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Shipping

Old 03-04-18, 04:18 PM
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Shipping

I listed a very light ALAN frame and have sold it. I will be shipping using bike flights. It took me two hours to pack the frame as I was paranoid about damage. I added packing around that frame to the point of overkill and then secured it within the box, to the sides of the box. Baring it being driven over it should be fine.

Having said that there must be a better (easier) way, especially with a full bike.

1) I note that AMTRAK offers bike shipping. Per the AMTRAK website

Bicycle boxes are sold at most staffed locations for $15.00 per box.
Bicycles must be partially disassembled in order to fit in an Amtrak bicycle box. Loosen and turn the handlebars sideways, and remove the pedals. Amtrak does not supply tools for disassembling.

Removing pedals? 5 minutes. Loosen and turn the handlebars? two minutes. What am I missing?

Problem is I can't find 2018 prices to ship a bike. I did find a number to call and will call this week.

Has anyone shipped (not traveled with their bike) using Amtrak and if so what were the downsides? What did it cost?


2) There was also a video on youtube that shows a method to pack a bike in about 6 minutes.
.

I'd add spare hubs to front and back drop outs and some bubble wrap at the very least and I'd wrap pedals, chain and anything else I removed in bubble wrap and secure that inside the box so it didn't bounce.

Is a bike safe on bike flights with this little prep?
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Old 03-04-18, 04:53 PM
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Imho bikeflights is the way to go if you pay for declared value. Proper packing should mitigate some of it and is key as they give themselves many outs if not done right. I had a frame that was minimally damaged and they paid up almost instantaneously after I provided the proper information.
This option is the buyers responsibility but can be worked out mutually. I would not ship without it.

All that being said, the wheels, bars, pedals and especially the RD have to be removed and wrapped very well.

I would encourage everyone who ships to read their guidelines as a how to for this, It really drills down on it, especially if you want them to pay. That being said they did pay without any back and forth about the packing so the outcome will be as good as it gets considering a perfect frame will now have a repair, we will see how that works out.

Originally Posted by WGB
I listed a very light ALAN frame and have sold it. I will be shipping using bike flights. It took me two hours to pack the frame as I was paranoid about damage. I added packing around that frame to the point of overkill and then secured it within the box, to the sides of the box. Baring it being driven over it should be fine.

Having said that there must be a better (easier) way, especially with a full bike.

1) I note that AMTRAK offers bike shipping. Per the AMTRAK website

Bicycle boxes are sold at most staffed locations for $15.00 per box.
Bicycles must be partially disassembled in order to fit in an Amtrak bicycle box. Loosen and turn the handlebars sideways, and remove the pedals. Amtrak does not supply tools for disassembling.

Removing pedals? 5 minutes. Loosen and turn the handlebars? two minutes. What am I missing?

Problem is I can't find 2018 prices to ship a bike. I did find a number to call and will call this week.

Has anyone shipped (not traveled with their bike) using Amtrak and if so what were the downsides? What did it cost?


2) There was also a video on youtube that shows a method to pack a bike in about 6 minutes.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7H2TZ3wvZKY.

I'd add spare hubs to front and back drop outs and some bubble wrap at the very least and I'd wrap pedals, chain and anything else I removed in bubble wrap and secure that inside the box so it didn't bounce.

Is a bike safe on bike flights with this little prep?

Last edited by merziac; 03-04-18 at 05:30 PM.
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Old 03-04-18, 05:25 PM
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Thread moved from Appraisals to regular C&V.
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Old 03-05-18, 05:43 AM
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Originally Posted by merziac
Imho bikeflights is the way to go if you pay for declared value. Proper packing should mitigate some of it and is key as they give themselves many outs if not done right. I had a frame that was minimally damaged and they paid up almost instantaneously after I provided the proper information.
This option is the buyers responsibility but can be worked out mutually. I would not ship without it.

All that being said, the wheels, bars, pedals and especially the RD have to be removed and wrapped very well.

