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shipping a bike vs renting

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shipping a bike vs renting

Old 06-09-14, 08:50 AM
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spectastic
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shipping a bike vs renting

I'm planning a visit to Seattle July 4th weekend. I'd like to be riding, so I'm weighting my costs. Is FedEx still the most economical way to ship bikes? (going from Houston area to Seattle and back)

I haven't looked at the rentals in Seattle very extensively, but it looks like $50-75 a day for an entry level bike, and more for a better bike.

thoughts?
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Old 06-09-14, 09:06 AM
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Originally Posted by spectastic View Post
Is FedEx still the most economical way to ship bikes? (going from Houston area to Seattle and back)
Have you compared with
The Best Lowest Bicycle Shipping in America and Worldwide | ShipBikes
which uses FedEx but specializes in bikes and has some different packing options.

Last edited by prathmann; 06-09-14 at 09:12 AM.
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Old 06-09-14, 09:14 AM
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rent one.

what happens in Seattle, stays in Seattle.
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Old 06-09-14, 09:38 AM
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I rented a bike in Seattle once, got a decent bike, and for 1-2 days it's cheaper than fed ex or the airline fees.

If you're going to travel much with a bike, S&S couplers pay for themselves in about 5 trips. They allow you to pack a bike in a standard size suitcase, with no extra baggage charges.
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Old 06-09-14, 09:55 AM
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Southwest, Jetblue, and Virgin all charge $50 each way for a bike (check and verify current fees). That's cheaper than any shipping option I'm aware of. You'll need a suitable bike box or bag (we use Aerus soft cases for our CF road bikes).
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Old 06-09-14, 10:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Looigi View Post
Southwest, Jetblue, and Virgin all charge $50 each way for a bike (check and verify current fees). That's cheaper than any shipping option I'm aware of. You'll need a suitable bike box or bag (we use Aerus soft cases for our CF road bikes).
https://www.southwest.com/html/custo...ab_list_tab_12

75$ for Southwest, one way. Scroll towards the bottom, bicycles have a specific listing.

I'm heading out to Seattle from July 1-12 for my cousins wedding and since I'm out there, may as well vacation. If I rented, it was going to cost me 150$ for my time out there and I'd rather use my own bike so I did some searching for options. My bike is going to get some air miles. Too bad I can't peddle in the air. Start a new club or something.
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Old 06-09-14, 10:49 AM
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in my last thread, I was told it was going to be cheaper to ship my bike via carrier. but now, the consensus seems to be it's cheaper to take the bike as a carryon
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Old 06-09-14, 10:57 AM
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Originally Posted by WrightVanCleve View Post

Too bad I can't peddle in the air.

Are you a salesman?
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Old 06-09-14, 12:43 PM
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Originally Posted by WrightVanCleve View Post
75$ for Southwest, one way. Scroll towards the bottom, bicycles have a specific listing....
Bummer. It went up since the last time I flew SW. JB and Virgin are still $50 (if under 50 lb for virgin). In the Aerus cases with all riding gear, spares and accessories ours weigh ~35 lb.
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Old 06-09-14, 01:00 PM
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curse these airline fees. I think the s&s coupling is a good idea, but damn it's expensive
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Old 06-09-14, 01:05 PM
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Been looking at doing a big vacation next year with the bike. Glad to have this thread to compare rates and ideas. I'd like to travel with my bike, as I'd be a bit to timid to ride a rental bike hard or descend a mountain on one.

Anyone ever traveled with their bike over seas? I'm trying to decide if I want to use this cash to go to Richmond for Worlds next year, or save up a bit more and fly to Europe and stay with a few people I've met and travel about via bike and train. They say the best time to travel is when you're young, and I don't want to miss out on seeing the world.
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Old 06-09-14, 02:03 PM
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I have a Ritchey BreakAway now, but before that I tried just about everything. If you have a good place to ship it to, I'd consider the ShipBikes option. Play with their calculator.

