freehub bodies are 7 speed exclusive. They do not typically have the space to fit a larger cassette on them. To do this, I took a 9 Speed Dura Ace 11-23 cassette and I simply removed the final combination cog from the back, then...Read more
How often do you wash your bike?Latest post 2 months ago
Ciao. I know that some bike riders overexaggerate the 'cleaning part' and wash (or spray) their bikes at least once a week. I know, it's mandatory after a muddy trail ride. But I'm thinkging more about daily commuters. It gets dusty here and there, but how long is too long without a shower for a bike? For a bike that rides almost every day....Read more
What's Wrong With My Bike? Squeaking or Squealing Noises?Latest post 2 months ago
I made a video of what my bike is doing. Can someone please watch and help? https://youtu.be/NTu-831CuGM...Read more
How to lubricate my bike's D-lock?Latest post 2 months ago
Looking for advice. I have repeated problems with my D-lock sticking. I've used standard light bike oil which then leaks all over my hands when I handle the lock. I have some 3-in-one PTFE spray: would that be better?...Read more
Best way to thoroughly clean a chain?Latest post 2 months ago
Hi everyone! I hope you're enjoying a great start to 2023. I'm curious to hear your go-to method for getting a chain truly clean. I don't mean, just looks shiny or is good enough for a quick clean after a ride. I want to know what you do when you want to get every last morsel of ground-up, link-destroying, roller-eating, tooth-gnashing crud out of your chain. The Best Chain-Cleaning Recipe Ever?...Read more
700c Wheels on a 26er or 26" Bike FrameLatest post 3 months ago
Obviously, this doesn't speak for them all, but they certainly might fit! And not even just barely (as suggested by some sources), but with a lot of room to play with. This is another GT Tempest frame that I recently purchased. It's originally a 26" alloy touring bike. As you can see, there's lots of head room, and plenty of clearance to increase the tire size up to probably 38c—maybe even 40c....Read more
shimano derailer: Tourney RD-FT35A upgrade?Latest post 3 months ago
hello I, I just bought a e-trike that has a shimano derailer: Tourney RD-FT35A , is there a higher quality replacement ? thanks tee...Read more