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Shipping a Bike

Old 01-15-16, 09:57 AM
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AZSkeptic
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Shipping a Bike

I'm an attorney who will be starting a two week trial mid-March on the other side of the country. I'd like to continue some training during that period and am contemplating sending my bike and training stand to the hotel where I'll be staying. Has anyone had any experience with this, and if so, any tips on the best and most affordable way to go about doing this?
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Old 01-15-16, 10:20 AM
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Hmmm. Disassemble and pack the bike and trainer. Ship across country. Reassemble and set up at the other end. Then redo everything 2 weeks later.

Honestly, "affordable" isn't a word that comes to mind.
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Old 01-15-16, 10:57 AM
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Many options.

Affordable: go to your LBS and ask for a bike box + packing material, check out "how to pack/ship a bike" tutorials online, and then figure out the convenience/cost ratio of either shipping it via FedEx/UPS or bringing it with you on the plane as stowed luggage. Maybe check out BikeFlights.

Less affordable: have your local shop deal with packing and shipping your bike; arrange for a local shop on the other end to receive, unpack, assemble. And then reverse the process on the way back.

Expensive: Get a dedicated hardcase bike case, like some of the Thule offerings or similar, and then... pack and ship yourself, have a shop do it, etc.

And there's any number of variables in between. Have a shop pack the bike, but pick up to ship on your own or take it on the plane with you; have the shop pack it in their bike box; have the shop pack it in their rental hardcase or your purchased hardcase, etc.
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Old 01-15-16, 12:02 PM
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Rent a bike at your destination.
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Old 01-15-16, 12:38 PM
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Originally Posted by mconlonx View Post
Many options.

Affordable: go to your LBS and ask for a bike box + packing material, check out "how to pack/ship a bike" tutorials online, and then figure out the convenience/cost ratio of either shipping it via FedEx/UPS or bringing it with you on the plane as stowed luggage. Maybe check out BikeFlights.
I've used BikeFlights before to ship a frame for painting.
I packed it myself and hauled it over to the Fedex Office.

It was about $40 with insurance so I though the price was pretty reasonable.
The Fedex consumer price would have been close to $100 for what I was shipping.
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Old 01-15-16, 12:49 PM
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bikeflights.com It's basically a business that sells bike shipping via FedEx at a discount. Check out their web site. If you have box dimensions, total weight (you can estimate to get an idea of the rates) and origin and destination zip codes you can get a rate quote. I have used them twice to ship my large touring bike to MT and SD for tours. Back in June, my 87 linear inch bike case with bike, racks, stove and fuel bottle inside estimated at 60 lbs. cost me $46 from Philly to Rapid City, SD for four-day shipping. I am going back to MT in June and will surely use them again. Unless you are flying Southwest or Frontier, you are likely going to pay through the nose to fly with your bike. I am flying Delta to MT in June. Delta charges $150 for a bike. For not much more than that I can have the bike professionally packed (about $50), shipped (about $75) and reassembled and tuned at my destination (about $40). No fuss, no muss. The bike is waiting for me, ready to ride, when I arrive at my destination, and there is no worries about arranging for ground transportation that can accommodate my bike box.
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Old 01-15-16, 02:05 PM
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Thank you all for the great suggestions. BikeFlights sounds like a good option--I will look into it.
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Old 01-15-16, 02:24 PM
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Bikeflights.com is great. I've used them for all kinds of shipping.

To protect the bike well when it's packed in the box, see if the bike shop can keep some of the foam tubes that pack the bikes from the factory.
If not, pool noodles work well to protect the tubing.
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Old 01-15-16, 03:02 PM
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Living at a place where many people tour the LBS gets bikes shipped in to be held or assembled for the rider

that is using PDX airport then taking the POINT Bus to, the Coast ..

also ship back bikes to the east , to where the riders started from.

other side of the country from AZ? is that North ?
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Old 01-15-16, 04:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post

Honestly, "affordable" isn't a word that comes to mind.
Honestly, he's an attorney.
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Old 01-16-16, 05:15 AM
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Originally Posted by AZSkeptic View Post
I'm an attorney who will be starting a two week trial mid-March on the other side of the country. I'd like to continue some training during that period and am contemplating sending my bike and training stand to the hotel where I'll be staying. Has anyone had any experience with this, and if so, any tips on the best and most affordable way to go about doing this?
Does your hotel have a gym ... many do. I think I'd look into that as my first choice.
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Old 01-16-16, 05:16 PM
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Fellow attorney here as well. I've considered doing the same but ultimately decided not to. For me at least, it's hard to find time during trial to bike except when it's dark (early morning or late evening) and then you have to figure out where to ride and not get lost. And unless you disassemble and reassemble the bike yourself, you'll probably find yourself spending an inordinate amount of time dealing with your bike. If you really want to bike, consider just renting a bike from an LBS or taking spin classes at a nearby gym (I find they usually have really early classes). Or just exercise at the hotel gym - boring, but fast and easy. Good luck with your trial.
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Old 01-16-16, 05:28 PM
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1) Figure out what you'd spend packing and shipping a bike there and back.
2) That's your budget.
3) Check out Craigslist at your destination.
4) Correspond with the seller of a bike you could stand riding for a couple weeks, make sure they can deal with whatever arrangements you need, like dropping it off at your hotel, a local bikeshop, or make sure it's close enough you can easily pick it up.
5) Ride it for the two weeks.
6) The last few days, advertise it on CL for what you paid. Lower the price each day. If it doesn't sell, leave it unlocked somewhere or donate it to some worthy org.
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Old 01-16-16, 05:46 PM
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I have used Ship Bikes. I got a bike box from a friend and packed my bike in it and shipped it from Texas to Florida. I entered the dimensions and weight of the box and printed the label at home and then dropped it off at FedEx. The price was about $46 and it arrived in about 4 days via FedEx Ground. The box arrived in good condition.
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Old 01-16-16, 07:24 PM
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I have also used Ship Bikes and they have been great. I use their Air Caddy because I don't have to fully disassemble the bike. I've shipped two round trips and the box is still good for at least one more trip. No damage to the bike yet. They also have discount rates with UPS or FedEx.
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Old 01-19-16, 04:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
Does your hotel have a gym ... many do. I think I'd look into that as my first choice.
I agree with this. If you're just going to be riding inside anyway, most nicer hotels will have a workout room with some kind of stationary/spin bike. Download a workout or two to your phone from CTS or whatever you prefer and get after it.

I spent a month on a work assignment in West Virginia a couple of years ago and this worked out well.
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