How To Ship Bike: Discover the Cheapest Way to Ship Your Bicycle

If this is your first time shipping a bike, learn how to ship effectively to avoid common pitfalls. No matter how experienced you are as a cyclist or how often you just ride for fun, making sure your bike gets to its goal safely and securely is very important. 

I’ll show you everything you need to know about shipping bikes in this detailed guide, from picking the right boxes to picking a safe way to ship them.

Bike Shipping Basics

Types of shipping and shipping services are the basics of shipping a bike, including finding the cheapest way to ship. Let’s talk about each one briefly.

Shipping Types

You can send bikes with both FedEx and UPS. If you’re flying, you can also bring your bike on the plane. But most professional riders and triathletes choose to ship their bike because it’s hard to carry a bike case through a busy airport and it costs a lot to check bags, looking for the most efficient way to ship a bike. 

As if that wasn’t enough of a reason, TSA checks often cause damage because of bad repacking. Taking everything into account, shipping is the best option because it is cheap and easy.

Shipping Services

You can save a lot of money on shipping if you use a bicycle shipping service. Costs will depend on the size of your package, how far it needs to be shipped, and what kind of delivery you choose. However, a bicycle shipping service is still the best choice when compared to buying one. Today, Overnight Bikes and BikeFlights are the two most popular ways to ship bikes.

Overnight Bikes offers flat-rate shipping at a recommended price. Triathletes and professional riders love the service provided by specialized shipping carriers for bikes. When people join, they pay a fee and get flat-rate shipping with FedEx Priority Overnight®. Overnight Bikes sends bikes all over the United States, even to Hawaii and Alaska, providing a comprehensive bike shipping service.

BikeFlights offers UPS ground service at a discounted price, a potential cheapest bike shipping option with reliable shipping carriers. Rates depend on the type of delivery, the size and weight of your item, and the distance it has to travel, especially important when you need to ship bicycles over long distances.

How much does it cost to ship a bike?

Bike shipping costs vary depending on carrier, distance, size, and weight. Average costs: USPS: $50–$100, UPS/FedEx: $100–200, FedEx: $75–$175 (speed-dependent), UPS: $145.

Choosing the Right Packaging

Choosing the right packaging is the first thing to be done when sending a bike. Some important things to think about are:

Bike Box

Invest in a strong bike box that is made for shipping. Many of these boxes are made of strong cardboard and come with padding to keep your bike safe while it’s being shipped, ensuring you have a reliable bike shipping service.


Use a lot of padding, like bubble wrap or foam, to protect your bike from damage caused by bumps and shaking.


If you send your bike, you might want to take it apart to make it smaller and less likely to get damaged. The pedals, handlebars, and wheels should be taken off and packed safely in their own bags.

Do I really need to disassemble my bike for shipping?

While disassembling your bike for shipment can save damage and make packing easier in a bike bag, it’s not always essential. Pedals and wheels should be removed and packed separately.

Gather your supplies

  • Bike box or bag.
  • Bike tool.
  • Foam padding.
  • Bubble wrap.
  • Zip ties.
  • Scissors.
  • Shipping tape.
  • PVC tubing.
  • Extra cardboard.

Selecting a Reliable Shipping Method

You need to pick a shipping method that fits your needs and budget after ensuring your bike is properly packed, possibly opting for the cheapest way to ship a bike. Here are some choices to think about:

Shipping Companies

Find shipping companies that are known to be reliable, and that specialize in moving bikes. Look for companies that give tracking and insurance to get extra peace of mind.

Local Bike Shops

Some bike shops in the area ship bikes for their customers. This can be helpful if you need to ship your motorcycle somewhere to get fixed or upgraded.

Courier Services

Check out courier services that specialize in sending fragile or large things. They might offer “white-glove” transport and be extra careful with your bike.

How long does it take to ship a bike?

Cross-country shipments can take up to 6 days, and regional shipments can take 1-2 days. Most shipping services say it takes 3-5 working days to ship, indicating the quickest shipping option for those needing to ship a bicycle promptly. 

How to Ship Bikes Safely Step-by-step

Before you send your bike, make sure the following things happen to keep it safe and avoid damage:

Remove the pedals and saddle 

Using a pedal wrench, remove the pedals so they don’t go through the shipping box. This step is crucial when you pack your bike. Another way to take off the saddle is to use a wrench or press a quick-release button to protect the bike during transport. Put some bubble wrap around these parts to get them ready to go into the shipping box, a fundamental step to pack and ship effectively.

Remove the front wheel

A quick-release button or a wrench will make it easy to remove your bike’s front wheel. By taking off the front wheel, you can make your bike a lot shorter.

Turn the handlebars lengthways

If you want to narrow your bike, turn your handlebars so they run along the frame. To do this, first use an Allen key to open the stem and then pack the bike for shipping. Keeping the handlebars in place is possible by tightening the stem again after moving them.

