There are things the USPS won’t ship, but most of them are hazardous. More importantly, there are weight limits to what the United States Postal Service will ship.
Fortunately, most bicycles don’t weigh over 60 pounds, and even most e-bikes aren’t too heavy, thanks to improvements in technology. Can I ship a bicycle with USPS?
You can ship a bicycle with USPS if it weighs under 70 lbs and is properly packaged in a mailpiece that is 108 inches in combined length and girth. If it measures up to 130 inches, you will be charged oversized prices. The cost varies between $80 to $210 and is calculated based on the distance it travels using USPS Retail Ground services.
To see all of my up-to-date recommendations for bikes and cycling gear, check out this resource that I made for you!
Does USPS Ship Bicycles
USPS does ship bicycles. Since bicycles are made from metal, rubber, and plastics, there’s no concern about liquids or other potentially problematic substances.
Most of the things the postal service will not ship include foods, hazardous materials, and living creatures, though there are exceptions for many of those things as well.
The United States Postal service considers all adult bicycles to be oversized packages.
In some cases, very small, disassembled children’s bicycles might be a ‘normal’ package, but not all kid’s bikes pack down small enough for that privilege.
How To Ship A Bike With USPS
You don’t need any special permits to ship a bicycle with USPS.
However, it is essential to note that in most cases, you will need to disassemble and carefully pack your bike in a cardboard box to ship it. There are upper limits to box sizes.
According to USPS’s Postal Explorer, “The maximum size for most mailpieces is 108 inches in combined length and girth. USPS Retail Ground pieces may measure up to 130 inches in combined length and girth (but will be charged oversized prices). Regardless of the size of the mailpiece, the maximum mailable weight of any mailpiece is 70 pounds.”
The weight and size limits are not arbitrary. These limits are for driver safety.
They allow postal facilities to have standardized equipment for processing packages to manage large quantities and ensure all the mail arrives promptly.
Best Way To Ship A Bike
The best way to ship a bike is disassembled with lots of packing material inside, like foam or biodegradable packing peanuts.
Using these materials will help prevent your bicycle from bouncing around, bumping into itself, and potentially getting scratched and damaged.
Plus, a well-packed disassembled bike is less likely to break through the box.
Bike Shipping Box
You can contact your shipping service and inquire about packaging services if you don’t want to DIY your bike packing.
However, putting a bike in a box is not as tricky as you’d think. You simply need to order an appropriately sized corrugated cardboard box from any one of the many services that provide shipping boxes.
Measure your bicycle’s frame and tire size to ensure the parts will all fit within the box. You can even construct your own package from cardboard if you need specific dimensions.
The most important thing is to stay within the hundred and thirty inches of length and girth as required by the USPS.
I recommend Boxes Fast BFHD54828FOL 54″ x 8″ x 28″ Cardboard Bike Boxes from Amazon. To assemble these boxes, all you need to do is open them up and tape the ends with packing tape (don’t use duct tape as it won’t adhere properly).
These excellent oversize boxes will fit almost any bike you want to ship. All you need is a label once you put in the parts and packing materials. Get a set shipped to your door by clicking here.
- These cartons open along the ends for easy insertion of frames, mirrors and other flat products
- Designed with full overlap (FOL) flaps for added protection
- Boxes are manufactured from 275#/ECT-44 kraft corrugated
- Corrugated boxes are reusable and recyclable
- Cartons are sold in bundle quantities and ship flat to save on storage space and shipping Proudly made in the USA
How Much Does It Cost To Ship A Bicycle Via USPS
Shipping bicycles with the United States Postal Service is an efficient way to get your bike where it’s headed and support the USPS at the same time.
Unfortunately, the issue of shipping costs is a complex one. USPS doesn’t list every possible weight and package dimension on their website, so you can only calculate some boxes on site.
However, since all bicycles are oversize packages that travel via USPS Ground, there is a lot of general information to help you get a good ballpark idea.
Below I’ve created some charts to help you figure out the current going rates for domestic and international bike shipping.
USPS Bike Shipping Cost
Shipping bicycles, unlike most products, is not weight dependent. Instead, the United States Postal Service charges based on the distance for bikes and other large packages.
It’s worth mentioning that, according to the USPS, adult bicycles are considered oversize packages.
The chart below lists the prices to ship a bike in the US and its associated territories.
Cost To Ship A Bicycle Within The US & Territories
|Distance The Package Will Travel||Cost to Ship Via USPS Ground|
|Short Trips (Up to 150 Miles)||$80.00|
|1801+ & US Territories (Guam, Puerto Rico etc.)||$210.00|
How Much Does It Cost To Ship A Bike Internationally
International shipping costs are incredibly varied. Factors such as political relationships govern the fees to ship outside the USA.
Some places charge substantially more to accept a package from out of the country, especially when it comes from the USA.
In other areas, it’s impossible because they are not currently receiving US mail due to embargos, pandemic responses, and war.
Below I have created a chart for general fees for shipping a twenty-pound package to a few common regions.
Many bikes, especially road bikes, weigh less than twenty pounds despite their size. Please note that all these prices are subject to change at any time.
International Shipping Cost Estimate
|Destination||Fee or Fee Range|
|Canada||$94 – 120|
|Europe||$117 – $166.70|
You need to bring your fully wrapped package into a USPS location and have it weighed for other weights. They will calculate on-site based on how each package is shipped.
Cheapest Way To Ship A Bike
The cheapest way to ship a bike depends on where it is going. If you need to get your bicycle overseas, the United States Postal Service is the least expensive option.
This is because other companies pay increased fees for international clearance and importation.
However, if you are shipping domestically, FedEx will only charge around $60-160 (January 2022 prices) depending on the weight and estimated arrival date, which is usually less than USPS.
Helpful Tips To Know About Shipping A Bicycle With USPS
So long as your box is within USPS’s size and weight limits, you can ship a bicycle virtually anywhere in the world.
Make sure you use newspaper, packing peanuts, or another filler to prevent damage during shipping and tape well.
Here are more helpful tips to know about shipping a bicycle with USPS.
- You will need a clearly visible label. USPS allows customers to buy labels online for home printing from their website here if you have sticker paper, a printer, and the ability to weigh your fully packed bicycle.
- Countries that you cannot ship a bicycle to currently include the following: Afghanistan (due to political relations), Bhutan, Brunei Darussalam, Chad, Cuba (also due to political relations), Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Libya, Mongolia, Papua New Guinea, Russian Federation (due to the ongoing war with Ukraine), Samoa (because of pandemic restrictions), Solomon Islands, South Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Timor-Leste, Turkmenistan, Ukraine (due to infrastructure instability from the Russian attacks) and Yemen.
- Disassembling a bicycle for packing is generally straightforward. If you need some help figuring out how to get the pieces apart and packed, I suggest watching this video from The Adventure Biker.
- Always get the insurance. I cannot stress this enough. It is worth paying extra for package insurance to ensure your bicycle gets where it is going unharmed, especially if it’s a high-quality cycle.
You can ship a bicycle with USPS. Almost any adult bicycle can fit in a box under the maximum size limit for USPS Ground.
More importantly, bikes tend to be well under the weight limit of seventy pounds, with most road bikes weighing in under twenty pounds.
The hardest part of shipping a bicycle is packing it so the pieces don’t shift in transit and lifting your box onto the counter when you arrive at the post office.