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Cheapest bike shipping options

Old 06-16-16, 07:42 AM
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EmperorSnu
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Cheapest bike shipping options

Apologies if this has been posted a million times. I looked at the Air Transports Bikes thread and got useful information on my options on preparing my bike for shipping, but felt as if I didn't get enough information on my shipping options.

I've been planning a much needed escape from reality and the real world via bike touring. This isn't my first time touring, but it will be my first time starting a tour from anywhere other than my apartment, and it will be my longest tour to date. My plan is to fly into Colorado, and ride around there for a while, but I'm unsure of the cheapest option for shipping my bike.

Cheap is definitely the priority; I'm a soon to be college graduate (August graduation, thank God) who has had to pay for my living expenses and education, so my money is very limited. I have been living extremely minimally for the past month to save money for the trip and plan on selling a bike, guitar, and a few other belongings to help fund my trip. I'm wondering if any of y'all have suggestions on the absolute cheapest options to ship my bike. For what it's worth, I do have a relative that I can ship my bike to and they can hold onto it until I can get there. Personal experiences would also be appreciated.

Thanks,

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Old 06-16-16, 07:47 AM
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I shipped a bike from Lexington, KY to Cocoa Beach, FL this week using Bikeflights. It cost $46.00. Fed Ex picked it up and delivered in 2 days. A bike shop packed the bike for $50, the receiving shop will assemble for $35. It was a lightweight bike with no additional gear included. You could obviously save some $$ by packing and assembling yourself but I highly recommend Bikeflights.

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Old 06-16-16, 08:01 AM
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Accompanied luggage Has been less than air freight, un accompanied, in my experience. ..
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Old 06-16-16, 08:27 AM
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Originally Posted by mtn.cyclist View Post
I shipped a bike from Lexington, KY to Cocoa Beach, FL this week using Bikeflights. It cost $46.00. Fed Ex picked it up and delivered in 2 days. A bike shop packed the bike for $50, the receiving shop will assemble for $35. It was a lightweight bike with no additional gear included. You could obviously save some $$ by packing and assembling yourself but I highly recommend Bikeflights.
Thanks for the reply. Fortunately, I have a friend that's a mechanic at my local bike shop and he's coming with me, and I'm pretty handy with a wrench, so I won't have to worry about packing and assembly costs if I fly. Bikeflights put me at around the same price for where I'm leaving from, so it'd be around $100 for a there and back flight + about $250 for a round trip flight. I'm almost thinking that it would be worth it to just drive to Colorado because I'd save about $140, but would eat up 2 days with travel and put a lot of wear on my car.
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Old 06-16-16, 08:51 AM
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Originally Posted by mtn.cyclist View Post
I shipped a bike from Lexington, KY to Cocoa Beach, FL this week using Bikeflights. It cost $46.00. Fed Ex picked it up and delivered in 2 days. A bike shop packed the bike for $50, the receiving shop will assemble for $35. It was a lightweight bike with no additional gear included. You could obviously save some $$ by packing and assembling yourself but I highly recommend Bikeflights.
Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Accompanied luggage Has been less than air freight, un accompanied, in my experience. ..
I just played the accompanied luggage game. I had flights that it was free, which made it worthwhile, but all of the legacy American carriers charge $150 per way. Given the choice of dealing with it myself and still paying $150 to take it on the plane, or having a shop pack it and ship it and having it ready and assembled for pick up on the other end for $131, the choice would be easy for me.

That said, if you are flying Southwest, it is $75 each way, and JetBlue is $50-70, assuming you have no other checked luggage.
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Old 06-18-16, 09:47 AM
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You might investigate Amtrak. They have bike boxes that let you pack the bike upright with minimal disassembly. I have shipped bikes from Seattle to Orlando and also from Seattle to Oakland.
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Old 06-19-16, 05:16 PM
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Originally Posted by mtn.cyclist View Post
I shipped a bike from Lexington, KY to Cocoa Beach, FL this week using Bikeflights. It cost $46.00. Fed Ex picked it up and delivered in 2 days. A bike shop packed the bike for $50, the receiving shop will assemble for $35. It was a lightweight bike with no additional gear included. You could obviously save some $$ by packing and assembling yourself but I highly recommend Bikeflights.
+1 for bikeflights.

I've shipped frames and wheels I've sold using bikeflights with great success. A few weeks ago a friend of mine shipped her bike using bike flights and it was cheap and fast for her.

The owner of bikeflights was at a local bike event last month and I spent a bunch of time talking about bikes and everything else with him. He was a great guy.
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