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

Questions about Shipping bikes across the 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.

Questions about Shipping bikes across the country

Old 02-11-11, 02:56 PM
  #1  
big_rider
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 94
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Questions about Shipping bikes across the country

My gf and I are looking into doing a Southern Florida tour in late March. We would be flying from up here in Montana, but we are not really sure how to get our bikes down there. Delta airlines charges $200 per bike each way! and United is pretty expensive too. So, we are thinking of just mailing the bikes, but I have heard a fair amount of negative stuff about FedEx and not insuring the packages, so I am wondering if people have better luck with UPS? Also, we are deciding whether to mail the bikes to an individual on Warmshowers, or a bike shop, has anyone ever done either of these and do you have any tips? It seems like getting the bikes to the destination is the hardest logistical decision, so we need some advice as we have never flown anywhere to do a bike trip. Thank you for any input!
big_rider is offline  
Old 02-11-11, 03:09 PM
  #2  
truman
It's true, man.
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: North Texas
Posts: 2,726

Bikes: Cannondale T1000, Inbred SS 29er, Supercaliber 29er, Crescent Mark XX, Burley Rumba Tandem

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
If it were me, I'd research area bike shops, then when I found one that seemed legit and trusty, call ahead, speak to the manager and ask if I could ship it to them for a reasonable fee. Chances are, if you don't ship it ridiculously early and have it take up space in his shop, and don't make him assemble it for you, it won't cost you any money.

I did that, not with my bike, but with my off-road touring gear on a cross country trip last year and it worked out great, I bought some good stuff from the shop, too, so it worked out in both our favor.

At the end of the tour, I had another shop pack and ship my bike and excess gear home via UPS and had no issues whatever.
truman is offline  
Old 02-11-11, 03:10 PM
  #3  
Chris Pringle
Senior Member
 
Chris Pringle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: The Pearl of the Pacific, Mexico
Posts: 1,304

Bikes: '12 Rodriguez UTB Custom, '83 Miyata 610, '83 Nishiki Century Mixte (Work of Art), '06 Specialized Epic Marathon MTB

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 32 Post(s)
Liked 23 Times in 15 Posts
Between two evils, I like using FedEx Ground to ship my bikes in the Continental USA. I've never had ANY issues with FedEx. Transit time should be about 1 week from where you are to FL. If you have no experience packing a bike, have your LBS do it for you as special attention needs to be paid to certain parts (i.e. derailleurs). Since they're a business, they also get better rates with either FedEx or UPS and they may be willing to pass those savings on to you. Your shipment is automatically covered for the first $100 and addt'l. insurance above that is really inexpensive. You should see a total of $50 to $60 per bike. If Warmshowers.org doesn't pan out, call in advance a bike shop in FL. They will be glad to receive your bike, put it together for you and tune it up before your tour... something that's highly recommended anyway.
Chris Pringle is offline  
Old 02-11-11, 03:15 PM
  #4  
twobadfish
Riding
 
twobadfish's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Bend, Oregon
Posts: 1,910

Bikes: Motobecane Fantom Cross Pro; Motobecane Nemesis Pro

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Chris Pringle View Post
Between two evils, I like using FedEx Ground to ship my bikes in the Continental USA. I've never had ANY issues with FedEx. Transit time should be about 1 week from where you are to FL. If you have no experience packing a bike, have your LBS do it for you as special attention needs to be paid to certain parts (i.e. derailleurs). Since they're a business, they also get better rates with either FedEx or UPS and they may be willing to pass those savings on to you. Your shipment is automatically covered for the first $100 and addt'l. insurance above that is really inexpensive. You should see a total of $50 to $60 per bike. If Warmshowers.org doesn't pan out, call in advance a bike shop in FL. They will be glad to receive your bike, put it together for you and tune it up before your tour... something that's highly recommended anyway.
Well you can estimate it online but my bike cost $130 to ship via UPS. If the box was 6" shorter it would have cost $90.

