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Old 05-01-06, 12:58 PM   #1
PurpleK
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Yet another bike shipping question.....

This question may have been asked before, but I did not find it in a forum search.

In our new world, catching a flight is turning more and more into an ordeal. Therefore, I try to make flying as simple as possible. It's less stressful on me and I'm sure Trans. Security appreciates it as well.
When traveling with a bike, I've always carried it with me on my flight. Now I'm wondering if it would be more simple to ship it ahead of time when taking a domestic flight. But when I checked the rate tool on the UPS website, I was astounded that the price of shipping my bike one way was nearly double the cost of my airfare to the same destination.
Anyone have any suggestions for shipping bikes domestically at a reasonable cost? I can continue taking it with me on my flights, but I was really hoping to avoid having to cart a bike box around on my flights.
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Old 05-01-06, 02:50 PM   #2
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Have you considered shipping it by bus or train?
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Old 05-01-06, 02:57 PM   #3
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I've shipped things through fedexKinkos ground and it was in the 50$ range from denver out to Oregon to ride up the gorge. takes it 3-4 days but for us was definitely cheaper than hauling it around the airport and then paying United 80$ as well...

good luck.
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Old 05-01-06, 05:38 PM   #4
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Don't ship your bike overnight. Send it by FedEx or UPS ground. Be sure to use a box that is not too large or you get hit with a significant oversize charge. A CrateWorks box is just small enough to avoid the high oversize surcharge. Most bike boxes, if you decide to take that risk, should be small enough as well. Cost should be in the $50 range within the Contiguous US.
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Old 05-01-06, 07:06 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by supcom
Don't ship your bike overnight. Send it by FedEx or UPS ground. Be sure to use a box that is not too large or you get hit with a significant oversize charge. A CrateWorks box is just small enough to avoid the high oversize surcharge. Most bike boxes, if you decide to take that risk, should be small enough as well. Cost should be in the $50 range within the Contiguous US.
Yeah boxes like that or the iron case are designed for UPS won't incure extra charges. Still the $50 frontier charges me is cheaper.
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Old 05-01-06, 07:42 PM   #6
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In Canada sports equipment (read bicycle) is free on airplanes. Why would you pay when you can ship free and it travels with you? If you ship UPS where would you pick up your bike? Certainly not at the aiport!

I've said this before: Ride your bike to the airport, roll it into a plastic bag (tires deflated, bars turned, pedals removed). You also may wish to keep the front wheel from turning as this may cause damage during shipping. When you arrive at your destination remove the bike from the bag, take 5 minutes to re-assemble and ride away from the airport.

This method works well, it is cheap and you don't have to worry about storing a bag/box or even coming back from the same airport.

Yes, there is a possibility that the bike will be damaged. I've done this many times and the damage has always been limited to scratches and marks. If this is a problem, don't tour! There will always be scratches and marks.
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Old 05-01-06, 07:54 PM   #7
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I just box it up and get to the airport early. I've never had a problem, other than the $75 US in oversized luggage fees

If you can at all "chat up" people, most folks will bend over backwards to accommodate a Quixotic bicycle tourist.
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Old 05-01-06, 08:09 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stokell
In Canada sports equipment (read bicycle) is free on airplanes. Why would you pay when you can ship free and it travels with you? If you ship UPS where would you pick up your bike? Certainly not at the aiport!

I've said this before: Ride your bike to the airport, roll it into a plastic bag (tires deflated, bars turned, pedals removed). You also may wish to keep the front wheel from turning as this may cause damage during shipping. When you arrive at your destination remove the bike from the bag, take 5 minutes to re-assemble and ride away from the airport.

This method works well, it is cheap and you don't have to worry about storing a bag/box or even coming back from the same airport.

Yes, there is a possibility that the bike will be damaged. I've done this many times and the damage has always been limited to scratches and marks. If this is a problem, don't tour! There will always be scratches and marks.
In the US, bikes do not ride for free on domestic flights. Most airlines charge $80 each way - and that assumes you have only one other checkin bag. At some airports you cannot ride your bike up to the terminal.

Depending on where you are headed, you could call an LBS in the city and arrange for them to accept and reassemble your bike. Or, if you are staying in a hotel, you may be able to arrange for them to accept the bike for you. If nothing else, if you send FedEx, you should be able to send it for pickup at a FedEx warehouse. Plenty of options.
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Old 05-01-06, 08:56 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stokell
In Canada sports equipment (read bicycle) is free on airplanes. Why would you pay when you can ship free and it travels with you? If you ship UPS where would you pick up your bike? Certainly not at the aiport!

I've said this before: Ride your bike to the airport, roll it into a plastic bag (tires deflated, bars turned, pedals removed). You also may wish to keep the front wheel from turning as this may cause damage during shipping. When you arrive at your destination remove the bike from the bag, take 5 minutes to re-assemble and ride away from the airport.

This method works well, it is cheap and you don't have to worry about storing a bag/box or even coming back from the same airport.

Yes, there is a possibility that the bike will be damaged. I've done this many times and the damage has always been limited to scratches and marks. If this is a problem, don't tour! There will always be scratches and marks.
Air Canada charges $65 CND / $50 USD per bicycle now.

See: http://www.aircanada.com/en/travelin...cked.html#r1s1

I don't know what is the best way to "pack a Bike" but the plastic bag method has worked for a lot of people.
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Old 05-01-06, 09:14 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by bccycleguy
I don't know what is the best way to "pack a Bike" but the plastic bag method has worked for a lot of people.
A friend of mine swears by the Tardis
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Old 05-01-06, 09:45 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by supcom
Depending on where you are headed, you could call an LBS in the city and arrange for them to accept and reassemble your bike. Or, if you are staying in a hotel, you may be able to arrange for them to accept the bike for you. If nothing else, if you send FedEx, you should be able to send it for pickup at a FedEx warehouse. Plenty of options.
Yeah, that's pretty much what I was thinking of trying. I'm been researching some bike shops at each end of my tour, but haven't gotten in touch with them yet until I know exactly what my plans are.
Thanks for the help, everyone. Got some good info to work with.
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Old 05-01-06, 10:50 PM   #12
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Its worth noting that on unite a bike, even in box counts simply as a piece of luggage on international flights. Simply counts as one of your 2 bags. If you have more, you're simpy charged an extra bag fee.
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