When it comes to how to ship a bike, there is no cutting corners. Unlike when using your car, with transporting your bike, there is no possibility of keeping an eye on your shipment and as such, any careless handling will result in damages. This is one of the major reasons why it is important that you opt for the right courier service and also ensure that your bike is properly prepared and packaged prior to shipping.
Whether you’re shipping the bike as a gift to a loved one or you’re shipping it towards competing in a bike race in a given location, it should be given high priority. In order to minimize chances of damages to your bike, here is some useful information to keep in mind, such as choosing the right bike shipping box and finding the best way to ship a bike.
Shipping Couriers to Ship Your Bike
Considering that bike shipping is less expensive through ground shipping, people tend to choose it over air freight. In order to safely move your bike from one point to another, there are reputable courier service providers out there that can be hired. Some of them include, but are not limited to, the following:
- FedEx: There are several factors that make this shipping option a great one for those looking to ship a bike. Apart from the fact that they offer competitive shipping rates, this courier company also maintains locations in many countries. This makes it easier for businesses and individuals to drop or receive their packages, even with doorstep delivery.
- UPS: Just like FedEx, this courier service offers excellent and reliable service, including UPS bike shipping. They maintain a solid network of retail locations in various countries to enable online sellers receive and ship packages with ease. The downside is that their cost of shipping is a bit higher than that of FedEx.
- Bikeflights: Being specialists at the shipping of bikes, this courier service offers great prices without compromising the quality of their service. They also offer their customers online resources towards helping them safely pack their bike before it's shipped as well as a variety of shipping boxes.
- ShipBike: This is another specialist courier service for shipping bikes from one location to another. With ShipBike, you can ship a bike to any part of the world with little or no stress. They offer you a variety of options as far as pick-up and drop-off are concerned, including collaborating with FedEx bike shipping to get your bike dropped at the nearest possible location.
Preparing Your Bike to Ship
Prior to getting your bike shipped, it is important that you properly disassemble your bike and prepare it for shipping. Here are tips to help you do this:
- Disassemble and wrap the frame and fork
- Remove the handlebars, levers and stem and wrap them up in bubble wraps or foam
- Remove and wrap the seatpost, seat and pedals
- Remove and tap the caliper mount
- Remove the front wheel of the bike, pad same with foam and solidly secure with cardboard and padded wheel bags. You can leave the rear wheel attached to the bike’s frame
- Using a pad spreader, keep the disc brake pads apart after the wheels have been removed
You can also find more tips on how to appropriately disassemble your bike and prepare same for shipping. There's also the need to choose the right bike shipping box for your bicycle.
These cases come in the form of hard shell cases, cardboard boxes, soft shell cases and other options. They all have their various advantages and disadvantages which would help you make informed decision on which one to use when shipping your bicycle.
Packing and Shipping
When your bike is properly packed before shipping, the chances of your bike being damaged in transit are greatly reduced. Here are some helpful tips:
- After the bike is placed in the box or container, shake and rattle the box slightly. If there are rattling sounds within or you hear something roll around, it’s often a sign that you should repack. In doing this, you should add more padding for increased cushioning.
- Choose the destination for the bike shipment. If shipping directly to the recipient’s doorstep is not viable, you could choose to have it shipped to a local bike shop. However, you should always ensure that the owners of the shop are aware that such shipment is being sent.
- Make sure that your bike shipping box is properly labelled. The label should be properly taped to two sides of the box and one inside it. Make sure that the barcode is not covered during taping.
On a side note, always make sure to buy some spare supplies like cardboard, tape, labels, bubble wrap and the like. This will help ensure that you have enough packing and shipping materials to utilize when shipping your bike, greatly reducing the likelihood that you’ll run out of them while physically packing and shipping it.
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