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Old 09-14-05, 01:33 PM   #1
cyclezealot
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So it is official...Moving vans come to our home on Friday..Several reasons have caused us to want to do an early retirement..My wife's illness, needed job changes , etc..
So my wife enrolls the November at the University of Perpignan..Then a couple years in Europe while she teaches..
Having had bad luck on airlines , I am a little paranoid about how to transport three bikes across the Atlantic...
We are going British Air, which has been the worst..We leave Oct 18...from New York..Two bikes could go BA. In spite of my worries! Maybe have them professionaly packaged? Since will probaby have four bags, will have to likely pay $100 per bike on the plane.
The third bike..Could mail it U.S. Postal Service..Reular mail about 45$.That will take like four weeks. Is it insured..Or could send it with our movers. That will take 6-7 weeks. And rolling about in a cargo hold with a cargo container. How would that work..ANd the 6-7 weeks. I do not like that.
I have one hardcase. But, how do I get it across the US to use on the plane, when we are driving across the US in a compact car.
Guess two will have to go in car across the US.. Third bike in cargo hold of ship or US Postal Service...Insurance good on all methods. ? Think the biggest worry is my lack of respect for baggage handlers on British Air.
Anyone shipped several bikes overseas. How did you do and and were your bikes damaged.. Fedex want $600 to ship a bike. Redicilious.
We all compromise once in awhile..Just sold my fourth bike.
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Old 09-14-05, 02:30 PM   #2
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Send 'em with the movers, who will know how to move them. When you arrive take a break and worry about everything else. If that's not good enough, then pick up a new/used/beater/dream bike upon arrival to suit your wishes. Why add hassle now?
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Old 09-14-05, 02:35 PM   #3
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Lucky you! Enjoy your European life! Sell your bikes and get new ones over there. Bonne chance!
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Old 09-14-05, 02:42 PM   #4
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Cast Iron, Velo Girl..I like my bikes..To replace my bikes. be close to $10.000. That is the cost of moving just about everything.. I do intend to get a better touring bike, when we get there...
My concerns..best odds of the bikes not getting damaged and speed with which they will get there.. I can't be without my bikes. Besides, we will be in Europe..Bikes/ cars= equal status as transportation. I intend to live that lifestyle.. I will use them for transportation almost right away.
we should be lucky enough to be located in the south of France/Spain/Portugal. sort of like the pleasures of California. good weather. hope to commute 80% of the time on bike.
Might need 5 bikes? so I need take with us, what I already have.

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Old 09-14-05, 06:24 PM   #5
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whatever you do, make sure you put big bright "THIS IS NOT A PIPE BOMB" stickers all over the frames
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Old 09-14-05, 06:33 PM   #6
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Have you checked with some custom framebuilders to see how they ship? Might be worth a try.
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Old 09-14-05, 08:07 PM   #7
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I'd go with the movers. They are professionals, they will not just leave the bikes rattling around in an empty crate, but will package them in the way so they don't move around and so that nothing gets broken. And presumably the shipment will be insured anyway, so you have recourse if anything goes wrong.
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Old 09-14-05, 08:15 PM   #8
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I would have told you to fly Swiss Air. They are so good with bikes, and having three extra bikes wouldn't have fazed them in the slightest.

My other thoughts are to sell the bikes and just get some nice, sturdy bikes when you get out there.

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Old 09-15-05, 12:03 AM   #9
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Boudicca..My only problem with the movers. I could be without my bikes from 2-3 months..Maybe one will get sent with them.
My hassles. I have no faith in BA..Which insurance do I think is legit. I have read US Postal service has a way of not honoring it's claims..and which will be least likely to cause damage.
I can't wait three months and be w/o bikes. I am having a difficult time deciding which bike to be w/o all that time. Each has its own function.
I have until Friday. Think the movers professionalism and insurance is the most reliable. But , three months.
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Old 09-15-05, 01:26 AM   #10
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I just few from CO to UAE and brought my bike. I just spent forever packing it. Lots of towles and cloths whent around everything and it was nice and snug in the box. I would recomend doing one bike with you on the plane. Even put that one in the hard case. The other two ship with the movers. You will only have one bike over there for a little but thats better than nothing. Also when i flew over it cost me $155 to get the bike on the plane with lefthansa but might be different with BA.
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Old 09-15-05, 04:05 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyclezealot
Besides, we will be in Europe..Bikes/ cars= equal status as transportation. I intend to live that lifestyle.. I will use them for transportation almost right away.
we should be lucky enough to be located in the south of France/Spain/Portugal. sort of like the pleasures of California. good weather. hope to commute 80% of the time on bike.
Might need 5 bikes? so I need take with us, what I already have.
1. I think you are in for a re-eduction about cycling status when you bring/commute with your $10,000 stable of bicycles in Europe, especially for transportation where you are going.

