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Old 02-17-10, 04:46 PM   #1
leslielove
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I need to ship my bike cross country.. help!

So here's the deal. I just decided about 15 minutes ago that I'm going to joint my aunt and her husband in Virginia to do a 150 mile ride in support of MS research at the beginning of June. (There will be a post in the Charity Events forum as soon as I have the information I need )

The concern I have is shipping my bike. I'm taking a Continental flight and they don't charge if the bike is boxed, weighing under 50 pounds, and measuring under 62 linear inches (HxLxW) - otherwise its $100 each way, which is more than the flight itself. I really can't afford to buy a bike in VA and essentially leave it there because I can't ship it back home so I'm hoping to be able to find a way to take my bike apart and compact it to ship it.

My first thought was to just take the wheels off and nest them inside the dimensions of the frame and box it up that way, but I'm not sure how practical that will be. For reference, I'm just riding a really basic 7 speed Diamondback comfort bike.

Does anyone have suggestions or hints as to shipping a bike cross country in a plane? Thanks guys!
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Old 02-18-10, 07:24 PM   #2
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Your LBS should be able to help you pack it up into a bike box. It might end up to big to take with you on the plane in the end. If this is the case, I would consider shipping it via ground. If you have a week to get it there and back you should be able to find something reasonable.
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Old 02-18-10, 11:39 PM   #3
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what about checking your destination's local bike shops to see if they have bikes for rent? the bike shops around here all rent 21-speed hybrid bikes, which are more or less on par with your 7-speed comfort bike (if less eye-catching than your bike); and at $15/day for rental, it takes all the worry out baggage issues. lastly, you could check craigslist at the location to see if someone could let you use a bike (i see it locally time to time in my area). just some alternate ideas...

very last, if you have the moolah, try a Bike Friday!
http://www.bikefriday.com
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Old 02-19-10, 07:51 AM   #4
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My complements on you efforts. I have done many MS rides, my wife has MS. All the ones I have done were enjoyable and rewarding. If you rent a bike it might be a good idea to bring your own seat, that's a long ride on a seat you might not like. If you ship it or take it on an airline when you package it up be sure you attach everything you take off with wire ties. I've heard of airline opening bike boxes and carelessly losing a pedal or something else of great importance. If you are going to take it with you check IMBA, it's a mountian bike association, they used to have a thing that with yearly membership you can take your bike on certian airlines for free, it might be cheaper than what the airlines charge you for bringing it along. Renting a bike is a lot less effort than bringing your bike with you but it is a long enough ride you need to be sure you get something your comfortable on.
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Old 02-22-10, 02:06 PM   #5
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Check with the ride organizers - they probably have a couple of participating bike shops which you can either ship to/from or rent a suitable bike. Using you LBS to ship your bike is probably the best way to go - your boxed bike might not end up on the flight you are on, which can complicate things!
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Old 02-22-10, 03:20 PM   #6
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I'd recommend having your lbs box the bike and ship it either to your aunt/uncle or a bike shop near them. Have the shop assemble and check out the bike before the big ride. Nothing like doing a two day ride only to have problems after 30 miles.
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Old 02-22-10, 04:01 PM   #7
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I'd think that going to Walmart and buying a cheap ride just for the 150 would be perfectly fine. Either leave it at your aunt's house for next year, or put it up on craigslist and when she sells it, she can mail you the cash.
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Old 02-22-10, 04:05 PM   #8
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go to LBS, have them pack the bike for you, unless you know how to do it, ship to destination, I like fedex, they tend to be faster than ups. when you get to your destination, have lbs reassemble, again diy if you can, and then do your event. getting home is the exact reverse. As far as cost, this is probably the best route if you want to use your own ride. I would also give a +1 to whomever suggested renting a bike for the event.
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Old 02-26-10, 09:05 AM   #9
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Steve has a bike shipping box in Pasadena. I can never remember the name of his shop. The one that looks like a teenagers room. Rent that box, and UPS the bike each way.
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Old 02-26-10, 01:40 PM   #10
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Does your aunt have friends who might be able to loan you a bike?
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Old 02-28-10, 05:37 AM   #11
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Maybe, contact bike shops in the area your Aunt lives, & talk to them about what you are doing. They might, as a " goodwill jesture," loan a bike to you, or let you at least borrow/rent one with a deposit.
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Old 02-28-10, 07:52 AM   #12
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If you're shipping a bike the quality of the packing job is vital. Even having a bike shop do the packing for you isn't a guarantee of getting an adequate packing job. For a reference, check how a new from the factory bike is packed. Everybody knows to wrap something around the frame tubes to minimize scratches. Details that are frequent missed are the brace to keep the fork blades from getting bent and the little mushrooms that keep the axles from punching through the shipping box. Even the gear that the chain is in matters. The pedals, quick releases and any other small parts need to go into a small box of their own so they can't get lost if a hole is punched into the main shipping box.

Threads like this usually generate a bunch of posts from people whose bike was damaged during UPS shipping. I don't doubt most of them are true. On the other hand, during the time that I had my own bike shop, I received over 1,000 new bikes via UPS with exactly zero damage claims. I attribute that difference to the factory packing procedures vs typical DIY packing.
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Old 03-01-10, 07:07 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
If you're shipping a bike the quality of the packing job is vital. Even having a bike shop do the packing for you isn't a guarantee of getting an adequate packing job. For a reference, check how a new from the factory bike is packed. Everybody knows to wrap something around the frame tubes to minimize scratches. Details that are frequent missed are the brace to keep the fork blades from getting bent and the little mushrooms that keep the axles from punching through the shipping box. Even the gear that the chain is in matters. The pedals, quick releases and any other small parts need to go into a small box of their own so they can't get lost if a hole is punched into the main shipping box.
.
Great point. The one time I shipped a bike, a small hole appeared in the box. (no big deal, I thought). I had taken off the pedals and put them in my shoes, thinking "Won't lose those." Well, I lost ONE. What a pain!

Anyone have a set of pics or video on how to properly pack a bike for shipping?
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Old 03-01-10, 09:17 AM   #14
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+1 on rental or loan. I loaned my bike twice to a customer's son in law (we rode together on one of his trips here, but the other I wasn't here so I just gave his dad the bike).

That 62" - it's impossible to get below it with a regular bike. Figure 40+" length for the frame, 20" height, and 6-8" width, and that's a tiny frame (40 cm frame).

Try USPS if you're looking to ship still. I got a frame next day (Saturday even) and it was less than $50.

For packing, although it's in a bike bag, I have some tips:
http://sprinterdellacasa.blogspot.co...soft-case.html

good luck,
cdr
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Old 03-01-10, 09:43 AM   #15
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Get a bike bag, and ship ground. Renting would suck for a 150 mile ride, I want my bike to fit for something like that.
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Old 03-01-10, 02:47 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leslielove View Post
For reference, I'm just riding a really basic 7 speed Diamondback comfort bike.
I think this is the key point here. Shipping on this bike is going to be almost as much back and forth as buying, renting, or borrowing a different bike.
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Old 03-02-10, 07:10 AM   #17
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I think this is the key point here. Shipping on this bike is going to be almost as much back and forth as buying, renting, or borrowing a different bike.
++ to above.
I have shipped bikes coast to coast & have always added extra insurance . Still many times there is some damage. One way was usually near $50, so $100 total ! Not worth it to me. Look on Craigslist, etc., etc, & pick up a used bike there, if you cannot get a bike loaned/rented to you.
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