I would encourage everyone who ships to read their guidelines as a how to for this, It really drills down on it, especially if you want them to pay. That being said they did pay without any back and forth about the packing so the outcome will be as good as it gets considering a perfect frame will now have a repair, we will see how that works out.
I've never packed up a bike but I've read enough of these threads to learn one key lesson. When I do one I will take several photos of the process. Like, one of how the forks/dropouts are braced, one of the removed bits as wrapped, one of the wrapped bike before placing it into the box, one of the packed box before closing and one of the closed and taped box.

I want documented evidence of how it looked when it left my hands. In the event of a dispute I can produce those documents then see what the shipper and the buyer say. Just in case.....
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Old 03-05-18, 10:17 AM
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It takes me 1 1/2 hours to pack a frame, and thats if I already have all the supplies in hand AND I donít have to do major box reconstruction.

It used to take me more like 3 hours. A complete bike takes even more. I am an overpacker. At the same time, I've shipped frames all the way to New Zealand. Bikeflights is just a broker, they don't ship anything. They typically use Fed Ex. Now if the Bikeflights Fed Ex price is cheaper, sure, I use bikeflights.

The problem with other methods (not USPS, Fed Ex or UPS) if you are selling on ebay, it gets complicated. Is the buyer going to go to the nearest Greyhound terminal and pick the bike up?

On documentation, I used to be in the packaged goods selling business. We took a digital picture when we finished loading a truck. It eliminated ALL claims from carriers. I'd still get the calls on damaged product, but I'd tell them, "let me look at the picture". And then, let me see the picture of it in your truck where it is damaged. 100% of the time, the damage was from poor loading where the carrier had consolidated the load and repacked the trailer.

I have a friend that recently bought a frame off ebay. Drop outs were not supported, fork was not removed. No box! It was just a frame wrapped in kraft paper (grocery bag stuff). Arrived OK! I would never chance it.


Needless to say, factor in what your time is worth on any frame sale. I've stopped selling the cheaper stuff except on this forum.

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Old 03-05-18, 11:40 AM
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I have packed a lot of bikes and frames, over the years. It usually takes me about four hours, including delivery to the shipper. This Peugeot PX10 went to Japan and all it took was the licking of a large stamp...



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Old 03-05-18, 12:22 PM
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Originally Posted by randyjawa
Those Stronglight chainrings are great for shipping, so easy to remove and replace just the 5 bolts.
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Old 03-05-18, 07:50 PM
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Actually BikeFlights is a bit more than a broker. They provide the insurance, not the shipper. If you have a claim you settle it through BikeFlights not the shipper and the process is WAY better than dealing with FedEx directly. I am not sure if BikeFlights is self insured or uses another insurer but it definitely does not go through the FedEx claim process.

Originally Posted by wrk101
It takes me 1 1/2 hours to pack a frame, and thats if I already have all the supplies in hand AND I donít have to do major box reconstruction.

It used to take me more like 3 hours. A complete bike takes even more. I am an overpacker. At the same time, I've shipped frames all the way to New Zealand. Bikeflights is just a broker, they don't ship anything. They typically use Fed Ex. Now if the Bikeflights Fed Ex price is cheaper, sure, I use bikeflights.

The problem with other methods (not USPS, Fed Ex or UPS) if you are selling on ebay, it gets complicated. Is the buyer going to go to the nearest Greyhound terminal and pick the bike up?

On documentation, I used to be in the packaged goods selling business. We took a digital picture when we finished loading a truck. It eliminated ALL claims from carriers. I'd still get the calls on damaged product, but I'd tell them, "let me look at the picture". And then, let me see the picture of it in your truck where it is damaged. 100% of the time, the damage was from poor loading where the carrier had consolidated the load and repacked the trailer.

I have a friend that recently bought a frame off ebay. Drop outs were not supported, fork was not removed. No box! It was just a frame wrapped in kraft paper (grocery bag stuff). Arrived OK! I would never chance it.


