Sending a bicycle home?

I’m keen to send my recently purchased MTB back to South Africa. However I’ve never done this before.

Since I will be fully loaded-up (meeting or exceeding my 25kg luggage limit) when I go back I’m considering the best and most cost-effective way to get the bike there.

I’ll pack the bike in the original box.

Should I:

  1. Use a parcel service like DHL or UPS? Sounds costly to me.
  2. Use the postal service? I believe a box cannot exceed 1m by 1m by 1m, so I guess that probably won’t be suitable.
  3. Use a shipping company?
  4. Use the airline I’m flying with, and pay for the extra weight? I’ve heard if you phone ahead, and the flight isn’t too packed they might let you put it on at no extra cost.
  5. Use an airline’s cargo service? I would send it ahead of my actual flight date - would I be able to drop it off at their offices in my city (Taichung)?

Your advice, experience, and suggestions please.

Cheers! :notworthy:

Hi, I’m certainly not an expert on this, I only know a little about the post office option-- I have heard of people sending their bikes back (to Canada, but what’s the difference?) through the post office.
I went there the other day, and what they told me was there’s a 20kg max, and that one side can’t exceed 1.5m
it gets a little more confusing than that though. You have to add up length, width, and height, multiply it by 2, then subtract the (now here’s where I’m not sure, maybe the length?), and it can’t be more than 300cm… or something like that :stuck_out_tongue: anyway, I think it’s worth it to double check with the post office because it might just be accepted.

otherwise, I’m sure there’s a reader out there somewhere who has sent a bike home an hopefully they’ll reply!

I asked about this before I left Taiwan a few years ago. The post office is probably the cheapest option. From memory the box cannot exceed 1.05 metres in length and maximum weight is 20kg. Do a search on the web for packing bike boxes and you will get some useful tips about how to pack it. You will probably need to remove both wheels, the handlebars and possibly the rear derailleur and cranks. If it seems too difficult to pack you can always send the wheels in separate box.

Went to the bike shop today - they’ll package the bike back into it’s box.

Box dimensions are (roughly): 1.6m (L) 1m (H) 25cm (W).

That would seem too big to go by post…

What about a shipping company? Do they do small stuff like a boxed bike?



Did you ask the airline about your option #4?

That one sounds most sensible to me. Why don’t you give them a call and let us know what they say.

I saw a guy bring his bike back to Canada with him. He had both wheels off and the handlebar off and packed together. Saw him check it in at the check-in for large and fragile items counter. But I think you will need to pay a bit extra, not sure if it will be the same price as doing the postal way.

I would also love to know what the best option is. Anyone else? Dirt, please let us know what u did in the end?

You should be careful about import duty/tax too. The cheapest way to send the bike might not end up being the cheapest, if you know what I mean.

Make sure it doesn’t look like you just bought it.

Check the links below for instructions about the best way to pack a bicycle into a box. Taking it is baggage when you fly might be an option. Contact the airline directly first. There are usually special allowances for sporting equipment.

My boyfriend and I each took a bike home with us to Canada last year. We flew with Malaysia Airlines, had the bikes packed in their original boxes, and if I remember correctly, it costed somewhere around $3000NT each. We called the airline ahead of time, told them we would have extra baggage, and that was what we where charged. We didn’t have to pay any customs upon entry to Canada either. You just walk up to the counter and check all your stuff, bike included, at the counter. The biggest hassle was just getting all of our stuff and bikes to the airport…we ended up having to rent a small bus :astonished: