It is important to know how to ship a bicycle and what it may cost. This information applies to online sellers, buyers, cyclists, and online retailers. It is important to have accurate information regarding the costs and expenses of traveling with your bike when you are selling or buying online.
Let’s suppose you got a spot for the Escape from Alcatraz. This great destination triathlon is a and you want to race your own bike. Shipping can be a great option, but this is not something you want to think about until the last minute.
Perhaps you are planning to take a bike vacation with a friend from another state. You have two options: rent a bike that doesn’t fit you or transport your bike in your vehicle or on your bike rack. Or, you can ship your bike to ensure it is there when you get there.
Shipping a bike is expensive. Is the bike safe? Is it a hassle? We will answer all your questions in this article.
What is the shipping cost for a bicycle?
Shipping a bike can be expensive depending on what level of service you need and which shipping provider you use. You can expect to pay between $50 and $250 for short distance shipping. Professionally packed shipping will cost more.
The price of the service you require, such as disassembling the bike and packing it, will increase.
Shipping options for bicycles
You can ship your bike to the main shipping companies such as UPS or FedEx for a small fee. The shipping of your bike is just one part. If you choose to ship with one of these carriers, you will also need to figure out how to package it.
There are many services such as ShipBikes and BikeFlights that specialize in shipping bikes. The dimensions and distance will determine the cost of the option you choose.
BikeFlights will guide you through each step of the process. After you place an order, they will ship you the right box for your bike. You can find online information to help you disassemble the bike and pack it. They also have couriers that will bike up your bike.
A service such as this has another advantage: they can get lower rates from shipping companies because of their expertise and volume in shipping bikes. UPS will give you the “rack rate” if you’re someone who may ship bikes every few years.
Shipping costs for a bike packed in a box that weighs approximately 30 pounds is between $50 and $400. This is quite a large range. We’ll next show you price examples for shipping bicycles from New York City to San Francisco.
The most important factor in determining the price of your bike is how quickly it needs to be delivered. You will receive the best rates if you are able to settle for shipping within four days.
This is the NY to SF example.
Ship a bike by shipping companies (NY to SF).
- FedEx – You’ll pay anywhere between $60 and $160 depending on how fast you need to ship. The price does not include insurance which can be purchased for an additional fee.
- UPS: You’ll be paying about $135. This price does not include insurance. Insurance can be purchased for an additional fee.
Ship a bike using bike shipping services (NY – SF)
- BikeFlights: The approximate cost of shipping a bike to you is $60 plus disassembly. You can find our preferred customer experience .
- ShipBikes: The average shipping cost for a bike is $65, plus the disassembly fee and the box.
- Sport Express Shipping costs start at $174 plus disassembly, box and packaging.
Checking a bike for airline luggage (if you’re flying) NY to SF
- Different airlines have different rules and they are constantly changing to reflect the dynamic of a COVID or post-COVID environment. You should check with the airline about the cost of the flight. It is usually between $35 and $55, plus the price of the ticket.
No matter which shipping method you choose, it is worth spending extra to protect your bike. You can be assured of peace of mind with all services that offer insurance and protection plans. You won’t have to worry about your bike getting stolen or damaged.
Transporting your bike
There are several ways to pack your bike on the trip. This article is not meant to be the definitive guide on how to pack a bike. It is too complex and could easily consume 2,000 words. No matter what method you use, it is important to ensure that you ship your bike in a specific box for bikes.
- BikeFlights can ship one to you. They have a lot of experience shipping bikes so they will make sure that you get the right box. This is an option they offer.
- Purchase a box. A box can be purchased online via Amazon or other retailers. The cost is only $10 plus shipping.
- Buy one at your local bike shop. The bikes displayed in the bike shops were packed in bike boxes, which are the perfect size to store your bike. You might be able, if you’re not too tight, to get a box from your local bike shop. Many have boxes on hand to ship.
Next, you will need to disassemble your bike. It doesn’t matter if you are shipping a tricycle, gravelbike, mountainbike, or any other type of bike. It doesn’t matter how much you take apart, as long as it fits in the box. It usually involves removing the front-end, taking out the seat and fixing any moving parts. These are some quick tips, but this is not a guideline on how to disassemble a bike.
- Keep plenty of padding, bubble wrap and zip ties, as well as your bike tools, on hand
- Take out the handlebars
- Take off the front wheel
- Take out the pedals
- Wrap the bike in a protective wrap so there is no metal-on metal or metal-on carbon friction.
- Zip ties can be used to secure moving parts, such as the crank or rear wheel.
- When you load the box, make sure to arrange everything properly so that no one is injured or scratched.
You should open the box back up if you hear metal-on-metal when you move it around. The bike should be completely cushioned and not rub any other metal.
If you are familiar with how to use a bicycle and have the right tools, it is possible to do it yourself. You can also bring the bike to a shop to have it done.
We called our local bike shop and they told us that they would professionally disassemble the bike and pack it in a used box for $50. They then contract with BikeFlights for the delivery of the bike to your destination. There is no markup.
The other end: Receiving the Bike after Shipping
There are several ways to get the bike. We recommend not skimming if you plan to ship the bike in order to be able to ride it once in a lifetime or participate in a destination race. It is best to have the bike shipped directly to a shop so it can be professionally reassembled before you leave and ready for you upon your arrival. A pro can put together a bike for an A-Race.
You can ship a bike to someone if you bought it on Ebay. They can assemble it.
Some people, such as snowbirds, or those who are going to a destination for a long time, might want it shipped to their condo, or second home. They will then be able to enjoy their vacation. If you decide to do this, make sure you have all the necessary tools for disassembly when you arrive at your destination.
It is easier to reassemble your bike if you mark key areas while you are taking it apart. To ensure that your assembly is exactly the same, mark key areas with tape or a marker.
What are the most common mistakes made when shipping bikes?
In an effort to help you avoid common mistakes, we asked BikeFlights pros what they see people making. Here’s what they said.
People don’t properly pack their bikes. This is the number one error we see. Proper packing is crucial to ensure your bike’s safety during shipping. We have spent a lot of time preparing resources to assist those who pack their bikes themselves. If they come in contact with each other during shipping, an unprotected wheel end can cause a hole or dent in a unpadded or inadequately padded seat tube or down tube.
A common error is to not allow enough time for shipping your bicycle. You may have perfect weather, but it is possible for unexpected delays to shipping your bike. Send your bike early to allow it to arrive in time for when you need it.
These are great tips. Packing is important. Don’t forget to pack.
It is crucial to learn how to ship a bicycle safely and accurately for both buyers and sellers.
You can use our recommended service at Bikeflights >here.