52. How to Box Up Your Bike for Shipping

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

IMPORTANT: Nuts and bolts on your bike should always be tightened to the manufacturer's specifications.
How to Box Up Your Bike for Shipping

50% of the cost of the bicycle featured in this video was donated by JensonUSA.

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.


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.


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.


Discuss this topic in the Bicycle Forums

10/19 Noise from rear wheel

I recently started having a clicking noise from the rear axle area of my bike. It is a Schwinn Link (City series).
It doesn't start until riding about 4 miles. It is like tak tak tak and I feel it in the pedals and frame. It has a frequency of about 2 clicks per second. It is like someone is lightly tapping on the rear axle with a piece of metal. It only happens when putting power to the pedals and gets more pronounced the harder I pedal. It comes and goes but after riding a long time stays. If I freewheel I can sometimes get it to go away. This bike has 7 gears on the rear wheel. it is ... Read more >>

10/03 Frame labels on Peugeot

As I start taking measurements of (What I believe is a Peugeot U09 from 1980) for the upcoming "thrift shop fork",
I came across something that I may have posted before, but thought, what the heck,  see if any information on this has changed.....

Believe it or not, the original Paper Tag on the bottom of the frame by the crank, is still there and legible!!!

On the Paper tag is the following:     5286275 038157

It also has a number stamped of the flange for the rear axle.

On the metal frame is stamped:  B0018618

...

10/01 Yet another clicking thread (with pics and vids)

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 derailleur and rear derailleur (have adjusted the B screw as well to give plenty of slack). Still no good. I've even fully slackened the lower limit on the FD so there's plenty clearance left and r... Read more >>

09/25 Venting against Mayflower

We moved from Chicagoland to Mountains of NC in July....

My 1980 Peugeot U09 front Derailleur got  bent way out of shape by the movers...

Knowing the availability of 1980 era French Simplex parts, I had a day while I awaited the remaining furniture, and I took the Front derailleur apart, carefully straightened the metalwork  on a flat metal vise to the point where (I felt) it was back to "normal", and put it back together and adjusted it.... and in about 8 hours, it actually worked!!   Tested it with 15min ride... Seems OK... 

I eventually had to pu...

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Hi folks,
It is with heavy heart I come to you today. I swapped some wheels from a bike my daughter and I bought. Cleand up the DAc50's to put on the bike. Decided to give her Spec Ruby a real good clean before I put the wheels on. It's a good thing I did. See she had a crash about 2 weeks ago and destroyed her front rim. I had a rag with a light degreaser on it and wiped over the top tube where it revealed a rather good sized crack at the head tube. Took it to the LBS I trust and they confirmed it is a crack.

Have done some checking around and found some repair options.... Read more >>

09/11 What are those threaded holes for :|?

Can someone explain me what those holes are made for?
they are on the both sides, dimensions as shown in the pictures...

[Image: so4pwy.jpg]

[Image: wtj5n9.jpg]

[Image: xfan9w.jpg]

Thanks!!...

08/07 Tools needed to re-assemble Giant Cypress bike

Hi everyone. I am new here and to cycling in general. I got myself a Giant Cypress (2013, I believe) bike in Arizona. After two years, I needed to move to Atlanta, GA so I had my friendly local bike shop box up my bike and had it shipped away. Here in Atlanta, I don't have a car yet and the days are pretty hectic so I haven't had the time to hit up a local bike shop to have my bike re-assembled.

I'd like to do it myself if possible and I'd like to know what tools are needed to re-assemble the bike? I currently have an adjustable wrench, a hex wrench set, and all sorts of Ph... Read more >>

08/06 '78 Schwinn Caliente rebuild

Recently received this bike from the parents since I moved into the city. I tried to take it to a local bike shop but they said it was better to just buy a new bike instead of trying to update.

Sorry to sound repetitive but I am new to bicycling and have no idea what I am doing. I am willing to learn and I have patience. Yes, I understand that I could more than likely get a bike on Craigslist in running order for the same price for what I'm going to put into this project. I want to be able to ride something that I have built up with my own hands. Anyways onto the bike.


07/18 Bike Repair Help for Novice

Hi guys, So my housemates for my birthday decided to buy me a bike as my work is quite far and buses and owning a car are far too expensive for me. However it is very much a bike bought on a student budget and needs some fine tuning and I was wondering if you could help me. I am a complete novice at everything bicycle related and am posting on here to see if I could fix these issues instead of taking it to Halfords and having to pay quite a bit for the repairs.

I have been browsing around this website for a while and there are a few threads which seem to be talking about what I n... Read more >>

07/09 Been Away for a while.... Update on Overhauls

Been away for a while.... But wanted to post that the assistance You Folks gave on the Overhaul-ing of the ~1980 Peugeot U09 and ~1970 Gitane Gran Sport Mixte is a resounding 100% Success story!

Bar and Seat repositioning made the posture and comfort level increase;
New cables and improved brake pads made it stop better;
New bearings and seats made it roll better!
Cleaning/Adusting/New cables for Derailleurs and sprockets made it work correctly, and improved cosmetic appearance, too!   I did have to epoxy glue the plastic front Derailleur mount on Gitane, as i... Read more >>

07/07 Loud clicking noise when peddling uphill in larger gears

Hi everyone! I have a problem which I can't seem to figure out.  Recently my rear-gears have been making a VERY loud clicking sound every rotation of the peddle. This only happens when I am in one of the 6 (out of 8) larger gears in the rear, AND I am going uphill and putting a decent amount of force on the peddles. All other times everything is smooth.

So I put my bike upside down, checked to make sure nothing was loose, and tried manually rotating the peddles with my hands in these larger gears.  Nothing, it doesn't make a sound, and everything looks un-bent.

Now...

06/16 Bike Rides Harsh An Crash'y

Hi all,

I am looking for some inspiration really which way to take this either to continue or scrap this in favour of a 29er.

I have a bike that I have cobbled together over a period of time it used to be a kona cindercone frame I upgraded the front forks to sid's thinking it would make it ride a lot nicer and it still crashes over everything like it a rigid.

I was offered a nice Cube Reaction GTC pro carbon frame so I got it and it still rides harshly, I done some research to find that sid's even when at the specific weight setting run hard so I now run ... Read more >>

06/16 Books/videos

I'm new here so please forgive the dumb questions I will eventually
ask. Is there anything definitive available on changing out complete
groupsets. I see some things but was hoping for something that
would include info on the tools needed to complete a project.
Randy...

06/08 Fitting my girlfriend on a mountain bike

I'm having trouble trying to adjust my mountain bike to my girlfriend's size since she is 5,1 and I am 5,7 inches what can I do to make it where she can ride it and it's a 24x1.95 in set of tires... Read more >>

05/21 Repair after vandalism

Hi everyone, I recently had someone vandalize my bike. Not sure if they were trying to steal it or not, but it did get damaged. I want to repair it myself, as I don't think it would be too complicated. Just wanted some help with the part names.

First, the part that keeps the handlebars on the bike is missing - any suggestions as to what that part is called and where I can find a suitable replacement?

Also, the cables to the gear shift was also damaged. The thumb shifter itself is in one piece, just the cables were damaged. I think the brake cables are also damaged. ... Read more >>

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