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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi folks-

I'm looking to ship my NRS frame to a friend who'll be buying it from me. I know I can get cheap (free or little cost) boxes from a bike shop, but I have no clue about shipping rates. I did a real quick check on UPS for a price quote on a box that is, 10 lbs, 60"l x 36"h x 9"w (just guessing on the dimensions) and it came out over $100!!!

Does anyone have any tips on how to ship, esp. more affordably??

Thanks,
Mark
 

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noMAD man
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Find a business with a USP account.

mramend said:
Hi folks-

I'm looking to ship my NRS frame to a friend who'll be buying it from me. I know I can get cheap (free or little cost) boxes from a bike shop, but I have no clue about shipping rates. I did a real quick check on UPS for a price quote on a box that is, 10 lbs, 60"l x 36"h x 9"w (just guessing on the dimensions) and it came out over $100!!!

Does anyone have any tips on how to ship, esp. more affordably??

Thanks,
Mark
Through friends, acquaintences, or yourself, find a business that already regularly ships things through UPS. Get them to ship your bike in that bike box you got free from a local bike shop. Inside the U.S. it usually runs about $25-$30. These kinds of businesses usually always have a much better rate than if you just walk up to a UPS counter. You, however, do all the work of partially dismantling the bike and preparing the box, obviously. You bring them a box that's ready to ship other than the paperwork, which the business just adds to their shipments.
 

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mramend said:
Hi folks-

I'm looking to ship my NRS frame to a friend who'll be buying it from me. I know I can get cheap (free or little cost) boxes from a bike shop, but I have no clue about shipping rates. I did a real quick check on UPS for a price quote on a box that is, 10 lbs, 60"l x 36"h x 9"w (just guessing on the dimensions) and it came out over $100!!!

Does anyone have any tips on how to ship, esp. more affordably??

Thanks,
Mark
Don't know exactly how big your frame is, but it sounds like you could cut the box down quite a bit. On oversize packages, the dimensions affect the price more than weight. I personally hate shipping UPS, as I deal with them quite a bit at work and it is almost impossible to get a settlement from them if they damage your shipment, but they are the cheapest. Get exact dimensions from UPS, and cut your box down, and it should cut the cost down to around $35.

Might suggest calling USPS, Menlo, or DHL to see if you can get a decent rate from them. If you do end up shipping UPS, make sure you pack the box in a bomb-proof manner. Nothing can completely protect a bike from the Big Brown Clown, but there are some measures you can take.

My suggestion: Get a couple bundles of blank newsprint and some thin bubble-wrap from a moving & storage company or supply house. Wrap the bubble wrap around all your frame tubes. This is only to keep the newsprint from scratching the paint. Cut your box down to appropriate size. Layer the bottom of the box with balls of crumpled newsprint. Use just enough that you can no longer feel the bottom the box when you press your hand down firmly. Place your frame in the box and completely fill all empty spaces in the box with more crumpled paper. Pack as much paper as you can possibly stuff in the box, and overflowing a few inches over the top. You should have to work pretty hard to get the top taped shut. If you've done it right, the sides of the box should be rock hard. This is going to bump the weight of your shipment up around 40-50 lbs, but shouldn't affect the cost. This is a method employed by many moving companies to pack fragile glassware, and it works.
 

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I've shipped a few as baggage on Alaska Airlines, but you have to be on the plane too for that. The way I pack is to put all the parts of the frame that are or may hit the side of the box in pipe insulation (you can get it cheap at Fred Meyer, Wal-Mart, etc.) Generally the boxes are thick, strong cardboard. I tie the frame at several points to the box to prevent excessive motion. You do need to be careful doing this so as to not hurt the finish on the frame. I also have a busted hub (won't rotate at all, physically intact) that I've removed from the wheel it was on, I put it on the frame to prevent bending of the chainstays. The shop may have a blank (plastic load bearing part to take the place of the hub) the mfg's use for packing. You may want to bend some extra thick cardboard triangles or sqaures to tape to the inside of the box to shore up the large surface of the box. If you can find a place that will fill the box with packing peanuts for cheap, after the frame is in, do it.

