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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm spending the summer here in Arizona, and I got a new bike while I was out here. What would be the most cost effective way to get it home to Connecticut?

American Airlines has an $80 fee for bicycles, but do you think I could get away with telling them it was something else? They say if it is less than 62 inches it is free, do you think a medium frame size mountain bike would fit under that restriction?

How much would it cost to ship it through the mail? Which shipper would be my best choice?

Thanks a lot.
 

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wrjones311 said:
What would be the most cost effective way to get it home to Connecticut?
Ride it. :D

I say no way you are going to fit it within 62 linear inches. Call around shops and see how much they will charge to box it for you. Seems to run $45-$75 around here. Then you can get quotes from UPS etc. on shipping. More expensive, but if it does get damaged you have potential recourse with either the shipper or the shop that boxed it, depending on which one blinks first. If shipping is more than $80, take it on the plane.
 

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Somebody a long time ago mentioned something about all you have to say is it's exercise equipment boxed up. Not sure exactly...I'll look for it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
$45 just to box it? Seems pretty expenisve for rotating the handle bars, taking the pedals and wheels off, and putting it in a box. I can handle that myself.

But what are the average dimensions of a box that my LBS could give me for free? On the UPS shipping calculator it was only around $50 when all I put was the weight, but when I put in the dimensions for one box size I found, it shot up to over $100.
 

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no matter what it's $$$

wrjones311 said:
$45 just to box it? Seems pretty expenisve for rotating the handle bars, taking the pedals and wheels off, and putting it in a box. I can handle that myself.

But what are the average dimensions of a box that my LBS could give me for free? On the UPS shipping calculator it was only around $50 when all I put was the weight, but when I put in the dimensions for one box size I found, it shot up to over $100.
Before 9-11 give the Sky Cap a $20 and your bike was on the plane.
Now, it's a pita! Oversize baggage check-in, TSA, and the airline baggage gorillas.
http://www.shipbikes.com/start1.asp
 

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wrjones311 said:
I'm spending the summer here in Arizona, and I got a new bike while I was out here. What would be the most cost effective way to get it home to Connecticut?

American Airlines has an $80 fee for bicycles, but do you think I could get away with telling them it was something else? They say if it is less than 62 inches it is free, do you think a medium frame size mountain bike would fit under that restriction?

How much would it cost to ship it through the mail? Which shipper would be my best choice?

Thanks a lot.
Forget the airlines. Pack it up and ship it yourself via UPS.

You ought to be able to do it for $50 - $60 max. Get a bike box from an LBS. Take the bike apart and wrap anything you don't want cosmetically altered with scratches during the ship. Use newspaper, bubble wrap, sheets of thin foam or whatever you can get your hands on for cheap. Fill in the loose areas with lightweight filler (newspaper, etc....). Tape the box shut and take the box down to a UPS drop off center and pay for the shipping a day or two before you head home (assume you are flying). UPS will deliver your bike a day or two after you are home.

BB
 

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wrjones311 said:
$45 just to box it? Seems pretty expenisve for rotating the handle bars, taking the pedals and wheels off, and putting it in a box. I can handle that myself.
There is more to it than that unless you don't care if a) it gets damaged and b) the carrier tells you the damage was the result of improper packaging instead of their negligent handling.

At the very least, you will need something to prevent the fork and rear triangle from being crushed. You also want to make sure the large chainring doesn't get damaged when the box is dropped and/or dragged around. You also want caps to keep the axles from poking through the box and/or gouging other stufff. You'll need to secure the bars so they don't shift around and scratch things and kink your cables/housing. Finally, you'll probably want to wrap all of the tubing to prevent scratches.

A well boxed bike will go one step further and have the frame secured to an inner insert so that no part of it will be in contact with the outer surface, and have another insert separating the wheels from the frame.

You can do this all yourself, but by the time you assemble the materials and figure out how to put the whole package together, you might have a different opinion about whether it was cheaper or easy. Plus, if you do botch it, you have no recourse.

Your call.
 

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wrjones311 said:
$45 just to box it? Seems pretty expenisve for rotating the handle bars, taking the pedals and wheels off, and putting it in a box. I can handle that myself.

But what are the average dimensions of a box that my LBS could give me for free? On the UPS shipping calculator it was only around $50 when all I put was the weight, but when I put in the dimensions for one box size I found, it shot up to over $100.
The reason its so friggin expensive is because of UPS and their boxes which they call "oversize." You can have a box that weighs 5 pounds, but it in a box where its over 84in and under 108in in diameter, and it gets billed as a 30 lb box. Bike boxes get billed as a 70 box, even though they probably only weight 35-45 lbs with a bike in it. (Wild guess on the bike box weight)

At my work we did a lot of shipping with their OS1 & OS2 boxes. Just make sure there is plenty of padding in that box
 

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Mynamesrob said:
Somebody a long time ago mentioned something about all you have to say is it's exercise equipment boxed up. Not sure exactly...I'll look for it.
I'm not sure that will work... I moved a bike from Dallas to Mexico using AA, and they charged me like 50 bucks (it was 2 yrs ago) because it was 'sporting equipment'.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
It depends on what kind of sporting equipment it is. I don't think I would be able to get away with that since they will probably open the box to see whats inside.
 
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