2. Use the movers; bring one on the airplane or buy a bike for the duration (with the savings from excess air baggage costs you won't be paying) while you wait. I shipped by land/water five bicycles to Europe in 1997 for my family of 5 and came back with seven different bicycles in 2002. No damage.
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Old 09-15-05, 06:59 AM   #12
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I will probably end up placing one bike on the boat with the movers...The problem with that . They will not ship until we have an address. We expect to have an address by January. At present I use every bike in the duration of the week. I expect that to intensify when in Europe. With only one car; we think.
Just 3 or 4 months without my bikes. My top end bike can not be used as a commuter. The other 2 yes. Just do not want to be w/o my top end bike for all that time. It is my favorite.
Think I feel the least secure about British Air. Need be packed carefully. B/A charges $100 per bike.
US Postal Insurance might be cheaper and safer for my bike, but I read their insurance is suspect.
Anyone ship their bikes by the Postal Service. Any problems. ? That question is probably the critical one in deciding. Faster, cheaper, but with less potential damage?
Like to bike . thanks for comments...My stable of bikes are not $10,000 yet. But, will be when I get my higher end tourer, when we get there; very likely will be..Cost of moving everything should be a little under $10,000. Exclucing us on B/A.
Also, have toured about Roussillon on bike tours..Not sure about all of Europe being entirely bike friendly..Roussillon looked pretty darn good though. Been on 4 bike tours of France, Spain, Italy.
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Old 09-15-05, 07:21 AM   #13
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Take one bike to an LBS and have them pack it well in a box. Pay the $100 and take it with you. The rest of the bikes go with your household stuff by boat. This will give you immediate transportation. You can surely get by with one bike for a while. If not, then go shopping for that new touring bike you want.
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Old 09-15-05, 07:26 AM   #14
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The Rules of BA..Bikes are included as luggage as long as you have less than two bags and the weight is under 70 pounds.Just thought someone would want to know.
My hassle. BA has abused my bikes each trip..My wife choose them for price. Otherwise would be no dilema..Do think I need at least two bikes immediately.
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Old 09-15-05, 07:49 AM   #15
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I'm in the same boat, so to speak.

I plan on using the movers to move most of our bikes, but I'll be without a car when we arrive, and it will take up to 6 weeks for out belongings to arrive. Since we are moving, we already are maxed out on luggage- since that is all we'll be living on.

I am contemplating using a reshipper, like I have in the past. Living in the US has cursed us with foreign relatives that insist that they buy US items, have them shipped to us (since some companies won't ship internationally) and have us deal with it. Something as simple as a baby jogger can cost over $100 to ship abroad. We discovered a place in NJ where we fed ex the package, they reship it overseas, and re-send it by local post-- all for a fraction of the cost of using the same carrier all the way. It is slower, but if we ship in advance, it should work out fine.
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Old 09-15-05, 07:53 AM   #16
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Filtersweep. I called Fedex about my bikes. $600 each.! US Postal service, regular shipping. Probably one month. Like $50..Many of my extra clothes are going in a box by the Postal Service to a friends home in Lille. Likely one bike too.
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Old 09-15-05, 07:57 AM   #17
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Ship two bikes with movers, take one that you can live with full time to the bike store for boxing, then to UPS to ship. It won't be cheap but it probably won't get broken, either. And, if it does, it's insured (assuming you buy the insurance, which I would).
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Old 09-15-05, 08:03 AM   #18
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Ransom..UPS were crooks. $600..Might as well buy new bikes in that case..USPS was under $100 .I can't be w/o my Klein or at least one tourer/commute bike
a redicilous aspect of the packing process...Today is packing day..Tomorrow they haul our stuff off. No doubt the role of bikes in our lives..
So far my bag with my bike clothes/gear is far bigger than the bag with regular clothes..And one doubts the difficulty is parting with ONE bike..!
So many bike clothes going.Maybe I can get a job as a bike messenger, since that seems will be most of my wardrobe.

