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shipping a bike via air

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I have suddenly found myself commited to a 3 day road trip in Northern Italy at the end of this month (rain gear!), I am debating whether to ship my bike over or rent.

I hate the idea of shipping my Derosa, conversely I have very odd measurements : and getting a bike "off the rack", especially a rental is iffy...

Any suggestions on the best way of packing/shipping?

Thanks in advance!

Da Flav
post #2 of 18
Most shops will allow you to rent a hard-shell case for shipping purposes. It involves taking the wheels, pedals and handlebars off.

If you can't find a hard-shell case, then you can utilize the cardboard boxes that bike manufacturers ship their bikes to the shops in in the first place, but the cardboard boxes are obviously far less durable then the hard-shell cases are.

I've flown with my hard-shell case several times; my bike has never gotten scratched. Airlines will charge you an "oversized luggage" fee to fly with it. UPS and FedEx will ship them as well. Probably worth it to do some comparison shopping. UPS and FedEx allow you to insure your bike for whatever value you so please; not so with the airlines.
post #3 of 18
You are going to be AMAZED at the cost of shipping.

Please post here to rant after checking rates.
post #4 of 18
Personally, I'd be a bit worried about checking a bike with the airlines.

However you ship, your LBS probably has spare boxes, etc & can knock the bike down for shipping and pack it in a bike box that they'll have floating around. Of course the more compact it gets knocked down to, the more fooling around you have to do on the pickup end What tools will you have there? We just had Gerk's in Redmond do this for us so we could ship a bike out to one of our kids at college. Pretty painless (we used UPS - but that's easy for domestic stuff). I'm looking forward to hearing about the reassembly...

As for shipping, I've had great luck with Sports Express for domestic shipping. If they shipped to an int'l destination I was going to, I would not hesitate to use them. Check them out at www.sportsexpress.com

Have you considered a rental, but carrying a few parts to tweak sizing? Easy for me to say...
post #5 of 18
Take yours on the plane with you!
I've done a good amount of flying with my DeRosa in a Trico case.
Never a problem.
If you don't own one, rent one.
Or you could have a new one waiting at the factory for you, like I did.
post #6 of 18
I have shipped my Mountain bike by UPS, and also paid the extra fee as baggage on the airline. UPS really beat it up, didn't really save much money over taking it on the plane. I would get a travel case and take it with me on the plane.
post #7 of 18
Flavia, are you already here (in N.Italy I mean) ?
post #8 of 18
Take your bike.

I've flown with a bike in a cardboard box about 100 times without any damage. Abandon the box by the nearest dumpster.

To return, I just look for a bike shop or big box store and find another. Carrafour in France has actually unpacked new bikes to give us the boxes.

Here's our prized titanium mountain bikes. They have just gone Bend- Seattle -Paris Copenhagen-Prague and arrived on time and perfect, their fourth trip to Europe.

I'm sure there are lots of horror stories, but the risks are low and there is no subsitute for your own bike.

PS note the tape reinforcing the handle holes.
post #9 of 18
I'd spend the money to rent or purchase a hard shell case to minimize the risks. One of my teammates shipped his CF Specialized in cardboard via the airlines and found the top tube DESTROYED with minimal damage to the cardboard box. There was a small hole (1/4") in the box, it looks like something long and thin went through the box and top tube.
On the other hand what are you going to do with the case while your out on the road touring Italy???
post #10 of 18
I have a friend who takes his bike with him on extended business trips. He bought a hard case, but that is a major investment unless you are going to do this more than once. He took it as checked baggage, with an oversize fee (maybe $75?). That was all US travel, though.

He has a high end bike and was glad he brought his own.
post #11 of 18
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Nobody View Post
Flavia, are you already here (in N.Italy I mean) ?
I've have been and returned! Thanks to everyone for there suggestions, one of my hosts works for a bike shop and promised me a nice ride...it was. A new Scapin with Zip wheels, my only disappointment was that it was full Shimano:::.

Somehow riding a bike with Shimano in Italia just seemed so wrong!

Prehaps I will post a minor TR in a day or so...

Thanks again for your suggestions!


Da Flav
post #12 of 18
How could you ride that thing?!!!
Wrong you say?
More like a crime!!!

Did you visit Ugo?:
post #13 of 18
shimano in italia? che schifo! e senza anima! anyway, love to see the TR!
post #14 of 18
and the free web translation is:

'that you disgust... without soul' :
post #15 of 18
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Dino View Post
shimano in italia? che schifo! e senza anima! anyway, love to see the TR!
My sentiments exactly, like most Asian automobiles Shimano is no doubt very robust and highly reliable, and is about as exciting as seeing one's sister in a flannel nightie!
post #16 of 18
Originally Posted by carbonissimo View Post
and the free web translation is:
'that you disgust... without soul' :
sorry - should've added: (Shimano) How disgusting! Lacks soul...

[yeah, yeah, everyone really knows the stuff works, and people should choose based on comfort of hoods, etc., but in Italy - Non e giusto (It's not right).]
post #17 of 18
Not sure what people are on about "costing" to fly your bike...if you are on the plane, you are entitled to bring "1 piece of sporting equipment" at no extra charge....I flew my bike from Vancouver to Sydney Australia, and it never cost me a cent over the standard airfare.
post #18 of 18

Any bicycle in a box with overall dimensions not exceeding 62" or 157.5cm (length + height + width) and checked in lieu of one bag is accepted. Bicycles exceeding 62" are subject to standard oversize baggage charges.

62–80 inches—total of length plus width plus height............................................ ......................................$100 each
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