General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Shipping a bike Rss Feed  
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2013-06-20 9:26 AM

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Master
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Almaden Valley, San Jose, California
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Subject: Shipping a bike

For those of you BTers who have done so, how has it worked?  Contemplating borrowing a bike case, and shipping it via FedEx (UPS? DHL?) to Milwaukee for AG Nationals.  Hubby can assemble it back there if it's not TOO complicated. It's a Cervelo, if that matters.

Who's done it?  Any advice?  Do you remember what you paid?  TBT will cost $275.00.  I've always been happy with them, but if shipping is a lot cheaper......

Thanks in advance......



2013-06-20 9:40 AM
in reply to: velcromom

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Kansas
Subject: RE: Shipping a bike
Originally posted by velcromom

For those of you BTers who have done so, how has it worked?  Contemplating borrowing a bike case, and shipping it via FedEx (UPS? DHL?) to Milwaukee for AG Nationals.  Hubby can assemble it back there if it's not TOO complicated. It's a Cervelo, if that matters.

Who's done it?  Any advice?  Do you remember what you paid?  TBT will cost $275.00.  I've always been happy with them, but if shipping is a lot cheaper......

Thanks in advance......

I'm looking into this, too, for a race next month. I don't have a bike box so would have to borrow one (no luck so far on my asks) and pay the airline $50 each way. 

My LBS said they would pack it in a cardboard bike box and FedEx it for $75 each way. I'm leaning toward that - $50 more for not having to find a box, figure out how to disassemble and pack it, and lug it around two airports is tempting.

2013-06-20 10:29 AM
in reply to: velcromom

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Champion
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Subject: RE: Shipping a bike

Depending on the size and how they measure your bike box, shipping can be $40-75-100 each way with Federal Express Ground or UPS. $275 for tri bike transport will be easier, and not that much easier.

Issue with bike boxes is that they are hard to measure, are oversized, which makes them move into a higher price ground shipping. Often they have a minimum price based on size and depending on how it is measured, it can be in one category or another.

I have shipping my bike Federal Express ground (cheaper than UPS) and UPS. Federal Express Ground ruined my bike and delivered it late....but they did cover the damage and I was able to get a new frame.

The variable price issue is crazy. I have the measurements of my Thule bike box. In the past I put measurements into the UPS quote and given a price.  Went to a UPS shipping place and they wanted to charge me triple what the on line quote. If you prepay and they measure or weigh it differently when it goes thru the distribution, they charge you extra. I have sent the same bike in same box to and from same place, and I was charged two totally different price like $55 one way and $135 the other way.

2013-06-20 10:50 AM
in reply to: velcromom


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Subject: RE: Shipping a bike
I went to the LBS and they were happy to give me a good cardboard box. I was purchasing a bike computer at the time, so I don't know if they would have charged me otherwise. FedEx Ground was about $65 from MO to AZ, and I was happy with the timing and care. Get the insurance - it's not that they will repair/replace, it's that they know they are on the hook for damage so they tend to treat it a little bit better.

Shipped home UPS. I could have ridden the bike home in less time.

With the airlines, you pay more and they aren't on the hook for any damage.
2013-06-20 11:21 AM
in reply to: merkin4

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Expert
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Subject: RE: Shipping a bike
bikeflights.com
2013-06-20 11:36 AM
in reply to: thebigb

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Kansas
Subject: RE: Shipping a bike

Originally posted by thebigb bikeflights.com

Hmm. Just went through the quote process and it's ~$50 each way for my locations/dates - but that doesn't include a box or disassembling/packing. Might be worth it for me to have my LBS do it for $75 each way.

I think if you have the disassemble/packing thing down, and your own box, it might be worth it.



2013-06-20 11:44 AM
in reply to: lisac957

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Scottsdale, AZ
Subject: RE: Shipping a bike
Lisa, everyone should know how to tear a bike down and build it back up as it's part of the fun of what we do Ok I really think tribiketransport is the best way to go if they are servicing your race and you have a local drop off. However, I don't mind a little bit of wrenching so if there's no tbt I'll gladly tear it down and ship it. Lugging a bike through the airport just sucks.
2013-06-20 11:47 AM
in reply to: thebigb

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Kansas
Subject: RE: Shipping a bike

Originally posted by thebigb Lisa, everyone should know how to tear a bike down and build it back up as it's part of the fun of what we do Ok I really think tribiketransport is the best way to go if they are servicing your race and you have a local drop off. However, I don't mind a little bit of wrenching so if there's no tbt I'll gladly tear it down and ship it. Lugging a bike through the airport just sucks.

Baaaah it was a major milestone for me to be able to change my tires/tubes! Baby steps

2013-06-20 12:00 PM
in reply to: velcromom

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Master
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Centennial, CO
Subject: RE: Shipping a bike
Originally posted by velcromom

For those of you BTers who have done so, how has it worked?  Contemplating borrowing a bike case, and shipping it via FedEx (UPS? DHL?) to Milwaukee for AG Nationals.  Hubby can assemble it back there if it's not TOO complicated. It's a Cervelo, if that matters.

Who's done it?  Any advice?  Do you remember what you paid?  TBT will cost $275.00.  I've always been happy with them, but if shipping is a lot cheaper......

Thanks in advance......

I can tell you that for Nationals, I would strongly recommend using Tribike Transport or the other group that is doing bike transport for the race.  I did this in 2008 for Nationals, and it really takes all headache out of getting your bike to and from the race.

2013-06-20 1:03 PM
in reply to: velcromom

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Champion
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Subject: RE: Shipping a bike

Pros to shipping:

Usually a bit cheaper, you can insure the bike (which airlines don't do), you don't have to cart it to/from an airport (but you do have to cart it someplace to get shipped...so no sure how much of a "pro" that is.

