Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Touring
Reload this Page >

Safest way to ship bike across country?

Notices
Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

Safest way to ship bike across country?

Old 12-11-05, 04:55 PM
  #1  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: rockford, il
Posts: 2,646

Bikes: Trek 7700, C'dale R2000

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Safest way to ship bike across country?

I need to get my bike from Rockford, IL to Costa Mesa, Ca. by April 24, 2006.
I will join a fully supported across USA tour. That means a total tour cost of over $6,000 depends on this
bike getting there in one piece, on time. (Does not include the cost of the bike!)
I have been reading horror stories on this forum about such deliveries.

The choices I know of:
1) Rent a car and drive there, bike in trunk or on a rack, one way. (takes time & same problem returning)
2) Fly there and take the bike with me on the plane. Of course that means check luggage.
3) Rely on UPS.
4) Rely on FedXpress.
5) Rely on DHL
6) Ship by truck as an industrial package. Requires a wooden crate.

I am sure that many BF members have experience with this issue. Please share these experiences.
What is the safest method?
will dehne is offline  
Old 12-11-05, 05:46 PM
  #2  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Santa Barbara, CA
Posts: 152
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I've shipped two bikes using ups and never had a problem.
dbuzi123 is offline  
Old 12-11-05, 06:09 PM
  #3  
Zen Master
 
Miles2go's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Tucson, AZ
Posts: 999

Bikes: Cervelo R5 - SuperSix

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 75 Post(s)
Liked 89 Times in 42 Posts




This is a very safe way to ship a bike across the US. We shipped our heavy touring machines from Utah to Vermont and then back. FedEx was substantially cheaper than UPS and it blows away having to bother flying with them. Notice the locks on the cases? No TSA worries. I locked 'em up at home and they stayed that way until they were at the destination.

The case can be mailed forward and held for you at your final destination after removing the bike at your starting point. They are Trico Iron Cases and I bought both of ours off ebay for $200 each.

Good luck and have fun.
__________________
Ron - Tucson, AZ
Miles2go is offline  
Old 12-11-05, 06:45 PM
  #4  
'Mizer Cats are INSANE
 
Mentor58's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Clarksville, TN
Posts: 808

Bikes: C-dale T800

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Miles2Go,

At first glance I thought those were the thickest tubes I'd ever seen on a bike. Then I realized that you had pipe wrap over everything. Those cases look very sturdy, sort of like the anvil cases.

Steve W.
Mentor58 is offline  
Old 12-11-05, 07:25 PM
  #5  
Senior Member
 
metal_cowboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Orting Wa.
Posts: 527

Bikes: Rivendell Atlantis, Rivendell Rambouillet, Co Motion Big A,l Klein Adroit

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I have shipped dozens of bikes via UPS. The bike should arrive safe and undamaged as long as you package the bike safely. Use lots of bubble wrap, and make sure there are no loose parts to rub against the frame. Use zip ties to secure anything that can and will move.
metal_cowboy is offline  
Old 12-11-05, 08:28 PM
  #6  
You need a new bike
 
supcom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 5,433
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 4 Times in 3 Posts
Option 1, rent a car and haul the bike yourself is probably the safest and surest way to ensure that the bike will get to the starting point on time and in good condition.

This, of course, assumes that you are a safe driver!
supcom is offline  
Old 12-11-05, 10:13 PM
  #7  
Newbie
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 4

Bikes: 15 yr old Trek, SPecialized Hybrid

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
My brother-in-law and I took Amtrak train from Milwaukee to Oceanside California and just used Mattress Boxes to check our bikes - only had to take off the pedals and turn the handlebars. We rebuild the bikes right at the Oceanside train station. $20 extra as I recall. I used my helmet an somr extra cardboard as packing and everything went well.
MRJK is offline  
Old 12-11-05, 10:14 PM
  #8  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Wheat Ridge, CO
Posts: 1,076

Bikes: '93 Bridgestone MB-3, '88 Marinoni road bike, '00 Marinoni Piuma, '01 Riv A/R

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
I've shipped a fairly nice bike w/ UPS in a cardboard box from a bike shop, worked fine. Last spring I bought a corrugated plastic bike box from Colorado Cyclist to ship my Marinoni across the US, I felt like the bike was better protected. The corrugated plastic bike boxes are about $100 - $125 from Crateworks or Colorado Cyclist, they won't last as long as the Trico Iron Cases, but they're fine for occasional use. Whatever you use, pad and wrap everything, and pack the bike carefully so that the case or box isn't bulging. That way things won't get crushed as easily when things are stacked on top of the box.