Needless to say, factor in what your time is worth on any frame sale. I've stopped selling the cheaper stuff except on this forum.
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Old 03-06-18, 07:20 AM
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Yes, on claims they have their own insurance. But the item itself is going Fed Ex, not Bikeflights. My guess is they handle it through a third party, but I do not know.

To the OP, as you can see from Randy's picture, one big problem is many bike boxes you get from the LBS are TOO big to ship at a reasonable price. This means you either pay high shipping, or you have to cut the box. As I recall from Randy's example, if he hadn't cut the box, it was over the absolute limit for shipping in that country (Japan). So using the box as is was not an option.

Cutting the length of a box is easy/peasy. No problem. Cutting the height is more work, but not too bad. Cutting the width is a lot of work, you basically have to cut the box in half and start over.

On frames, bike boxes tend to be wider that what you need (9 inches). For a complete bike, not so as you will need the full width. Since width and height measurements are DOUBLED to calculate girth (length isn't), getting a minimum width and height is important. Minimizing length is less critical.

In my experience, the only way I can get a 24 inch or larger frame into a 108 inch box size is to cut the width. Now I did luck out on a recent shipment. I got a juvenile bike box which was quite a bit narrower than usual. The height was shorter too. I was able to get a 24 inch Trek 520 into the box and I ended up at 107 inches, one under the limit. So shipping was low.
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Old 03-06-18, 09:43 AM
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1. If anyone ever send me a bike via Greyhound I'd refuse pickup. Sorry, don't create more work for me.

2. Bikeflights is ok depending....anything expensive I ship directly with FedEx as they handle everything. Bikeflights truly is a broker, they use third party insurance.

3. A frame should take no more than 30 minutes to box. A full bike no more than an hour. A lot of times I think people over think packaging. If your not confortable with boxing a bike use a Trek 'clam shell' box or have your local bike store do it.

4. If done correctly dropouts and fork ends don't need to 'blocked'.
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Old 03-06-18, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by miamijim
4. If done correctly dropouts and fork ends don't need to 'blocked'.
Dunno.

I've seen a few rear triangles and forks get crushed when shipped without blocking. Putting something in between the dropouts and securely fastening them makes them impossible to crush. A cut down 2x4, three washers and threer deck screws are pretty damn cheap insurance. For those trying to wrap their heads around the third washer and screw, I put it in the derailleur hanger. It aligns the 2x4 and makes it impossible to slip out.

If you put the fork inside the main triangle, fork blades straddling the seat tube and tie wrap everything in place, the fork dropouts are 99.999% protected. I add a 2x2 screwed into the dropouts just "because".

I'd like to see pictures of what "if done correctly" means.
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Old 03-06-18, 01:26 PM
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While it sounds great that Amtrak could ship a bike, I would have to drive nearly 100 miles (one way) to get to an Amtrak station. Then I could only ship it to someone willing to pick it up from their nearest station. That appears to be a no-go for most of us.
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Old 03-06-18, 02:06 PM
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[QUOTE=gugie;20208032]Dunno.
If you put the fork inside the main triangle, fork blades straddling the seat tube and tie wrap everything in place, the fork dropouts are 99.999% protected. I add a 2x2 screwed into the dropouts just "because".

I'd like to see pictures of what "if done correctly" means.[/QUOTE

If a fork is placed with the legs against the seat tube and gets damaged...something else is damaged to. Like the seat tube.

I'll have to find pcs but I use strategically placed folded cardboard to prevent rear triangle collapse. If a triangle is collapsed then the stays will be destroyed as well.

Doing things 'just because' isn't needed.
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Old 03-06-18, 02:19 PM
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[QUOTE=miamijim;20208400]
Originally Posted by gugie
Dunno.
If you put the fork inside the main triangle, fork blades straddling the seat tube and tie wrap everything in place, the fork dropouts are 99.999% protected. I add a 2x2 screwed into the dropouts just "because".

