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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2010

    Bike case while touring?

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    I'm going to fly or ship my bike for a tour this winter. I haven't bought a case yet, mainly 'cause I can't figure out what to do with it while I'm riding. It's a point to point tour, so I can't just leave it at the start. What do you do with your bike travel cases while you're touring?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Between the Blue Ridge and the Chesapeake Bay
    You can mail it to the endpoint (arrange with hotel or mailbox place or a bike shop). You might also be able to have the sag wagon, if there is one on your tour, carry it. That depends on space constraints, usually.

    You can also just use a cardboard bike box (double) to ship it, and get another one at the end to send it home.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Austin, TX
    For my long tour last summer, I elected to start at an uncle's house so I could have my bike shipped to him. (I also could have had it shipped to a LBS). He stuck my hardshell bike box in the garage while I was on tour. Six weeks later, at the end of my tour, I had him ship the box to me at my hotel.

    I used bikeflights.com for my shipping labels. It was super convenient at the end of the tour because they emailed me the shipping label, I forwarded it to my uncle, he printed and taped it to the box, stuck the box out on his front porch and that was it. FedEx took the box door to door every time, which was awesome because the box weighed 70 lbs. I did NOT want to haul that sucker through the airport.

    If I hadn't had a relative or friend on the start end, I would have tried calling some bike shops and offering to pay for the storage, or contacted a local advocacy organization to see if anyone would help a traveler out.

    Using a hardshell box is definitely more expensive than getting a recycled cardboard box from the bike shop, but I wouldn't do it any other way. Starting off with a damaged bike would have put a huge crimp in my plans. Purchasing the bike box and shipping it and the bike made up about 10% of my tour costs. I got a Serfas box off of Amazon - they had the best price and shipped it to my house for free. We only own a compact car and transporting the box home from the LBS would have been a problem.

    Be aware that you'll need to break the bike down pretty far to fit it into almost any box. I had to take off my handlebars and stem, rear derailleur, racks, and fenders. Fitting it all in is a bit of a puzzle as well. I have photos of my boxed bike on my blog here. You can have a bike shop do that stuff if you want, but it's nice to learn the repair and adjustment skills; the better you are with working on your own bike, the better off you'll be when something breaks in the middle of nowhere

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Boise Idaho
    We have shipped and received bikes at our shop for tourist. When we tour we have also shipped our bikes to the hotel and to a FedEx store that was open on Sunday (sometimes a problem with a LBS) We use a Transport Box, They aren't cheap but are less expensive than a hard sided case but way stronger than a bike box given to you by the LBS. Here is another blog post re shipping your bike.
    Sky King
    Gilles Berthoud "Bernard"
    Surly ECR "Eazi"
    Empowering the Bicycle Traveler

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    SF bay area
    I've used the cardboard box method with success on a point to point tour-- there is a thread with some details in this forum from a few years ago.

    one thing to note about shipping bikes is that this doesn't work if you are going internationally (even to canada) because import duty can be an issue and this makes it very difficult to find someone to receive the bike.

    good luck sorting out your options!



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