Author Topic: Bike Troubles  (Read 6627 times)

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Offline Jambi

Bike Troubles
« on: March 13, 2011, 10:57:25 pm »
Im having a bit of a problem here. The airline Im using (Delta) is asking 200Eu each way to ship a bike, which evens out at about 350 quid (providing that it doesnt charge for changeovers, the flights were fairly cheap so I'm not too sure). Now I have a Claude Butler which would be fairly ideal for this kind of trip but the cost of shipping might actually outweigh the value of the bike. Im a student so cash is pretty tight and I'm really not too sure on the most cost effective means of getting my bike there and back. Is it madness to consider buying a bike in San Francisco and ditching it in Yorktown?

Suggestions welcomed.

Offline John Nelson

Re: Bike Troubles
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2011, 11:28:58 pm »
Ah yes, welcome to the sticker shock that many of us have already had. It sucks, but it's life. The airlines can charge anything they want for bikes, and there aren't enough of us to influence them.

I hope you haven't already booked a non-refundable ticket.

The best you can do it to check the price (the total price, not just the ticket price) of every airline that serves your route. Some are better than others. Be warned, however, that getting a clear answer on the price of transporting a bike (for various sizes and weights) is often difficult on many airlines.

You can also investigate shipping companies. This is usually more economical on domestic shipping, but usually more expensive on international shipping.

And yes, it may indeed be cheaper to buy a bike once you get here and try to sell it at the end (or donate it to charity). And no, it's not madness to consider ditching the bike--such silliness is sometimes forced upon us. But bringing your own bike, even if it cost more than to buy and discard, may be better because it ensures availability and fit. You might contact some dealers in SF to see if they can have the appropriate bike in your size waiting for you. Then you might contact a shop in Yorktown to see what they might give you for it (probably not much, but something is better than nothing). You might also contact Elsa at Grace Episcopal Church in Yorktown to see if she can arrange a donation.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2011, 11:34:27 pm by John Nelson »

Offline Westinghouse

Re: Bike Troubles
« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2011, 03:53:13 am »
I'd say to hell with Delta Airlines. Use a different airline, or come and get a used bike or something. The airlines claim bikes take up much space and require special handling. In the early 1980s I drove an airport shuttle bus and handled baggage too. Bikes in the smaller boxes are not really a problem at all. The airline is just getting its hands into your pockets. They're greedy. That's all. Don't pay it. If it were me, I would call off the trip and find somewhere interesting to cycle closer to home.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Bike Troubles
« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2011, 06:59:18 am »
Im having a bit of a problem here. The airline Im using (Delta) is asking 200Eu each way to ship a bike, which evens out at about 350 quid (providing that it doesnt charge for changeovers, the flights were fairly cheap so I'm not too sure). Now I have a Claude Butler which would be fairly ideal for this kind of trip but the cost of shipping might actually outweigh the value of the bike. Im a student so cash is pretty tight and I'm really not too sure on the most cost effective means of getting my bike there and back. Is it madness to consider buying a bike in San Francisco and ditching it in Yorktown?

Suggestions welcomed.
My suggestion is never use Delta.  I don't have recommendations for international flights other than to say shop around and consider the price for the bike before buying a ticket.  If you need to book a domestic US flight I'd recommend Southwest or maybe Frontier.

Offline Tourista829

Re: Bike Troubles
« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2011, 08:34:09 am »
I agree with Staehpj1, I can sum up Delta in two words, I am sure the moderator of this forum would prefer me not using those two words. I would try to research another airline. In fact, I believe in the forum the subject may have been discussed. We as cyclists have to go through extrodinary measures to practice our craft. We could speed $700+ and repaint and put in S&S couplers and another $300+ to purchase a suitcase that might barely meet airline requirements. (not legal if 700c wheels) Then spend more money shipping it to our end destination and hope they will safely hold it, until we arrive. Spend an outrageous amount of money almost $3000 for a Bike Friday and another $500 plus for a bike case and trailer. (I like Bike Fridays but not all can afford one) When you look at it that way, Delta's "350 Quid" almost seems reasonable. This whole experience reminds me of the movie "Network" when the guy, in the early hours of the morning yells out of his window, "I am mad as hell and I'm not going to take it any more." (or something like that) I wish

indyfabz

  • Guest
Re: Bike Troubles
« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2011, 11:21:51 am »
Another Anti-Delta guy here.

Offline johnsondasw

Re: Bike Troubles
« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2011, 12:47:05 pm »
I'm with Westinghouse.  The hell with all the airlines.  It's a pain to fly, and they're ripping us of now all the way along the process--charging for each bag, letting jerks bring so many (too big) bags into the plane so you have to check your legal and moderate sized bag, etc.  And don't get me going on travel-arranging outfits!  They "stole" about $300 from us when a relative arranged a ticket for my wife and used the slightly wrong name from the one on her ID.  No refund, no trade, nothing--just buy another one. I will never ever give them another penny! 

Wow, a rant at times feels good. 
 
May the wind be at your back!

Offline cotterg3

Re: Bike Troubles
« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2011, 01:52:27 pm »
***Never mind, I checked delta's policies and my original post's suggestion would not be practical.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2011, 02:01:39 pm by cotterg3 »

Offline geegee

Re: Bike Troubles
« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2011, 02:25:08 pm »
£350 (roughly$566 ?) can practically get you a decent bike. How about buying one in San Francisco — a model you can't get in the UK, say REI's Novara Safari ($849). Ride it across the States and when you get it to the other coast, ship it back home using slow but cheap freight (or swallow Delta's exorbitant fee one way). I'm sure with the novelty factor, you might be able to sell it in the UK at a good price to cover most of your costs, or even make money. Of course, you might just bond with the bike and decide not to part with it  ;D
« Last Edit: March 14, 2011, 02:28:56 pm by geeg »

Offline Jambi

Re: Bike Troubles
« Reply #9 on: March 17, 2011, 11:42:44 am »
I guess I will try and find a second hand dealers in in San Francisco, Probably going to take saddle and pedals etc with me. Cheers for the help dudes, anyone know of any reputable bicycle dealers in San Fran?>

Offline valygrl

Re: Bike Troubles
« Reply #10 on: March 17, 2011, 12:59:50 pm »
Bicycle outfitters in Palo Alto

Offline pptouring

Re: Bike Troubles
« Reply #11 on: March 17, 2011, 01:22:42 pm »
Ditto! To HELL with Delta!

Offline cgarch

Re: Bike Troubles
« Reply #12 on: March 17, 2011, 01:31:10 pm »
Bicycle outfitters in Palo Alto

I'll second that recommendation - I think they're in Los Altos though (Loyola Corners).

Offline scayford

Re: Bike Troubles
« Reply #13 on: March 17, 2011, 04:22:41 pm »
According to this posting, starting in mid-April Frontier will accept bikes as part of the standard baggage allowance. Haven't confirmed this anywhere though. http://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=10150449547340486&id=233489535485

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Bike Troubles
« Reply #14 on: March 17, 2011, 10:03:12 pm »
I guess I will try and find a second hand dealers in in San Francisco, Probably going to take saddle and pedals etc with me. Cheers for the help dudes, anyone know of any reputable bicycle dealers in San Fran?>

If you can swing the cost of a Trek 520, I'd suggest Chain Reaction Bicycles in Redwood City, a few miles south of the SF airport.  Owner's a good guy, and they usually have the 520 in stock in most sizes.