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How to ship a frame

Old 01-06-12, 11:59 AM
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Orrery
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How to ship a frame

Hi,

I did a preliminary search but couldn't find a thread -- do you guys and gals have any advice on how to ship a frame for the cheapest price?

I have a full size bike box in OK condition that I can use as a starting point. Do you guys usually cut these down or are there other box sources to try?

Probably a silly question but I've never bought a frame off of the net and I plan to try selling one soon.

Thanks!
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Old 01-06-12, 12:12 PM
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Maybe this might help. Here is pictures of the last frame I shipped:




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Old 01-06-12, 12:12 PM
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https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...highlight=pack

I cut down regular bike boxes, on occasion smaller BMX or kids bike boxes are a close fit. USPS parcel post for FedEx for shipping.
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Old 01-06-12, 12:18 PM
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This is how I ship bicycles internationally. Frames are not different, just easier to pack.

And good packing is the absolute best insurance you can offer to your customer.
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Old 01-06-12, 12:19 PM
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Thanks everyone for the very useful links/advice!
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Old 01-06-12, 12:19 PM
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I usually remove the front fork, pad it, and strap it to the downtube backwards. Makes it easier to cut the box down to a small size (even with a tall frame) and minimizes those pesky bent fork/bent downtube accidents.
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Old 01-06-12, 12:35 PM
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If you really want to save money, the box needs to be at or below 108" total in length + 2 x width = 2 x height.
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Old 01-06-12, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by realestvin7
If you really want to save money, the box needs to be at or below 108" total in length + 2 x width = 2 x height.
Certainly for USPS Priority Mail but you can easily make a f/f fit safely within those dimensions.
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Old 01-06-12, 01:54 PM
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I shipped a bike(minus wheels) from one coast to the other a couple weeks ago.

A local bike shop sold me a bike box(included all of the pipe foam wrap and foam blocks for dropouts) for $5. That was a well spent five bucks. I also opened a personal account with Fedex(no cost to start one),which saved about $18 in shipping.

The total was $51 and change. without opening a fedex account, I was quoted $68. Time frame was 7 days, coast to coast.

BTW, the package weight was 24 pounds, and size(41x29x8)

I should note: I did go to one of the local mail box joints first. I was quote $84 to ship via fedex from them, and $104 via USPS. I got an education and saved money going directly to a Fedex location.

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Old 01-06-12, 02:35 PM
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This is a useful thread. I just shipped a frame (< 15 lbs.) a few days ago via UPS. With insurance, it came to $143.61 (!) and that was to ship it a mere 340 miles.
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Old 01-06-12, 02:58 PM
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Wow. That price seems insane. I also just got a fedex account opened up so I can start ebaying my bicycles.
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Old 01-06-12, 03:05 PM
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For a box... I use two wheel boxes... easier than cutting down a bike box to the correct size. With shipping its all about dimensional weight. I use Fedex for frames and bikes... USPS for small parts.
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Old 01-06-12, 03:57 PM
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That's the way to pack a bike!
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Old 01-06-12, 05:27 PM
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Originally Posted by bikemanbob
Maybe this might help. Here is pictures of the last frame I shipped:


The fork needs to be turned backwards!!! If the box is droped on its end with the fork facing forwards the fork ends will take the brunt of the impact, with the fork turned backwards there'll be a void in the lower corner of the box and the headtube will take the brunt of an impact!!
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Old 01-06-12, 05:50 PM
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I send about 20 frames out to all parts of the world, never had any damaged in transit. touch wood...

I flatten a bike box, then cut it in half to make two frame sized boxes.
I take the forks out the frame so the pack is smaller, saves almost 1kg ($$)

Try and make the box a tight fit so the frame does not rattle around, I wrap up the rear-end in bubblewrap+cardboard and the headtube and bb.

Use lots of brown tape, when finished you should be confident enough to throw the box around and drop it off a table, even stand on it. (thats whats going to happen to it anyway)
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Old 01-06-12, 06:29 PM
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I'm prettymuch like prettyshady....

The main thing is frame protection. There are two things that will damage your frame: movement in the box and movement of the box.

Movement in the box-secure the frame inside the box with "dunnage," which is no more than packing materials. use something that won't rub the frame and damage the paint, and has enough density/material characteristics to dampen internal impacts. A box cut to fit goes a long way, and then strategic dunnage that limits movement in the box will complete this part. Secure everything else if you can, or protect it and the frame from each other.

