Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Road Cycling
Reload this Page >

Shipping a bike to a friend

Notices
Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Shipping a bike to a friend

Old 09-04-12, 05:46 PM
  #1  
gentleman of leisure
Thread Starter
 
boze's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Washington DC
Posts: 669
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Shipping a bike to a friend

I'd like to ship a Madone one-way from coast to coast but the shops I've called in DC said they charge $60 to box plus an extra $150 to ship to California.

I read a ton of different threads before posting this but I'm still not sure how best to sidestep what seems like an expensive options in shipping via LBS. I'm also not sure what the best shipping option is between FedEx and USPS.

One thread had how-to instructions for packing a bike, but it was old and all the images were broken. The bike is a 2010 with an upgraded wheelset so if I need to do this myself to save $100 or more I want to do it right.

It seems like I'm going to have to:

1) buy a box that isn't too big
2) learn how to safely pack the bike myself
3) keep the dimensions within the OS2 range for FedEx or whatever
4) use either FedEx or USPS because UPS is the devil

Alternately, I could pay for the boxing and try to negotiate better shipping myself. But this runs the risk of them not keeping a close watch on the box dimensions, which I've read is really important.

I'd appreciate any advice on how to handle this. Thanks!
boze is offline  
Old 09-04-12, 05:54 PM
  #2  
toasty!
 
AK404's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Troy, MI
Posts: 710

Bikes: 1998 Cannondale r200, 2011 Bianchi Via Nirone 7; 2007 Redline Conquest Pro

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
You shouldn't have to buy a box. Your LBS tosses them out every time a new bike comes in, and they should have a few in the back. Most LBSes I know, just hand you a bike box.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jnVagFM-1Xs
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G6NMPUWlsvE
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zcWdMB-aApQ

It's easier than it looks.

FedEx, BTW.
AK404 is offline  
Old 09-04-12, 05:58 PM
  #3  
Senior Member
 
JaceK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Saratoga, NY
Posts: 613

Bikes: 2007 Trek Madone 5.9 (Shimano DA), 2008 Kuota Khan (SRAM Red), 2009 Giant OCR2 ( Shimano 105 ), Lynsky R340 ( SRAM Rival )

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Bike shop for a box, as mentioned above. I paid UPS 35$ to ship the last one I sent.
JaceK is offline  
Old 09-04-12, 05:58 PM
  #4  
got the climbing bug
 
jsigone's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: San Diego
Posts: 10,204

Bikes: one for everything

Mentioned: 82 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 632 Post(s)
Liked 908 Times in 273 Posts
take it to a LBS you like and ask what they charge to ship and handle this for you. Should be about $150 or so and they have plenty of boxes.
__________________
Rule #10 // It never gets easier, you just go faster.
jsigone is offline  
Old 09-04-12, 06:01 PM
  #5  
gentleman of leisure
Thread Starter
 
boze's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Washington DC
Posts: 669
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanks, AK! This should be enough to sort me out as long as I make sure to follow instructions and don't exceed the size limits for FedEx. =)
boze is offline  
Old 09-04-12, 06:01 PM
  #6  
Spin Meister
 
icyclist's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: California, USA
Posts: 2,651

Bikes: Trek Émonda, 1961 Follis (French) road bike (I'm the original owner), a fixie, a mountain bike, etc.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 54 Post(s)
Liked 41 Times in 16 Posts
Get the LBS to pack the bike if you think you can't figure out how to pack the box yourself.

Then ship it. Use Fed Ex (obviously don't use the overnight option), and don't use Fed Ex Ground, which is a cheaper but much riskier way to ship a bike, even one properly packed in a cardboard bike box.
__________________
This post is a natural product. Slight variations in spelling and grammar enhance its individual character and beauty and are in no way to be considered flaws or defects.
icyclist is offline  
Old 09-04-12, 06:03 PM
  #7  
gentleman of leisure
Thread Starter
 
boze's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Washington DC
Posts: 669
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Hey Icyclist - You say DON'T use FedEx Ground?! So I should choose an air shipping option but just a slow one? Glad you said something because I wouldn't have guessed that.
boze is offline  
Old 09-04-12, 07:02 PM
  #8  
Senior Member
 
mulveyr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: In the wilds of NY
Posts: 1,572

Bikes: Specialized Diverge, Box Dog Pelican, 1991 Cannondale tandem

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 41 Post(s)
Liked 11 Times in 4 Posts
Originally Posted by boze
Hey Icyclist - You say DON'T use FedEx Ground?! So I should choose an air shipping option but just a slow one? Glad you said something because I wouldn't have guessed that.
I've had several bikes ( and LOTS of other far more expensive and delicate stuff ) shipped FedEx ground. The only difference from air shipping is that ground is often far cheaper.
__________________
Knows the weight of my bike to the nearest 10 pounds.
mulveyr is offline  
Old 09-04-12, 07:08 PM
  #9  
Senior Member
 
mulveyr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: In the wilds of NY
Posts: 1,572

Bikes: Specialized Diverge, Box Dog Pelican, 1991 Cannondale tandem

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 41 Post(s)
Liked 11 Times in 4 Posts
Also, if you're in a position where you can drop the bike off at and have it picked up at a staffed train station, Amtrak Express shipping is VERY inexpensive. I've shipped bikes with them on tours and they treated them just fine. The Amtrak website is useless for shipping - you'll need to call them up and get city information and rates. Make absolutely sure you mention it's for a bike, since they're exempt from size limits.
__________________
Knows the weight of my bike to the nearest 10 pounds.
mulveyr is offline  
Old 09-04-12, 07:14 PM
  #10  
gentleman of leisure
Thread Starter
 
boze's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Washington DC
Posts: 669
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanks, Mulveyr! So since you've done both how much do I stand to save with Amtrak Express shipping?

