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Thread: shipping bikes

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    shipping bikes

    Anyone have experience with shipping bikes? I am going to Florida in Jan. and was thinking of shipping my bike there. The rates I'm getting for this are ridculous--90 to 100 each way. I am now considering renting a road bike when I'm there. That seems considerably cheaper. Am I missing something? I have gotten quotes from UPS and Fedex.

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    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    Ride your bike to Florida. Why rent one.
    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
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    I'd love to do that--probably would take me 10 days.

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    Senior Member SweetLou's Avatar
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    How are you boxing the bike?
    Learn what's a platform pedal.

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    I was going to use a box from the LBS.

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    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    I'm actually surprised it would be that inexpensive to ship a bicycle using a courier service. I've been quoted those prices to get an envelope to the next city on a rush/priority service.

    What about bringing it with you on the train or plane?

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    Ask the airlines how much it is to bring along exercise equipment. I have heard of people paying ~$50 this way

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    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonestr View Post
    Ask the airlines how much it is to bring along exercise equipment. I have heard of people paying ~$50 this way
    Bicycles have their own category:

    http://www.ibike.org/encouragement/travel/bagregs.htm

    (If you scroll down you'll get to the list of airlines, and what they charge)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    Bicycles have their own category:

    http://www.ibike.org/encouragement/travel/bagregs.htm

    (If you scroll down you'll get to the list of airlines, and what they charge)
    The point is that it is cheaper if you call it exercise equipment. Make sure you pack it up so tight that it is not recognized as a bike. Usually golf clubs is a believable excuse.

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    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    If you can pack your bicycle up so that it looks like golf clubs, I'd like to see pictures!!

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    Senior Member SweetLou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill View Post
    I was going to use a box from the LBS.
    Did you use the dimensions of the bike box when determining the cost? It should not be anywhere close to $100 if you did. Unless you have a very large bike/box.
    Learn what's a platform pedal.

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    If its packed dissassembled, it meets UPS regs. Otherwise it has to be shipped freight.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    If you can pack your bicycle up so that it looks like golf clubs, I'd like to see pictures!!
    You just tape the crap out of it so no one want to open it to look inside and as long as the weight is near that of something like golf clubs then they wont question it.

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    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonestr View Post
    You just tape the crap out of it so no one want to open it to look inside and as long as the weight is near that of something like golf clubs then they wont question it.
    I haven't flown with my bicycle within the US, so maybe that's different, but internationally, they don't like it if you've taped it up too much because they like to have a look ... and they run it through the X-ray machine anyway.

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    With the rates you are getting, look into renting if you only want to ride for a one or two days. Rentals can run from $25-$50 a day, but you don't have the hassles of packing, unpacking, packing, and unpacking the bike, not to mention the transit time, which can be up to 7 working days that can become 9 days with a weekend thrown in, and the risk of damage to the bike in transit.

    If you do decide to rent, take your own helmet, shoes, and pedals. Some people go as far as taking their own saddle as well. Make sure you read and understand your rental contract. Contact the shop in advance with any questions you have.
    Bikes use brakes to stop.

    If your bike has breaks, don't ride it.

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    $100 to ship a box sounds about right. DHL ground seems to be about the cheapest.

    Boxing up a bike properly is a lot of work. You would have to be convinced that you really need YOUR specific bike in Florida to justify the trouble and expense.

    Of course, you can get a bicycle box specifically for use on airlines, but that is expensive and you will have to disassemble your bike.

    Ya know....

    For $100 tops, you can get a reasonably good used bike from an LBS OR for $25 to $50 you can pick one up at a thrift store. I would contact all the bike shops in the area ahead of your trip. Tell them what you are looking for and see if you can buy or rent a used machine.
    Mike

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    Senior Member DieselDan's Avatar
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    DHL is shutting down their US operations soon.
    Bikes use brakes to stop.

    If your bike has breaks, don't ride it.

