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  1. #1
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    Bicycle Shipping Damage

    I just need to rant / get some advice on a frustrating situation.

    I just sold 2 bikes on ebay and shipped them using FedEx ground

    I packaged them using the same box and packing material as other bikes I've recieve that were also shipped by Fedex

    One bike arrived in CA with no issues

    The other arrive in NYC with significant damage to bike and packaging. Holes were punched through the box, and it looks like they laid the box flat and put heavy packages on top.

    Visible damage

    Paint chips

    Wheels are no longer true

    Rear D fine adustment cracked

    Cranks, Front D, maybe bent.

    I've submitted a claim to fedex but my question is how do I know that there isn't other structural damage to the frame and fork. Do I try and get Fedex to replace or pay for repair/ loss of value to damage.

    Bike is a Fuji Cross Comp 2008 that was in like new condition. Valued at $600

    Has anyone else had issues with fedex or other bikes damaged during shipping.

    Thanks

    Ian

  2. #2
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    I just received a new Dahon Mu Uno Folder that was extremely poorly packaged by the sender, a well know company. There was no additional stryfoam packaging surrounding any parts on the frame and it was a miracle that the Bike arrived undamaged. The areas in the Box over where the Axle Nuts would be located were open holes meaning that they layed the box down with other heavy items over my box. By not putting in additional packing in the ends and sides of the box, it allowed the Bike to shift around in the box . The box looked like some Giant Drop-Kicked the Sucker. Now when I sell& ship a Bike, I take it to my LBS and for $25(which the buyer pays) and they professionally dis-assemble and pack the Bike in a like new box. ANd they do it correctly. I also insure the bike for replacement cost. To date, I have had no problems but its amazing the Cost-cutting Sloppy shoddy manner in which many Bike Stores are shipping out costly Bikes to their new owners. I always pack for the worst case scenario in which I think that the carrier(ups, usps,fed x ) will, at some point in the delivery, drop my boxed bike from a height of 10 feet or more or more off the truck. Package for that eventuality in mine and you will be OK. I really mean that btw judging from the looks of bikes that have arrived at my doorstep. Note that to the driver if your box arrives damaged and take Pics with of the Un-opened box with a time/date stamp to validate your claim.
    Last edited by miamimike; 03-11-10 at 10:32 PM. Reason: sp correction

  3. #3
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by miamimike View Post
    The areas in the Box over where the Axle Nuts would be located were open holes meaning that they layed the box down with other heavy items over my box,
    To me that just means that the bike wasn't properly packed. Go to any bike shop and ask to look at how a new-from-the-factory bike is packed. See the little plastic "mushroom thingies over the axles? Your bike didn't have them.

    There are many of these threads and they generally attract a ton of posts about shipping damage. Some of them are probably valid. On the other hand, during the time that I owned my own bike shop I received over 1,000 factory packed bikes via UPS with ZERO damage claims. ZERO. Better packing = much lower chances of shipping damage.

  4. #4
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    My box had a 10 x 2 inch hole punch through from the out side and I used the same box and packaging as another bike I recieved from a shop via fedex.

    The next time I pack a bike I'm going to go over board with the packing material... is there any thing you can get to keep the fork and the rear wheel triangle from getting bent... I've read that you can cut wood blocks but thats a lot of work.

    My local shop charges $50 to pack a bike plus shipping which would increase shipping by 30 to 50%. Well lessons learned thanks for the input

  5. #5
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    Septacycle--Wood blocks are one way to prevent damage in those areas, Plastic is another. 8 foot lengths of 1 inch white PVC tubing are another way to go if you ship a lot. Many times Home depot has small sawed off lengths laying around in the plumbing area and are free for the asking and they cut easy with a hack saw. Go to Home Depot and buy some 3/4" or 7/8" round Dowel Stock. Usually comes in 2 foot lengths for a couple $. Just saw off the correct length and attach that securely between the axle areas. You have to use something to prevent those areas from being compressed/distorted in case they lay heavier items over your box or as I wrote earlier, in case they drop your Box from a height of a second floor window. Or Ask a Bike Shop to sell you what they use, plastic devices to maintain the integrity, probably wouldn't charge you much. The round dowel stock idea from Home Depot is pretty cheap though and a 2 foot length would last for prepping a 1/2 dozen bicycles. BTW, in case of wanting to use extra packing material, I use styrofoam if its available and sometimes I use empty soda bottles of various sizes discarded in our recycling bins. These work just fine and are free and like styrafoam, they don't add much weight to the box thereby increasing shipping costs.
    Last edited by miamimike; 03-12-10 at 01:35 PM. Reason: sp

  6. #6
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    Shipping companies sometimes seem determined to smash things. There is a company (I will not name it - only say that it felt like there was a Canada Post shoved up my arse) when I heard it had happened again... we were shipping carbon XC ski poles across the country... the first set arrived broken - no problem, $#!+ happens... send another pair with a long stiff folded cardboard reinforcement in the box- BROKEN!... next set include a 2X2 peice of lumber in the box as reinforcement... can you guess? BROKEN!!!

    All sets paid for by the company (a Crown Corp, so actually paid for my me), but a pain anyway.

    Pack assuming the box is going to be run over by the truck before they even start trying to damage it.

  7. #7
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    Lardasse--You have the same thought in mind as me when packing : "Pack assuming the box is going to be run over by the truck before they even start trying to damage it. "-----very true


    RG-- In the Box, I found one of those little plastic mushroom axle protectors you mention smashed into 3 little pieces so that in of itself shows the Box received a pretty good Hit or Drop in transit to shatter it into small pieces. Again, not a friggin' single piece of extra styrofoam to prevent the Bike from shifting fore & aft and side to side in the Box. It just rattled around loose in the box during transit.This level of service coming from this usually great company was a big disappointment. Again, I'm amazed it arrived unscathed and not in a Pretzel shaped piece of Metal.

  8. #8
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    I like the idea of using the pvc... would it be good to use the axle skewers put them through the pvc to keep it all in place? I'm now hunting for styrafoam packing material for the next bike I have to ship.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by septacycles View Post
    I like the idea of using the pvc... would it be good to use the axle skewers put them through the pvc to keep it all in place? I'm now hunting for styrafoam packing material for the next bike I have to ship.
    Using QR skewers to keep the pvc fork and frame spacers in place is not a good idea. That will create "points" that can easily punch through the shiping carton.

    An easier plan is to go to virtually any LBS ans ask for ALL of the packing gizmos that new bikes are packed in. They will include a little plastic thingie to put between the fork blades, a pair of mushroom thingies to put over the rear axle, and another mushroom for the front hub axle. I've worked in several shops and we always just gave that stuff to anybody who asked.

    While you're there, ask if they will let you look into box containing a factory packed bike. Another thing to consider is not all bike boxes are the same size. Road bike boxes tend to be a little taller than mountain bike boxes.

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