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Sending Bike SD to SF

Old 01-18-10, 06:00 PM
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Sending Bike SD to SF

I need to get my bike from San Diego to San Francisco (flying up on Southwest & cycling back) and was wondering if the best option is to ship it separately or to take it on the flight? Any experiences, please?

I've only taken it on flights in Europe before and although it's not the priciest bike, I don't like the idea of hamfisted baggage handlers damaging a wheel etc... Then again, I don't know if shipping is much safer.

Thankyou!
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Old 01-18-10, 07:29 PM
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airlines usually charge about $100 each way, and their gorillas seem to take pleasure in trying to inflict as much damage on luggage as possible. i think it's almost always cheaper to ship to a shop or someone's house

if you got a folder or a coupled bike, you might be able to check it as regular luggage, and not sports equipment. i think that usually depends on whether you can pack your bike to under 62 linear inches.
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Old 01-18-10, 07:44 PM
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All I could see in my mind's eye was this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5YGc4zOqozo

I sent a bike from CA to CO last September via FedEx for less than $40. I know the rates increased for all carriers, but that's still cheaper than what most airlines charge.
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Old 01-18-10, 09:22 PM
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I shipped my bike from the OC to Crescent City, CA for about $55 via UPS last October. I shipped to a bike shop. United would have charged $150 to take the bike as checked luggage.

Make sure you read and understand the cost basis for shipping at UPS or you could get a surprise. One of my buddies that shipped his bike for the same trip spent $135 because he packed the bike heavy and in too large a box.

Good luck,
HB
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Old 01-18-10, 10:01 PM
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I recommend shipping to a co-operating shop in the Bay area. It will be cheaper, and If there is any damage enroute, you'll be able to use their shop tools and expertise. You should post in the Northern California Regional to get recommendations on bike shops.
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Old 01-19-10, 10:17 AM
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Southwest has one of the cheapest fees for taking a bike on the plane (about $40 when I last checked), so that may not be a bad option. When I cycled from SF to Orange County, I rented a car one way and drove the bike (it was a tandem) up to SF.
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Old 01-20-10, 01:12 PM
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Fed Ex ground. Find a bike box (most bike shops will be happy to give you one). Last year I purchased a bike in NYC and shipped it, when my trip was over, to L.A. It took all of three days.
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Old 01-20-10, 05:21 PM
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Thanks for all your suggestions! I am getting a price of $50 for both the cheapest Fedex Ground service and taking it on the Southwest flight. I think I am just going to package it in a road-bike cardboard box from the LBS and take it on the flight. With previous flights I just used a plastic bag, so this time I can really go to town with foam etc. inside the box.
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Old 01-20-10, 07:22 PM
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If you have a lot of time, you could ride amtrak up and then bike back.
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Old 01-21-10, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by ibis_ti
If you have a lot of time, you could ride amtrak up and then bike back.

I was thinking the same thing, or perhaps renting a car. The only disassembly required would involve taking the front wheel off.
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Old 01-21-10, 11:37 AM
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Originally Posted by ibis_ti
If you have a lot of time, you could ride amtrak up and then bike back.
This one or the one way car rental are the routes I would do...
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Old 01-23-10, 05:13 PM
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^^me too. However he gets up there, I hope the OP will post results and pics of the ride back down to San Diego!
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Old 02-03-10, 10:48 PM
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I took my bike on SW last summer to Portland (I've also done it to SF). Last summer, SW charged $50/bike. Of course, you always take a risk that they may damage it en route. They have no liability; in fact, you sign a piece of paper that says you understand that SW has no liability, except if they lose it. SW does not supply bike boxes. I bought one from American ($15). Boxes that airlines provide and very big. All you have to do is take off the pedals and turn the handle bars. It takes about 10 minutes to load the bike into the box and then tape it up. Of coursse, you can pack you bike in a real bike box from a bicycle store, but it takes a lot longer to pack and unpack. When I flew to SFO, I rode right out of the airport. They is a way to ride out of SFO on surface roads, ending at San Bruno. From San Bruno, you can cross the penensula to get to the coast.

You can probably send it a little cheaper. I have found that lately FedEx is cheaper that UPS. The previous post was right, If the box is too big, you can get a lot more. When I can, I usually take the bike with me on the plane so I can assemble the bike at the airport and get on with my trip.
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Old 02-04-10, 01:36 AM
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Originally Posted by buck65
I was thinking the same thing, or perhaps renting a car. The only disassembly required would involve taking the front wheel off.
It's a little more involved if you take the train; Amtrak will provide you with the box the bike needs to go into, but you will need to rotate the hbar, take off the pedals, and lower/remove the sp and saddle. This means you'll need to pack some tools to disassemble your bike somewhat (which you'll likely do, anyway).

'Sounds like a fun ride, I hope you get everything up there in one piece and have a great ride back.

Last edited by t4mv; 02-04-10 at 01:39 AM. Reason: clarification
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