FedEx ground calculates rates for oversize items differently than UPS, so it's cheaper to ship bikes FedEx ground than UPS.
markf is offline  
Old 12-11-05, 10:26 PM
  #9  
In Real Life
 
Machka's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Down under down under
Posts: 52,152

Bikes: Lots

Mentioned: 141 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3203 Post(s)
Liked 596 Times in 329 Posts
The choices I know of:

1) Rent a car and drive there, bike in trunk or on a rack, one way. (takes time & same problem returning)

I've done this, and it worked ... it took me about 3 days to get from the Illinois/Iowa border to Los Angeles. Incidentally, the bicycle was in the back seat.


2) Fly there and take the bike with me on the plane. Of course that means check luggage.

I've done this several times and it has been fine. I have packed my bicycle in a hardshell case, and have also used cardboard boxes. Both work ... no complaints.


3) Rely on UPS.
4) Rely on FedXpress.
5) Rely on DHL
6) Ship by truck as an industrial package. Requires a wooden crate.


I've never used any of the above methods.
Machka is offline  
Old 12-11-05, 11:39 PM
  #10  
I'm Carbon Curious
 
531phile's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 2,190
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
If you don't want to do it yourself. Go to a trusted reputable bike shop and have them ship it. they'll charge you about $20-25-35, but they'll have all the boxes and knowhow/labor. I did this and had them ship UPS when I moved from NJ to CA.
531phile is offline  
Old 12-12-05, 01:02 AM
  #11  
Senior Member
 
LCI_Brian's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: in the hills of Orange, CA
Posts: 1,355
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Send me a PM if you want to know of any bike shops in the area, in case you want to ship to a bike shop.
LCI_Brian is offline  
Old 12-12-05, 10:15 AM
  #12  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: rockford, il
Posts: 2,646

Bikes: Trek 7700, C'dale R2000

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by dbuzi123
I've shipped two bikes using ups and never had a problem.
Thank you for this testimonial. I may be a bit paranoid. My bike is very much tweaked to my needs. No chance of getting the same or similar on short notice if s**t hit the fan. What are those chances? Who knows.
will dehne is offline  
Old 12-12-05, 10:20 AM
  #13  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: rockford, il
Posts: 2,646

Bikes: Trek 7700, C'dale R2000

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Miles2go
[IMG]https://

This is a very safe way to ship a bike across the US. We shipped our heavy touring machines from Utah to Vermont and then back. FedEx was substantially cheaper than UPS and it blows away having to bother flying with them. Notice the locks on the cases? No TSA worries. I locked 'em up at home and they stayed that way until they were at the destination.

The case can be mailed forward and held for you at your final destination after removing the bike at your starting point. They are Trico Iron Cases and I bought both of ours off ebay for $200 each.

Good luck and have fun.
This does look safe. Thanks for the good pictures.
I could take such a "suitcase" with me on my flight? Of course in check in.
will dehne is offline  
Old 12-12-05, 10:27 AM
  #14  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: rockford, il
Posts: 2,646

Bikes: Trek 7700, C'dale R2000

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by metal_cowboy
I have shipped dozens of bikes via UPS. The bike should arrive safe and undamaged as long as you package the bike safely. Use lots of bubble wrap, and make sure there are no loose parts to rub against the frame. Use zip ties to secure anything that can and will move.
I understand. I have an LBS who will do it for a price. I am a bit paranoid. The tour leader talks about things getting lost in transit. This BF knocks UPS as well as FedXpress. No doubt we are talking probabilities here. Bell curve.
will dehne is offline  
Old 12-12-05, 10:32 AM
  #15  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: rockford, il
Posts: 2,646

Bikes: Trek 7700, C'dale R2000

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by supcom
Option 1, rent a car and haul the bike yourself is probably the safest and surest way to ensure that the bike will get to the starting point on time and in good condition.

This, of course, assumes that you are a safe driver!
Hi Supcom. The aero bars you recomended are on that bike. Remember?
I think that driving gives me the highest degree of certainty. I know the odds of driving for that distance.
It will add two to three tough driving days before a demanding 27 day bike trip.
will dehne is offline  
Old 12-12-05, 10:38 AM
  #16  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: rockford, il
Posts: 2,646

Bikes: Trek 7700, C'dale R2000

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by MRJK
My brother-in-law and I took Amtrak train from Milwaukee to Oceanside California and just used Mattress Boxes to check our bikes - only had to take off the pedals and turn the handlebars. We rebuild the bikes right at the Oceanside train station. $20 extra as I recall. I used my helmet an somr extra cardboard as packing and everything went well.
I would do this in a minute back in Germany. My only long distance trip on Amtrak turned me off permanently on USA trains. I still remember the smell of the toilets in the sealed up cars. The awful tracks made us seasick. The average speed was pathetic. They have a long way to go compared to other systems.
will dehne is offline  
Old 12-12-05, 10:45 AM
  #17  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: rockford, il
Posts: 2,646

