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Shipping my bike, flying it, or just buying a cheap, used one at the other end?

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Shipping my bike, flying it, or just buying a cheap, used one at the other end?

Old 12-15-05, 11:23 PM
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Shipping my bike, flying it, or just buying a cheap, used one at the other end?

I have a question regarding bike shipping and I thought the touring people would have the best answers.

I may be doing a summer program at CERN, a large physics laboratory in Geneva, Switzerland, that would last ten weeks. I would really like to have a bike over there to ride around the beautiful country and also because I ride regularly. I thought about shipping my road bike over but the costs were exorbitant so instead thought about carrying it with me as luggage. The problem with that is I will have to fly from Virginia to Michigan, spend a week at the University of Michigan, and then fly to CERN. This means I may accrue a bunch of overweight baggage costs and such due to the bike.

With all this cost involved, would it just be easier to find a good used road bike in Switzerland, buy it, and sell it before I leave? I think this would be the best plan but wanted to get some feedback from others.
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Old 12-15-05, 11:42 PM
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I chatted with someone a while back that went to Switzerland and rented bikes at the train stations to ride, A google turned up this link

https://www.cycling-in-switzerland.ch...velo_bahn.html
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Old 12-16-05, 12:14 AM
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You could always ship the bike to Michigan by FedEx ground (cheapest way to ship bikes in this country the last time I checked) and carry it as luggage to Switzerland. You might be aware that US airlines charge large amounts to take a bike on the plane, while many foreign airlines carry bikes for free between the US and Europe. If you can get yourself ticketed from VA to Switzerland on one ticket with a one week stopover in Michigan, a bike friendly airline just might carry the bike the whole distance free of charge, or for not too much money. Check the website of whatever airline you're using and find out what their policies are about bicycles.

If I were going to spend 10 weeks in Switzerland I would want my own road bike that fit me properly.
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Old 12-24-05, 07:46 AM
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I always took my bike on the plane without much hassle. You simply need to pack it up in a cardboard box and you may also fill up the box with your other luggage. To do that you should consider the following:

- most airlines only allow you up to 20 kg of luggage
- I think airlines flying America-Europe offer a maximum of 30 kg.
- If that isn't enough, some airlines also allow free excess luggage for sports equipment.
- otherwise many airlines now offer special (reasonable) prices for transporting bicycles - you need to book that in advance!
- I always made sure that my bicycle was taken by the airline for free when I booked the ticked - if not I just didn't book - that way many travel agents found a way - make sure you'll get a written agreement for that!
- be the first to check in for your flight - so you don't need to argue to get your bike box on the same plane you fly with

On the other hand it shouldn't be too difficult to find a 2nd hand bike in Switzerland as cycling is quite popular there.

Last edited by Shekk; 12-24-05 at 12:31 PM.
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Old 12-24-05, 12:19 PM
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Originally Posted by shivstroll
I have a question regarding bike shipping and I thought the touring people would have the best answers.

I may be doing a summer program at CERN, a large physics laboratory in Geneva, Switzerland, that would last ten weeks. I would really like to have a bike over there to ride around the beautiful country and also because I ride regularly. I thought about shipping my road bike over but the costs were exorbitant so instead thought about carrying it with me as luggage. The problem with that is I will have to fly from Virginia to Michigan, spend a week at the University of Michigan, and then fly to CERN. This means I may accrue a bunch of overweight baggage costs and such due to the bike.

With all this cost involved, would it just be easier to find a good used road bike in Switzerland, buy it, and sell it before I leave? I think this would be the best plan but wanted to get some feedback from others.
Try shipbikes.com
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Old 12-29-05, 10:15 AM
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buying can be a bit of a hassle. you will spend a bunch of time looking for something in your price range that you like before giving up and just buying something cheap. The second question is are you sure you ae going to be doing a lot of real riding? You might find yourself traveling on weekends, hiking in the alps, etc. but if youa re serious about doing riding, its probaly worth bringing a good bike that fits you.
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Old 12-29-05, 11:30 AM
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From past experience buying bikes in Europe can be expensive. Renting means you don't always get a comfortable bike. I know I wouldn't want to ride around Europe on an uncomfortable bike.

I find taking the bike with me on the airplane to be the most pragmatic approach. Also, it is usually free with a ticket.
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