Quantcast

Shipping bikes (Moab tips)

Sorgie

Monkey
May 20, 2005
228
34
Rochester
I'm finally going to make it to Moab this year and I'm hoping you guys can give me some tips. I am not sure of the best way to ship bikes (it's 2,000 miles away). Cardboard bike box, purchase a hard case, take on the plane, ship to a local shop with UPS/ Fed Ex???? Up to this point every trip has been by car with bikes on the rack.

Any other info would be great. What type of tires, where to eat, local shops that are cool, ones to avoid, etc.

Thanks guys!
 

StiHacka

Compensating for something
https://www.bikeflights.com/ if you plan to ship the bike. I did that for my trip to ND and it was OK.

They ship with FedEx so be aware that if you go that route:
* they will beat the shit out of the box, I would recommend a hard case
* they will likely delay the shipment by at least a day or two, give them enough time to deliver in the correct location
 
https://www.bikeflights.com/ if you plan to ship the bike. I did that for my trip to ND and it was OK.

They ship with FedEx so be aware that if you go that route:
* they will beat the shit out of the box, I would recommend a hard case
* they will likely delay the shipment by at least a day or two, give them enough time to deliver in the correct location
I have used BikeFlights a half dozen times and have not experienced what @StiHacka describes, which ain't to say it can't happen. Have shipped both to bike stores and to motels I was staying in.
 

rideit

Bob the Builder
Aug 24, 2004
8,356
2,498
In the cleavage of the Tetons
If you are there for less than 5 days, just Demo.
It will make your life much simpler, and possibly make the trails more fun.
If for two weeks, well then, ship away!
 
Last edited:

Sorgie

Monkey
May 20, 2005
228
34
Rochester
@Sorgie you are in Rochester, NY?
Geneseo, but yeah close to Rochester. That's where I work. You went to RIT also correct? I think I met you once at The Land freeride park.
Thanks for all the responses so far. I didn't even know about BikeFlights. We are going for 8 days, which is like a $700 demo rental. Worst case my bike gets lost or trashed and insurance gets me a new one, but of course that would be better on the return shipping.
 

jonKranked

Press Button, Receive Stupid
Nov 10, 2005
57,523
5,837
media blackout
Geneseo, but yeah close to Rochester. That's where I work. You went to RIT also correct? I think I met you once at The Land freeride park.
yea RIT. tbh, those early Land days are pretty blurry, still a good chance we met.

I was gonna say, i still know some folks at park ave bikes from my time working there, i can see if they rent out hard cases. or if anyone i know in rochester has one they would loan out.
 
Geneseo, but yeah close to Rochester. That's where I work. You went to RIT also correct? I think I met you once at The Land freeride park.
Thanks for all the responses so far. I didn't even know about BikeFlights. We are going for 8 days, which is like a $700 demo rental. Worst case my bike gets lost or trashed and insurance gets me a new one, but of course that would be better on the return shipping.
BikeFlights offers insurance.
 

Jm_

Turbo Monkey
Jan 14, 2002
9,631
1,980
AK
Since I'm always starting with Alaska Airlines and I have a case, it makes sense to take it with me on the airline, after years of complaining, we got them to accept bikes as any other luggage, so $25 if you are not a mileage plan member and free if you are, just like skis and golf clubs. The airlines that charge $150-200 I strictly boycott, because their policies are so terrible. If work forces me to travel on them, I am sure to let them know in the review how bad their policies are, but I can usually avoid them completely. Unfortunately, the Deltas and Uniteds charge $150-200 each way, absolutely crazy. I'm not sure if this was because a lot of people early on were transporting in makeshift boxes and getting damage, or just because they really want to screw over mountain bikers. In any case, it's a breeze with Alaska Airlines comparatively and it almost always makes sense for me to bring it for more than a 3 day trip, but I agree that renting will make more sense if you can't get a setup like this.
 

Tantrum Cycles

Turbo Monkey
Jun 29, 2016
1,141
500
I use bikeflights for all domestic and canada. It IS fedex, in my opinion much nicer to boxes and more reliable than the options.

If I'm taking a bike on the plane, usually hard case all the way. I've had them run over by refueling trucks....no bS.