Renting is really hit or miss, in my experience. It's hard to find a shop with good customer service that actually takes care of its rental bikes. You'll want to take so much of your own stuff (helmet, shoes, pedals, saddle, possibly tires), which takes baggage space. There's a good chance you'll get in after the shop is closed, then there's a good chance you'll have to wait until 9:00 or 10:00 the next day to pick the bike up. On your last day you'll have to turn the bike back in at an earlier time than you'd probably hope for.
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Old 06-09-14, 03:30 PM
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Originally Posted by spectastic View Post
curse these airline fees. I think the s&s coupling is a good idea, but damn it's expensive
Several years ago when I was looking for a travel bike, I checked into S&S pretty closely. It's is a very good design, but I don't think any of the framebuilders that have an S&S option are really volume builders. That's why the frames are relatively expensive. The vast majority of buiilders work in steel or titanium. Calfee builds carbon frames with couplers. Donkelope is also listed on the S&S site as building in carbon, but not according to their web site. Only Bushnell was listed for aluminum coupled frames, but he's retired and aluminum frames of any sort are not mentioned on the follow-on R+E Cycles web page.

So, essentially the choices are steel or titanium from independent frame builders. People also do retrofits, but that's often on the order of $600 to $800. Also, don't lose that BTC spanner. If you do, the options are not good. All considered, the BreakAway seemed to be a simpler proposition. These days they have steel, titanium and carbon (as introduced at NAHBS) choices.
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Old 06-10-14, 08:38 AM
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FWIW: Holland Cycles in San Diego makes Ti frames with the Ritchey Breakaway design (with a few improvements), as well as frames with S&S couplers. He licenses the design from Ritchey. Personally, I like the Breakaway design over couplers.

I don't see the Breakaway option on his website, but he was doing it a year ago when I visited his shop.

Last edited by Looigi; 06-10-14 at 08:42 AM.
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Old 06-10-14, 08:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Looigi View Post
FWIW: Holland Cycles in San Diego makes Ti frames with the Ritchey Breakaway design (with a few improvements), as well as frames with S&S couplers. He licenses the design from Ritchey. Personally, I like the Breakaway design over couplers.

I don't see the Breakaway option on his website, but he was doing it a year ago when I visited his shop.
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Old 06-10-14, 11:15 AM
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Originally Posted by THSdrummer View Post
Been looking at doing a big vacation next year with the bike. Glad to have this thread to compare rates and ideas. I'd like to travel with my bike, as I'd be a bit to timid to ride a rental bike hard or descend a mountain on one.

Anyone ever traveled with their bike over seas? I'm trying to decide if I want to use this cash to go to Richmond for Worlds next year, or save up a bit more and fly to Europe and stay with a few people I've met and travel about via bike and train. They say the best time to travel is when you're young, and I don't want to miss out on seeing the world.
Last week I shipped my touring bike, racks, stove and empty fuel bottle from Philly to Missoula using Bikeflights.com. They have a deal with FedEx and others. I didn't feel like weighing it so I wildly overestmated the total weight at 90 lbs. The box is a Crateworks plastic model. The charge for ground shipping with pickup from a LBS was $73. Would have been $5 less had I carted the boxed bike to a FedEx location. Again, that;s for a weight of 90 lbs. Something more realistic would have saved me about $10. Ten days before your scheduled pick up date, Bikeflights emails you a prepaid FedEx slip. You make two copies. One goes on each end of the bike box. The third goes inside for backup.

I will be flying United out to the start of the tour. United's bike fee is $175. When I went to Oregon two years ago I flew Southwest, so flying with the bike made economic sense and I didn't have to go without my bike while it was being shipped.

The box was picked up last Thursday. It left St. Paul last night. Scheduled delivery date is tomorrow.

Bikeflights also does international shipping. Their web site is easy to use and their customer service responsive. I had a few questions before I purchased so I emailed them They got back to me within 1 hr.

