In a perfect world, you would have saved the box that your bicycle came in so you could use it for your move. Then again, if you had the box, would you really take the time to completely dismantle the bike and then put it back together again? Some people are comfortable doing this; others are not. Sure, your movers may tell you that they will wrap it in a blanket and tuck it up high, or lay it on your couch, but there are so many things that can go wrong with this scenario. The last thing you want to deal with is a bent rim or spoke. Not to mention, when they hit the brakes, and it slides out of the blanket, how are you going to feel about the pedal scratch straight across your dining room table?
Box it Yourself
If you are going to bike the box up yourself, you need to decide how much you are willing to take apart so you can choose the right size box. A big box that is at least 70 inches long will allow you to leave both wheels on. This is fine if movers are handling it, but don’t try to ship a box this large through UPS.
A medium box lets you leave the rear wheel on. It needs to be about 55 inches long, and you can ship this via UPS, but keep in mind you will have two boxes to ship then because you need to put the front wheel in something, unless you really do a good job padding the box you can set the front wheel inside with the rest of the bike.
Lastly, a small box that is 45 inches long will accommodate the frame, and the tires can be wrapped together and placed inside as well. This size is airline and UPS friendly.
When you take apart the bike, use stickers to label where pieces go. Don’t hesitate to make notes and take pictures. A toe-strap or bungee will keep the chain from moving. All hardware should be labeled and placed in a tightly sealed bag or container. Although you can use bubble wrap and other packing materials, you can also use blankets and towels. The idea is to make sure the bike does not move around in the box. Now you can feel confident allowing the movers to handle it. If you have an expensive bike, don’t write what it is on the box. There is no point in tempting anyone.
Take it to a Bike Shop
If you are like many others, you might not have even assembled your bike. You probably went to a bike shop and had them handle it so the thought of taking it apart is making you sweat a little. You can always pay a professional at a bike shop to handle it. Call and ask if they have appropriate supplies, or if you need to provide them with a box or anything else. When you arrive to your destination, take it to a bike shop there and let them handle putting it back together.
If you fold down your backseat, you should be able to lay your bike down on a blanket. Obviously this will only work if you don’t have to transport people or pets back there. You can always pack small boxes and bags around it to utilize space, or lay your bedding and pillows on top of it.
Why not make use of that carrier on the back of your car? Plenty of people take long road trips across the country with their bike in search of the trail less traveled. As long as the bike is tightly secured, this really is a great option. You should buy a cover if there is chance you will be driving through undesirable weather. Not to mention, when you stop at a rest area, you don’t want anyone tempted by that high dollar bike calling their name while you’re in grabbing a coffee for the road.