Cons to shipping:

Takes longer so you are without your bike longer, level of disassembly varies depending on the case/box (cardboard boxes = more disassembly, bike case = less), price can vary depending on skill of the measurer and rates of your drop off point (ALWAYS bring it to a CENTER, not a UPS or Fed Ex store).  You also need an address to ship it to.  Many bike stores will literally charge JUST to receive your bike.  Really.  That's not even considering assembly which they will also charge an arm and a leg for (learn to do it yourself).

Personally I would never ship my bike TO a race.  Home yes, to, NEVER.  If it goes on the plane with you it's far more likely to arrive with you.  If you ship it and you don't do two day air or whatever you never exactly know when it will show up.  Delays (think weather) happen.  And while there is no guarantee with airlines either, it's a bit more dependable.  I flew my bike to Kona then shipped it home a few days after the race so I didn't have to deal with it for the rest of my vacation.

Really and truly...invest in a good bike case (you WILL get use out of it over the years), learn to assemble/disassemble, and stick to the airlines that charge the least.  Or drive everywhere.  That's what I really try to do.  I'll drive up to 15 hours for a short race, few days for a long race...just to avoid having to ship or fly my bike somewhere.

Most companies will end up charging for DIMENSIONAL weight at the size of a bike box.  Might end up being cheaper to ship the frame separately from the wheels because you can get the frame into a smaller box.  And pack it REALLY well...use pipe insulation everywhere you can get to on the frame.  Also, if you know anyone with a personal Fed Ex account (like I have one through USAA) they will usually get better rates and it will be cheaper.  Fed Exing my bike back from Kona was only about $100 (to Texas...that's far!).

I've shipped bikes Fed Ex, UPS, USPS...from Alaska to Hawaii to Iraq and Qatar...I'm not afraid to ship a bike.  But it isn't my favorite method.  If I can talk my way out of the bike fee I'd rather fly it any day...and I only fly when I absolutely cannot drive it.  I had my Scott Plasma for two years before I flew it anywhere!!!!  His first flight was to Kona and I looked into all sorts of TBT options before I broke down and took him apart.  Alas, my closest TBT option was 3+ hour drive ONE WAY.  That would have been a LOT of driving for not much gain.

Anyway, my two cents.  Ask away with questions...I've probably done it all when it comes to transporting bikes places....

2013-06-20 1:04 PM
in reply to: velcromom

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Master
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Kailua, Hawaii
Subject: RE: Shipping a bike
Personally I would not use Fedex or UPS for my bike. I've had too many crushed packages from them.

My normal method is via bike soft bag with the airline I'm flying.
I switched to a bike soft bag because it is lighter and easier to pack and deal with, also it is handled differently by the airline than a hard case.

I've had friends that had the LBS pack the bike in a cardboard box, and take it that way, if you can't get a normal bike box or bag from someone.

TriBike Transport is also something that people have been happy with and for $275 sounds worth it to me.
The advantage is clear, no disassembly / reassembly and less risk of damage.


2013-06-20 1:05 PM
in reply to: jldicarlo

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Subject: RE: Shipping a bike
I am not sure about shipping a bike but I just shipped my pants. Thanks Kmart!
2013-06-20 8:38 PM
in reply to: metafizx

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Master
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Almaden Valley, San Jose, California
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Subject: RE: Shipping a bike

Thank you all!

We've used TBT for IMMOO, IMCdA and IMCanada.  Chose to drive to AZ and IMSG.  The Nationals thing came up pretty quickly, and I was looking to save a buck......but I just booked TBT.

It's my son's bike, and he saved to pay for part of it.  Got a good deal from a buddy, can't replace it for what we paid for it.  Can't begin to imagine how hard it would be if it didn't make it in one piece.

Bottom line was, if it was ME racing, I'd go TBT.  So, I did.

Having said that, if this family is going to keep up this expensive hobby, we need a bike case or two!!

2013-06-20 9:30 PM
in reply to: velcromom

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Subject: RE: Shipping a bike
First time doing this as well. I'm renting a hard cover case from a LBS for about $50 for the week. I'd buy one (~$300ish) if I knew I'd be doing more but I'm think I'm going to be a 1x IM guy and then I'll just drive to semi close HIMs afterwards. I heard that large items (e.g. bike boxes) are always put at the bottom of all the luggage on the plane so I'm not opting for the bike box route. I'd prefer a bike shipping company but none will be in my area so it's going on the plane with me. Another advantage of the hard case instead of box is that the cases come with wheels. It looks big and awkward and I don't have any experience on how easy is to wheel around.
2013-06-20 10:54 PM
in reply to: 0

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Kansas
Subject: RE: Shipping a bike

Originally posted by Blastman First time doing this as well. I'm renting a hard cover case from a LBS for about $50 for the week. I'd buy one (~$300ish) if I knew I'd be doing more but I'm think I'm going to be a 1x IM guy and then I'll just drive to semi close HIMs afterwards. I heard that large items (e.g. bike boxes) are always put at the bottom of all the luggage on the plane so I'm not opting for the bike box route. I'd prefer a bike shipping company but none will be in my area so it's going on the plane with me. Another advantage of the hard case instead of box is that the cases come with wheels. It looks big and awkward and I don't have any experience on how easy is to wheel around.

I'm thinking about this exact thing now - also no TBT or other race transport options in my area. Was originally going to go with the cardboard box but I have NO IDEA how I'm going to haul that from long-term parking to the terminal! Our smallish airport doesn't offer Sky Cap service or anything like that... and I'm flying solo. I think I need wheels Cool



Edited by lisac957 2013-06-20 10:55 PM
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