Very helpful comments and suggestions all around - I really appreciate it.
boze is offline  
Old 09-04-12, 07:25 PM
  #11  
Senior Member
 
mulveyr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: In the wilds of NY
Posts: 1,572

Bikes: Specialized Diverge, Box Dog Pelican, 1991 Cannondale tandem

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 41 Post(s)
Liked 11 Times in 4 Posts
Originally Posted by boze
Thanks, Mulveyr! So since you've done both how much do I stand to save with Amtrak Express shipping?

Very helpful comments and suggestions all around - I really appreciate it.
The last time I had one shipped via Amtrak, from San Francisco to upstate NY, it was about a third the cost of the cheapest UPS/FedEx/etc. option. Here's a web page from a guy who broke out the various options for shipping his tandem from CA to Boston, and found the cheapest was around $40 ( granted, ten years ago, but the relative savings is probably still about the same ): https://www.bikingbrian.com/bicycling/tech/shipping.htm

Downside is no tracking info, and it can take up to two weeks to make the trip. IIRC, they'd insure up to $2500 or so.
__________________
Knows the weight of my bike to the nearest 10 pounds.
mulveyr is offline  
Old 09-04-12, 07:27 PM
  #12  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 7,848
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
1st thing, you have to get the right box size? why? because if the box is too big you get charged over size and probably that's why the shop is asking 150. Since you are sending the whole bike then sure will be oversize packaging.

If you want to make it cheaper you have to get a frame box and a wheelset box. Frame boxes are smaller obviously so it will cost less because are right at the limit between normal and oversize packaging. I really cant remember whats the size limit but you can ask or maybe some guy here knows?

Now, go to a bike shop or ask in CL for a bike box, sure somebody has a couple moving around. Just be careful and always tie (or tape) stuff so the parts do not move.

Second thing, ask in USPS and send that with insurance because you never know, so pay the insurance and the tracking number and put fragile everywhere in the box.

Between you and me the shop was kind'a ok in the price, but if you get the box i doubt you will be able to send that to california for less than 100 bucks just because is the whole bike, not a frame. A frame is like 50 bucks.

Good luck.
ultraman6970 is offline  
Old 09-04-12, 10:39 PM
  #13  
Spin Meister
 
icyclist's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: California, USA
Posts: 2,651

Bikes: Trek Émonda, 1961 Follis (French) road bike (I'm the original owner), a fixie, a mountain bike, etc.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 54 Post(s)
Liked 41 Times in 16 Posts
The reason I don't recommend Fed Ex Ground is that I've had a bike damaged by Fed Ex Ground, and I've since had Fed Ex employees tell me that a bike box gets banged around during the road trip to wherever it's going. That's because on the Fed Ex truck, boxes are continuously added and removed, and they aren't exactly placed with the greatest of car. That ups the chance for damage to a bike, or anything else.

Fed Ex Ground is definitely cheaper, but I won't take the risk anymore when I ship a bike.
__________________
This post is a natural product. Slight variations in spelling and grammar enhance its individual character and beauty and are in no way to be considered flaws or defects.
icyclist is offline  
Old 09-05-12, 04:41 AM
  #14  
Number One
 
iareConfusE's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Danville, CA
Posts: 536

Bikes: Scott CR1 Elite

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
www.shipbikes.com

Used this service tones of times.
iareConfusE is offline  
Old 09-05-12, 06:46 AM
  #15  
weapons-grade bolognium
 
thinktubes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Across the street from Chicago
Posts: 6,341

Bikes: Battaglin Cromor, Ciocc Designer 84, Schwinn Superior 1981

Mentioned: 44 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 984 Post(s)
Liked 2,369 Times in 888 Posts
Check into USPS. I shipped a bike from Chicago to Texas for $60.

I would NEVER do any business with a bike shop that would try to charge $60 for a box. Poke around behind any shop, and you'll find all the boxes you'll ever need.
thinktubes is offline  
Old 09-05-12, 06:56 AM
  #16  
On Your Left
 
GlennR's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Long Island, New York, USA
Posts: 8,373

Bikes: Trek Emonda SLR, Sram eTap, Zipp 303

Mentioned: 34 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3004 Post(s)
Liked 2,433 Times in 1,187 Posts
Originally Posted by thinktubes
I would NEVER do any business with a bike shop that would try to charge $60 for a box.
It was $60 to box it up... not just the box.

I get boxes regularly from the LBS and use the cardboard for making odd size boxes for stuff i sell online.