I would double check the airline policy. There was a thread about people checking their bikes as luggage. Costs maybe $50 if over a certain size/weight.
twobadfish is offline  
Old 02-11-11, 03:20 PM
  #5  
Chris Pringle
Senior Member
 
Chris Pringle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: The Pearl of the Pacific, Mexico
Posts: 1,304

Bikes: '12 Rodriguez UTB Custom, '83 Miyata 610, '83 Nishiki Century Mixte (Work of Art), '06 Specialized Epic Marathon MTB

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 32 Post(s)
Liked 23 Times in 15 Posts
Originally Posted by twobadfish View Post
Well you can estimate it online but my bike cost $130 to ship via UPS.
That's with UPS... I've always paid between $40 and $60 with FEDEX Ground depending where in the country I'm shipping the bike. It's been about a year since I last shipped a bike with them, so things may have drastically changed with rates. Also rates do change almost weekly due to fuel surcharge, but my experience has always been that FedEx Ground is a lot cheaper than UPS and the service has always been great.

Last edited by Chris Pringle; 02-11-11 at 03:39 PM.
Chris Pringle is offline  
Old 02-11-11, 05:14 PM
  #6  
staehpj1 
Senior Member
 
staehpj1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Posts: 10,201
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 585 Post(s)
Liked 189 Times in 153 Posts
I have had good luck with both FedX and UPS. Keep the box small enough and the price will probably between $40-$60. A bike shop will probably charge and additional $30-$60 if you ship to them and let them assemble it.

That said, my first choice is to fly with my bike checked as baggage. Southwest will charge you $50 and it will count as one of your checked bags (the other checked bag is free). Frontier is supposedly about the same deal, but I have not used them. I get a kick out of riding right out of the airport.
__________________
Check out my profile, articles, and trip journals at:
https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/staehpj1
staehpj1 is offline  
Old 02-11-11, 05:34 PM
  #7  
Cyclebum
Senior Member
 
Cyclebum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: NE Tx
Posts: 2,766

Bikes: Tour Easy, Linear USS, Lightening Thunderbolt, custom DF, Raleigh hybrid, Felt time trial

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Fedex and additional insurance. As noted above, check with bike shop about shipping cost to see if you can get a 'deal' from them.

I remove the rear derailleur and zip it to frame.
Cyclebum is offline  
Old 02-12-11, 10:15 AM
  #8  
Eggywootah
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Providence, RI
Posts: 140

Bikes: 06 KHS Urban-x, 07 KHS Flite 300, 08 Cannondale Capo

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
I've shipped my bike twice across the country, both FedEx, first for $150 and the second for $80. Not sure where the difference came in. The good thing about packing it yourself, if you are mechanically able to do so, is the way they calculate weight and volume. With a box as big as a bike box, you are paying for the volume not the weight. So you can put a whooooole lot of extra stuff in there, up to like 70lbs total or something. In my bike box I put the bike, pump, tool box, panniers, spare parts, a kite, some random stuff, and even a few books.
Eggywootah is offline  
Old 02-12-11, 10:55 AM
  #9  
niknak
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Reno, NV
Posts: 776
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 87 Post(s)
Liked 16 Times in 15 Posts
Check out bikeflights.com.

They partner with FedEx and offer decent pricing, fully insured if I remember right. I've used their service twice and both times got cheaper rates than if I just created a shipment through FedEx.
niknak is offline  
Old 02-12-11, 11:48 AM
  #10  
indyfabz
Senior Member
 
indyfabz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 31,007
Mentioned: 199 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 13728 Post(s)
Liked 6,571 Times in 3,349 Posts
We shipped UPS two years ago from Philly to Whitefish (Glacier Cyclery). Had them assemble and tune the rides and store the boxes for us. When we were done with the trip (a loop) we simply dropped he bikes off with them. The shipped them back to our LBS. Even with the service it was much cheaper than what Northwest/Delta was changing at the time. Bikes arrived on time with no problems. You just need to leave about 8 days for shipping to be safe.

BTW...If you are in Missoula, can you recommend a good LBS for this sort of thing? We are doing a loop from there in late June (Darby, Wisdom, Wise River (via the PMSB), Butte, Philipsburg and Hamilton (via Skalkaho Highway).
indyfabz is offline  
Old 02-13-11, 09:57 PM
  #11  
nihonric
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 48
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
How about Greyhound? Usually their rates are good for shipping large items. Rather than your bikes going to a third party they'll be waiting for you at the Greyhound Terminal for you to pick up.
nihonric is offline  
Old 02-13-11, 10:14 PM
  #12  
norcalhiker
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 56
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
ups

I just mailed my bike half way across the country last week.

I used UPS and they didn't damage my bike.