But I've shipped at least 100 times with bike flights, no problem. It's about half the rate of fedex ground, same exact service.

It's so cheap, I started using gigantic ebike boxes. So big I can just pop the front wheels and bars off. and pedals.

And they're extra strong, you know like E-spec. I've re-used E bike boxes a couple times before they get too soft.

$70 or so should get it across country, delivered to your door. Which is such a bonus over airport hassles....

I only put it on the plane when I've run out of time, as it typically takes 4 days to get cross country.
 
When I used to go to Hawaii with my Joker I built a couple of plywood boxes, one for wheels, one for frame. Packed clothes and whatnot in same boxes. At airline counter, "What's in the boxes?" Me: "Clothing and personal effects." No added fee. Once I got a TSA call back, they asked, I said bike and clothes, they had me open boxes, had no problems. Hawaii x-rays baggage on the way out for agricultural stuff, screener cracked up when he saw the bike.
 

KenW449

Thanos did nothing wrong
Jun 13, 2017
2,471
270
Floating down the whiskey river...
When I used to go to Hawaii with my Joker I built a couple of plywood boxes, one for wheels, one for frame. Packed clothes and whatnot in same boxes. At airline counter, "What's in the boxes?" Me: "Clothing and personal effects." No added fee. Once I got a TSA call back, they asked, I said bike and clothes, they had me open boxes, had no problems. Hawaii x-rays baggage on the way out for agricultural stuff, screener cracked up when he saw the bike.
Folks, i think we may have a genius amongst us.
 

6thElement

Schrodinger's Immigrant
Jul 29, 2008
4,921
2,528
Plan for late September/early October for best non-oven riding conditions. Early season before summer heat and the top of Whole Enchilada might not be open.
 

kazlx

Patches O'Houlihan
Aug 7, 2006
6,721
1,575
Tustin, CA
I've always used an EVOC case on the plane with me for Whistler trips and never had any problems. Super easy to load once you it the first time. Really only makes sense if you plan on continuing to travel with your bikes. I feel like I have my money's worth out of mine already and it's still in really good shape. Definitely agree with finding good airlines though. It should be criminal how much some of them try to nail you on fees. I've had friends book last minute and end up paying more to bring on the bike than their own ticket cost.
 

boostindoubles

Nacho Libre
Mar 16, 2004
4,229
1,712
Yakistan
Last time I shipped my bike for a trip was flying into Buffalo. In order to get the cheap cost ($70) I had to ship the bike almost 2 weeks in advance of my trip. It took a train I presume. It was handy to stuff all my camping gear and other trip needs in the box so I didn't have to deal with the airport. My head tube punched through the box and I had to buy and install a new headset to get into action. @jdcamb installed it even! Good times had by all. When I went home I packed the bike at a bike shop in Maine and they mailed it for me. It took about two weeks for my bike to show up after the trip.
 

Tantrum Cycles

Turbo Monkey
Jun 29, 2016
1,141
500
Last time I shipped my bike for a trip was flying into Buffalo. In order to get the cheap cost ($70) I had to ship the bike almost 2 weeks in advance of my trip. It took a train I presume. It was handy to stuff all my camping gear and other trip needs in the box so I didn't have to deal with the airport. My head tube punched through the box and I had to buy and install a new headset to get into action. @jdcamb installed it even! Good times had by all. When I went home I packed the bike at a bike shop in Maine and they mailed it for me. It took about two weeks for my bike to show up after the trip.
Where was that from??
 

boostindoubles

Nacho Libre
Mar 16, 2004
4,229
1,712
Yakistan
Where was that from??
Starting point was Yakima, WA. Both shipments, to Buffalo and from Maine, included all my camping gear stuffed around the bike. It was $70 each way. Originally I was going to rent a bike for a day at a bike park in Upstate NY. When I looked into the rental, it was $160 for a day. Aside from the 2 week wait before and after my trip, I had my bike the whole trip and was able to ride lots of trails all over rather than one day of bike park.
 