I'd like to see pictures of what "if done correctly" means.[/QUOTE

If a fork is placed with the legs against the seat tube and gets damaged...something else is damaged to. Like the seat tube.

I'll have to find pcs but I use strategically placed folded cardboard to prevent rear triangle collapse. If a triangle is collapsed then the stays will be destroyed as well.

Doing things 'just because' isn't needed.
Did someone say pix or it didn't happen?

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Old 03-06-18, 04:18 PM
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[QUOTE=gugie;20208423]
Originally Posted by miamijim

Did someone say pix or it didn't happen?
Wrong way to tie the fork....just sayin'

Here's a basic pic showing how to protect dropouts without blocking them. There's a lot more cardboard than you see in this pic. I'll try to find my other pics...

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Old 03-06-18, 04:35 PM
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[QUOTE=miamijim;20208658]
Originally Posted by gugie

Wrong way to tie the fork....just sayin'

Here's a basic pic showing how to protect dropouts without blocking them. There's a lot more cardboard than you see in this pic. I'll try to find my other pics...

Look, we're picking nits here. I'm sure your frame gets to where it wants to be same as mine with no issues even if gorillas throw the box around.

To say mine is wrong with explanation, well...
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Old 03-06-18, 05:07 PM
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[QUOTE=gugie;20208693]
Originally Posted by miamijim

To say mine is wrong with explanation, well...
Far enough.

When boxing a frame position it so the DT is along the bottom of the box. This positioning allows for an overall smaller box. From there zip tie the fork steerer to the TT and the blades to the ST. With the fork positioned this way the steerer end is in a 'void' and its impossible for the fork end to the get bent.

Unfortunately the rest of my packaging pics are still buried on PB...beater frames get 'economy' packaging




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Old 03-06-18, 06:05 PM
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I paid $150. to have this $1200. Raleigh International UPS'd from Louisville KY to York PA, from Vic's Classic bikes.

Comparing this packaging job to photos of a well-packaged bike, I feel lucky to have gotten the bike mostly undamaged.
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Old 03-06-18, 08:04 PM
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[QUOTE=miamijim;20208740]
Originally Posted by gugie
When boxing a frame position it so the DT is along the bottom of the box. This positioning allows for an overall smaller box. From there zip tie the fork steerer to the TT and the blades to the ST. With the fork positioned this way the steerer end is in a 'void' and its impossible for the fork end to the get bent.
Looks like we've got two ways to skin the same cat.

I mocked these up on a frame I'm working on. No padding so it's easier to see what's going where:




As you can see my steerer is fully inside the main triangle. Sighting down the back end, the fork blades are inside the rear triangles as well.

Obviously one would wrap the frame tubing with cardboard or foam with this method prior to putting the fork in.

With the foam pipe insulation method, the box is only there to protect the insulation from getting it torn up. As others have mentioned, cut down your boxes "just right". This eliminates the frame bouncing around inside the box and alleviates the need to put half of your recycle bin in the box to fill up voids.

Yeah, I hate it when I get a bunch of garbage with the bike...
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Old 03-06-18, 10:39 PM
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Originally Posted by WGB
Has anyone shipped (not traveled with their bike) using Amtrak and if so what were the downsides? What did it cost?
I have shipped a bike using Amtrak. I shipped a touring bike from the Portland, OR Amtrak station to the Pittsburgh Amtrak station then about a year later I shipped the same bike in reverse. It cost me about $110 each way, including the cost of the box. I'm pretty sure the cost depends on how far it's going. Portland charged me for the box and I got a brand new one. In Pittsburgh they gave me a used one at no cost.

The "packing" method is not for the feint of heart. You literally just take off the handlebar and hang them on the top tube. The standard Amtrak box is big enough for the bike to roll in with wheels attached, and that's actually what Amtrak intends for you to do. I was shipping a Surly, so that was fine for me. I suppose you could be more careful if you so chose. The fact that they expect it in this condition tells you a little something about how they handle it, I hope.

