View Full Version : Anyone had any experience shipping bikes?

8th Sep 2004, 20:17
A bit off topic being more "F" than "SLF", but it seems like a good place to start...

I'm going to be working near Stockholm for a few months and I'd like to take my mountain bike with me. Has any one got any advice / experience / recommendations for freight forwarders in the Manchester area? Is it going to be cheaper to buy a bike when I get there? Or am I mad thinking about cycling in Sweden in winter?

8th Sep 2004, 20:21
Deflate the tyres!!:O

8th Sep 2004, 20:29
There's always one smart a***!:p

I was just about to edit the post to preempt the "Don't use BA" messages from the people who spot the irony of this thread appearing next to the british airways really don't care (http://www.pprune.org/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=143603) thread

8th Sep 2004, 20:33
No, I'm being serious.... Deflate the tyres or they may split or burst with pressurisation changes as the cabin/hold altitude climbs. :(

Boss Raptor
8th Sep 2004, 20:40
I did it once - bike arrived beaten, dented and bash with brake handle snapped off and the airline isnt going to pay - I would say frankly dont bother unless you are properly crating/packing it and it is handled correctly as cargo and not as checked baggage - this echos the experience of many other people on many other airlines

8th Sep 2004, 21:16
I've carted a push bike with Ansett.
Had to remove the front wheel. Had to remove and put the pedals on facing in to the frame. Had to turn the handle bars so they were parallel with the frame. Also, deflated the tyres. I think wrapped it up in bubble wrap as well as stuffed it into a cardboard bike box.

8th Sep 2004, 21:20
a couple of years ago, I checked in for an easyjet flight at Gatport Airwick on which several very expensive mountain bikes for a competition in Switzerland were carried...all arrived intact.
They were dimantled and transported in their original packaging.

Do you still have yours?

8th Sep 2004, 22:18
TightSlot, redsnail -
Stuff like turning handlebars round I know and tyres I definitely know about! I had to replace the rear wheel last year when the inner tube literally exploded when I was riding it - splayed the rim out and split the wheel along the spoke holes for a third of the circumference :ouch: ... but that's a different story. At this stage I'm more interested in finding out what do I need to think about, what's the most sensible way of doing this (if there is one) as well as getting a rough idea of cost.

IB4138 -
Not got anything to pack it in at the moment - fortunately my car is big enough that on the odd occasions I do take it anywhere I just need to fold the back seat down.

I was thinking of sending it as freight rather than taking it with me on the day as baggage - is that a sensible option? Is freight going to cheaper than excess baggage bearing in mind I'll have some excess just with all the other stuff I'll be taking? Will going as freight significantly reduce the risk of damage enroute or is going to incur additional packing costs for little benefit? Would I need a carnet or any other paperwork for customs? Is likely to sit in a warehouse for weeks waiting it's turn/customs clearance?

Thanks for the responses so far - I'm getting the impression it's not going to be worth the hassle but I think it's worth asking the questions and Google hasn't been very helpful so far.

B Sousa
8th Sep 2004, 23:16
Check the other thread on this forum "british airways really don't care"
May give you a contact if nothing else.

Nigel Osborn
9th Sep 2004, 02:26
As a freight forwarder I send bikes all over the place. Go to a bike shop and normally they will give you a carton. Make sure it is in good condition and big enough. Always remove front wheel, pedals, saddle, handle bars and sometimes the back wheel if the carton is small. Wrap each loose item so they don't scrape each other and then you should have no problems.
No idea of the cost over your way.:ok:

9th Sep 2004, 21:14
I've taken bikes abroad with me in the past... here's what I do:

Go to a bike shop and ask for one of the boxes that the new bikes come in. Also get the fork spacer that comes in the box.

Deflate tires, turn handlebars, remove front wheel and put the fork spacer (piece of plastic) in the front fork, where the axle goes.

Take the pedals off (you'll need a pedal spanner).

Put the frame in the box, tape down well with duct tape.

Wrap all the bits in bubble wrap, then tape them securely in the box too. I put the tools in too, so I don't forget them!

Check in 1/2 hour early.

I've never been charged to take a bike, but I've always phoned up flight ops. at the airport 48 hours before and "Booked in" the bike

When you get to the other end, the box might have been opened by security. Only time I've had a problem is with the US goons who scratched the frame because they threw everything back in, and didn't bother to retape it.

Hope that helps

10th Sep 2004, 11:30
I would have thought that you should be able to buy a second-hand bike in the Autumn for about the same as you could sell it for the following Spring. If you do take a small loss it must surely be less than two sets of shipping charges. Plus no wear&tear on your current bike.

11th Sep 2004, 15:41
There seems to be some pretty good advice on how to pack your bike. I would suggest a call to the airline to confirm what you actually need, be it box or bag, and stuff like that, and will they require access to it for a physical security check (as opposed to x-ray) and so on. I have seen a triathlon team checking in with hard luggage cases (rather like flight cases for musical instruments and so on) which looked pretty nifty, but a bit inconvenient if you think you're going to cycle away from the airport for two weeks of bike touring! Not to mention, pricey...

But, check with the airline.