Boxing Tandem Bicycles
When you buy a tandem from WebCyclery, we ship them by UPS Freight. The package is too big for the standard UPS delivery. It has to go on a freight truck. Well the cost of shipping a big box is expensive, but adding a few inches to that box doesn't really affect the price much. So when we box a tandem, we put it in a big box so that when you receive it you don't have to assemble the whole thing. Usually, all you have to do is unpack it, put on the front wheel, pedals, and seatpost, and then go ride the bike.
We take the time to make a custom box out of 4 standard bike boxes. We then place a piece of plywood on the bottom of the box to give it a lot of rigidity. Then we screw a fork mount onto the bottom of the box. This holds the bike up in the center of the box, reducing the potential for damage from rubbing. We pack the front wheel, pedals, and any other accessories in a separate box so they don't bounce around and scratch up your new bike.
The whole process takes about $50 worth of cardboard, $20 worth of plywood, a $20 fork mount, and a few hours of time. But it's worth it when a customer gets a new tandem and can be riding within 10 minutes of receiving the package.