Bike Box Rentals

Potomac Pedalers has several wheeled, hard-shell bike boxes (and one soft case) for short-term rental. The boxes, available exclusively to club members, are helpful for keeping your bike safe while traveling.

Demand for the boxes is high, particularly in the summer and fall. So reserve early.

Our goal is to get you the bike box when and where you need it. And just as importantly, assure it's availability for the next member who has reserved the box after you.

Bike box rentals are $21.00 per week (one week minimum). $3.00 per additional day.
Generally speaking, you will be charged for the actual time that you're away.

The box is not reserved for you until the following steps are completed:

  • You contact the Bike Box Coordinator with the dates of your trip to find out if a Bike Box is available. 
  • If a box is available, you can make payment arrangements directly with the Bike Box Coordinator.

Your Payment is Non-refundable
If your plans change after paying for the bike box and you won't be needing it, you can use your payment towards a future rental for up to one year. Conversely, you have the option of letting another Potomac Pedalers member use the box by applying your payment towards their rental. This is a nonprofit, volunteer organization and we don't have an administrative staff to process refunds or return checks.

Using a Commercial Shipper
When using a commercial shipper such as FedEx or UPS,we recommend that you send your bike to its destination no less than 10 days before you plan to start riding. In order to ensure that the box is back in time for the next member, we ask that you schedule a return date that is 10 days from the day you plan to put the box in the hands of the return shipper. Therefore, a one week trip with commercial shipping could require up to 27 days of rental.

It is very important that the bike box be returned on the agreed upon date. That's because there are other members who have reserved the box after you, and they are depending on you to get the bike box back in time for their trip.

Box Pick Up Location
You will most likely be picking up the box from the Bike Box Coordinator's home address. It's also possible that you'll be picking up the box from the previous user. Pickup location will be determined once you reserve the box.

Returning the Box
Please return the box back to the Bike Box Coordinator on the date that was agreed upon. Occasionally you may be asked to coordinate delivery with the next renter. We will notify you if that's the case.

It is not okay to decide during your trip that you need to keep the box longer. The box must be returned by the agreed upon date.

Is the box allowed on planes?
Generally, yes - but check with your airline.

How Much do Airlines Charge to Ship the Box?
Most domestic airlines typically charge $50 to $100 for each leg of travel, however this can vary widely. For accurate pricing you'll need to contact your airline directly. It's best to know the dimensions and weight before calling.

Some airlines have a reduced or free rate for smaller bike boxes, however this box will not qualify for that rate. Also, 50 lbs is typically the delineation for "light" vs. "heavy" bike boxes. Your packaged bike may weigh more or less than 50 lbs. depending upon the weight of your bike - most likely more.

Freight Carriers
Freight carriers such as FedEx and UPS charge about $100 domestic. Shipping across borders and/or overseas is substantially higher.

You can also search the web for companies that specialize in shipping bikes.

Box Dimensions
Outer Size - 47" x 30.5" x 10.5"
Inner Size - 46 3/4" x 30.1/4" x 10.1/4"
Weight - 31 lbs empty

The box rolls on two wheels.

How to Pack Your Bike
You will need tools to disassemble and reassemble your bike - usually a set of metric allen wrenches. Potomac Pedalers does not provide these tools. If you're not mechanically inclined or you're not comfortable doing this, take your bike to a shop and have their mechanics disassemble and pack it. You should bring the required tools on your trip for reassembly, even if you don't know how to reassemble it on your own. If you're going on a guided bike tour, there will most likely be someone on the trip who can assist you with assembly. Check in advance with your tour guide.

The process for disassembly and packing is as follows:

  • Remove the wheels
  • Remove the derailleur and wrap it in bubble wrap (leave chain & cable intact)
  • Remove the handlebars and leave all cables attached (With an older type quill stem, it will be necessary to loosen the stem bolt and turn the bars or remove the stem from the headset. This will probably entail disattaching the front brake cable.)
  • Remove the pedals
  • Remove the seat
  • Lay the frame, handlebars and seat inside of the box on top of one of the foam pads
  • Remove the wheel skewers from the wheels and pack the wheels on top of a second foam pad with the freewheel up and the rims overlapping
  • Pack your pedals and tools in a zip lock bag
  • You may want to add bubble wrap or other packing material around components that could rub against each other during transit - derailleur, chain, seat post, etc.
  • Do not lock the box because airport security may damage the bike box if they need to open it and look inside.  This will render the bike box ineffectual and your bike may no longer be protected.

For more information or to reserve a bike box, contact the coordinator based in the area where you'd prefer to pick up and return the box. Karen is in MD; Adam is in Northern VA. 

Click here for pickup and delivery instructions when renting a bike box from Karen.

Click here for pickup and delivery instructions when renting a bike box from Adam.

We need to know the following information:

  • Rental beginning and end dates - this is the time you will be away, PLUS the additional days you'll need the box for pickup, return and shipping
  • Tell us in advance whether you plan on checking the bike box as luggage, or shipping it with a commercial carrier

A Thank You to Our Sponsors!