In the 11 years that BikeFlights has been shipping bicycles around the globe, they’ve moved a lot of bikes. The company claims to have served more than 800,000 cyclists in that time, which means they’ve seen it all when it comes to packing and shipping two wheeled objects. Now, they’ve taken what they have learned over the years, and have applied it to what they consider a pro-level bike packing and protecting solution – their new cardboard bike box.
Yes, cardboard. And, yes, it’s a very expensive cardboard box. But it’s also not your average cardboard box. Engineered and tested to the Amazon ISTA 6A standard, the box is able to “withstand multiple drops of 18 inches and 36 inches, a horizontal compression force up to 229 pounds, a vertical compression force up to 1,732 pounds and sustained vibration while loaded to up to 300 pounds.” I’m no packaging engineer, but that sounds like a lot – but it’s at least clearly strong enough for a full grown human to lay down on top of it.
Both boxes pack down to much smaller versions for both shipping and storage. Better yet, the box requires no additional packaging for BikeFlights to ship it to you, so there’s less waste. And while the box will be reusable for multiple trips, when it is finally time to retire it, it’s easily recyclable. When packed down into storage mode, the BBM measures 45 x 13 x 7” and the BBL is 62 x 14 x 7”.
Once it arrives, you’ll have to assemble the box in order to put a bike in it. But from the video above, it all looks very easy. Also, thanks to the use of those white ‘BClips’, it would appear that the box will stay securely closed without any packaging tape needed. Though I would still probably use some just to be safe.
Inside, the boxes ship with a few accessories to make the packing easier. Both include paper tube axle spacers, though the BBM includes them for both front and rear axles, while the BBL just has them for the front. We’re assuming this is because the larger box allows you to keep the rear wheel on, but on the BBM you’ll have to remove both wheels. You’ll also find blue plastic axle/rotor covers, bungees to hold things in place, and a downtube foam yoke for the BBL.
As these aren’t your standard cardboard boxes, they also aren’t priced like your average cardboard box. The BBM runs $119.95 and the BBL is $149.95. That is a lot of money for a cardboard box. But, compared to a reusable bike case, it’s still quite a bit less. You could use one of these for multiple trips, breaking it down for easy storage in between, and have something that’s recyclable at the end of its useful life, and then replace it with a new one multiple times before reaching the price of a non-cardboard reusable case. And compared to reusable cases, this box seems to offer protection closer to that of a hard case, but with the ability to fold down for storage like a soft case. All at a fraction of the cost.