Protect the frame and protruding parts

If you don’t have a bag, make sure to protect all of your bike’s parts, especially the parts that stick out, like the handlebars and wheel axel. You can wrap these in bubble wrap and then tape them shut. Foam pipe insulation is a handy way to cover the bike frame.

Attach loose parts to the main frame

Fix these to the bike frame so that they don’t move around and hit other parts of the bike. You could use tape to stick all the parts together (just make sure the tape doesn’t touch the paint), or you could use strong string or wire ties to attach the loose parts to the frame.

Place in a sturdy double-walled cardboard box

Put your bike in a strong cardboard box with two walls. Make sure there are all the bike parts you need to pack and ship efficiently.

Pad out empty space within the box

Use bubble wrap, packing peanuts, or balls of newspaper to fill up any empty space between the bike and the box walls.

Book your bike shipment

You will need to put the size and weight of your shipment, as well as the address where you want the package picked up and to be delivered. 

After making a reservation, you can print out all the paperwork you need, such as an address label, a backup label, and any customs information your location needs. 

Before you tape up your box, put a copy of your address label inside it as a backup.

Seal securely

Close the box with tape and use several lengths of tape that double back on themselves to strengthen the edges.

Optional: create handles

By cutting holes in the sides of the box, you can make handles that will make it easier to take your package. But be careful that these don’t touch the edges of the box too much, or they might tear. It is suggested that you use tape to strengthen the handleholes.

Attach all necessary documentation

Securely attach your address card and any customs information that you need to the front of the box.

Pro Tips While Shipping Bike

Consider these tips to streamline shipment and protect your bike:

Double-Check Addresses

Check the shipping addresses multiple times for both the sender and the receiver to make sure the packages don’t get lost or delayed.

Secure Fragile Parts

Extra padding can help keep fragile parts like the derailleur and brake pads from getting damaged while being shipped, an essential step in packing a bike for shipping.

Track Your Shipment

The shipping company may offer tracking services that you can use to see where your package is at all times.

Can I track my bike shipment?

Yes, you can track your bike shipment. Most shipping companies offer real-time bike shipment tracking. Get your tracking number when you book your shipment to track your package anytime, a key feature of a reliable bike shipping service.

Bike Insurance Coverage

Get protection for your bike in case it gets lost or damaged. For an extra fee, most shipping companies offer insurance choices.

Getting shipping protection from companies like FedEx and UPS is impossible for electric bikes without special arrangements. Being insured is not the same as having a declared value, especially when you ship a bicycle that might require additional coverage. The main difference is that when you indicate value, the carrier is only responsible for the repair, depreciated, or replacement costs, whichever is less.

Bicycle insurance from Velosurance, Spoke, Markel, and Sundays can cover damage or loss on its own. You should get bicycle insurance or a similar add-on to your home insurance. 

Is insurance coverage necessary for shipping a bike?

Insurance is optional for bike shipment, but highly recommended to protect the bike. However it’s suggested to prevent loss or damage when you transport your bike. Most shipping companies charge for insurance.

My Experience in Shipping Bikes

You can drop it off at a shop that uses BikeFlights and have it shipped. Other companies ship bikes that do the same thing.

Going to your LBS and asking them for a box they’re throwing away and doing it all yourself might be harder, but it might save you some money.

It costs around $200 to send a high-end DH bike with insurance, a potential scenario when shipping a mountain bike. That’s putting a value of $3,000 on it when it’s really worth $5,000. Another company I knew had crazy prices for a while. I can’t think of their names. I believe it was going backwards, like Flight Bike. 

The fact that I could call the guy and have him answer the phone was great. I haven’t been around for a while because I hurt my neck. Thanks for your help. I want to ship my bike all over the world but don’t want to have to drive there from California. It takes a long time to drive to Whistler and other places like that.

You can ask the bike shop near you to box up your bike for you. If they happen to have an extra box that a new bike came in, they’ll take it apart a bit and put it in that, effectively using a bike shipping box.

Get a bike box made of cardboard from Walmart or somewhere else. Take out your pedals, wheels, handlebars, and stem, and put them all in the box. Put rolled-up cardboard tubes along the bike tubes and anywhere else that needs them. Fold it up and tape it up as part of the process to pack a bike for shipping. 

To save money, I used to put it on a bus if I could pick it up. There may be a cross-country trucking company that will quickly put it on skids for you.

Final Words

It’s not necessary to be stressful to ship a bike. You can make sure your bike gets to its destination safely and securely by following the tips in this book and taking the right safety measures. 

Whether you’re shipping your bike to get fixed, selling it, or just moving it, you need to use the right packaging and shipping ways to make sure it gets there safely.

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