shipping bike midwest to east coast...best deal- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    shipping bike midwest to east coast...best deal

    What's the least expensive way to get a bike to the east coast from the mid-west. I'll be boxing it. I've done UPS, I've taken it with me on airlines...anyone have any current information on the best deals? Time frames? etc.
    Last edited by colleran; 05-12-2008 at 03:09 PM.

  2. #2
    Dirt Deviant
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    Fed-Ex is the best for shipping large-heavy boxes.
    Go to your LBS and get a bike box from them, free of course and carefully pack it up in that.
    Prolly run you $30.....but don't quote me on it.
    Look, whatever happens, don't fight the mountain.

  3. #3
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    Yup, fedex ground is the cheapest

    Quote Originally Posted by colleran
    What's the least expensive way to get a bike to the east coast from the mid-west. I'll be boxing it. I've done UPS, I've taken it with me on airlines...anyone have any current information on the best deals? Time frames? etc.
    I use it to ship from baltimore to sacramento. I use the older Performance bike case and stuff all of my riding gear in there with my bike. Do it often enough that I opened a FEDEX account supposed to save you 20% or something.

    anyway, shipped my 38 lb bike plus gear in the bike case last month for $58.

    REEK

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the information

  5. #5
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    DHL ground is cheaper than Fedex I have found.

  6. #6
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    Okay here's what you do, pack up the bike, measure and weigh the package. Go to the different websites and plug in the info to get rates. You will always save $ if you have an account and drop off the package pre paid. Also, if you can find a Fedex or UPS hub/warehouse to ship from you will save over using a UPS store or a Fedex/Kinkos.

  7. #7
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    Thanks for suggesting DHL...they weren't on my radar.

    I'll get the bike ready and shop around FedEx, DHL, and UPS for the best deal...I'll report back...thanks everyone.

  8. #8
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    End result

    I shipped the bike today DHL for $33 (not including insurance).

    Here's how I got that price:

    1. The dimensions of the box played a big role. My box was 52x8x32 (l,w,h) and was going to cost me $80 to ship but I trimmed an inch off the h (52x8x31) and the price was down to $40.

    2. I set up an account with DHL...saved using that.

    3. Kept the weight down but that's not that big of a deal...it's the size of the bike box that seems to matter the most when it comes to cost.

    4. Dropped the bike off at a Mailboxes Etc and DHL will take it from there...no extra charge. You can schedule at home pick ups but it adds to the cost.

    It looked like DHL easily had the best rates. I shipped the bike ground on a Tuesday and it will arrive on Friday (Iowa to PA).

    I hope this helps and thanks for the suggestions everyone.

  9. #9
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    I told ya, DHL is always the lowest price.

  10. #10
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    I appreciate it...like I said, they weren't on my radar until you mentioned them.

    Thanks.

  11. #11
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    On a related note: what should you expect to pay if you are a lazy bum or paranoid and have the LBS box the bike for you?

  12. #12
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    I Just went through same thing for trip to Moab

    My LBS wanted $75 to provide the shipping container and pack the bike. I ended up using Thule 699 cases and packing them myself. Hopefully I will get enough use out of them to justify the cost.

    My company has a corporate account w/ UPS so I shipped them from work at a big discount. I also preprinted return shipping labels so when I left Moab I just called UPS for pickup and put the new labels on. It was really easy. I paid $55/bike each way. Considering that the cases with gear weighed in at 70lbs I thought it was a pretty good deal. Good to hear that DHL was easy and cheap.

    A couple of posters mentioned how dimensions matter more than weight, and they are absolutely correct. I did a ton of research on this and called around to the major shipping companies and airlines when I was trying to figure out how to get my bikes to Moab.

    Once a box is over 88 linear inches (L + W + D) the airlines wont accept it at all regardless of weight. The shipping companies nearly double their rates for "oversize" packages. The smaller you keep your box, the better. That was one major issue with the Thule cases. Since they are plastic hard-shell, there is no way to reduce their size.

