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Not sure if this is the right forum for this question but from the forums available, it seemed like this one's the most appropriate.

I just found out last week that my company is sending me to work in the US for awhile.

I would like to ship my bike to the US so I can take advantage of the warm weather and do some riding while down there. It's a 2006 Giant Trance 3 with some upgrades.

I talked to a guy from my bike shop earlier this week who indicated he can pack my bike in a box and have it ready to ship for a small fee ($30). I've been looking around on the internet for some options of shipping it and there are just so many available.

I will be flying from Toronto, Ontario, Canada to Dallas, Texas, US the first week of January.

I was wondering if anybody has shipped a bike or anything of comparable size internationally before.

What is the best option?

Shipping through a courier service such as Purolator or paying an additional fee to have it as check-in luggage at the airport?

The bike is just under 30lbs and I imagine the entire shipping weight of the box, bike, shoes, helmet (if it fits in the box), and other accessories will be approx 35lbs. Not sure on the dimensions of the box though. But from what I know, the bike will be partially disassembled to fit in the shipping box.

I will definately have it insured if I'm shipping it.

I am also concerned about US customs trying to charge me taxes on the bike when I reach the US and Canada customs charging me taxes again when I return to Canada. I was told I need to fill out some type of Customs form to prove that the bike was purchased in Canada and will be returning to Canada, but I didn't get the details as to which form I need.

So if anybody has any experience shipping a bike or something similar (like skis or snowboards) internationally, and has any suggestions, I'd love to hear them.
 

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Misfit Psycles
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2,772 Posts
you will pay around 100 for shipping and you will pay duties as well...you may be able to claim them back but the hassle wont be worth it.

when you fly to dallas - if you are bringing ONLY one other bag (check your bag limitations on your ticket) you can get the bike onboard for as low as 50$ depending on the airline.

the whores at air canada are up to 100 (sometimes higher).
the benefit of flying with it is that you are in control of it...most of the time.

you can buy/rent a bike box or the packaging option given by the bike store will suffice too.
good luck.
 

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The duties thing can be a hassle unless you fill out one of these forms:

Declaration for shipping unaccompanied goods (customs form 3299):
http://forms.cbp.gov/pdf/CBP_Form_3299.pdf

I'd maybe suggest shipping your bike if you have to take any connecting flights, more room for error, otherwise just rent a bike box and fly with it.

Things to consider based on my experience:

- Whatever the airline tells you in advance about shipping with a bike...is probably not 100% correct

- United airlines said there was a standard fee to travel with a bike (I think it was around $80 or so). On the day of, checking in my baggage, they charged the fee + a fee for going over the weight limit. Came to $135 for one way. Ridiculous. A bike is a bike. 30 lb box + bike and gear is pretty much guaranteed to be over 50 lb limit.

- On the other hand, Air Canada said it would be $50, and they didn't charge me anything to fly with my bike. They are very unpredictable!

- I'd definitely recommend a proper bike box too, I bought an Iron Case and I am glad I did. There were two small damaged areas of the case (and that plastic is pretty damn durable) on the first flight. I can only imagine what the blow would have done to a card board box

- When I considered shipping the bike, before making the decision to fly with it, I found most hotels / bike shops were very receptive to receiving the bike and holding onto it until you arrived. One bike shop in Fruita (Singletracks) said it would cost us a 6 pack of beer and they would let us use their stands and tools to reassemble everything. They also offered to store the boxes for us.
 
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