Will UPS Pack and Ship a Bicycle?

Will UPS Pack and Ship a Bicycle?

If you have a bike you need to ship, using UPS is definitely an option worth considering.

UPS offers bike shipping services and has experience handling all types of bicycles.

I’ve used them several times myself with good results.

In this article, I’ll go over everything you need to know about using UPS to pack and ship a bike.

Whether you need to ship your road bike across the country or just send your kid’s bike to grandma’s house two states away, UPS can likely get it there safely.

But it’s good to understand how their services and fees work so you can get the best rate.

Let’s dive in!

Will UPS Pack and Ship a Bicycle?

The short answer is yes, UPS will pack and ship bicycles as part of their package delivery services.

They have special bike boxes and padding available to help ensure your bike arrives safely.

UPS ships all kinds of bikes including road, mountain, hybrid, folding, electric, and kids bikes.

If it’s a standard bicycle, UPS can ship it in their bike boxes.

Unusual bikes like tandems or recumbents may need a custom crate built.

One thing to note is that UPS does not do the packing for you.

You’ll need to disassemble your bike and safely pack it into a bike box yourself.

UPS can provide a sturdy cardboard bike box that’s specially designed to protect your bike frame and components.

UPS does offer professional packing services through their UPS Stores locations.

So if you don’t feel up to packing the bike yourself, you can bring it to a UPS Store and pay them to pack it properly for shipping.

No matter how you pack it, UPS will then pick up the packaged bike from your home or business and ship it safely to its destination via their ground, air, or freight delivery services.

How Much Does UPS Charge to Ship a Bicycle?

UPS bike shipping rates vary quite a bit based on the weight and dimensions of your packaged bike, the shipping speed, and the distance it needs to travel.

In general, though, expect to pay anywhere from $50 to several hundred dollars to ship a bike with UPS.

Some key factors that affect your UPS bike shipping costs include:

  • Weight – UPS charges by actual or dimensional weight, whichever is greater. Expect to pay more for heavier bikes.
  • Box size – Oversized bike boxes cost more. The standard UPS bike box is 130″ total dimensions.
  • Shipping speed – Faster air shipments cost more than standard ground.
  • Distance – Longer distances mean higher shipping fees.
  • Fuel surcharges – UPS adds variable fuel surcharges these days.
  • Pickup vs. drop-off – Having UPS pick up your package costs extra.

To get an exact UPS bike shipping quote, you’ll need to enter details like the bike’s weight, box dimensions, origin/destination zip codes, and your preferred shipping speed.

The UPS website has an easy shipping rate calculator you can use.

I’ll go over ways to keep your UPS shipping costs down a bit later in this article.

But in general, expect to pay at least $50 to $150 for most bike shipments.

Does UPS Charge by Weight or Size, or Both?

UPS uses what’s called dimensional weight pricing for bike shipments.

This means they charge you by the greater of the package’s actual weight or its dimensional weight.

Dimensional weight is calculated based on the length, width, and height of your packaged bike in inches.

UPS has a formula where they multiply the package dimensions by a standard density factor to estimate an equivalent dimensional weight in pounds.

So even if your actual bike weight is 25 lbs, if the box dimensions calculate out to a higher dimensional weight, that’s what UPS will charge you for.

This is why using a properly sized bike box is important to keep costs down.

In most cases, the dimensional weight will be greater than the actual weight for a bike package.

But UPS does compare the two and charges whichever is higher.

Bottom line – both the physical weight and size of your packaged bike matter when estimating UPS shipping costs.

Take steps to minimize both when packing your bike.

What is The Cheapest Way to Ship a Bicycle?

To get the lowest UPS bike shipping rates, here are some tips:

  • Use the smallest box possible – UPS bike boxes are best to minimize dimensional weight.
  • Remove wheels and pedals to reduce size.
  • Use light but sturdy packaging materials like bubble wrap.
  • Ship ground service instead of air if you have time flexibility.
  • Drop off at UPS instead of residential pickup.
  • Compare UPS to USPS and FedEx rates for the best deal.
  • Consider shipping to a business address instead of residential.
  • Weigh package and enter exact details on UPS website for precise quote.
  • Check for any current UPS discounts or coupons online.
  • Consider becoming a UPS My Choice member for 5-25% off rates.
  • Ship between UPS rate discount periods of mid-January to mid-March.

With some smart packing and shopping around, you can probably ship a standard bike for about $50-$100 with UPS ground service.

Not bad for safely getting your wheels from coast to coast!

How Do I Pack My Bike with FedEx?

While this article covers UPS bike shipping specifically, FedEx is another good option to consider.

They offer similar services for shipping bicycles safely.

Here are some tips for packing your bike to ship with FedEx:

  • Use a rigid FedEx bike shipping box or cardboard bike box.
  • Remove the wheels, pedals, handlebars and seat to fit in box.
  • Use plenty of padding like bubble wrap around all bike parts.
  • Secure loose parts like wheels inside box so nothing shifts.
  • Ensure no bike parts are pressing against the box walls.
  • Tape box securely closed all the way around.
  • Clearly label with “Bicycle” and “This Side Up” markings.
  • Fill out the FedEx waybill form completely and attach securely.
  • opt for additional package insurance in case of damage.

FedEx offers convenient pickup so you don’t have to haul the box to a location yourself.

And their website makes it easy to estimate shipping rates, print labels, and schedule a pickup time.

So investigate both FedEx and UPS prices when you have a bike to ship. Often one will have better rates than the other.

How Much Does it Cost to Ship a Bike 500 Miles?

To give you a real cost example, let’s say you need to ship your standard road bike about 500 miles from Chicago to Nashville.

For this medium-distance ground shipment, you can expect to pay:

  • UPS: Approximately $75-$125
  • FedEx: Approximately $60-$120

The final cost would depend on the exact weight and box dimensions, but that price range is typical.

To get the best rate, use the smallest box possible, preferably a used UPS bike box.

Remove unneeded parts to make it fit.

Package it up nicely with plenty of padding and keep the weight minimal.

Then take the time to check rates online for both UPS and FedEx to see who’s running the best specials.

Print the label yourself and drop off instead of residential pickup to save on charges.

For a 500-mile shipment like this, I would probably go with FedEx Ground and expect to pay around $80 with some smart packing and shopping around.

Well worth it for the peace of mind of having my bike safely delivered door to door!

Final Thoughts

Shipping a bicycle does require some work – you’ve got to properly disassemble and pack it up all snug in a box.

But once you have it packaged, using UPS to ship it is very convenient.

Just be prepared that costs can range from $50 up to several hundred dollars depending on the specifics.

Heavier e-bikes and tandems end up at the higher end.

While a standard lightweight road or hybrid bike in a small UPS bike box will be at the lower end.

I recommend checking rates online with UPS and FedEx first so you know what to expect cost-wise before packing up your bike.

And do take steps like removing wheels and using a tight-fitting box to keep both weight and dimensions minimal.

Hopefully, the information in this article gives you a good idea of what’s involved in using UPS to ship your bicycle.

Avatar photo
Joey B. Ramsey
Passionate cyclist, father, and blogger.
I've been riding bikes since childhood and enjoy sharing my knowledge with fellow cycling enthusiasts.
My diverse bike collection allows me to write reviews and advice based on personal experience with various bikes and accessories.
join me email cta
Join me
Join me for more cycling related content and deals.

Related Articles