Bikes: Trek 7700, C'dale R2000

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by markf
I've shipped a fairly nice bike w/ UPS in a cardboard box from a bike shop, worked fine. Last spring I bought a corrugated plastic bike box from Colorado Cyclist to ship my Marinoni across the US, I felt like the bike was better protected. The corrugated plastic bike boxes are about $100 - $125 from Crateworks or Colorado Cyclist, they won't last as long as the Trico Iron Cases, but they're fine for occasional use. Whatever you use, pad and wrap everything, and pack the bike carefully so that the case or box isn't bulging. That way things won't get crushed as easily when things are stacked on top of the box.

FedEx ground calculates rates for oversize items differently than UPS, so it's cheaper to ship bikes FedEx ground than UPS.
Thanks for report on your experience.
will dehne is offline  
Old 12-12-05, 10:49 AM
  #18  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: rockford, il
Posts: 2,646

Bikes: Trek 7700, C'dale R2000

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Machka
The choices I know of:

1) Rent a car and drive there, bike in trunk or on a rack, one way. (takes time & same problem returning)

I've done this, and it worked ... it took me about 3 days to get from the Illinois/Iowa border to Los Angeles. Incidentally, the bicycle was in the back seat.


2) Fly there and take the bike with me on the plane. Of course that means check luggage.

I've done this several times and it has been fine. I have packed my bicycle in a hardshell case, and have also used cardboard boxes. Both work ... no complaints.


3) Rely on UPS.
4) Rely on FedXpress.
5) Rely on DHL
6) Ship by truck as an industrial package. Requires a wooden crate.


I've never used any of the above methods.
Well Machka, we all know that you know your way around touring. It sounds good what you say.
Just curious, did you avoid shipping because of bad reports or do you have other reasons? Thanks.
will dehne is offline  
Old 12-12-05, 10:58 AM
  #19  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: rockford, il
Posts: 2,646

Bikes: Trek 7700, C'dale R2000

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by 531phile
If you don't want to do it yourself. Go to a trusted reputable bike shop and have them ship it. they'll charge you about $20-25-35, but they'll have all the boxes and knowhow/labor. I did this and had them ship UPS when I moved from NJ to CA.
I am trying to be a little funny. My mother brought me up with the German Proverb:
"Trau, schau, Wem." This I heard every day, almost.
Freely translated it means: Whom can you trust?
will dehne is offline  
Old 12-12-05, 11:01 AM
  #20  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: rockford, il
Posts: 2,646

Bikes: Trek 7700, C'dale R2000

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by LCI_Brian
Send me a PM if you want to know of any bike shops in the area, in case you want to ship to a bike shop.
Thank you for the offer. I may take you up on it. The tour is supposed to take care of that detail, I hope.
will dehne is offline  
Old 12-12-05, 12:08 PM
  #21  
In Real Life
 
Machka's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Down under down under
Posts: 52,152

Bikes: Lots

Mentioned: 141 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3203 Post(s)
Liked 596 Times in 329 Posts
Originally Posted by will dehne
Well Machka, we all know that you know your way around touring. It sounds good what you say.
Just curious, did you avoid shipping because of bad reports or do you have other reasons? Thanks.
I avoided shipping because of the perceived inconvenience.

I could be wrong, but the way I see a shipping situation playing out is this:

1) I have to find a place to ship my bicycle to, and I don't know the first thing about the cities I'm flying into. I could look up their bicycle shop situation on the internet, but I still don't really know what the shop nearest to the airport is like ... it could be a horrible place with a bad reputation. Or it could be a great place ... just not on a common route for public transportation, and so quite difficult for someone without a car to get to. So I've got to try to research the place and the transportation routes in this unfamiliar city.

This is made even more difficult if I'm flying in the middle of of a tour like I've done on several occasions. In Australia, I arrived in Sydney, cycled to Melbourne, flew from there to Launceston ... etc. Well, trying to find the UPS places and bicycle shops or places to ship to etc. would have been a real pain!

2) Supposing I've found a place that will accept my bicycle, and where I feel comfortable sending my bicycle, I package my bicycle up and ship it (or the shop does) and hope that there are no snags getting it across the border or anything.

3) I have to book a flight so that I will arrive early enough to be able to get to the shop before it closes. That limits my selection of flights and possibly raises the price I might pay for the flight.

