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Shipping Bike Case?

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Shipping Bike Case?

Old 02-06-05, 10:06 PM
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smitty8
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Shipping Bike Case?

In June I'm flying to Rome from San Francisco to take a bike tour Rome-Sardinia-Corsica-Nice (see at www.wideopenroad.co.uk). Anyone have any idea how reasonable or how expensive it would be to ship the empty plastic (30#) hard bike case from Rome to my hotel in Nice, France so it will be there for my flight from Nice back to San Francisco?
If that isn't a reasonable option I suppose I could always take a disposable carboard bike box with me and pick up another one in Nice for the trip home...
ThanksI Steve
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Old 02-06-05, 10:54 PM
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I'd use the cardboard box option. I've done that in the past and it has been OK. Most airlines will sell one to you for about $10, but just a word of advice, get to the airport about 3-4 hours before your flight. It takes a while to talk to security (of the airline you're travelling with) to get them to take you to the place where they keep the boxes, and it takes a while to stand in line with the box to pay for it, and it takes a while to box your bicycle up in a quiet corner of the airport. I've found that the airport staff are much nicer to you if you're not in a mad rush to catch a flight.
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Old 02-06-05, 11:12 PM
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I definitely agree with the cardboard box option, then you can just ditch it on arrival. You can actually get a box for free at any bike shop. This gives you time at home to pack it up instead of doing it at the airport. Also, you save $10 that you can spend on cappucinos.

On your return back home, you may find that the airport staff won't even require you to put it in a box, but you would have to sign a damage waiver.
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Old 02-07-05, 12:06 AM
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I know about the cardboard box option and have used it several times on international flights, (It took me no more time than any other piece of checked luggage), but that wasn't my question. I was wondering if anyone knew how easy or expensive it would be to ship an empty plastic (30#) hard bike case from Rome to my hotel in Nice, France. I've been trying to get info from DHL, FedEx and UPS, so far without success.
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Old 02-07-05, 03:55 AM
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How much does the case weigh? What are it's dimensions? I can find out for you lickety-split!
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Old 02-07-05, 03:55 AM
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I have never heard of a cardboard box for bike shipping. Where can I find out about these things?
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Old 02-07-05, 06:32 AM
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It's not just weight, but size as well. To give you an idea, I had a pannier shipped from Canada to Latvia via DHL. It fit into a large envelope. The cost was USD30. It will be very expensive whichever way you decide. BTW DHL is much better in Europe than UPS.
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Old 02-07-05, 07:32 AM
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I tried to use UPS and FEDEX to mail a frame to Hawaii. There is a size limitation for going in an airplane. They would not take it. I ended up using the post office. It took a long time as it went truck from east to west coast and boat to Hawaii. About 8 weeks I think. Look in the Yellow pages for an air freight company.

becnal:
All bikes are shipped to the bike shops in cardboard boxes. Most bike shops have boxes that they will let you have.
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Old 02-07-05, 12:41 PM
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Originally Posted by becnal
How much does the case weigh? What are it's dimensions? I can find out for you lickety-split!
Thanks! The plastic case is 10.5 X 30.5 X 47.5 inches and weights 30 pounds. Cheapest shipping rate from Rome to Nice, France (it could take as long as 2 weeks).
I've used FedEx to ship boxed bikes within the US. It is cheaper and easier than taking them as checked luggage, delivering them to wherever you want. Costs about US$ 35 coast to coast. Takes a few days but that hasn't been a problem for me.
When using the boxes that bike shops receive new bikes in it is a good idea to get from them the plastic fork spreaders their bikes come with for protection, and maybe tube plugs as well. My shop just throws them away and gave me several.
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Old 02-07-05, 01:36 PM
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I use a plastic bag I get from the airline. It's about the size of a single bed matress cover and I just roll the bike into it at the airport.

I tend not to be the worrying type so the only precautions other that the airline insisting on turning the bars and pedals and reducing the tire pressure is taping the front wheel and frame together so the wheel won't twist during transportation. I get another one when I come back. They are $5 each from some airlines.

Where are you going to store that box anyway?
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Old 02-07-05, 02:57 PM
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Originally Posted by smitty8
Thanks! The plastic case is 10.5 X 30.5 X 47.5 inches and weights 30 pounds. Cheapest shipping rate from Rome to Nice, France (it could take as long as 2 weeks).
I've used FedEx to ship boxed bikes within the US. It is cheaper and easier than taking them as checked luggage, delivering them to wherever you want. Costs about US$ 35 coast to coast. Takes a few days but that hasn't been a problem for me.
When using the boxes that bike shops receive new bikes in it is a good idea to get from them the plastic fork spreaders their bikes come with for protection, and maybe tube plugs as well. My shop just throws them away and gave me several.
From the DHL Italian website:
What is the maximum size of package I can send?
For purely operational reasons (the size of the door openings on our vans and planes), we ask that a shipment not exceed 120 cm in any one dimension. However, we will be pleased to advise you and arrange carriage of larger items. Additionally, for the safety of our couriers, we require notification of shipments over 50kg in weight.