Starting point was Yakima, WA. Both shipments, to Buffalo and from Maine, included all my camping gear stuffed around the bike. It was $70 each way. Originally I was going to rent a bike for a day at a bike park in Upstate NY. When I looked into the rental, it was $160 for a day. Aside from the 2 week wait before and after my trip, I had my bike the whole trip and was able to ride lots of trails all over rather than one day of bike park.
Was the shipment insured?
 

boostindoubles

Nacho Libre
Mar 16, 2004
4,229
1,712
Yakistan
I don't remember, it could be I didn't insure it, but that seems irresponsible of me. Which could easily be the case for me 9 years ago. Had a great ride with the brewer at Trout River on that trip though!
 

Jm_

Turbo Monkey
Jan 14, 2002
9,631
1,980
AK
I’m thinking of shipping my RFX to a friend before I head down to AZ for the WOR, then ship my Pivot back when I’m done with the race, ride the RFX for a week on AZ trails and take it back with me on the plane trip back.
 

Tantrum Cycles

Turbo Monkey
Jun 29, 2016
1,141
500
bikeflights.com
bikeflights.com
bikeflights.com


they pay me nothing

they don't know or care who or what I am

I have no deal

FEDEX service, door to door. 4-5 day max across the US and even canadia, if in fact that is an actual country.

70-80 bucks coast to coast.

use them, love them, this is one thing that's RIGHT with the industry

signed

A BIG FAN (so far)
 

Jm_

Turbo Monkey
Jan 14, 2002
9,631
1,980
AK
bikeflights.com
bikeflights.com
bikeflights.com


they pay me nothing

they don't know or care who or what I am

I have no deal

FEDEX service, door to door. 4-5 day max across the US and even canadia, if in fact that is an actual country.

70-80 bucks coast to coast.

use them, love them, this is one thing that's RIGHT with the industry

signed

A BIG FAN (so far)
$112 to get to AZ and $225 to ship back to the country of Alaska.
 

mykel

Turbo Monkey
Apr 19, 2013
2,023
671
sw ontario canada
185.00 US from Vancouver BC to Ontario. Just checked into Bikeflights shipping a PB Special my wife was interested in.
 
Last edited:

slyfink

Turbo Monkey
Sep 16, 2008
6,139
1,792
Ottawa, Canada
185.00 US from Vancouver BC to Ontario. Just checked into Bikeflights shipping a PB Special my wife was interested in.
Have you tried Greyhound? For shipping in Canada, it's actually pretty reasonable. Not sure about insurance though... worth a look at least, I'd imagine.
 

Tantrum Cycles

Turbo Monkey
Jun 29, 2016
1,141
500
And that's a problem.



Before insurance which is around $10/$1k declared value, IIRC.

Fedex is the worst.
I've had great results from FEDEX. Not one damaged shipment out of ,maybe 70 bikes shipped this year.

UPS? I had a forklift blade through one box. Out of one.

Airlines? I'll post the pictures if I can find them.

What's the option then.
 

Jm_

Turbo Monkey
Jan 14, 2002
9,631
1,980
AK
I've had great results from FEDEX. Not one damaged shipment out of ,maybe 70 bikes shipped this year.

UPS? I had a forklift blade through one box. Out of one.

Airlines? I'll post the pictures if I can find them.

What's the option then.
You told me it was only $70.



I want my money back.
 

mykel

Turbo Monkey
Apr 19, 2013
2,023
671
sw ontario canada
Have you tried Greyhound? For shipping in Canada, it's actually pretty reasonable. Not sure about insurance though... worth a look at least, I'd imagine.

Totally forgot about Greyhound, Knolly shipped a warranty frame directly to me years ago via Greyhound - I totally brain-farted on that one.

Thanks!
 

pizza diavola

Monkey
Dec 3, 2013
167
248
Greyhound cut most services from western Canada last year. Not sure about package shipping though

Totally forgot about Greyhound, Knolly shipped a warranty frame directly to me years ago via Greyhound - I totally brain-farted on that one.

Thanks!
 

canadmos

Cake Tease
May 29, 2011
10,179
6,211
Canaderp
Greyhound cut most services from western Canada last year. Not sure about package shipping though
I'd assume they are gone as well. They usually just chuck the parcels into the bottom of the bus or in a trailer. If they still offer it, I'd 100% get full coverage insurance; traveling by Greyhound gets pretty sketchy in places.