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Old 09-15-05, 09:34 AM   #19
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For $10k value of the bikes, just buy a few of those travel bike carriers (padded, hardcase, bike suitcases) for $250 each, pay the $100 airline fee, and get your bikes quickly and safely. If you want to do it cheaply, you'll have to forgo either time or quality. Basic pyramid stuff.
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Old 09-15-05, 12:48 PM   #20
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I would completely dissamble two of the bikes and that all the small bits with me on the plane, along with my fav (daily commutter whatever) on the plane. And ship the frames and wheels of the other two by the movers. This way there won't be anything to bust on the frames.
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Old 09-15-05, 01:35 PM   #21
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We shipped our bikes via the movers. I have no idea what they did with the bikes in transit, but once they arrived in Europe, there wasn't a single cable that didn't need to be adjusted or a bolt to be tightened. The requisite trip to the cycle shop proved useful, however; that's where we found out about the mandatory bell, the mandatory light, and the mandatory registration.

We had thought taking the bikes would be quite useful and a real pleasure for commuting to work. LOL!!! My first foray into European city riding made me realize that walking to work was very pleasant and not nearly as stressful as two wheels. I think within one block on my bike I learned about cobblestones, tire gobbling storm drains, tram tracks and tram track switches (scary as hell), trams that stop for nothing, parallel parkers where there was no room for parallel parking, and the assumption by truck drivers that you are TdF experienced and fearless of rear view mirrors being 10 centimeters from your head ... and that was on a Sunday.

To be fair, in the city where we lived there actually were commuter bikeways where surface, signage, and concrete barriers gave cyclists a fair competitive chance. That didn't exist for us in the center city.

Though our commuting was laughably non-successful, we had a great time riding in the suburbs (far away from trams and their wheel twisting tracks) and in the countryside where the roads were good and the drivers very considerate.

When we came home, our bikes were again packed by the moving company. But, what a difference! The European movers packed our bikes with more care than they did my wife's good china! They arrived in perfect condition (I wasn't too sure that the movers hadn't given them a final German tune-up as they packed them). All we had to do after we came home was remove the bell, remove the light, and remove the license plate!
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Old 09-15-05, 01:47 PM   #22
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Did you ever see the thread by a guy who went to India, chopped up a new $50 bike, stuffed it in his suitcase and then welded it back together when he returned to the US?

No kidding.

Introducing the Hero Jet Master from India
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Old 09-15-05, 02:57 PM   #23
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Now I am confused..Think packing is the best defense whatever method of shipping one chooses.. I started another thread.. ever shipped via U.S.Postal Service..Seems someone has had a problem not matter which method one chooses..
Think insurance via our packers will work best, but 3-4 months before I see my bikes.
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Old 09-15-05, 06:16 PM   #24
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Well, I being employed (hopefully not for much longer) by a moving company here in MN can finally give some advice and I don't know where to start. DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT leave your bike in the garage and expect it to get all the way across the Atlantic in good condition. Movers 99% of the time are not bikers. They don’t know a nice bike from a Target bike. They will treat them with the same care when they pack them on the truck (or crates for international moves) They will put the front wheel between their legs and twist the handle bars sideways to make the bike fit better. Seeing that this is an international move it will be wrapped in shrink wrap or padded paper or bubble wrap (depends on the moving co.) Movers can not protect the derailleurs at all. Same with the brake levers. Boxes can be stacked in a crate very nice w/o anything moving around. How do you pack a bike w/ boxes and chairs so they do not shake around while moving with the ocean? By shoving a ton of pads around it. This can not be good for spokes, derailleurs, levers…

Insurance is usually by the pound. If you get the average insurance (60 cents/pound) you will loose out big on the thousand $ bikes. A broken 20 pound bike will be rewarded with around $12.

This is what I would do with fricking expensive bike like yours. Buy some more hard cases and have some pros pack them in it so you know it is done right. Cases are so much easier and 100% safer for your bike to pack than just a bike wrapped in paper, tape, and bubble wrap. Send them with the mover. This would add maybe 1-200 dollars to the moving price. Much cheaper than Fedex. Or, get a membership to IMBA, ($25??) then you can send bikes on airlines for free. (Am I correct? please correct me if I am not.)

Enjoy your move!
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Old 09-15-05, 07:45 PM   #25
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Zahn...Our estimator said we could select to itemize each item and select our own insurance value..He said to select it at replacement value and they would not dispute what we wrote on the inventory sheet....? Do not think a regular bike box with extra padding would help it to cross the ocean..
Pretty sure two bikes are going on the plane..Just wish i could figure how to get my one hard case to Newark.
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