Author Topic: Shipping Bike  (Read 4325 times)

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Offline ATRAIN

Shipping Bike
« on: April 08, 2004, 11:18:55 pm »
I am going across the country one way and then would like to fly back.  Any suggestions on how I should go about shipping my bike?  I have never done it before so any suggestions would be helpful?  Also do you think I should buy my ticket now or wait till I hit my destination.

Offline wanderingwheel

Shipping Bike
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2004, 11:51:32 pm »
The easiest thing to do is to find a bike shop at the end of your route and ask them to take care of it.  Shops generally charge $20 to $50 to box a bike, plus the shipping cost, about $50.  Call them up now to make sure that they will do it.  If you're given a choice, FedEx seems to handle bikes better than UPS.

For your plane ticket, unless you buy a refundable ticket, it is probably smarter to wait until you are close to the end of your trip and have a very good idea on when you will finish.

Sean Smith


Offline DaveB

Shipping Bike
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2004, 02:45:19 pm »
Wanderingwheels' suggestion is a good one.  I would further suggest you contact a bike shop at your final destination before you leave and get their agreement to pack and ship your bike and get firm timing and cost numbers for the service.  Walking cold into a strange bike shop and expecting prompt service and reasonable cost doesn't leave you much negotiating room.

Also, find out how far the airport is from the bike shop and how you can get there.  A long taxi ride to the airport could cost more than shipping your bike!    


Offline valygrl

Shipping Bike
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2004, 01:00:18 am »
Or you could box it yourself, and pay (usually) $80 to the airline to take it as baggage.  Takes a little while to get it into the box, depending on your bike, the box, how much you have to disassemble, how many times you have done it.  Took me about 2 1/2 hours the first time, one hour the second time.  Requires allen wrenches and a pedal wrench, plus whatever additional tools you might need to take racks and fenders off.  There's a picture and description in the LP Cycling New Zealand.  Don't forget tape and zip ties.  Also, put all loose parts you take off the bike in a bag and tape or ziptie it to the bike, in case the airline opens or damages the box, so you won't loose your parts.  

I have heard you can get a bike box for like $20 at some airports, but haven't tried it myself.

You should be able to get a box from a bike shop for free or cheap, if you can find a shop that has been building bikes.  Also try Walmart, Kmart, etc that sell bikes.  

Some hotels near airports provide courtesy shuttle vans, you could try to find a hotel/bike shop/airport that are pretty close together and box your bike up in the hotel room the night before.  Less stressful that way.  I just did the reverse of this in L.A. (of course, i didn't have to source a box).  

good luck.

anna


Offline christy

Shipping Bike
« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2004, 01:21:00 am »
I have a sort of related question.

What if you want to go on a self-supported tour from hotel to hotel (or inn, campsite, etc).  What do you do with your bike box in the meantime?  Is there some business I haven't thought of who's willing to hold a bike box for a week, for a fee?

--Christy


Offline DaveB

Shipping Bike
« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2004, 02:38:04 am »
If you are spending your first night in a hotel before the trip really begin, you might be able to have the hotel agree to hold the box until you return.  

Otherwise, try to find a local bike shop as they are more likely than any other business to be willing to store it for you.

In any event have the hotel's or shop's agreement in advance.


Offline Jackalope

Shipping Bike
« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2004, 06:20:14 am »
Tough call on buying the ticket now or later.. Perhaps wait till you get closer to your destination, and then decide.  This way you might not be waiting in limbo for your date if you arrive early/ miss your flight if you're late.  

About shipping, you really just have to get creative, and be flexible when certain situations arise.  I've done a number of things with my bike with greater or less success.  If you know the exact place your trip finishes, call the bike shop if they have one.  Get there advice.  Find out if there's a fed-ex in town.  Get the box from the bike shop if possible, or pay for one from Fed ex and ship it that way.. boxing it yourself.  That's not hard at all, but if you've never done it, use more protection on the bike (bubble wrap, etc) than you think you'll need, and give yourself plenty of time to fix it up well.  I've had some close calls trying to box up my bike looking up every 5 minutes on a bus I was about to board with the bike.  Fed-ex is way cheaper than UPS.  

Another nifty tip that I've tried a number of times.. if you get to the airport and can somehow convince them that your box holds a piece of exercise equipment (which in fact it does, so you're not lying) they may not charge you.  The $75 fee they charge is set specifically for bikes.  In any case, good luck and have a great tour!Text