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by Dave Rome
October 6, 2020
Consumer-direct bike company Canyon was arguably the first to show that a cardboard bike box can be designed for easier re-use and safer bike transport. Now bike shipping specialist, BikeFlights, has just revealed a new reusable cardboard bike box that looks like a solid option for the occasional traveller or cautious bike seller.
Using a flat-packed design, BikeFlights’ Bike Box appears to offer an easy-to-assemble layout that can be dismantled for easier storage. The dismantled box is shipped to the user, where each included item (including the shipping packaging) serves a purpose, is intended for re-use, and is recyclable, too.
The design requires no additional fiddly protective packaging to be added to the bike; rather it uses a cardboard divider to keep the removed handlebars and front wheel separate from the rest of the bike. The company even includes a plastic bag for the removed pedals, a few front fork axle spacers, foam padding for the fork dropouts, and bungee cords to secure the items in place. Meanwhile, the box itself uses re-usable plastic clips that hold the box together without the need for tape.
The boxes are offered in two sizes. The smaller of the two measures 45 x 13 x 29 inches (114 x 33 x 74 cm) and is intended for road bikes, gravel bikes, kids’ bikes and smaller mountain bikes. At 62 x 13 x 33 inches (157 x 33 x 84 cm), the larger option is intended for modern mountain bikes and perhaps bigger gravel bikes, too.
Once collapsed (and as shipped) the boxes are the same respective lengths and widths, but measure just 7 inches (18 cm) tall. A medium box with all the small pieces is claimed to weigh 3.6 kg (8 pounds).
According to the company, the box meets Amazon’s ISTA 6A standard and can withstand multiple drops and substantial compression forces. That last element means the box will stand up to things being stacked on top when they shouldn’t be.
The medium and large boxes sell for US$120 and US$150 respectively, which includes free two-day delivery within the lower 48 states of the USA. Now that isn’t small money for an item that’s similar to that given away by bike stores, but the more secure design should create plenty of appeal.
That pricing does put BikeFlights’ new box near the realm of corrugated-plastic based boxes, such as the South African-made BikeBox or the Australian-produced Enviro Bike Box. And while those plastic boxes are more expensive, heavier and don’t pack down quite as small, they’ll at least withstand being caught in the rain.
You can learn more about the new BikeFlights bike box at the company’s website.