Best way to ship a bicycle?

Jul 27th, 2006, 06:18 AM
Original Poster
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Best way to ship a bicycle?

Daughter starts college on west coast and we live on east coast. Should she "check" her bike and take it with her when she flies out or ship it via USPS, FedEx, or UPS? It's not just a matter of price, but hassle. We don't have the hard plastic shipping case, but would be using ye olde cardboard bike box. If you have experience with this, please advise. Thanks!
momof2 is offline  
Jul 27th, 2006, 07:19 AM
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When we went on a big bike ride back east with my cousin from Pittsburgh, I used the old faithful carboard box shipping method via UPS.
I had it shipped to a bike shop that the cousin frequents and they put it together for me and it was "good to goooo".
Is she good at putting the bike back together? If not see if the college has a good bike shop on/near campus.

We had a friend who was going to lend me his hard plastic shipping crate but I agree with you, too much hassle at the airport.

But then again, you're talking to someone who ships his golf clubs to Kauai each year.

Is she going to UC Davis-Bike Campus of the World?
Kal is offline  
Jul 27th, 2006, 07:31 AM
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Have done it both ways--box and real bike carrier. The latter is of course, better (for the $5000 bike of DS).Ask the bike shop.
By the way, I find FedEX ground better than UPS.
Gretchen is offline  
Jul 27th, 2006, 08:20 AM
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She'll love having her bike at U of M. The whole town has bike trails. We lived on the opposite end of town as the Univ. and still only had to cross one road to get from our cheapo apartment to campus.

It's a very bike friendly town! Go Griz!

kureiff is online now  
Jul 27th, 2006, 08:36 AM
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I have always used the cardboard box-
but we just took it to our bike shop and they packed it and had it shipped for us - so no hassle at all
sunbum1944 is online now  
Jul 27th, 2006, 08:51 AM
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You can also go to a mailboxes Etc store. They will box, pack and ship. Doesn't get any easier than that.
Annabel is offline  
Jul 27th, 2006, 08:59 AM
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For the price we encountered (USPS, FedEx, and UPS) it was cheaper to sell my son's bike locally and buy a new one once he got to campus (and we got a very cheap service contract). There were actually megasales at the local bike stores when school started, so it was all much easier. And, if the current bike is worth a great deal, you might want to rethink having it on campus. Even the new "guaranteed" locks can be broken.
sylvia3 is offline  
Jul 27th, 2006, 08:59 AM
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What is a ball-park price I might expect to pay to ship a bike? In my case, I want to ship it from Missouri to Colorado. PJK
PJK is offline  
Jul 27th, 2006, 09:45 AM
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Greyhound is used to taking Bicycles by package express and takes much better care of them, in my opinion, as they are hand loaded on & off. It shouldn't be much to ship from Mo to Co.
bbqboy is offline  
Jul 27th, 2006, 11:58 AM
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Years ago when I was in college, and my parents in a different state, they shipped my bike and skis by Greyhound and Amtrak. I have no idea how it would work now, but my items arrived just fine.
mms is offline  
Jul 27th, 2006, 12:00 PM
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Last time UPS quoted $300 for east to west coast. As I said, a new decent bike can be had for a lot less...
sylvia3 is offline  
Jul 27th, 2006, 12:05 PM
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Call FedEx and ask for the price. A packing store will be an arm and a leg, albeit "nothing easier".
Gretchen is offline  
Jul 27th, 2006, 01:04 PM
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I brought my bike with me on the plane from Michigan to Arizona for a month's stay while in grad school. I had a good quality but not brand-new mountain bike that I still own years later. I used a cardboard bike box and paid about $50 to check it as extra luggage. I turned the handlebars to be parallel to the frame, removed the pedals and both wheels, packed it all in, sealed the box, and that was about it. All relatively easy to do with a standard allen wrench. Seems sort of silly to spend so much money shipping it unless it is a really fancy bike.
hausfrau is offline  
Jul 27th, 2006, 02:56 PM
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I fond this:

Shipping a bicycle in the cargo hold of the airplane you're on is a good option, and might be the best choice depending on the circumstances. The advantages of carrying it with you on the plane include have your bike with you continuously. You won't be without your bike for the several days it takes when shipping by UPS. Depending on the type of packaging you use for the shipment, disassembly of your bike is minimal. You can get by with as little as taking off the pedals and handle bar. Usually, the cost is about $40 each way.

littlemarysunshine is offline  
Feb 13th, 2007, 03:49 PM
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I have shipped my bike many times in a cardboard bike box (got it at local bike shop) via UPS. The key is to arrange the shipment on the UPS website. You pack it all up like hausfrau detailed above, steal the box up, and put the label on which you will print out at home. The website will tell you your closest drop off location. (If I walked into that store and arranged the shipment with them it would be double the cost - go figure!)I arranged a shipment this week from Houston to Los Angeles for $52. It will arrive in 3 business days. The beauty of not taking it on the plane with you other then the fact it costs $70, is you do not have to hassel with it at the airport on either end.
Barblab is offline  
Feb 13th, 2007, 04:37 PM
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How much is this bike worth?

I prefer going to a bike shop, having them disassemble and pack a bike in a real bike box for about $35, and then shipping. Total, it hardly ever costs more than $75, often much less.

Well worth it for a $1,000 bike, maybe not for a $200 bike.
HonestAbe is offline  

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