Author Topic: Shipping the bike when trip is over!  (Read 7346 times)

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Offline AThhiker

Shipping the bike when trip is over!
« on: February 26, 2008, 07:00:25 pm »
I live in NJ and will be going coast to coast westbound  via the TA this spring.  How do I get my bike back to NJ w/o riding it back?  What is the preferred method of shipping a bike home after the trek is over?  Will I be able to find a bicycle shop that will ship it for me in Portland, OR?

Offline valygrl

Shipping the bike when trip is over!
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2008, 12:47:58 am »
The options are:

-box it up in a cardboard box and take it on the plane.  
This is probably the cheapest option, but may be logistically challenging and time consuming.  The box can be acquired at a bike shop, usually just by asking for one.  Lonely Planet bike guidebooks have some pretty good packing instructions.  The airline will charge you $50-100, depending on the airline (frontier & southwest are cheapest).  Getting the box and packing it can be a hassle, esp. if it's the first time you have done it, plan to spend a couple of hours packing, and think about how you are going to be able to get where you need to go with your now very-difficult-to-move boxed bike and pile of panniers.  You can box it at your hotel/campground and then take a shuttle or taxi to the airport.  Or you can pay a bike shop to do it for you, and take the bike on the plane.  You *might* be able to get a box from the airline and box at the airport, and this would be the least annoying, but you need to confirm box availability beforehand (not on line, by talking to a live person at the airport) and leave plenty of time to do it.  The airline boxes are usually huge, though, so it's really easy to get the bike in.

This all also applies to the bus or train.

- have a bike shop pack & ship it for you.  Shop will charge you (don't know how much) for service & shipping.

-pack and UPS/Fed Ex it yourself - this used to be economical, but has become expensive.

good luck and enjoy your trip!

Offline JHamelman

Shipping the bike when trip is over!
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2008, 09:35:30 am »
If you're going to pack the bike yourself, we have a "how to" article available online that should help.



Jennifer H. Milyko
Adventure Cycling Association
Inspiring people of all ages to travel by bicycle.
800/755-2453, 406/721-1776 x205, 406/721-8754 fax

Jennifer Hamelman

Adventure Cycling Association
Inspiring and empowering people to travel by bicycle.
800/755-2453, 406/721-1776 x205

Follow Routes & Mapping on Twitter: @acaroutes

Offline staehpj1

Shipping the bike when trip is over!
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2008, 09:47:37 am »
Lots of good info already, but this is my experience...  Flying with the bike as baggage worked well for us, but we did the flying in the beginning.  I like having the logistics worked out at the beginning if air travel is involved.  It saves having to guess when you will need tickets to return.  We used the airline box which meant very little disassembly since the box is large enough that the wheels stay on.  It probably wasn't the cheapest option, but we were able to ride right out of the airport.

Finding a bike shop to box and ship it home is a common option, but I haven't tried it yet.

Offline Peaks

Shipping the bike when trip is over!
« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2008, 06:01:21 pm »
I've relied on the UPS store.  Their boxes seem to be a little smaller than boxes used by bike shops, so the shipping cost is cheaper than using a bike shop box.  (bike boxes are oversized, so shipping isn't cheap)

If you are doing the TA, then I'm sure there is a bike shop at the destination that can take care of shipping for you.

Offline don quixote

Shipping the bike when trip is over!
« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2008, 06:15:08 pm »
FedEx Ground is usually cheaper than UPS. I suggest you contact Bike Gallery (6 stores in Portland area) and have them box and ship for you.
  They will get a commercial shipping rate. If they ship to your LBS rather than your residence address, you will also save. Good luck.

San Diego
don quixote
San Diego

Offline driftlessregion

Shipping the bike when trip is over!
« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2008, 10:59:14 pm »
DHL is often cheaper than either FedEx or UPS or the airlines. Also check out and

Offline LobodeSolo

Shipping the bike when trip is over!
« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2008, 04:20:32 am »
See my reply at

Offline tgpelz

Shipping the bike when trip is over!
« Reply #8 on: May 30, 2008, 10:55:53 pm »
Another option is to take the bike with you on your return trip.  

My thought would be to take AMTRAK.  

I have traveled by AMTRAK for part of a tour.   Some trains will allow the bike in the coach with you.  Others require it to be in a baggage area.  

I just remove the pedals, put them in my handle bar bag and then carry of the stuff to my seat or compartment.

I suspect that you will have to change trains in Chicago.