Bike shipping advice

Moderators: Cowboy, Jackson, chris@cycleoregon

Bike shipping advice

Postby FeltRider » Tue Jun 02, 2015 2:00 pm

I've never shipped a bicycle, much less my nice road bike, and I'd warmly welcome any advice that prior CO partipants have for getting one's bike to the event and back home again. I know that CO provides a ship-to address, so that's handy. Do most people use a shipping service or is it more common to do it yourself? Also, once the ride is done, how do most folks get their bike repacked and home?
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Re: Bike shipping advice

Postby mytrot » Tue Jun 02, 2015 8:17 pm

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Re: Bike shipping advice

Postby FeltRider » Wed Jun 03, 2015 10:44 am

I've done some more research on this and thought I'd share what I think I've learned:

>> I called the store where I originally purchased my road bike. Since they receive bikes identical to mine in boxes every week, they offered to pack my bike in an original shipping box for ~$50 for labor, i.e. the packing materials are free since they have them lying around. Also, since the packing materials are made for my bike, the fit should be perfect. They also offered to have UPS pick it up if I arrange for a shipping label. So the first take-away is to consider working with your original bike store for packing.

>> I also called my airline (United) to inquire about the cost of checking my bike as baggage. Although this is clearly possible, the cost appears to be ~$150 each way, which seems pretty expensive. 2nd take away: checking as luggage is possible, but probably too costly.

>> I checked out shipping boxes and crates on Amazon. The alternatives appear to be high-end plastic crates on one end ($300+) to ~$50 cardboard boxes on the other end. Reviews of the boxes indicated that while they are sturdy, they generally are sized for the largest bikes and, so, don't fit average bikes particularly well. 3rd take away: Having the bike shop do it is looking more and more attractive.

That's it for now. I will continue my investigations.
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Re: Bike shipping advice

Postby Jackson » Wed Jun 03, 2015 5:58 pm

Have the local bike shop pack it up. Use the shipping company CO recommends as they will have a truck that will bring them all to the start and the boxes can remain after you take your bike out in that truck for repacking following the ride. Bike Gallery will assist in repacking (I believe at no charge) near the finish line. Tips are always welcomed. You may need help assembling before the ride (again Bike Gallery will assist). Ship it home or bake to your local shop for reassembling. Cheaper than the airline charges and one less thing to deal with at the airport and bus ride out to the start.
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Re: Bike shipping advice

Postby rambobikeman » Thu Jun 04, 2015 12:30 pm

While the mechanics from the Bike Gallery are happy to assemble your bike in Baker City and box it up at the end of the week (and always appreciate your generous tips), the Bike Gallery does charge for assembly ($40) and boxing ($75). You can also pay for both in advance for $100 and save $15.

You can find this detailed on page 5 of the Rider Handbook (Vol. 1):
http://cycleoregon.com/_uploads/CO2015_ ... ersion.pdf

All of us on the Bike Gallery Cycle-O Crew are looking forward to seeing you all in September!
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Re: Bike shipping advice

Postby StarlightPurpleIF » Mon Jun 08, 2015 5:35 am

Unless you are flying an airline with a low bike fee, look into bikeflights.com

My bike is in transit to Rapid City from Philadelphia at this very moment. They essentially get a discount with FedEx and others for bikes. I am paying $115 round trip for an estimated weight of bike, box and racks of 65 lbs. That includes $1,500 in insurance and a $5 surcharge for pickup at a LBS in Rapid City for the return home. Shipping time is only 4 days each way. This is the second time I have used them to ship my touring bike and racks. Worked out quite well the first time, and they have great customer service. Their web site has an easy to use rate calculator to get a quote. It even has a drop down menu with the dimensions of numerous popular bike boxes.

If you are in the market for a mid-priced bike box check out CrateWorks. Their plastic case in quite large yet still airline legal. It can easily hold my 60 cm Surly LHT and racks. One nice feature is that the pieces are modular so you can replace one if its gets damaged without having to buy en entire new box.
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