The MBT test crew is no stranger to logging saddle time on factory-direct to consumer mountain bikes having tested models from Ibex, Kinley, and Woodstock in the past (sadly none of which survived the rough economic climate).

These days Sette represents one of the last remaining factory-direct bicycle brands and distributes its products through Price Point. It remains one of the most inquired about brands month after month here at MBT and one of the leading questions from our readers happens to concern the packaging and shipping of an item as expensive and fragile as a high end mountain bike.

Until now (though we did have no trouble with any of the other brands mentioned), we couldn’t report on the subject. That all changed of course when a Sette carbon fiber Serum Elite arrived to our office for purpose of review.

Sette goes above and beyond in their packaging- to the likes of which a frame constructed even of carbon fiber can arrive without a single scratch. We figure since photos are worth a thousand words, let’s take a look at the packaging process step by step shall we?

The outer box comes banded and industrial-stapled shut. Ours arrived within a week of placing the order and in perfect exterior condition.

Upon removing the banding and staples, the outer box revealed another box! This one lacked the banding but did offer more industrial staples. Suffice to say, this box was absolutely perfect.

Inside the second box revealed a massive blob of bubble wrap. And by massive we mean all encompassing. It’s fortunate our editors are making strides on the path to recovering from bubble-popping addiction or the amount here could very easily have delayed this issue!

Upon sliding it out, the entire bicycle is actually sealed within a bag of bubble wrap. The contents inside were unbelievably sound, even at this phase of the unpacking process. We would discover why in the next step.

The bike itself was very nearly completely covered in foam tubing then secured to cardboard inserts. Zip ties a plenty, this is packing engineering at its finest. The rigidity found here assures no rubbing parts even if the deliveryman were to, say for example, drop the package down a flight of stairs.

Assembly itself was quite painless and included attaching the front wheel, bars, seat, and pedals of the rider’s choice. About the trickiest part of the process in our assembly process was fine tuning the front brake caliper so that the rotor didn’t rub. If you doubt your abilities to perform a little assembly/ tuning, most of the bike shops we talked to said they would be happy to handle the task for around $30.

In conclusion, we here at MBT have always appreciated the idea of direct to consumer mountain bike purchasing. Not that we discount the benefits of supporting your local bike shop (we do that all the time as well), but the truth of the matter is some riders are simply more mechanically inclined than others. More buying options is always a winning situation for the consumer.

After having gone through the process first hand, we can attest that concerns about damage in transit are completely moot in the Sette purchasing decision process. Just remember to take their sizing chart seriously before ordering.

More information can be found here: