Today I finally got round to posting my bicycle to the UK as I am finally leaving Korea. I chose to do this by surface mail (boat) because it is much cheaper than sending it with a courier. The only downside is that it will take 2 or 3 months to reach the UK, which is not a problem for me as I will be travelling around South East Asia for a few months. The total cost of posting mine was 69,000 KRW (GBP £38 /USD $60). My bike is a heavy expedition bike so if you were sending a road bike or a fixed gear it would probably be even cheaper.
If I had posted my bike with a courier it would have cost over 600 dollars which is far more than I was willing to pay. The plus side of sending your bike with a courier is that you can insure it and of course it only takes about a week. I don't think it is possible to get insurance when sending surface mail.
Box dimensions are the biggest problems when posting your bicycle. I was given advice from a friend to pack it into two boxes and it worked. So what are the maximum dimensions?
Maximum Length= 150cm
(2x height)+(2x width)+length= 300cm
I found this diagram elsewhere online that illustrates it nicely:
So to put it simply, measure the circumference of the box (width and height of the box x2), then add the length. The sum of this should be no more than 300cm. A normal bike box is too large, so you need to cut down two boxes.
I took my bike into Noksapyeong post office in Seoul. It was a very simple process. When I initially asked about maximum dimensions for surface mail they just pointed at the standard size boxes that they sell. When I mentioned that I was sending a bike they gave me the instructions above.
So fingers crossed, hopefully my bike arrives intact!!!
My bicycle arrived in the UK after 3 months. It was in perfect condition! I took a calculated risk by sending my bicycle by surface mail, but I saved a lot of money and it worked out just fine!