    On the last note, when I travel again I wont pack as much equipment into the case. The UPS guy was a bit peeved when he picked my stuff up and said how much he hated people that pack all their equipment into the box/case (doh!). At 70lbs they treat the shipment really poorly too. I have to admit that it was convienient, but I really sympathized because those biotches are heavy! (at least they have wheels).

  13. #13
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    If you are looking for cheap shipping options, the LBS gave me a bike box and I
    used pipe insulation on the tubes of the bike. That helped the bike get there
    reasonably well.

    I used FedEx to ship my bike to Utah, mailed my box to the hotel we had
    reservations. The cost was $33 to the hotel and $34 from the FedEx to my
    house (they charge more for residential deliveries). Bike boxes are big and we
    specifically rented a bigger vehicle to be able to hold the box.

    I am looking at doing some long distance traveling and would like to have my
    bike(s). With the price of gas driving long distances with a bike rack is no longer
    cheaper than flying. I was thinking about investing in a hard case for shipping.

    I read a few posts about the hard cases here. Will companies ship the hard
    case alone (you don't have to encase it in cardboard)? Did your cases take the
    beating of freight shipping OK? The bike box I shipped was in good enough
    shape to use both ways, but just so.

    Does anyone know if someone compared/reviewed the available hard cases
    somewhere (I didn't see a link on http://www.mtbr.com/reviews/)?
    Are there any features I should look for in a bike case? Any other tips on
    shipping bikes?
    Last edited by Bruzer; 05-21-2008 at 02:41 PM.

  14. #14
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    Sorry after I posted I found some links:

    http://www.mtbr.com/reviews/Extras/product_20942.shtml
    http://www.mtbr.com/reviews/Extras/product_88963.shtml
    http://www.mtbr.com/reviews/Extras/product_20915.shtml

    No pictures on some of them but they are the reviews I was looking for. Anyone
    else have tips or comparison data?

  15. #15
    Praise Bob
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    The Thule 699 worked great

    I did not have to repackage the cases in cardboard. The cases are locked and have handles and wheels so that probably made UPS' job easier.

    The cases have only been used twice (from Florida to Utah, and return). They are in great shape. They are all marked up with scuffs, but thats what I would expect. Other than that they are in pristine condition. All of the buckles, straps, handles and wheels are fine.

    I have no experience with other cases so I have no comparison, but I can say that the Thule's are really solid. They come with handy zippered bags to store your parts and tools in. There is plenty of foam inside along with straps to hold the frame in place. The bikes were shipped unscathed and everything pretty much stayed in place.

    I think there is a youtube video of some guy at Rack Outfitters demoing how to pack one. I thought that gave a good overview of what to expect.

    I payed $296 for each case so it was a pretty big expense. Hopefully I will get to travel enough to make it worth it.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spartacus Rex
    I payed $296 for each case so it was a pretty big expense. Hopefully I will get to travel enough to make it worth it.
    Don't look at it that way. You paid $600 for hard cases to protect your investment in your bikes (which I hope you paid more than 600 for). Pretty much the only other way to ship them is in a cardboard box. Cardboard is cheap, flimsy, will crush, or puncture, and doesn't inspire confidence in shipping (why I covered my bike with pipe insulation) but can be used in a pinch.

    I have put much cheaper stuff into expensive cases before because of the sentimental value or the time to replace them would be too much.

  17. #17
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    another detail

    I forgot to mention that the bike got there pretty quick...dropped off at a Mailboxes Etc in Iowa City on tuesday and it was at delivered in PA on friday.

  18. #18
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    I use Trico plastic hard shell case. I pretty much went pipe-insulation armor everywhere on the frame and packed it in the case, when I air-traveled. The rear-derailleur hanger was bent slightly but enough to cause ghost shifting. Next time I'll definitely unbolt the dereilleur hanger.

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