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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Bavaria, Germany
    Posts
    28

    Question Who has shipped a bike to Europe using FedEx, UPS, or DHL?

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    Hello ladies,
    I recently moved to Germany and did not have a chance to pack and bring my bike along on the flight. With no plans to go back to the U.S. any time soon, I am stuck with the option of either finding a new bike here (which is really expensive) or ship my beloved to me from Chicago (which will likely be more affordable and easier).

    I spoke with my LBS where the bike is now stored, and they can pack the bike for me if I provide a box. But they don't ship internationally, so I would have to get the packed bike to a shipper or have the shipper pick it up at my mom's house once the LBS has it packed.

    So, my questions are:
    1. Who has shipped a bike to Europe from the U.S. and what service did you use?
    2. Did your bike survive the trip with just a sturdy cardboard bike box, like this one?
    3. Could you get insurance for the full cost of the bike?
    4. Am I crazy to ship my bike, or should I just suck it up and spend at least double what shipping would cost to find a decent bike where I live now?

    Thanks so much for your replies. It's been a while since I have been on the forums, and I am so happy you are all still here.
    Sara
    There's only one thing better than spending a day on my bike: Spending a day on my bike in good company.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,394
    Not to Europe, but across the country, in a hard bike case. We used Fed Ex and the bike was damaged... scratched. We were shipping to our son, who was treated very poorly, when they came to inspect. They did not make it right.
    This was 13 years ago, so maybe they have improved?
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
    Specialized Oura

    2011 Guru Praemio
    Specialized Oura
    2017 Specialized Ariel Sport

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    western Colorado
    Posts
    442
    I shipped a bike frame to Australia a few years back. I used bikeflights.com. If you buy through them it's a discounted price on Fedex shipping (at least it was back then). I don't recall the exact price of shipping as the buyer bought the shipping and sent me the shipping label. It got there in a week and the buyer was happy. (It was an expensive carbon fiber frame.)

    So you could buy the shipping label and send it to your bikeshop and they can ship the box.
    Specialized Ruby
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    Jamis Dragon

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    california
    Posts
    1,227
    Dhl and Deutsche post are the same company. Being based in Germany means customs is easier. I’ve used them for to and from France with no problems. Open an account and you get a discount. A group of us used fedex to get our bikes to Iowa for a ride we did there. Our lbs gave us some bike manufacture shipping boxes for free to pack them in….no problems in transit. If you ship make sure the paperwork and box has ‘personal/household’ to avoid taxes/duty fees. If someone is coming to Germany from the U S to visit you soon they may be able to bring the bike on their flight for much cheaper than shipping it. If khg doesn’t see/post in this thread pm her. She takes her bike to Italy for a yearly ride and would know costs.
    ‘The negative feelings we all have can be addictive…just as the positive…it’s up to
    us to decide which ones we want to choose and feed”… Pema Chodron

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,501
    Like Crankin, I've never shipped a bike to Europe, but around the USA at least ten or fifteen times. Always in a hard case, always FedEx, never had a problem. There was once that the box arrived with the outer straps loose, but I've always suspected it was DH that forgot to tighten them as I'd asked, after he put a few things in to be shipped along with the box - and at any rate, the inner straps were tight and all the contents were fine. After that, I Sharpie'd on the outside of the box near the clasps, "If Opened Please Tighten All Straps." And the paper with the packing instructions stays in the box, as much to remind me as in case it's opened for inspection. I always use the little pieces of plastic that the name escapes me right now, that brace the drop-outs apart, and cushion as many of the tubes as possible with pipe insulation and/or foam rubber. And, I always ship express, which it's been my experience not only with bikes but with any shipments, that the shippers are much more careful with express shipments.

    I personally would not trust a cardboard or fabric box, especially with a carbon frame, though I know a lot of people ship that way with no problem.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Bavaria, Germany
    Posts
    28
    Great, thanks for sharing your experiences! My LBS recommended going with a hard-shell bike shipping container, but I do know that friends of mine that have done Ironman all over have used a cardboard box. But they typically just take the bikes on as checked oversized, so I think it gets handled a bit better than post.

    My mother mentioned that the next time she comes to visit, she might be able to bring it along. Perhaps that would be the most cost-effective and safest route after all.

    But please, if you do have other experiences to share, keep them coming.

    Sara
    There's only one thing better than spending a day on my bike: Spending a day on my bike in good company.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    129
    Depending on the airline, fees for taking your bike on the plane can be anything from pretty reasonable to insane. It depends on the airline. But looking around earlier this year, it seemed a little less insane/variable than a few years ago. Last year flying to Italy with my bike, I lucked out on a cheap Business Class fare on Condor. It wasn't that much more than a Coach fare once I took into account my bike flying for free--that was a pretty sweet experience!

    From my research, a quick pros/cons--
    Hard case--sturdier but heavier, expensive to buy, may be hard to keep box+bike under weight limits
    Soft case--lighter but a little scary to trust your bike to something with soft sides, good ones are also expensive
    Cardboard box--cheap and light! Least complicated disassembly/packing experience. Bulky and unwieldy as heck. Can be difficult to fit into smaller European cars.

    I was going to say that if someone brings your bike on a flight with them, it better be someone who really loves you--but then I saw that your mom might be the one flying over Flying with a bike is definitely a pain--even the best luggage cases are bulky, heavy, annoying things to have to maneuver through an airport and transportation. But if your mom is willing to deal with the hassle, the cardboard box might be a good option. It's cheap, and actually a pretty sturdy way to pack a bike for a flight, especially with generous use of bubble wrap. And you can kind of push/slide it along the floor in the airport (stairs suck though).

    FWIW, my husband and I both travel with the Pika Packworks EEP bag. I like it a lot (though it would be nice if it had wheels--on the other hand, it doesn't have wheels to be broken off, which seems to happen a lot with wheeled cases.) We've also traveled with his bike in a cardboard box.

    Some good info in this article and the links in it: http://cyclingtips.com/2014/06/flyin...ggage-handler/
    1980-something Colnago
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    2013 Wabi Classic

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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Western Canada-prairies, mountain & ocean
    Posts
    6,984
    Guess it depends on also the cost of the bike, etc.

    I shipped my folding Dahon bike via its soft case. Yes, you heard me. To Europe (Germany). I will be doing it again later this year....to France. Same bike.
    My partner has shipped his folding Dahon bike via its soft case ..... 4 different trips to Europe. One time only, his derailleur got a little damaged. So he had to have it repaired there. So yes, it's a risk one takes. He has shipped his bike by cardboard bike box for other types of bikes on 1-2 other trips in the U.S. He has never used Fedex and most likely will not be using them.

    I fly by Air Canada when I fly internationally. That's my starting airline preference. Their signage and procedures clearly state bikes....so bike shipment is not a rare thing for them.
    Last edited by shootingstar; 02-21-2016 at 05:25 PM.
    My Personal blog on cycling & other favourite passions.
    遙知馬力日久見人心 Over a long distance, you learn about the strength of your horse; over a long period of time, you get to know what’s in a person’s heart.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Posts
    1
    With the increasing demand for time, many courier services often provide instant, fast and quick delivery facilities. I too needed to send an urgent package with some medication to my parents who live in another city. And my dad received his package in a very short time thanks to same day delivery Dallas.

 

 

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