It was going to be $110 to mail in a standard bike box. But they recommended that I cut as many inches in length as I could off the box to save money. I was able to cut about five inches in length off the box, without needing to take off my back wheel, and it ended up being only $47! Talk about a huge savings. No change in weight, but a small change in the length of the box saved me over 50%.
norcalhiker is offline  
Old 02-14-11, 11:49 AM
  #13  
NoGaBiker
But wait... I AM the man.
 
NoGaBiker's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: No Ga.
Posts: 641

Bikes: Merlin Extralight DA, 1982 Peugeot CFX-10 Campy NR, 7 Cruisers kept at beach, Raleigh Passage 4.0 hybrid, Marin Commuter with racks and bags

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Ditto on shaving inches off the dimensions. Weight has very little impact on the price -- i.e. dollars, not tens-of-dollars. I shipped a hard-plastic bike case with my LHT and as much stuff as I could cram into it from Atlanta to Albuquerque last November. UPS was cheaper than FedEx Ground. Adding another 15 pounds of stuff after I had gotten the estimate from our shipping department software only changed the price a few bucks, less than ten. But my friend had his LHT in a bike box, which was larger (he left the rear wheel installed, where it has to come off for my case. It was about $30 more, till he cut the box down and changed things a bit.

FWIW, on the plus side, a mechanical with our plane caused us to arrive at ABQ at 5pm rather than 11am. The UPS store we had shipped to closes at 4pm on Saturday. I called and talked to one of the workers and she agreed to stay and keep the store open for us, so we didn't have to wait till Monday. We got there about 6pm, so she was a lifesaver.

On the minus side: on the return trip my case was slightly pried open, some accessories fell out, and somehow the downtube received a large ding with cracked paint. Bike rides fine, but I filed a claim, sent 6 photos, the whole bit. The claim was denied because I didn't have the bike in a cardboard box of such-and-such a specification. So I got nothing. If I were planning to sell the bike I'd be screwed because I would receive a lot less for it because of the ding. But I'm not, so no biggie. But beware -- buying the extra insurance (mine was for $1500) is probably only gonna help you if they actually lose the bike and case completely.
NoGaBiker is offline  
Old 02-14-11, 02:51 PM
  #14  
big_rider
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 94
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
We shipped UPS two years ago from Philly to Whitefish (Glacier Cyclery). Had them assemble and tune the rides and store the boxes for us. When we were done with the trip (a loop) we simply dropped he bikes off with them. The shipped them back to our LBS. Even with the service it was much cheaper than what Northwest/Delta was changing at the time. Bikes arrived on time with no problems. You just need to leave about 8 days for shipping to be safe.

BTW...If you are in Missoula, can you recommend a good LBS for this sort of thing? We are doing a loop from there in late June (Darby, Wisdom, Wise River (via the PMSB), Butte, Philipsburg and Hamilton (via Skalkaho Highway).
That will be a beautiful loop! There are many nice bike shops in Missoula, so it is hard to recommend just one.
I would check with Missoula Bicycle Works, or Hellgate Cyclery, and if they are busy or otherwise unable to help you out check with the Bike Doctor. Another option is to ride in to Adventure Cycling and they will undoubtedly be able to help you find what you need! You couldn't be in a better place to need help with bikes than Missoula.
Hope that helps
big_rider is offline  
Old 02-14-11, 03:09 PM
  #15  
Fizzaly
Stealing Spokes since 82'
 
Fizzaly's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Boy-z, Ideeeho
Posts: 1,875

Bikes: The always reliable kuwie

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Ill second using greyhound I shipped two bikes from Boise to laramie Wy for 45 bucks. With both fed ex and UPS the girth of the package is what decides the rate, a standard bike box will be billed at a min. of 33-35lbs. Last year I shipped ten bikes to different parts of the country and the average was about 70 dollars which really isn't too bad. I think UPS is easier to ship with but that may just be personal preference, but they have more add-on fees than fed-ex.
Fizzaly is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
vlicon
Touring
9
01-27-18 10:51 PM
EmperorSnu
Touring
6
06-19-16 05:16 PM
PiLigand
Touring
9
08-18-15 01:03 PM
rachelbrooke
Commuting
75
08-10-14 08:08 AM
kingnutterrick
Touring
12
02-19-10 02:24 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.