I flew to Venice last year with my road bike. U.S. Air chaged $200 each way. Note that travelling with a bike on a train in Europe is not always easy if that's what you are condsidering doing. Ease varies with country and with the particular type of train service you plan to take.
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Old 06-10-14, 11:24 AM
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Originally Posted by spectastic View Post
in my last thread, I was told it was going to be cheaper to ship my bike via carrier. but now, the consensus seems to be it's cheaper to take the bike as a carryon
I think you mean as checked baggage.

See my post #16 . It really depends on the airline. Except for SW, JB and maybe one or two others, the airlines charge a lot more than you should be able to ship for. With the money you save, you can ship to a local shop and have them reassemble and tune the bike. My bike is currently on its way to the Missoula REI, where it will be ready to ride when I land next week. The store will also hold my bike box and duffel bag. When I return, I will drop the bike off for re-boxing and shipping back home. One advantage of going that route is that you don't have to deal with lugging the bike box around and getting it from/to the airport. In my case, the REI is two blocks from the campground where I will be starting and ending my tour. I will take a cab from the airport to the campground (about a 3 mile ride), drop off my gear and make the short walk to pick up the bike.
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Old 06-10-14, 05:07 PM
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Don't overlook minor damage to your bike. If you're a fanatic about your bike's appearance, you need to factor in that you will almost certainly have some minor scrapes or nicks. I've shipped bikes several times from Raleigh to Boston. I've had great success but I resigned myself that I won't cry over another minor ding on the bike. I did not ship my best bike, but sent the "rain" bike up to Boston.
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Old 06-10-14, 05:17 PM
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rented a carbon Roubaix in Hawaii back in February. excellent bike, and well worth the rental! Seattle? can't help you there.
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Old 06-10-14, 08:57 PM
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The cheap option for shipped bikes also go by ground which takes a few days.

In my case, it was going to take 5 days one way. I only have the one road bike and I don't care to go that long, 10 days total for shipping both ways, without a bike to ride. I'm loosing weight very well this year and I don't want to loose any progress and that much time, even if it is split, is just too much for me personally.

Any option to make the bike ship faster was going to just cost too much and I'm better off taking it as baggage and paying the 150$ for round trip.
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Old 06-11-14, 04:14 AM
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Originally Posted by spectastic View Post
in my last thread, I was told it was going to be cheaper to ship my bike via carrier. but now, the consensus seems to be it's cheaper to take the bike as a carryon
Look it up.

Have a look here: (scroll down)
Airline Baggage Regulations For Bicycles


And then look up the cost of bicycles (not other luggage, specifically bicycles) on the site of the airline of your choice to double-check.
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Old 06-11-14, 04:16 AM
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Originally Posted by THSdrummer View Post
Anyone ever traveled with their bike over seas? I'm trying to decide if I want to use this cash to go to Richmond for Worlds next year, or save up a bit more and fly to Europe and stay with a few people I've met and travel about via bike and train. They say the best time to travel is when you're young, and I don't want to miss out on seeing the world.

Yes ... many times.

See ... Charlene Barach (Machka) - Randonneuring, Ultra-Distance Cycling, Touring
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Old 06-11-14, 04:23 AM
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In 1977 I shipped my bike to Ireland for a long awaited trip throughout the country. When I arrived at Shannon airport I found the bike unrideable. I stashed the bike at a B and B and spent the month hitchhiking and walking throughout the country, still a great time but I sure missed that bike. Rent it. Bring your own shoes and pedals and one can usually find a good dealer in most places for a quality bike.
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Old 06-11-14, 04:30 AM
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I have rented bikes only a few times. Fees vary by shop. A Fuji Altamira in Hawaii was $150.00 for 5 days but a Trek Domane in SLC was $75 for one day. Both were fun and worth it to me. It is one heck of a lot less hassle than packing, shipping, re-assembling, dis-assembling, packing again, shipping again, re-assembling at home again, schlepping all over. I suppose it all depends on what type of riding you will be doing.
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