Good Luck
 

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As said before...I cut the box down so it is as small as possible, and use pipe insulation to protect the frame along with extra pieces of cardboard.

UPS in my area is a HUGE pain. Most of the time the refuse to ship a frame because they damaged a couple and had to pay for them. So they avoid it all together. If you cut down the box small enough USPS will ship it. They have some measeurement scale on their website, something about length plus width x girth. If it is larger or "oversized" the prices are outrageous.

Other options are shipping stores or the "UPS store", or if all else fails, have your local bike shop ship it for you.

If anybody gives you a hassle about shipping a bike frame (mainly UPS), you can turn your box inside out so they can't see the bike co's labels and say it is "exercise equipment".
 

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Make someone else do the packaging...

If you go to a shipping place and pay that place to package and ship it, then they are responsible for any issues with packages becoming jacked up and damaged. Its been on the news a bit lately, if they are paid to do the shipping, and something happens due to "insufficient padding", then its their ass, not yours.

It will cost a bit more, but it's worth it. Even if you have insurance on the package, it doesn't always mean you'll get your money back if something happens because UPS like to say things were "insufficiently packaged." Pay them to do it, and no worries.

...tb...
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
thanks for the tips!

Thanks everyone for the tips. There is a UPS store down the road so I'll go and ask what they would charge if they did the packing. My two other alternatives it seems: USPS and the LBS.

Cheers,
Mark
 

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noMAD man
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Be careful with "packagers".

mramend said:
Thanks everyone for the tips. There is a UPS store down the road so I'll go and ask what they would charge if they did the packing. My two other alternatives it seems: USPS and the LBS.

Cheers,
Mark
How well will the packager you choose know how to properly pack and box a complete bicycle? Now you may indeed find a packager who actually knows what they're doing, but we've seen some pretty pathetic results from some outfits that obviously didn't know what they were doing. You can do some serious damage or at the least some hideous cosmetic buggering. I've even seen some other bike shops do a pretty poor job in packing customer's bikes, so just beware. On that packaging outfit deal, I recently went into one of those UPS do-it-all stores to check on shipping an 18" long, 11 pound aluminum dirt motorcycle muffler. They wanted $27 to pack it and ship it two states away. How hard is it going to be to pack a fairly tough muffler? I passed on that deal.
 

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FedEx shipped my complete bike for only $17.36. The trouble is, they crushed it in route. Make sure to place blocks in dropouts front and rear. You can get a box from your LBS free.
 

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paddlefoot64 said:
FedEx shipped my complete bike for only $17.36. The trouble is, they crushed it in route. Make sure to place blocks in dropouts front and rear. You can get a box from your LBS free.
Good point. Go to the LBS and get a frame box that has ALL of the padding/shimming materials still inside. There is a cardboard form that protects the headtube that is very important.

UPS crushed the headtube on my Retrotec frame and refused to pay for the damages. :(
 

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Just thinking...

steve3 said:
Good advice. I would stay away from OOPS, in fact. Try FedEX. Also, it's a small issue, but remove the derailleur hanger and tape it to the frame or the inside of the box. It would suck to get a new frame and then have a bent hanger.

Man, I can't believe you're still eyeing my bike. SHOO!!! I'm sure you're innocent, right? Lawyer screwed you or cops framed you? :D
I still lugging around my Trek 4300 which after a couple months, looks like hell. Already have had to replace the seatpost, grips, fork, and some other small stuff. Piece o' crap. Still need to put some CB Mallet C's on my bike and get some shoes.

So basically, I'm thinking about stealing anyone's bike because they are just about all better than what I have.

...iC...

PS. I really hate thieves, I wouldn't steal ever.
 

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Yeah, good point. Get the card board forms that protect the headtube and dropouts from your LBS.

Also be aware that UPS sometimes opens boxes to see if it's packaged properly, for "safety" reasons. They say it is to make sure no parts will come poking through the box and harm someone.

I once bought a new Specialized Team DH frame from a guy and when UPS delivered it it was just a frame rattling around in a box. Zero packaging and it had a dented headtube. I emailed the seller and ripped him a new ass and he swore that he had padding in the box. The box did appear too be cut open. I knew UPS would never own up to it so I never filled a claim.
 
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