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How to Mail a Bike
How to Mail a Bike

How to Mail a Bike

Recently, I sold one of my bikes and needed to learned how to mail a bike to the buyer. I only road this bike on trails and thought he needed a better home. Also, I would like to try some mountain biking in the near future. Although, I loved that bike, it was exciting mailing him to a new home. Plus, I got to learn something new; “How to mail a bike!” A skill that might come in handy for future triathlons.

Bike Sold on eBay and Mailed to the Buyer
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First Bike on the Lakelands Trail

Boxing a Bike for Mailing

Step 1: Watch this short and sweet video on all you need for boxing down your bike. I was very intimidated about breaking down my bike until I watched this. Then, I realized anyone can do it.

Step 2: Pick up a bike box from your local bike store. They will very likely have one on hand. When I picked one up, the bike technician wasn’t surprised and was able to supply me with an empty box in minutes.

Step 3: Gather your packing supplies.

  • Lots of styrofoam (I had some sheet styrofoam from previous shipments. Very Helpful!)
  • Packing Tape
  • Zip ties (At least 3 for the front wheel and handle bars. I had to zip a few together to make them long enough.)
  • Allen wrench set
  • phillips-head screwdriver
  • a small box for your pedals (If you are shipping them too!)

Step 4: Put the YouTube video on and begin following it step-by-step. I played a step and then paused the video so I could copy it. It took me about 45 minutes. I think next time, I will be able to do it much faster.

Step 5: Put the entire bike in the bike box with the small box of pedals and tape it or staple it shut. (We used packaging tape and it worked just as well as stapling it.)

Step 6: Print your shipping label and tape it to the box. (more information on this below)

Step 7: Drop it off at a UPS Customer Center. This takes about 1 minute.

Mailing your Bike

After getting Troy all boxed up, I had to figure out which carrier was going to get it to the buyer. Since the total dimensions were over 108″ inches, I knew USPS wouldn’t ship it. That meant it would have to go through UPS or FedEx.

When I picked up the bike box from the bike shop, the technician recommended “BikeFlights.” He said there is another company out there that is slightly cheaper, but he couldn’t remember the name. I think it is “ShipBikes.” However, they were not shipping when I was mailing my bike, so this was not an option for me. I believe they are back up and running now.

Before checking out BikeFlights, I got a quote from FedEx and UPS. The estimated cost for sending my bike from Michigan to Maryland, was almost $400 for both.

Using Bike Flights

I visited the “BikeFlights” website and put the shipping information (addresses, weight, box dimensions, etc.). The cost was $139. I couldn’t believe it. I paid with my credit card directly on the website. They emailed me my shipping label within 20 minutes. I printed the label and attached it to the box in two places.

The next day, I dropped it off at the UPS Customer Center on my way home from work. I carried it inside and they took it from there. I received an email from “BikeFlights” that day that it shipped and three days later, I received another email that it had arrived. It was great and easy service.

Mailing a bike is not as intimidating as it might originally seem. If you are worried about selling a bike because of the cost or going to a triathlon out of country because of the shipping, give it a try.

If you try ShipBikes, let me know how it works and what the price comparison is. Hope you learned how to mail a bike! Good luck! ~KiteBikeVan

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