  18. #18
    Senior Member KungPaoSchwinn's Avatar
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    You are taking a chance of damaging your bike by shipping it,the bike i purchased in the trek dealer was spanking shinny new in their store, dued to paperwork , it had to be shipped by the dealer via ups, i dont hate ups, in fact,,i love them, little inspection on the bike i noticed it has scratches on the frame where the trek logo is and the gears wasnt changing properly,BE WARNED.
    2009 Trek FX 7.3

  19. #19
    Every day a winding road spinnaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill View Post
    Anyone have experience with shipping bikes? I am going to Florida in Jan. and was thinking of shipping my bike there. The rates I'm getting for this are ridculous--90 to 100 each way. I am now considering renting a road bike when I'm there. That seems considerably cheaper. Am I missing something? I have gotten quotes from UPS and Fedex.
    Fedex has recently raised their rates but they used to be the cheapest going. You need to go to the Fedex website yourself and try different dimensions. There is a "magic number" (H+W+L), once you go over that the rates are almost doubled. See if you can get your bike into a box of the smaller size.

    P.S. You are going to pay about the same if you fly with our bike.
    "The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it."

    Albert Einstein

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by KungPaoSchwinn View Post
    You are taking a chance of damaging your bike by shipping it,the bike i purchased in the trek dealer was spanking shinny new in their store, dued to paperwork , it had to be shipped by the dealer via ups, i dont hate ups, in fact,,i love them, little inspection on the bike i noticed it has scratches on the frame where the trek logo is and the gears wasnt changing properly,BE WARNED.
    You need to get insurance. Fedex damaged my fork. It was a $370 repair. I was smart enough to get insurance. After a lot of phone calls and running around Fedex finally paid for the repair. It was a huge hassle to get them to pay for it and also in the shipping back to my home from Santa Barbara.

    If you are going to have someone else ship it back for you but you are going to pay for it then let me know and I will try to run you through the whole ugly mess.
    "The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it."

    Albert Einstein

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    I have transported a whole bike (in LBS corrugated boxes) several times on International flights and I don't recall paying anything extra for it. It was just part of my allocated weight/luggage. I would've paid extra if I had exceeded 40 kg but I made sure I didn't. I also know of professional racers who travel with their bikes to and from Europe regularly this way. Other than being issued an "oversized" luggage claim ticket... I don't recall any extra charge on International flights.

    USA domestic flights might be different...

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    I would agree with the above poster who said to just buy a cheaper used bike, when you get to Fl. [ Pawn Shops, Salvation Army Thrift Stores, Goodwill, Craigslist, etc.] According to where you are going to stay in Fl., there should be many choices. I live in N. Central Fl., & would loan you a bike if I have an extra one at the time.

  23. #23
    Every day a winding road spinnaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pocko View Post
    I have transported a whole bike (in LBS corrugated boxes) several times on International flights and I don't recall paying anything extra for it. It was just part of my allocated weight/luggage. I would've paid extra if I had exceeded 40 kg but I made sure I didn't. I also know of professional racers who travel with their bikes to and from Europe regularly this way. Other than being issued an "oversized" luggage claim ticket... I don't recall any extra charge on International flights.

    USA domestic flights might be different...
    Yes they are as well as international flights on most U.S. carriers. And some non U.S. carriers are starting to charge.

    But it is always up to the discretion of the gate agent. You might get lucky and not get charged even though policy says you should.
    "The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it."

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  24. #24
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pocko View Post
    I have transported a whole bike (in LBS corrugated boxes) several times on International flights and I don't recall paying anything extra for it. It was just part of my allocated weight/luggage. I would've paid extra if I had exceeded 40 kg but I made sure I didn't. I also know of professional racers who travel with their bikes to and from Europe regularly this way. Other than being issued an "oversized" luggage claim ticket... I don't recall any extra charge on International flights.

    USA domestic flights might be different...

    http://www.ibike.org/encouragement/travel/bagregs.htm

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    ^ Thanks Machka... that information is very beneficial. I was actually thinking of bringing a bike home with me from a possible overseas trip next year, so I better check first.

    It's actually disconcerting the way various airlines have made extremely different policies concerning traveling with bicycles as luggage as of 2007... and as the article said - with no consistent or justifiable reason for the change in policy, or consistency in the rates charged.

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