5 Reasons to avoid using cardboard bike boxes in favour for bike travel bags


Your bicycle is your pride and joy – it is no surprise that when travelling you want to keep your bike well protected. Whether you are travelling by car, boat or plane, there are plenty of options on the market to help you get your bike from A to B, not all necessarily in the condition that your bike left. Because of this, it is essential to know what your needs are before selecting the appropriate method for transporting your bike. Below we have listed five reasons why we recommend avoiding the traditional cardboard box option, in favour for a more protective and user friendly uption such as a bike bag or bike hard case.

While there are benefits to the cardboard box, such as the attractive price and ease of disposability, we believe the cons outweigh the pros in this case. Below we have created 5 reasons why we think you should reconsider cardboard and think outside of the box, in favour for a bike travel bag or hard case.

Here’s a list of some of the cons of purchasing a cardboard travel case and what you can expect from one.

  1. Cardboard bike boxes are heavy!

Most people assume that cardboard bike boxes are light, this assumption is in fact false. Due to the multiple sheeting and layers a cardboard bike box can easily weigh anywhere between 10-15kg (without the bike!) This makes for a VERY unpleasant transport experience considering the lack of wheels on cardboard bike boxes. In comparison, market leading bike travel bags such as the Scicon Aerocomfort 3.0 Range weigh a mere 8kg

Unfortunately for cardboard bike boxes, there is no compromise on weight as any reduction in volume will leave the bike exposed and vulnerable to damage in transit.

In addition to the absolute pain of carrying such a heavy and awkward object to and from the airport, you will need to be prepared to pay additional baggage fees. Most airlines consider a bike as check-in luggage… as a result you would struggle to fit your bike with your regular check in luggage allowance.


  1. They rarely last more than 1 trip.

Cardboard bike boxes are made to be disposable, this means they may do the job, but often are too damaged for a second trip (sometimes even for the return trip!) If you are planning on doing more than one trip with your bike in the future it may be wiser to invest in a solution that will give you plenty of mileage.

The cost of using a disposable solution quickly overtakes the cost of investing in a quality long term solution.

  1. They lose structural integrity

A big issue with cardboard bike boxes is the diminishing structural integrity after every trip. Even the tiniest tear or dent can undermine the entire structural integrity of the box, leaving contents vulnerable and exposed. In addition to this, due to the nature of cardboard, it offers no shock absorption. This means that all the force of an impact is transferred to the contents of the box… your bike!

Talking about structural integrity, the absolute kryptonite of the cardboard bike box is rainy weather. Not only do they offer no protection from the elements, they melt away when exposed to water of any kind. Even the slightest downpour of rain creates a very real risk of destroying the cardboard bike box’s structural integrity..

  1. They absolutely suck to pack!

This point is unfortunately only learned by experience. Cardboard bike boxes require a thorough disassembly of your bike in addition to complicated steps involving ropes, ties etc…

There are two issues with this point:

  • The last thing you want to be doing prior to your flight is struggling to figure out how to fit your bike into the box.
  • When you arrive at your cycling event or destination, you will need to reassemble your bike – this means a lot of time spent redoing your bike setup to the correct ergonomic riding posture.


  1. They end up costing more in the long run

Most people buy cardboard bike boxes because they believe that it is a cheap option for their bike travel needs. This may be true considering high end bike travel bags and hard cases can set you back by over $1,000 which for some is simply not a viable option.

Popular cardboard bike boxes retail for around $200 to $250, however once you factor in the disposable nature of this product, additional luggage fees and potential equipment damage, the real cost quickly adds up.

Not as cheap as it seems.

While not everyone can afford to fork out the big dollars for the top of the line bike bag options, it definitely pays to have superior protection and ease of travel by opting for a purpose built bike travel bag or hard case. There are many more viable options, such as the Scicon Aerocomfort 2.0 Bike Travel Bag range, which gives entry to the high quality bike bag market at a lower cost than the 3.0 range or Aerotech range.

What is your personal choice when travelling? Leave your thoughts in the comment section!