Down sides? You can't ship from just any station. It has to be a station that handles checked baggage and it has to be going to a station that handles checked baggage. Also, they offer no promises as to delivery time. It goes on the next train that has room. That might be today, it might be next week. Mostly, I suspect, it's today. Coast-to-coast my delivery took about three days. I shipped early and the bike got to Pittsburgh before I did. Return shipping was about the same, as I recall.
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Old 03-07-18, 06:35 AM
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[QUOTE=gugie;20208989]
Originally Posted by miamijim

Looks like we've got two ways to skin the same cat.

As you can see my steerer is fully inside the main triangle. Sighting down the back end, the fork blades are inside the rear triangles as well.

Obviously one would wrap the frame tubing with cardboard or foam with this method prior to putting the fork in.

With the foam pipe insulation method, the box is only there to protect the insulation from getting it torn up. As others have mentioned, cut down your boxes "just right". This eliminates the frame bouncing around inside the box and alleviates the need to put half of your recycle bin in the box to fill up voids.

Yeah, I hate it when I get a bunch of garbage with the bike...
That'll work. Regardless of how the fork is positioned, it would take a catastrophic incident to damage the fork regardless on method.

I got tired of having to run out to Home Depot because I didn't have wood block, or screws or nuts n washers or whatever.
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Old 03-07-18, 08:43 AM
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[QUOTE=miamijim;20209352]
Originally Posted by gugie

That'll work. Regardless of how the fork is positioned, it would take a catastrophic incident to damage the fork regardless on method.

I got tired of having to run out to Home Depot because I didn't have wood block, or screws or nuts n washers or whatever.
Definitely use what you got. My got is a a buncha 2x4's, washers, and deck screws from old house projects.
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Old 03-07-18, 11:20 AM
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Originally Posted by wrk101
No box! It was just a frame wrapped in kraft paper (grocery bag stuff). Arrived OK! I would never chance it.
It happens - not that I would ever chance it, either!

This is how an Ebay purchase from France arrived a few years ago:



Imagine my surprise when it showed up on my porch! No damage here, either. Color me amazed

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Old 03-07-18, 12:42 PM
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I've been using a rolled up strip of cardboard to block dropouts. More than shown here so the hanger is protected but you get the idea. It's strong enough to stand on and less hassle/weight than cutting blocks of wood.

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Old 03-07-18, 01:19 PM
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Unless you have loose parts rattling around in the box that can damage the paint--which you shouldn't--IMO all that pipe insulation is totally unnecessary when shipping a frame and fork. The only places that need to be padded are the points where the frame will contact the box, like the HT, BB, seat tube top, and rear dropouts. Block the rear dropouts, for sure. A wood block that will also protect the derailleur hanger is best by far. I've seen padded rear dropouts pinched slightly closed because they were not blocked, without any damage to the paint. I've also seen rear triangles squished by shipping damage.

Oh and one more thing. If your frame has dropout adjustment screws, please screw them all the way in. Can't tell you how many of those I've seen bent or broken because someone didn't take the minute and a half to do that.

Even on a complete bike, you really only need to pad the points of contact. It's most important to make sure everything is securely attached so there's nothing loose. The bike should lift out of the box as a complete package. Anything that you remove from the bike (pedals, front QR etc) should be in a separate small box within the big box. If it's loose, it WILL damage the paint, and might even find its way out of the box.

IME shipping companies mandate a doublewall cardboard box or you will have no insurance claim basis from them. Read the fine print! Some bike boxes are doublewall, some are not, so if you have one that is not, double box your bike.

Lastly, please NEVER fill the box with packing peanuts, or crumpled paper, or that kind of stuff. It does nothing to protect a bike frame. Bike frames are mostly air, with sharp corners that can both damage and be damaged. Protect the corners from impacts, and the box from the corners, and make it all one piece, and that's all you need.
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