4) I fly into the city, and now I have to find my bicycle. Hopefully the transportation information I've searched out is correct, and hopefully I have actually arrived early enough to get to ths shop before it closes.

5) If all goes well, my bicycle is there, I've arrived there before the place closes, and I'm able to put my bicycle together and carry on. If all hasn't gone well .....


Whereas with taking my bicycle on the flight with me:

1) I can book any flight I want because it doesn't matter what time I arrive.

2) I package up my bicycle at home or right there in the airport.

3) I check it in like I would with any luggage.

4) I arrive and collect my bicycle, and put it together right there in the airport.

5) If I've arrived at a reasonable hour, I'll cycle out to find an inexpensive place for the night like a campground or hostel. If not, I'll sleep in the airport.


I will say though that if I were flying into a place where I knew someone, and where that someone had agreed to pick me up, I might consider shipping my bicycle to that person's place. It would alleviate a lot of the perceived hassles. But if I'm flying into a place where I know no one, I just feel more comfortable having my bicycle with me on the flight.
Machka is offline  
Old 12-12-05, 02:14 PM
  #22  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: rockford, il
Posts: 2,646

Bikes: Trek 7700, C'dale R2000

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Machka
I avoided shipping because of the perceived inconvenience.

I could be wrong, but the way I see a shipping situation playing out is this:

1) I have to find a place to ship my bicycle to, and I don't know the first thing about the cities I'm flying into. I could look up their bicycle shop situation on the internet, but I still don't really know what the shop nearest to the airport is like ... it could be a horrible place with a bad reputation. Or it could be a great place ... just not on a common route for public transportation, and so quite difficult for someone without a car to get to. So I've got to try to research the place and the transportation routes in this unfamiliar city.
.................................................

I will say though that if I were flying into a place where I knew someone, and where that someone had agreed to pick me up, I might consider shipping my bicycle to that person's place. It would alleviate a lot of the perceived hassles. But if I'm flying into a place where I know no one, I just feel more comfortable having my bicycle with me on the flight.
Machka: Many thanks for this detailed response. You do know your stuff.
will dehne is offline  
Old 12-12-05, 05:48 PM
  #23  
You need a new bike
 
supcom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 5,433
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 4 Times in 3 Posts
Originally Posted by will dehne
Hi Supcom. The aero bars you recomended are on that bike. Remember?
I think that driving gives me the highest degree of certainty. I know the odds of driving for that distance.
It will add two to three tough driving days before a demanding 27 day bike trip.
Ah yes. I guess the aero bars are working out for you.

If you don't want to make the drive (which I can understand), I would go with checking the bike on the airplane. Chances are the bike will receive the least amount of handling compared to shipping it UPS/FedEx. I would strongly consider a good box/case for it as opposed to a regular bike box. Remember, if your bike gets messed up, so does your trip.

Be prepared to pay extra to take the bike on the plane. Most airlines charge $80 each way for a bike if taken as one of your two allowed pieces of luggage. If you have two additional items (three total) to check, they will charge you another $80. And if the box with the bike weighs more than 50 lbs, they will charge yet another $80.

Plan carefully and review the airlines baggage policies on their web site before you show up at the airport!
supcom is offline  
Old 12-12-05, 11:41 PM
  #24  
Senior Member
 
LCI_Brian's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: in the hills of Orange, CA
Posts: 1,355
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Are you flying into LAX or SNA? FYI, Southwest only charges $40 each way for the bike.
__________________
-- I speak for myself only, not LAB or any other organization of which I am a member.
LCI_Brian is offline  
Old 12-12-05, 11:50 PM
  #25  
Lets Ride
 
Trekke's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Biking Country, USA
Posts: 1,102

Bikes: Trek 1200, Lemond Sarthe, Gary Fisher Tass

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by will dehne
I need to get my bike from Rockford, IL to Costa Mesa, Ca. by April 24, 2006.
I will join a fully supported across USA tour. That means a total tour cost of over $6,000 depends on this
bike getting there in one piece, on time. (Does not include the cost of the bike!)
I have been reading horror stories on this forum about such deliveries.

The choices I know of:
1) Rent a car and drive there, bike in trunk or on a rack, one way. (takes time & same problem returning)
2) Fly there and take the bike with me on the plane. Of course that means check luggage.
3) Rely on UPS.
4) Rely on FedXpress.
5) Rely on DHL
6) Ship by truck as an industrial package. Requires a wooden crate.

I am sure that many BF members have experience with this issue. Please share these experiences.
What is the safest method?
7th and best option. 7) Ride it.
Trekke 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.