How to pack a bike?

Bikes are fragile, high precision equipment and must be packaged as such.  Luggage Forward requires bicycles to be packed in a hard travel case or a corrugated box. The bike must be professionally packaged before pickup for the bike to be eligible for our value protection program.  If you are not experienced with bike disassembly and assembly then you may want to have a bike shop help with packing.

Specifically, this means that each bike requires the following internal packaging:

Frame and Fork

  • Each tube must be wrapped with dense foam padding around it
  • If the bike has an external cable, a layer of soft cloth must be between the frame and cable to prevent scratching
  • If the bike has a thin tube, add a layer of foam or cardboard to areas that are likely to touch a wheel or other areas

Rear Derailleur and Hanger

  • Must be protected from touching side of box
  • Detach derailleur and hanger from frame and wrap dense foam padding around them and secure inside of frame


  • Wheels must be detached
  • Skewers and thru-axles must be detached when possible
  • Remove rotors from wheels to prevent bending
  • Axle ends must have plastic caps on them on either side of the hubs
  • Cover cassette with dense padding secured into place
  • Put wheels into bags or pad them

Stems, Handlebars, Shift and Brake Levers

  • Detach handlebars and stem if possible
  • Wrap all handlebars, shift and lever breaks in dense foam and make it so they do not move
  • Move handlebars so that they shift and brake levers face inward, away from the sides of the box or case


Insert spacers between frame and fork dropouts to protect ends from damaging the box and to prevent frame and fork damage. Spacers may include:

  1. Plastic spacers - like those used by bike manufacturers. Can be secured in place with tape
  2. Threaded axles with nuts
  3. Half an inch PVC pipe cut to length and secured into place with skewer or thru-axle

Disk Brakes

  • Please keep disc brake pads separated while wheels are off
  • Utilize a pad spreader to maintain disc brake separation
  • For calipers that extend beyond the back dropout of a bike, also remove the caliper from the frame, pad it and secure it to inside of the frame

Seat and Seatpost

  • Remove the seat and seatpost and pad with foam and secure to keep the seatpost to keep it from damaging the box or other contents


  • Remove pedals and pad separately


  • Make sure that all assembly tools are properly packaged in a storage bag or case
  •  Once you pack everything, give the case or box a shake to make sure that nothing is too loose or rattles around
  • As your bike will be subject vibration, changes in orientation and possible contact with other packages, please secure into place all contents within your package including the protective padding and foam. 
  • Your bike case or box might be laid on its side during the shipping process and must be packaged accordingly to fit this reorientation
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