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  1. #1
    Armchair Sasquatcheror
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    Bicycle shipping question

    So I am starting to plan a trip for Mid summer. I need to ship a freeride bike, 36 lbs. I will obviously be flying. Does anyone have any insight as to what is inexpensive, or more importantly, safe?

    Most likely I plan on dissasembling some things and packing it heavily in bubble wrap in a bike box. The reusable bike cases are pretty spendy. DHL? What do the airlines offer? I understand that most of them will only insure checked items to $500.

    Any advice would be great.

  2. #2
    bbc
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    Bueno!
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    We flew Frontier to LA and they charged us $50.00 each bike box. We just used regular cardboard bike boxes and they worked fine. Just make sure you put a lot of cushion around your bike. Some of those baggage handlers don't care about luggage or bike boxes. Shipping a bike box is probably going to be more expensive than bringing it on a plane.

  3. #3
    Armchair Sasquatcheror
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    What about insurance?

    I am going to call United this evening but I have heard that you cannot even buy insurance for more than $500. The bike is worth about $4000. and obviously a lot more than that to me.

  4. #4
    The Dog.
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    I've had very good luck with fedex ground both with reuseable cases and bike boxes. Remove front wheel, bars and stem, rear derailleur, pedals, use a fork spreader. Usually costs me about 50 bucks insured to a few thousand. Takes four days from the east coast to here, two or so to the west.

  5. #5
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    A bike without scratches is no bike at all.

    Bikes are free on International flights.
    Both UPS and FedEx charge by girth, so two boxes are better than one
    Renter's or Homeowner's insurance will still cover bike if it is completely squished

    Why not drive?

    If you are afraid to give your bike to a baggage handler wrapped in bubble wrap and a box, are you sure you want to ride it on a trail?

  6. #6
    Inflexable...
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    Bikes are not free on International Flights as of last year. Look it up. And they still count as one of your 2 allowable pieces of luggage. Now, that may only be one piece of luggage.

    FedEX ground or UPS Ground are the least expensive options to ship a bike within coast to coast. Maybe not the fastest, but the least expensive. If you know of a larger company that uses FedEx or UPS check with their pricing instead of going to a store. I can ship a 50lb bike box from COS to San Diego for $42 including insurance and it will take 3 days.

    NEVER use DHL for anything you will regret losing or receiving a week after the promise date. Come to think of it, I would never trust the airlines either.
    Tact is for people not witty enough to be sarcastic...

  7. #7
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    The thing to really watch out for is security (TSA). They are the ones who will [possibly] be opening your box, moving all your tightly packed goods around and throwing it back in.

    I had a buddy who flew from CA to Moab and brought his Nomad. Turns out he could have rented the same bike for less than it cost him to fly it out there.

    Personally, I have a Dakine Bike Bag. Expensive, big and cushy. Not even the monkey's at United or FedEx have managed to do any damage (yet). But I still wrap everything up really well, even in the Bike Bag.
    Biker? I don't even know her.

  8. #8
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    I used to travel frequently for triathlons and after losing a bike through United, I'd recommend never counting on the Airline(s) for anything.

    As stated above, you can ship in a cardboard box from one end of the country to another for right around $40. With the weight you're talking about, I'd guess $50-60 would be realistic. Insurance is extra but certainly worth it.

    Keep detailed records, receipts and pics of your bike should you need to file a claim.

  9. #9
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    Airlines are now charging an overweight fee on top of the bike case fee if it's over 50lbs. I have a hard shell case that weighs more than 30lbs and with a 18-20lb road bike, I had to pay $130 one-way...$80 for the bike and $50 for overweight (United and American). I shipped it back using UPS for $45. I recently traveled on Southwest and their charges are a bit more liberal.

    It's becoming more and more difficult and expensive to fly with a bike. If you do, the cardboard box and your bike wrapped in bubble wrap, foam, etc. is the way to go. Just make sure it stays under the 50lbs.
    Last edited by System; 02-18-2008 at 05:37 PM.

  10. #10
    enlightened.
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    I shipped my mtb from California to Rhode Island in a carboard bike box via FedEx. The thing looked like it had been attacked by a tiger. I will never ever do that again.

  11. #11
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    I was lucky, my bike shop had a hard case and rented it to me (cheap). Check around many shops may have hard case rentals. And as for shipping Fed Ex is hands down the cheapest. The bike shop here in town ships and recives many bikes per year as we are located exactly half way across the country on the bicentennial trail. The owner recomends Fed Ex every time.

  12. #12
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    You can go to www.fedex.com or www.ups.com and get a detailed quote for your shipment. I am just about to ship a bike... Looks to me as if the price would be roughly the same with both companies. Check it out - depending on the size of the box you can pay $60 or $120. All depending on a few inches.

  13. #13
    Armchair Sasquatcheror
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    Thanks all

    Thanks for the Beta, Can't drive to where I am going, I could but would need like 6 weeks to do the trip. I am not so worried about the bike being damaged so much as I am worried about it dissappearing altogether. Looks like I may just ship it. I simply don't trust the airlines - this is based on past experience. I should prolly just invest in a Dakine carrier or other hardcase. i don't plan on giving up cycling in the near (ever) futue.


  14. #14
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    I am planning a trip to Fruita and Moab in May, coming from Canada, and based on the people I talked to, shipping with FedEx seemed to be the most reliable option, as long as you can part with it a couple extra days in advance to allow for it to ship + a day or two extra incase it hits any delays.

    There are a few good threads on here about some DIY packing options. Someone suggested slicing up some pool noodles to protect the tubes, and lining a standard bicycle box with some plastic chloroplast board from the craft store for added protection. Your other option is just to rent a bike box from your LBS and ship that.

  15. #15
    Which way? Uphill.
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    My experience:
    $85 each way on United (I suspect this will be going up in May, I've got to stop flying United)
    $50 each way on Southwest
    $50 each way on Frontier
    $43 ($46?) shipped via FedEx

    I like the FedEx option because you can go to a FedEx Kinkos at 2 a.m. and still ship the bike, it sucks trying to get to a UPS or DHL place during their hours sometimes. Though you have to have someplace to ship it too to use that option.

    I go to the hardware store and buy $5 in pipe insulation to put around tubes, and get all the little plastic protector bits from a bike shop, along with the cardboard box. Tape it well, and the Kinkos guys willl usually put a few more wraps of tape on it for good measure.
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