Foam for shipping a bike

What is the best foam to use for packing and shipping a bike through an airline. I have a hard shell case but believe in over preparing.

Pipe insulation?


I’ve used a combination of pipe insulation and bubble wrap. I think the most important part is to protect your forks and rear triangle. I’ve used a combination of bolt/washers/wingnuts to brace both ends (like a QR skewer on steroids). I’ve also made cardboard “columns” (folded over sections of cardboard wrapped with duct tape) to place about the bike to prevent any crush injuries from occuring

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If you’re tight on room in your packing box (as I am in my hard shell case), I recommend rubber carpet padding. Not as protective as the pipe insulation, but easier to work with and as I said doesn’t take up as much room. Might also be a nice complement to wrap smaller places not conducive to the pipe insulation

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Which case do you have? I’ve got a Bike Box Alan, have transported bike and wheels a dozen or more times with no issue and no extra foam or protection. Hard to conceive of anything that would get through that case that wouldn’t also make a wreck of any foam inside, and everything inside is firmly velcroed down so doesn’t move at all. Only real risk I can think of is if airport security decide to open it up and start taking things out. Try to avoid that by looping the baggage sticker through the handle so that I would at least know if it had been opened up.

Sorry, know I didn’t really answer your question, just trying to set your mind at rest that those cases are pretty bullet proof!

highly recommend


Just don’t get the kind that’s sticky on the inside. I’m still occasionally peeling off bits from a steel frame I flew with two years ago. :rofl:


Do you think ? its bear the weight or make it scratch less, I have to send two bike using Sea from usa to dubai.

I’ll help stop scratches or chips if there’s any light impact on the frame.
It’s not going to help much if there’s a large impact or crush, but if the bike’s in a box that shouldn’t be a problem.

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felt like it just helped add more space to the orucase so if something jammed into the side it protects it. If they drop a 100lb suitcase on your bag, that’s another story

Go to a bike shop and ask for packaging material. Most end up going in the bin so they should be happy to give it away.

I have used those swimming noodles a couple of times in the past. I think they are similar to the pipe insulation, maybe cheaper.

I’ve always bought my packaging foam from here. I’d personally recommend Plastazote as it can take a hit.