I can't imagine a LBS charging you for a box alone. And if you ask ahead of time i'm sure they'll save a box and all the packaging for you. The internal packaging and padding will make it more secure and safe for it's trip.
GlennR is offline  
Old 09-05-12, 07:31 AM
  #17  
Banned
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: in the foothills
Posts: 420
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by mulveyr
Also, if you're in a position where you can drop the bike off at and have it picked up at a staffed train station, Amtrak Express shipping is VERY inexpensive.
Because the taxpayers are paying for it.
SCochiller is offline  
Old 09-05-12, 07:53 AM
  #18  
Senior Member
 
Looigi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 8,951
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 14 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 13 Times in 12 Posts
Go visit your friend and take the bike along. I'm flying coast to coast next month, paid $280 round trip on JetBlue, and will pay $50 baggage fee for the bike I'm taking.
Looigi is offline  
Old 09-05-12, 08:05 AM
  #19  
Tour De French Fries
 
Elduderino2412's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Salt Lake City
Posts: 1,251

Bikes: 2010 Cervelo R3 SL & 2013 Airborne Goblin

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by iareConfusE
www.shipbikes.com

Used this service tones of times.
damn wish i would have know about that a month ago. Looks like a good deal
Elduderino2412 is offline  
Old 09-05-12, 10:11 AM
  #20  
Senior Member
 
dfischer1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: DC
Posts: 64

Bikes: 1993 Bridgestone RB-1, 1995 Ted Wojcik Hardtail, 2012 Motobecane Le Champ Ti, 1999 Eddy Merckx Corsa 01, 1992 Colnago Master Light, 1986 Bertoni (disguised as a Swiss Military Bike) for city/gravel riding.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by iareConfusE
www.shipbikes.com

Used this service tones of times.
+1, but I ended up using my wife's corporate UPS discount to send a bike from DC to New Mexico for $45.

And bike shops really shouldn't charge you for a bike box.
dfischer1 is offline  
Old 09-06-12, 11:49 AM
  #21  
Senior Member
 
mulveyr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: In the wilds of NY
Posts: 1,572

Bikes: Specialized Diverge, Box Dog Pelican, 1991 Cannondale tandem

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 41 Post(s)
Liked 11 Times in 4 Posts
Originally Posted by SCochiller
Because the taxpayers are paying for it.
Sure, just like we're paying for the roads and airlines. If you're under the mistaken impression that gas and user taxes are fully funding the highway system, you're many years out of date.
__________________
Knows the weight of my bike to the nearest 10 pounds.
mulveyr is offline  
Old 09-06-12, 11:56 AM
  #22  
Senior Member
 
mulveyr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: In the wilds of NY
Posts: 1,572

Bikes: Specialized Diverge, Box Dog Pelican, 1991 Cannondale tandem

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 41 Post(s)
Liked 11 Times in 4 Posts
Originally Posted by iareConfusE
www.shipbikes.com

Used this service tones of times.
Interesting - I wonder what is supposed to make them cheaper than a direct FedEx shipment? Do they palletize groups of them or something like that to get better rates?
__________________
Knows the weight of my bike to the nearest 10 pounds.
mulveyr is offline  
Old 09-06-12, 11:59 AM
  #23  
Super Moderator
 
Homebrew01's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Ffld Cnty Connecticut
Posts: 21,843

Bikes: Old Steelies I made, Old Cannondales

Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1173 Post(s)
Liked 927 Times in 612 Posts
I've heard of people using bus companies to ship bikes etc ..
__________________
Bikes: Old steel race bikes, old Cannondale race bikes, less old Cannondale race bike, crappy old mtn bike.

FYI: https://www.bikeforums.net/forum-sugg...ad-please.html
Homebrew01 is offline  
Old 09-06-12, 01:26 PM
  #24  
Senior Member
 
FL_MarkD's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Holiday, FL
Posts: 301

Bikes: Serotta Fierte IT

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by mulveyr
Interesting - I wonder what is supposed to make them cheaper than a direct FedEx shipment? Do they palletize groups of them or something like that to get better rates?
I used them last year and they were easy to use, I purchased the eBike Shipper box and it worked great. They can sell you a FedEx shipping label cheaper because they buy in bulk from FedEx and get a discount. I just dropped the box off at the local FedEx office and they shipped ground.

Mark
FL_MarkD is offline  
Old 09-06-12, 01:57 PM
  #25  
The Rock Cycle
 
eofelis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Western Colorado
Posts: 1,690

Bikes: Salsa Vaya Ti, Specialized Ruby, Gunnar Sport, Motobecane Fantom CXX, Jamis Dragon, Novara Randonee x2

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 17 Post(s)
Liked 16 Times in 6 Posts
Originally Posted by iareConfusE
www.shipbikes.com

Used this service tones of times.
I've used bikeflights dot com to ship some frames I've sold.
Even shipped a bike frame from the US to Australia with minimal hassle, for about 1/2 the price of if I'd gone through Fedex myself.
__________________
Gunnar Sport
Specialized Ruby
Salsa Vaya Ti
Novara Randonee x2
Motobecane Fantom CXX
Jamis Dakar XCR
eofelis is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.