Very early in Wheelworks history I was shipping wheels all over NZ and Australia and I needed a way to ensure they arrived safe-and-sound, without damage, and in good-looking boxes.
This is the design I came up with 17 years ago. The wheel(s) are zip-tied into an insert which is inside the cardboard carton. They’re held at 4 points with an air-gap the whole way around to give some breathing room when the box is mistreated by couriers, and we’re able to install disc rotors and cassettes without risking damage to the other wheel. We have three different sized inserts to use either 26”, 650b or 700c wheels. Small-parts (like our water bottles) sit on the outside of the insert meaning no risk of them banging into the wheels and causing damage.
The design has been incredibly effective. We’ve shipped thousands of wheels and only one instance of damage in all those years: the box had been left out in the rain at Singapore airport and was driven over by a forklift truck.
The cartons and inserts are custom made for us by Packaging Products in Lower Hutt. We use recycled and recyclable twin-cushion cardboard which is the best quality available. There is no extra packaging and no ink used to colour the boxes - just a really simple design using high quality and sustainable materials.
We’ve been testing a recyclable paper tape to hold the boxes together but it doesn’t have any stretch and it tends to break so we're sticking with plastic tape for now. Another change we’re hoping to make is a move to re-usable zip-ties but I’m really struggling to find a good quality, affordable tie in the 200-250mm length we need. If you know of a good supplier please let me know otherwise I’m going to keep looking and hopefully we can roll out this change later in the year.
I find it amazing that so much has changed in the world of wheels and yet these wheel boxes, my first ever attempt at designing packaging, have gone unchanged.
Do you know someone who could benefit from having a custom built pair of wheels shipped to their door? Please forward on this email to them - we'd love to release another wheelbox into the wild.