7 Tips for Shipping an Assembled Bicycle

Man carrying assembled bicycle.

Both professional athletes and cycling enthusiasts often treat their bicycles as an extension of themselves. Their bicycles can be tools for fitness, recreation, and transportation. Therefore, it’s perfectly understandable that when you are traveling or moving long-distance, you will want to take your bike with you. Unfortunately, for some models of bicycles, disassembly can prove to be quite tricky. For this reason, we will give you seven tips for shipping an assembled bicycle.

Should you disassemble your bicycle, or can you ship it assembled?

Realistically, shipping will probably be easier if you disassemble your bicycle. However, in that case, you will need to go through taking your bicycle apart before packing and shipping. Additionally, you will need to put it back together again when it’s shipped. Depending on where you are traveling, this might not always be so easy. You might not have the tools or the time required to assemble your bicycle upon arrival.

For example, if you are traveling abroad for a race, you will need to pack additional nutrients and fuel for hydration, and bringing tools for your bike just isn’t possible. Or it’s possible that you might need to hit the ground running, and you won’t have access to a workshop. In these situations, shipping an assembled bicycle makes more sense. It’s possible to ship a bike without taking it apart, especially if you follow our instructions.

7 tips for shipping an assembled bicycle:

  1. Clean your bicycle

Before you start any other preparations, we suggest that you thoroughly clean your bicycle. If you are a fitness enthusiast like we are, you and your bike are often on the road. However, this also means that your bicycle can accumulate a lot of dirt and grime. A shipping service or moving company might not even accept your bicycle if it is dirty. We suggest that you pay special attention to the tires and pedals. That’s where most of the dirt is usually located. Additionally, the bike chain might be greasy from the oil, so be careful when cleaning and packing your bicycle.


  1. Take photos of your bicycle

Most shipping companies can guarantee the safety of your possessions. On the other hand, you can never be too safe. It’s recommended to take photos of the current state of your bicycle. If your bicycle is old and has signs of use, it can be hard to prove that any damage results from the transport. However, if you have photos and any damage occurs, you will have proof of the prior state of your bicycle. Images can help you determine the type, location, and extent of the damage. You should take photos of your bicycle both before and after packing.


  1. Get foam or bubble packaging

When transporting your bicycle, there are several ways you can protect it from damage. Foam and bubble packaging are probably going to be the easiest to find. You should be able to purchase them at any home improvement or hardware store in your area. When protecting your bicycle, you should pay special attention to the more sensitive areas like the transmission, pedals, and suspension fork. You can wrap these parts in additional layers of protection to be extra safe.


  1. Use wrapping film to protect the entire bicycle

Clear wrapping film is excellent for packing pretty much anything. There are different film types, but you can get the durable kind that is normally used for packing and moving. It’s much stronger than most people think. You can use it to protect your entire bicycle, including the wheels, chain, and any sensitive parts. Keep adding layers until your bicycle is completely padded and ready for shipping.


  1. Get a large box to fit your bicycle

The good thing about packing your bicycle in a box is that you can combine it with other protection methods. Measure your bicycle to know how large the container needs to be. You can purchase packages online, but if you contact your local bicycle store, they will probably give you one for free. Keep in mind that you can’t just put your bicycle in the box without anything to keep it safe, and you might need to add some padding. You can use pieces of foam or cardboard panels to make sure your bicycle is snug and doesn’t move around in the box. Unfortunately, this type of packing can raise the shipping cost due to the increased bulk and weight.


  1. Add labeling

Regardless of how you choose to protect and pack your bicycle, we suggest that you add a label with your name and shipping address. We can assure you that proper shipping information can be a lifesaver from our experience in shipping electrolyte drinks and other sports nutrition products. Items can easily get misplaced during shipping. If you include your name and contact information, even if your bicycle gets sent to the wrong address – someone will contact you and sort it out. As an additional precaution, you can also add a ‘Fragile’ sticker to let the people handling your bicycle know that they should take care and tread carefully.


  1. Contact professional movers

If you are moving cross country and want someone to transport your bicycle and other possessions, then professional movers are probably the best solution. Get reputable Canadian cross-country movers to handle your household transfer. When it comes to preparing your bicycle for shipping, most professional movers will also offer packing services, and they will surely take care of your items. This makes hiring movers the safest and easiest solution for shipping an assembled bicycle.

In conclusion

While most people will advise you to take your bicycle apart before shipping, sometimes that won’t be an option. Thankfully, with the proper preparation and packing, you can ship your bicycle even without disassembling it. Just follow our seven tips for shipping an assembled bicycle, and it will arrive safe and sound. We know that your preferred method of transportation can be like another family member, so it's only natural that you will want to protect it.