47.5 inches is 120.65cm. It looks like you might have a problem.
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Old 02-07-05, 05:11 PM
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Most bike shops are happy to give you the cardboard boxes in which their new bikes were shipped - instead of just throwing the boxes out!
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Old 02-07-05, 11:45 PM
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Originally Posted by stokell
I use a plastic bag I get from the airline. It's about the size of a single bed matress cover and I just roll the bike into it at the airport.

I tend not to be the worrying type so the only precautions other that the airline insisting on turning the bars and pedals and reducing the tire pressure is taping the front wheel and frame together so the wheel won't twist during transportation. I get another one when I come back. They are $5 each from some airlines.

Where are you going to store that box anyway?
I would prefer to use a hard case, shipping it from where my tour starts in Rome to where it ends in Nice to pick up for the flight home to San Francisco. If I use a box I would just get a free one at my local bike shop, discard it in Rome and pick up another at a bike shop in Nice.
I wouldn't mind taking one of my older bikes just in a bag, but I've not seen others doing this and the agent I just asked at British Airways says it must be "in a suitable container" like a box or bike case. In the case I will also transport my sleeping bag, tent, pad, and miscellaneous other stuff. What airline have you used that takes bikes in bags?
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Old 02-08-05, 04:04 AM
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Originally Posted by smitty8
I would prefer to use a hard case, shipping it from where my tour starts in Rome to where it ends in Nice to pick up for the flight home to San Francisco. If I use a box I would just get a free one at my local bike shop, discard it in Rome and pick up another at a bike shop in Nice.
I wouldn't mind taking one of my older bikes just in a bag, but I've not seen others doing this and the agent I just asked at British Airways says it must be "in a suitable container" like a box or bike case. In the case I will also transport my sleeping bag, tent, pad, and miscellaneous other stuff. What airline have you used that takes bikes in bags?
I fly from Canada usually at the last minute. I've flown Air Canada and a charter called Air Transat several times. Transat will sell you a bag for $5. I find it very convenient because I can bike to the airport, roll up to the line up and when it is my turn (usually an employee spots me and pulls me out of line), I just tape the front wheel deflate the tires and roll it into the bag. My panniers are carry-on. There is no charge for the bike and when I get it back from the other end, I tear off the bag, pump up the tires etc and bike away.

I've done boxes before and you need someplace to store them and you have to remove the front wheel. It's okay if you're on a fully supported tour I suppose or even returning from the same airport, but the question remains: What do you do with the box?
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Old 02-08-05, 08:42 AM
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smitty8,

go here...

http://www.poste.it/en/postali/parcels/ems.shtml

might be of some help?

although you have travelled with a bike before, beware of being charged extra for taking your bike with you. i have flown with British Airways before and previous to flying with them i checked about cost of transporting my bike with me on the flight as it used to be free. i called them up and was told i won't be charged a thing. i get to the airport and guess what? i had to pay an extra 80 to take my bike to australia, or it wasn't coming with me, as i was carrying excessive luggage. i wasn't happy, especially as their argument was a weight allowance issue and when i got on the plane it was only half full. as for packing the bike up, i've known people to not use any sort of case/bag at all. some just use pipe lagging on the tubing, use bubble wrap in the appropriate places and zip tie the front wheel and handlebars securely so it's a solid unit. the idea of this is that the airport staff can see what it is and supposedly treat it a little more gently...don't believe it myself personally and have always used cardboard boxes until i bought an ABS plastic bike case which offer the best protection but they also weigh a fair bit too.

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Old 02-08-05, 10:39 AM
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According to the DHL website, it's 28.50 Euro. However, one side is 2 inches too long. Sounds negotiable to me!
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Old 03-01-05, 05:47 PM
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Good warning. Been there, so now I get it in writing and take a copy with me to checkout. In fact, I keep a folder from hotels, car rentals, etc., with prices from them, usually email copies. Arrived in Jo'berg couple of years ago to find that they had no record of my hotel reservation, wanted to charge me more, and car rental wanted to charge me more as well. Producing copies of THEIR documents saved my bacon and got me the quoted prices.
As a far as just showing up for my flight home with bike wrapped or in bag, where am I when told it must be packed in a "suitable" box or hard case, departure 45 minutes off, and that they have no such containers to give or sell me.
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Old 03-01-05, 06:09 PM
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Originally Posted by cabledonut
smitty8,

I have flown with British Airways before and previous to flying with them I checked about cost of transporting my bike with me on the flight as it used to be free. I called them up and was told I won't be charged a thing. I get to the airport and guess what? I had to pay an extra 80 to take my bike to Australia,
Good idea to check with the airline web site: This is what I got from BA:
http://www.britishairways.com/travel...public/en_gb#1
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