How to Ship a Bicycle

CitizenShipper CitizenShipper · Updated January 16, 2024

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Bicycles have long been a part of American life – they offer reliable transportation as well as a great way to work out and take in the local scenery. Recently, bicycles have become increasingly expensive and personalized, so many people want to have their bikes with them as part of a vacation or a move. Bicycles can also command high resale prices. These factors add up to a vibrant business in online bicycle shipping.

The best thing about using an independent online driver – like those at – is that you won’t necessarily have to disassemble your bicycle and pack it in a shipping carton. Any bicycle you care about enough to ship will have components that require secure transportation, though. The wheels, front and rear derailleurs, seat, crank, and handlebars can be easily damaged, so it’s best to wrap your entire bike in bubble wrap or foam padding.

If your bike will be transported in an open trailer or truck, protecting it from moisture is paramount – so be sure your driver is aware of this. All of your requirements should be included in your listing – as drivers place bids for delivery, you can dialogue with them. Because your driver will probably combine additional cargo with your bicycle as it heads to its destination, be sure the expected delivery timeframe is acceptable.

Should you want to place your bicycle in a shipping carton, the process is not as difficult as it seems. The procedure starts with acquiring the right box – many of which are usually available for free at bike shops. Be sure the shipping carton you select is large enough to fit the frame and wide enough to wedge the wheels, seat and handlebars in the sides, as well as packing materials. These boxes are normally double-walled and very secure, but be certain yours doesn’t have any rips, tears or holes.

Disassembly requires Allen wrenches and adjustable pliers. You’ll want to break down the bike to its smallest size, so start with the seat post. Most bikes have quick release mechanisms where the seat post joins the frame – loosening them allows the seat and post to be removed. Likewise, the wheels are likely to have quick-release features that allow for quick removal. Be sure the brake lines have enough slack to slip the tire through the calipers. An adjustable wrench can also be used to remove these two components if they don’t have quick-release options.

The handlebars are next. They should be loosened at the neck with the right-sized Allen wrench and then pulled up and out of the frame. Very carefully turn them parallel with the bike frame with all gear and brake cables attached. Finally, spin the pedals off with the assistance of your adjustable wrench. You’ll be surprised how snugly all of your bikes components fit into the proper shipping carton. Wedge bubble wrap or other packing materials into the box and it’s ready.

Whether you’re shipping a Cannondale road racer, a Marin mountain bike or a vintage beach cruiser, CitizenShipper can get your bike where it needs to go.

Click here to list a bike for shipment.