Movement of the box-due to exterior forces (UPS/USPS/FedEx, etc). If the box is dropped, squeezed, etc, the frame can be damaged by external forces. Be sure to put something in the fork ends and the rear dropouts, and brace around the RD hangar to remove the possibility of it getting bent. I have made the mistake of not doing it, and was forgiven. My UPS friends tell me that the box should withstand a 10-foot drop.

Secondary is box size.
Choice A is a frame box, then use dunnage and frame-protecting pieces, secured inside so as not to damage themselves or other bits.

Choice B is a bike box cut down to a size where the frame fits and packing fits and little else, securely re-taped or even banded to keep the box's integrity. I open up the box like a pizza box, and keep the stapled corner edge intact, then cut as square as possible, as small as possible. With tons of packing, you can use a whole bike box, but will pay through the nose.

A few things I've learned:
Cardboard will scratch a frame and rub off paint.
If it can move, and damage anything inside a box, it will, whatever it is.
An unsecured, well-padded frame can still come right through the end of a box.
Removing the fork is safer, better for the frame and the fork, and allows a smaller box.
108'' is the magic number, length + girth.
A roll of plastic wrap or that foam stuff can do wonders.
The smaller the box, the better the chance any damage is the goons' fault.

Bike shops are your friends.
I've never paid for a bike box or a frame box, but I've bought my share of bar wrap, cables, and a tube now and then.

I ship frames coast-coast. In fact, NC to CA is between $23-$26 with delivery confirmation. I use Parcel Post. If the person getting the frame wants it Right Now, I'll be glad to ship it any way he/she wants to pay.
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Old 01-06-12, 07:06 PM
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Originally Posted by spats
Wow. That price seems insane. I also just got a fedex account opened up so I can start ebaying my bicycles.
Originally Posted by RobbieTunes
I ship frames coast-coast. In fact, NC to CA is between $23-$26 with delivery confirmation. I use Parcel Post. If the person getting the frame wants it Right Now, I'll be glad to ship it any way he/she wants to pay.

USPS is the way to go when shipping just a frame set. Pay attention to the size of the box and don't exceed the magic number, and you can ship one anywhere in the US for about $25. Properly packed.
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Old 01-06-12, 07:08 PM
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You can also use the box in a box method: foam insulation on everything, fork removed and fully insulated, then cut one full side out of the first box and double it up on it's opposite side and then zip tie the frame to the doubled panel with all members isolated at least two inches from any side of the box (except the side it's zip-tied to of course) and then zip tie the fork to the frame and slide the entire assembly into a second box that is slightly larger all around. I've received several frames like this with no dunnage whatsoever, just the two box method.
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Old 01-06-12, 07:08 PM
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Originally Posted by RobbieTunes

I ship frames coast-coast. In fact, NC to CA is between $23-$26 with delivery confirmation. I use Parcel Post. If the person getting the frame wants it Right Now, I'll be glad to ship it any way he/she wants to pay.
$23 to $26, WOW! Can you post pics of a packed box (external, what it looks like)?
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Old 01-06-12, 07:12 PM
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Originally Posted by wrk101
$23 to $26, WOW! Can you post pics of a packed box (external, what it looks like)?
All you have to do is get the box inside the 108" length+girth limit. If you go over by 1", the price will jump astronomically. The last one I shipped went for $18 and change. 1" bigger, and the price jumped to $68.
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Old 01-06-12, 07:13 PM
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Originally Posted by wrk101
$23 to $26, WOW! Can you post pics of a packed box (external, what it looks like)?
For USPS the box just has to come in at or under the 108 cumulative inch rule cited earlier. I just sent a full 57cm bike less wheels to Alaska via USPS Priority Mail and the cost including $600 insurance was less than $80; it took two days to get from Nebraska to Alaska and another week of shuffling around in Anchorage before the local yokels got it delivered.
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Old 01-06-12, 08:03 PM
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Another Idea is to check with some LBS close to you they often have extra frame and bike boxes from stuff that has just arrived and will likely through out that you can for little or nothing. You should be able to get a correct used box for nothing.
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Old 01-06-12, 08:15 PM
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