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  1. #1
    Senior Moment Member Gee3's Avatar
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    Inexpensive Travel Case Options... Help

    Hi, I hope this is the right forum, but I am looking for options on safely shipping a bike from Dallas to San Francisco. I am moving and I don't want to buy a big plastic case that I'll use once. Does anyone have any ideas or experience on shipping road bikes?

    I found this option online and it's reasonably priced for one trip: http://www.bikemania.biz/Pro_1_p/crateworkspro1.htm

    Anyone have experience with this or something similar?

    Thanks!
    Gary

  2. #2
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    $105 for a cardboard box?? No way!!!! Get a cardboard box from your LBS, free. You might need to ask them to save you one, if they don't have them lying around. Ask for the biggest one they have. Make sure you get the fork block and the plastic thingy's that go over the ends of the axels. Pack it carefully, wrapping the tubes in cardboard or some kind of foamy plastic packing material. Tape the padding material in place where pieces of the bike touch each other.
    ...

  3. #3
    Eschew Obfuscation! enduro's Avatar
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    Seems pretty expensive for a big cardboard box.

    Ask a bike shop if they have any extra cardboard bike boxes. That's how bikes get to the store, and it works fine for shipping. I have found Fedex to be inexpensive and quick.
    Hates M &M's because they are so hard to peel.

  4. #4
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    It's not cardboard, it's corplast (corrugated plastic), and it includes a fair bit of padding inside. I think it's a distinctly better value than the previous two posters implied.

    Cardboard boxes from the LBS are designed to ship a bike once, they frequently get torn up and damaged when the LBS opens them up to build the bike. That's if you can get a box from the LBS, around here the bike shops usually get their stock of bikes at the start of cycling season, and recycle/discard the boxes as soon as they've built the bike.

    I've shipped bikes in a cardboard box from the bike shop,and I've shipped bikes in the corplast box the OP linked to in his post. The cardboard bike shop box works, but the corplast box offers more protection and is more durable.

  5. #5
    Eschew Obfuscation! enduro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markf
    It's not cardboard, it's corplast (corrugated plastic)
    Why does the description read "'THE QUICK SHIPPER" The strongest corrugated-cardboard bicycle box on the market. "?
    Hates M &M's because they are so hard to peel.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by enduro
    Why does the description read "'THE QUICK SHIPPER" The strongest corrugated-cardboard bicycle box on the market. "?
    My mistake, I had it confused with a different Crateworks product. It still looks like it would protect your bike better than a used box from your LBS, though.

  7. #7
    My tank takes chocolate. FlowerBlossom's Avatar
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    A friend has a crateworks box; loves it.

    The bikes are shipped to the LBS's in the boxes you would get from an LBS; it should be ok for another trip.

    Ask your LBS to save the plastic bits as well and ask them if they'd be willing to show you how and where to put them on the bike. (They may or may not be willing...they might just rather charge you to take apart the bike and pack it themselves. It's a bit complicated to describe it just in words here.) My LBS has kits for sale, $5, for a box+ these plastic bits. Use bubblewrap or rags or something protective around the bike's jewels, and you should be ok, unless the shipper runs over it with their delivery truck. A crateworks box wouldn't help in that situation, either. Oh, one more thing, it might be wise (better safe than sorry) to deflate the tires a bit.

    Some LBS's will charge for breaking down your bike. Locally, I've heard $20 will get your bike in the box. This kind of minimal fee might be worth it to you if you are concerned about it getting damaged.
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  8. #8
    VWVagabonds.com Losligato's Avatar
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    You can take it to the Dallas REI store. They will box it and ship it through the REI system to the San Francisco store for something like $75. When you arrive you can pick it up in the box or have them reassemble it for you for a small extra charge.
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  9. #9
    Senior Moment Member Gee3's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the replies! Maybe I'll go the REI route. They said it's about $20 to box it and whatever charge it would be to ship to San Francisco, about $60.

    Thanks!
    Gary
    Last edited by Gee3; 09-04-06 at 03:05 PM.

  10. #10
    Senior Moment Member Gee3's Avatar
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    UPDATE: Shipped it via REI Dallas to SF. Thank you for the suggestion Losligato! They did a great job. All totaled it was about $85 to pack and ship the bike in Dallas and another $25 to put it back together and check everything out prior to handing it over to me. It took a week for them to get it out here, what I expected. And I saw the bike while still in the box and it was packed very well. It was certainly handled better than the movers would have handled it. Plus, I can take advantage of the nice weather we're having and kill myself on the Bay Area hills instead of having to wait a couple weeks for the movers to get here!!!

    Thanks again for everyone's suggestions!
    Gary

  11. #11
    Caffeinated. Camel's Avatar
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    Good info on the REI shipping. Thanks, might come in usefull when my tours done & I move crosscountry.

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  12. #12
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Just go down to your local bicycle shop and pick up a free cardboard box. I've flown across North America, to and from Australia, and around Australia all with a basic bicycle shop cardboard box.

  13. #13
    Senior Moment Member Gee3's Avatar
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    True, and REI gave me that option. But i was flying out early the next day and had to ship it ASAP. But I'm glad I did.

  14. #14
    Senior Member bitingduck's Avatar
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    I've flown a bunch of times with a bunch of different cases. Cardboard boxes from the LBS have served me pretty well, but I also just picked up a soft case from Performance that I've used for a couple trips and am happy with, too. It's basically just a big bag with pockets inside. You need to make or find your own dropout protectors (either plastic ones from the LBS or threaded rod and nuts from the hardware store), and add a little extra padding. I put the wheels in wheelbags or put large cardboard sheets in between them and the bike. The nice things about the bag are that you can actually carry it on your shoulder and it's small and squishy enough that they charge you for flying with a bike less often.
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