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  1. #1
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    Aug 2004

    New question here. Shipping a bike....questions.....

    I'm looking to sell my 29er on Ebay. A few questions about packing and shipping a bike. What are the dimensions of a standard bike box (the kind that a new bike is packed in) that I might pick up from my LBS? What is your experience with the cost of shipping a bike by Fedex or UPS? I just looked at their websites and it appears that it will cost $150 plus or minus, depending on the location and final package weight. That seems really expensive. Am i missing something, or is that truly the cost these days? Thanks!

  2. #2
    R T
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    Feb 2012
    You can ask most shops to pack it for you. Cost will depend on how far you're shipping usually. I wouldn't ship anything with UPS even if it was free. I shipped some of my own to myself once (cross country move) and it was around $100 per. Same as what the crooked airlines charged me to take one of my road bikes on.

  3. #3
    SS Pusher Man
    Reputation: mtnbikej's Avatar
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    Sep 2001
    FedEx has traditionally been cheaper.

    Under 70 lbs. weight really doesn't matter.

    Call up a shop and have them measure a box. Some may be a few inches bigger than others. This could cause the box to go up to the next level of price.
    I resolve to constantly assert my honest opinion on anything and everything - whether it is requested or not.
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  4. #4
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    Apr 2006
    I don't think I've ever paid more than $90 to ship FedEx. I believe they charge more if you schedule a pickup from your house/business. Try to get a 29er box from the lbs. I usually leave the rear wheel on, devoid of most air. Front wheel off and deflated, QR in a baggie, pedals off and in a baggie, Seat and post off, Bars off and zip tied to the top tube, stem reversed and tightened a bit so theres no chance off the fork coming out of the head tube when it's unpacked, Chain on little ring and big cog to move the FD & RD from the side of the box, Zip tie through the Left side crank pedal hole to the chain stay to give you room to slide the front wheel alongside, and packing material or thick cardboard wherever there may be metal to metal contact between the parts you have packed. Nothing more depressing than unpacking your new steed and finding a gouge in the down tube where the front hub has been rubbing for the past 5 days!

  5. #5
    Sweep the leg!
    Reputation: Caffeine Powered's Avatar
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    Mar 2005
    UPS and buy the insurance
    Authorities speculate that speed may have been a factor. They are also holding gravity and inertia for questioning.

  6. #6
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    Oct 2009
    I buy and sell vintage Schwinn Sting-Ray Bikes and some vintage 10-spds.I always look for a box with the following measurements: 52"L x 8" W x 29"H. You willneed a taller box for the 29".I think moving up an inch orso might not affect price. I always ship FedEx and have never had a problem. UPS damaged two bikes on me in the past so I don't use them anymore unless the buyer has a UPS account and wants to go with them.

  7. #7
    Live 2 Ride
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    Oct 2004
    My Bike: '15 Trek FX 7.2
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  8. #8
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    Jul 2004
    There is no standard cardboard bike box size. I've picked up several and no two were the same size. The critical measurement is L + 2*W + 2*H < 130 inches. If you are 130 inches or over, your price will double. I've picked up boxes that were just over (about 131") and "resized" the box by lowering the box by one inch without losing the handle holes near the top (bringing it down to 129").

    As an example, truth-rider posted his box dimensions as 52"L x 8" W x 29"H. Plugging that in the formula, that is 52 + 2*8 + 2*29 = 126". So his box could go one more inch in the height or width which would make it 128". I have a Trico hard case that is 47 x 11 x 30 and that is 129".

    Weight must be kept under 70lbs to avoid going over-weight. Go over 70lbs and your price doubles. That shouldn't be a problem with a cardboard box and a bike.

    To save the most money on shipping, drop the package off at a customer counter (versus pickup), use a FedEx account to print a shipping label (versus filling out forms at the customer counter), and send to a business address (versus residential address). You can sign up for a FedEx account as a regular person and that will give you the ability to get price quotes, print shipping labels, tracking shipments, and pay your invoices with a credit card.

    I shipped a [cardboard] boxed road bike from eastern PA to central TX about 2 months ago for about $50 using FedEx Home Delivery (residential address). FedEx Ground (to a business address) is going to be about 10-15% cheaper to the same street.

    In August, I shipped the Trico case (about 68 lbs.) from eastern PA to central OR (2600+ miles) for about $67 one-way using FedEx Ground (sent it to a bike shop).

  9. #9
    Chubby Chaser
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    Jan 2008
    I paid $175 to ship a standard bike box at 38lbs w/ insurance and tracking.

    That was before I found out that if you brought it to a UPS hub store it'll be significantly cheaper.

  10. #10
    Reputation: lightjunction's Avatar
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    May 2011
    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbikej View Post
    Call up a shop and have them measure a box. Some may be a few inches bigger than others. This could cause the box to go up to the next level of price.
    This is a good tip. Bikes come in a variety of different sized boxes, and your LBS usually has several lying around in the back waiting to be recycled or shipped back to the distributor. I'd get their advice on the smallest box that will accommodate your bike.
    We sell quality bike headlights and flashlights.

  11. #11
    see me rollin, they hatin
    Reputation: NicoleB's Avatar
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    Jul 2011
    i shipped a bike once, under 40 pounds fedex ground. it costed 90 bucks WITH the extra insurance. i had it packaged at a bike shop. (they may charge you a fee too). i heard fedex is cheapest.

    often its the size of the box that gets ya, it will never be cheap.

  12. #12
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    Jan 2012
    Why not put it on Craigslist and sell it local and save the shipping fees?
    Found my Cannondale on CL and we met half way. Didn't cost either of us much of anything.
    2007 Cdale Caffeine 29er Lefty.
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  13. #13
    KoNa KiD
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    Apr 2007

    words from a bike whore

    i am i bike that thats out of the way

    ive shipped probably 13 bikes in the last 4 years, ranging from full on DH rigs, Frame only, frame and fork, complete DJ bikes, complete AM bikes, and complete slopestyle bikes.

    With that said, the best bet is to go to you LBS get a box from them, they might charge you 5 bucks.....yeah i know there just going to throw it away anyway ..... ask them to leave any excess shipping materials in there form the original bike. then i break the bike down...and get brown butcher paper and some foam for bb shell to rest one.....lots of tape..... and insure it for the full price......and dont use UPS, they break stuff, like a 3k transition bottlerocket i shipped to colorado from VA. destroyed the rear triangle in shipping, luckiliy i had it insured for 2500, after 2 months of non sense, the kid had a brand new frame. fed ex is also slighty cheaper and they have yet to mess anything up.....yet....

    also price varies on where you are located......for me im right out side of D.C soo i pay more than most....i pay between 70-90 shipped thru fed ex and insured for whatever i sold it for.....UPS was usually between 90-120..... The transition bottelrocket they ruined cost me 138 to ship and insure to 2500, package weight was 38 lbs

    Hope my whorish natures helped a little
    Transition Bike Co.

    dont touch the dirt

  14. #14
    mtbr member
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    Oct 2011
    I boxed a bike frame today, and USPS is $10 cheaper than UPS and Fedex

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