Best way to move bikes across country?

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
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by VTBike

So I need some advice:

We're moving cross country from VT to OR, and I'm wondering the best way to get our bikes across. Moving wise, we're having a u-pack trailer delivered -- which we pack, and then someone else will pick it up and drive it across. Then, we're driving our car across w/ the family and the dog.

I have 3 bikes i'm worried about -- 2 carbon road bikes, and one carbon MTB. Value on each is >$5k.

My options seem to be:

1) breaking the bikes down, and packing them in biking boxes that are heavily padded -- and then putting them at a good spot in the trailer. My worries here are: having them be crushed (hopefully the way we pack them would mitigate this); and having them be stolen (the freight company really does not give any guarantees on theft.. but i'm hoping packing them in the back, and making the boxes as un-valuable looking as possible will help.

2)Putting the 3 bikes on the roof of the car. This will make gas mileage suck, and then I'll have to worry about where we park the car, and then bringing them in every night. It's a 5-6 night trip, and we could end up in bad areas.. Plus, tehy will be exposed to all the rain and everything else we might hit.

3) Ship them. This will probably be the most expensive option (maybe $100 a piece?), but I could likely insure them for full value.

Thoughts? Anything I'm missing?


by Weenie

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by shlammed

I think option #1 seems like the best solution if you have space in your rig to put them (on top)

taking them down can be as simple as your want it to be. pedals, bars and wheels would allow them to fit in a box easily. another box for the, presumably more than, 3 sets of wheels. ;)

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by hmai18

Ship them. $300 for peace of mind against > $15k seems like a no-brainer to me.

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by FIJIGabe

I moved from Florida to Texas (1600 miles), and placed my bikes on my Saris Thelma hitch-mount rack. Other than a rain shower in central Florida, the bikes were fine. Mileage wasn't too badly affected, either (averaged 22mpg in an SUV).
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by dgasmd

How about putting them inside the container you are packing for someone else to pick up?

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by btompkins0112

I personally would rent a small UHaul enclosed trailer and pack them in there.

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by carbon2329

What type of car are you driving? Can you put a trailer hitch mount? (not much wind and not as much rain either, I believe).
Spend the $400 on a hitch mount and you are left with something in the end. (or even sell it in OR and make some of the $$ back :thumbup: )

However, I am doing the same thing this summer (just in the opposite direction) and will be mailing my bikes and wheelsets. Just not worth the risk. (also, I won't be driving, so that's outs)

Just some ideas.

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by NYCPrynne

I just made the move from NYC to LA, and put two of my bikes into Trico cases. The third was in a soft case (Pika) and it also made it sans problems. I was pretty paranoid also....I'd suggest making sure your insurance covers the bikes, and if not, insuring them (I have mine covered by Velosurance).

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by Getter

I would box them up and ship them. If you have a place to ship them to...ask if you can have them sent there. Just pick them up when you arrive. Piece of mind alone is worth the cost.

Putting them on top of the car would just mess up the bikes. Imagine driving through hours of rain. Driving cross country should be fun...and not about stressing over your bikes.

I would never ever trust them to a moving matter how much care is put into packing them up.

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by mrfish

Why not put them in the trailer with your other stuff? If the trailer is OK for a TV then it's fine for a bike.

We moved from UK to Switzerland and the movers asked me to take the pedals off the bikes and turn the bars 90 degrees and rotate them. Then the movers wrapped industrial strength bubble wrap round each bike and taped up all edges. 6 bikes including a tandem and one worth as much as a decent car arrived with no issues.

Also I don't know about the USA, but packing yourself in Europe is a false economy. We took 2 weeks of messing around to pack our 1 bed flat, whereas the next move 2 guys did our 3 bed house in 1 day for very little on top of the moving cost. Our experience was that using the movers freed up our time to organise other things, plus we didn't need to live with boxes for 2 weeks. And then they insure you against breakages if they pack, whereas if you do it it's your risk.

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by kulivontot

Shipping is about $70 each way if you have your own box. With four bikes on a roof rack and a car full of people, our recent model honda civic averaged something like 17mpg highway from AZ to NM

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by VTBike

Awesome, thanks for all the replies!

Seems almost split between shipping, and putting them in the trailer.

I checked into shipping further, and a FedEx quote on a bike box from here to there is $145/bike. Add in the cost of sourcing the box and packing materials, and I get to around $200/bike. Not psyched about $600 to ship them! I'm going to look into Velosurance today.

If it was just me driving, I'd have them on my roof. But, as one poster pointed out, driving cross country should be fun and stress free. Just the fact that we are doing it with a 9 year old and a 5 year old, and a dog, will add in some serious stress along the way! So, i'm less inclined to go that route.

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by VTBike

WOW - nevermind on the bike insurance. Velosurance doesn't offer a policy in my state, and they referred me to Markel. The quote I got from them on a $7k bike is $400 a year!! Comon. My car insurance is $800 a year, and it includes multiple $500k liability riders, medical, etc...

That's just completely ridiculous. I was thinking like $100 or less.

But, i guess most people would consider a $7k bike completely ridiculous.

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by Marin

Ride at least one of them? :D

by Weenie

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by FIJIGabe

I rolled my bikes into my homeowners insurance. The increase in cost was negligble.
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