A few weeks from now my road bike will be shipped from South Korea to China, and I'm nervous that it will be damaged in transit. I'm curious to know if anybody has any anecdotes that tell how the bike was damaged from shipping by air which would help me with tips for packing my bike?

I bought a hard case.

  • oh and if you have some information about shipping bikes plz let me know and share it, it would truly help :)
    – Jas0n
    Sep 17 at 6:47
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    Simple answer is: yes, of course this happens,. No matter whether it's over air or land. More interesting would be the question how much this happens, like how many % of such packages end up with damage to the goods. I don't have these numbers, but I personally consider it not worth caring about. Despite having had a frame shipped once which was fairly properly packed, yet clearly dropped right on the headtube, slightly deforming the lower part making it impossible to get the lower bearing in.
    – stijn
    Sep 17 at 8:16
  • hummm thx a lot for the reply, can I know how you packed you bike? did you use hard case? and how do you think you could avoid it?
    – Jas0n
    Sep 17 at 9:03
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    Remember - put answers in the Answers box please. Comments are for clarification, etc.
    – Criggie
    Sep 17 at 11:07
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    My comment was actually a hint to change the question to something like 'How prevalent is bike damage from shipping' and/or 'how to prevent damage from shipping'.
    – stijn
    Sep 18 at 6:44

1 Answer 1


If you're buying a bike and having it shipped to you then you don't have any control of how the sender packs it.

If its a new bike/frame, the manufacturer probably has experience in shipping their product. So it will either arrive fine or you have to make a warranty claim for "damaged in shipping"

Here's a rim I bought from China. It was well-enough packaged, but clearly got crushed in machinery somehow. There is no reasonable way this part could have been damaged like this by dropping or mishandling, it had to be great force.

enter image description here enter image description here
Dog paw for scale.

Upshot was I got a refund and ordered a replacement. All I lost was time.

Now, if you're shipping something TO someone else, how you protect it is up to you.

For a bike, a hard-sided bike travel bag is good but they're expensive and unweildy. Manufacturers ship partially-assembled bikes in stout cardboard boxes, with layers of filler, and possibly paint protection as the final layer.

If you have the time/skills/patience, making a hard-sided shipping crate can provide the most physical protection.

Your other option is shipping insurance. Most carriers offer some level of financial payment if your bike or item is damaged/lost in shipping, possibly contingent on it being well-packaged.

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    Dog paw for scale. Scale of the rim, or scale of the dog? Or maybe it's a bear? Even if that's a 650 rim, that's one large paw... :-) Sep 19 at 21:03
  • @AndrewHenle yeah its a 406mm or 20" rim for my recumbent.
    – Criggie
    Sep 19 at 21:15

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