How to Pack a Bicycle for Moving

May 16, 2018 / Posted in How-to
Eva Johnson

Digital nomad born in New York but currently living online, Eva knows everything there is to know about packing and moving.

Are you changing your address soon, but refuse to give up on one of your dearest outdoor activities – cycling? Because of that, it is important that you learn how to pack a bicycle for moving in the easiest way possible. If you are a true bicycle enthusiast, you will want to handle the relocation of your treasured possession properly so that you can use it to explore your new environment as soon as possible.

girl with bicycle on a hill overlay
There is a way to bring your ride to a new location

If you are not skilled at disassembling, it is recommendable to hire a relocation company with professional packing services. If you prefer to do it yourself, there are some things to consider if you want the best result, such as getting a box or a carrier to avoid possible damage. Take a look at our tips that might help you with this daunting task.

The Packing Materials You Will Need

If it is possible, get a special box or a customized one for shipping. The chances are that you’ve probably bought your bike with some original packing materials. If, by any chance, you still have them, find a use for them. If not, you should buy some foam protection tubes, derailleur guards, fork guards, and wheel plugs at the local bicycle shop. You will also need bubble wrap, zip ties, and packing tape. For the transport, you should get ratchet strap tie-downs to stabilize the items inside the shipping container.


Get Advanced Tools

If you own a bike and don’t want to use professional moving services, you probably have the basic tools you will need to disassemble it. The same tools can be used for reassembling it at your new destination. But if that is not the case, then get the following tools at a specialized shop: a wrench set or at least a set of hex wrenches size 3, 4, 5, 6, and 8 mm and a 15mm pedal wrench, a torque wrench, and a pair of pliers. Don’t forget to pack tools for moving after you are done with them, as well.

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Make sure you have the necessary tools.

Get a Specific Box from a Bike Shop

There are highly protective travel and shipping cases on the market, but if you are not planning on relocating again, you may save some money by choosing a different option. If you haven’t kept the original box, you can get a special cardboard box at the local bicycle shop, but opt for a quality one, even if they cost a little more.

Before packing the item, check for smaller tears or holes and tape them well with heavy-duty tape, while avoiding the holes intended for carrying that can facilitate the loading and unloading. After unpacking the bike, fold the package and stash it for future use. Along with this large container, get a smaller one too for placing tools and additional equipment. Make sure the size corresponds to the dimensions of the accessories.

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Check your shipping packages before placing items in them.

Disassemble the Bike

Before disassembling it, clean the bike with a soft rag, paying special attention to the chain and tires. It will also help you inspect your bike thoroughly for any signs of wear so that you can take care of them later. Start by shifting the chain onto the small chainring and the rear cog. Store all the parts into a container as you take them off.

bike by the white wall overlay
Disassembling a bicycle won’t be difficult with our tips.

Remove the Pedals

Remove pedals using a pedal wrench, turning the left pedal clockwise and the right pedal counterclockwise, and then place them in the designated container.

Remove the Disc Brake

To remove the disc brake, you must remove the wheel first, and then the retaining pin securing the pads. Proceed with removing the outer pad first, and then the inner pad. To install it back, you will just follow the reverse order.

Take Down the Seat and Its Post

After taking down the parts mentioned above, remove the seat, the computer, and the computer mount, if your bike is equipped with one. The seat is easy to remove by loosening the seat-post and taking it out along with the seat.

Deflate the Tires

Before deflating the tires, remove the brakes and the handlebars from the fork, but leave the stem on it to prevent potential loss. Tires should not be under total pressure, so deflate them half-way.

girl riding a bike overlay
With our tips, you can take care of the brakes, seat, and tires.

Protect Tubes and Loose Parts

Protect the frame with foam tubes and secure the whole package with tape. Use bubble wrap for the seat and seat post.

packing supplies overlay
Use proper supplies to pack your items.

Learn How to Pack a Bicycle for Moving By Following Each Step

After you do the first few steps, you can slowly pack all the other parts. As you clean the bike and unscrew the pedals, wrap each item individually in packing paper and store it in a box. After that, take out all the accessory parts and place them in their designated containers. Remove the front brake, place it in bubble wrap and fix it to the frame with tape. When you remove the front wheel, keep the bolts together by placing them in a zip-lock bag or taping them.

girl in the park on the bike overlay
You need to handle the tires, handlebars, and rear derailleur carefully.

Protect the Rear Derailleur

The rear derailleur is a delicate piece, so you need to protect it well. Begin by shifting the chain onto the small chainring and the rear cog. Then continue by wrapping the rear derailleur with the chain in bubble wrap and fixing it with tape.

Secure the Handlebars

Handlebars also need to be protected well. Flat handlebars are easier to pack than dropped handlebars, but extra attention is required for both. Do not skimp on bubble wrap and try not to twist the cables.

Add the Front Wheel to the Frame

You will do that by laying the bike on the ground and placing the wheel next to the side without chains and then carefully wrapping it, so the parts are not in contact.

Place It in the Box

First, put the small moving boxes with additional parts into a large one and secure them with tape. Then, rotate the fork to make it shorter and place it in the container. Place the wrapped seat on top of the rear wheel and cushion it all with packing paper or another type of padding. Close the box and tape it well, especially the bottom. After that, you only have to label the package.

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