How to pack a bicycle when moving

Most of us own a bicycle that needs to be dismantled and packed when moving. If you are moving locally, you should be able to move the bike as is. It is as simple as mounting your bike in an assembled form on to your vehicle. However, the same approach may not prove to be reliable for cross-country or interstate moves. In such cases, you must follow precise tips on how to pack a bicycle when moving. It is a straightforward task but by all means should not be underestimated.

  • Read our tips below on how to pack a bicycle when moving.

You will need these tools to properly disassemble and re-assemble you bike:

Bicycle box (a specialty container specifically designed to fit a bike.) Request one from your movers; otherwise they are available for purchase at your local bike shop. Be sure to inform them of the size of your bike.
A medium sized moving box to store disassembled bike parts.
Pedal, torque, and hex wrenches.
Foam tubing
Fork protector
Derailleur guards
Wheel plugs
Zip ties
Bubble wrap

You must disassemble your bicycle before packing.

  • Clean your bicycle with a soft rag.
  • Remove both pedals with the help of a pedal wrench. Wrap both pedals in packing paper and place in a medium moving box. Designate this box for all of your small-disassembled parts.
  • Remove the seat and its seat-post and set aside as one unit.
  • Remove any accessorial equipment your bike might have. Remove it, wrap each part separately, and place in its original package. If you do not have the original package, place in the designated parts box.
  • Remove the front brake from the fork, reattach the nut and wrap the entire unit in bubble wrap. Do not take out the cable as it will be much more difficult to re-adjust the brakes later on.
  • Remove the handlebars and stem as one unit. Rest on the floor to be packed.
  • Remove the front wheel, set it aside, and secure the fork protection block in place.
  • Deflate the tires half way so that they are not at maximum pressure during transport.
  • Take extra care of your rear derailleur, as it is a very delicate part and can get easily damaged. First, shift the bike chain into the smallest chain-ring and the largest rear cog, and then wrap it in bubble wrap and secure with moving tape or zip ties.
  • Wrap all the foam tubes around the metal frame and secure them either with zip ties or packing tape. This will prevent the metal surfaces from scratches while in transport. Fit in the 4 wheel axle protectors and wrap the left pedal crank-arm with bubble wrap.
  • Lay your bicycle on the ground and position the front wheel next to its left side (the non-chain side). Position the wheel above the already wrapped left pedal and bring it down slowly so that the pedal ends up between the wheel spokes without touching them. With a handful of zip ties, secure the wheel to the bicycle frame. The idea is to attach the front wheel to the bicycle frame.
  • Secure the handlebars to the bike frame using bubble wrap and zip ties. It is of great importance that you do not twist or bend any wires.
  • Carefully place your bicycle inside the box. Place and tape your small parts box or bag to the bottom of the box. Fill in the space with packing peanuts or paper, this way your bike will not shift too much during transport. Reinforce the box with moving tape and label it accordingly. Be sure to also mark it “FRAGILE”.

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