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Old 06-21-06, 08:57 PM   #1
Sooner Rider
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Best options to SHIP the bike

I'm going on a domestic vacation soon and want to take the bike. The LBS has a shipping box identical to what my bike originally arrived in, so I'm down to selecting a method of shipping: Airline (more expensive but the bike travels and arrives with me) or UPS/USPS/etc. (less expensive but several days in transit robs me of riding).

Based upon your experiences, what would you recommend and discourage?

Last edited by Sooner Rider; 06-21-06 at 08:59 PM. Reason: Failed to identify domestic or foreign travel
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Old 06-21-06, 09:01 PM   #2
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Buy a transport case and take it on the plane with you as checked baggage.
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Old 06-21-06, 09:17 PM   #3
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I UPS ground with my Trico Iron case most of the time. However, if time is a factor I'll airplane it.
As you're in the middle of the country note that ground transit times are not that bad.
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Old 06-22-06, 11:36 AM   #4
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You might check around your area for an LBS that rents out travel cases. I've encountered them before for around $40 for a week to 10 days and then you'd have the bike with you. Othewise I've had good results with FedEx ground and UPS but UPS cost can vary a lot based on the size of box. Just make sure you pack and pad the heck out of it.
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Old 06-22-06, 05:19 PM   #5
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I have used hard shell boxes to transport my bike via airline a few times. I think the bike travels well this way but the box is huge and getting it to the airport and back is a problem. I have also been told that the bike boxes will not fit in the smallest planes. I have had to make special arrangements with friends picking me up at the airport and I had to upgrade my rental car to fit the bike box. I have also used USPS which is its own set of hassles due to size requirements. The frame and wheels have to go in seprate boxes. I am in the military in Japan. The last time I sent my bike Priority Mail it took over three weeks to get here. YMMV. I just mailed my bike to a little speck of a town in South Eastern Ohio using Express mail and it only took 4 days to get there. I as of yet have no experiance with fedex or UPS but intend to use them in the future.
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Old 06-22-06, 07:58 PM   #6
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UPS is easy as long as you get a box with in UPS oversized 1 (like the trico iron case or most bike boxes the bike was shipped in, but not the ones airlines sell). Once you get over that its very exepensive. With oversized 1 its 50-70lbs demensional weight.
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Old 06-22-06, 08:44 PM   #7
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I just mentioned this in another post but it may work for you as well. REI will disassemble, pack and ship a bike from store to store for $70 using their own REI shipping system. When it arrives you can simply pick it up and reassemble it yourself or have them do it for you for another $30. Not bad.
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Old 06-22-06, 09:31 PM   #8
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All: Great information, and I'm now well prepared for travel next weekend. I'll be using a manufacturer's shipping container, so it should last for two trips. Being on jets all the way, I don't foresee a size problem, and although I'm getting a small rental car, I'll ask the airline if they'll hold the container for me until the return. Losligato: You've mentioned ANOTHER reason for me to regret not having an REI store in Oklahoma! Finally regarding UPS: They have a financial death penalty for oversized boxes, (even by one inch: $38 v. $119 one-way), and because I'll have to be off the bike for several days while it is enroute, that's unappealing and worth the extra money. American Airline will charge $80 each way. Thank you everyone for your input!
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Old 06-22-06, 09:38 PM   #9
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Uhm, arraign to get a box from a shop at t6he other end. They sometimes get torn up in shipping.
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Old 06-22-06, 09:52 PM   #10
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I have a Trico Iron case that I bought used. called Trico for replacement feet. They recommended FedEx and it was cheaper than UPS and the airline.

I travel a lot by airlines with a bike box most of the time it never makes the plain and comes on a latter plane. With FedEx I can track the bike box and know it is there.
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