Transport/Ship new bike. How to be safe without selling a kidney

Questions about bike hire abroad and everything light bike related. No off-topic chat please

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robeambro
Posts: 523
Joined: Sat Jul 07, 2018 6:21 pm

by robeambro

Hi guys,

In a month or so I'll travel from where I live (Amsterdam, Netherlands) to my home country (Italy) and will finally put my hands on a shiny new and expensive carbon bike I got (value of the whole thing ~ 5000 eur). The bike is fully assembled, wheels aside (ie. I don't have wheels at the moment). The plan is to bring it back with me to the Netherlands. I don't own a bike box, and not sure I want to fork out a hefty sum to buy a hard one. But I also would never want my frame or components to be damaged.

So, is there a sureproof way to get my bike back without any damage occurring to it, and without spending a fortune? What would that be?

I've rounded up a few options but not sure about any. Here they are sorted by ascending price.

- Using a cardboard box. For this I'd need to pay only 1 x the fee for checking in the box on the flight back. So ~ 50 eur. However, as you may imagine, I do not feel exactly comfortable with the idea. Also cause of the "no wheels" situation, I feel like it would be tricky to have the bike to hold still. So, would I be able to make this 100% safe? How?

- Renting a bike box locally would be pretty expensive. I've asked, and the price seems to be ~50 eur per week. To this I would need to add 2 x the fee for checking the bag in on both flights (~ 2x50 eur = 100 eur) . So in total we're talking about around 150 eur.

- Buying online some kind of cheap-ish bike box (~ 150 eur), having it delivered to a friend in Italy, and then I'd pay 1 x the fee for checking in the box on the flight back. So ~ 50 eur. In Total, ~ 200 eur and I find myself a bike box for future needs. But, is there such a bike box which is not so expensive but also very very safe?

- Having it shipped via a courier would probably cost around the same or more (150-250 eur, although I've not checked). Not sure it would be any safer, but I guess it could be insured, so if any of the components is damaged I can ask for money back (I guess?).

So many options.. Please help :mrgreen:
Last edited by robeambro on Mon Mar 11, 2019 3:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

by Weenie


Catagory6
Posts: 366
Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2017 2:36 am

by Catagory6

i've had the best of luck with just a cardboard bike box. i kind of don't want to jinx myself. and the absolute WORST luck with a hard shell case

round trip from New England to California twice, with 1 lay-over. no incident
round trip from N.E. to nevada, with 1 lay-over
on one of the trips, i think it was nevada, the bike didn't make my flight
it took a whirl-wind tour of the US before it made it to its destination. and only about an hour after i had arrived
but i now ship a bike if i take a trip. never an incident with a cardboard box

ToffieBoi
Posts: 416
Joined: Fri Jan 31, 2014 4:54 pm
Location: Krakow, Poland

by ToffieBoi

I received a test bike without wheels, sent from Italy to Poland in a cardboard box without problems.
As long as it will not rain a lot, box would be safe enough. Just spend really long time in packing, wrap areas well, use dropout inserts on both fork and frame.

But bike luggage is a good investment. I'm using my EVOC one since 2012 and I'm sure it will survive for a really long time.

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micky
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Location: Vicenza
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by micky

Travelled many times with a carboboard box and it's very safe, especially as you have no wheels it's easier to have a smaller one to fit into airlines limits.

robeambro
Posts: 523
Joined: Sat Jul 07, 2018 6:21 pm

by robeambro

Thanks guys! Seems like a properly done cardboard box would pose virtually no risk (ok, one never knows in life, and so on) ...

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prebsy
Posts: 853
Joined: Tue Oct 23, 2012 10:52 pm
Location: PHL

by prebsy

Totally against the hard shells myself so I'd go cardboard. It's probably not a right now solution but I use the airport ninja and actually think it is the safest way to travel with a bike. This is because of the disassembly it requires, lightweight/form factor (less "mistakes" with baggage handlers), padding and lack of room for things to move around.

robeambro
Posts: 523
Joined: Sat Jul 07, 2018 6:21 pm

by robeambro

prebsy wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 5:49 pm
Totally against the hard shells myself so I'd go cardboard. It's probably not a right now solution but I use the airport ninja and actually think it is the safest way to travel with a bike. This is because of the disassembly it requires, lightweight/form factor (less "mistakes" with baggage handlers), padding and lack of room for things to move around.
Never heard of it. You check the bag in, right? Not quite sure what makes it so special at first sight..

AJS914
Posts: 3214
Joined: Tue Jan 28, 2014 6:52 pm

by AJS914

I've had two bikes damaged by airlines - one was a dent in the top tube and the other was a bent rear chain stay. Both were steel bikes so the bent chain stay was re-aligned and I just lived with the small dent in the top tube on the other bike. These were international flights so the boxes were probably opened by airport security, undoing all of my careful packing.

I guess I'm saying that I wouldn't trust a $5000 euro bike to an airline and a cardboard box!

The fact that you don't have wheels does make it easier. Why don't you just have the shop ship the bike to you in the Netherlands? If they pack it really well in an extra sturdy box there shouldn't be a problem.

If you do take the bike on a plane buy extra insurance as airlines pay by the pound which will not cover an expensive bike.

by Weenie


robeambro
Posts: 523
Joined: Sat Jul 07, 2018 6:21 pm

by robeambro

AJS914 wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 6:25 pm
I've had two bikes damaged by airlines - one was a dent in the top tube and the other was a bent rear chain stay. Both were steel bikes so the bent chain stay was re-aligned and I just lived with the small dent in the top tube on the other bike. These were international flights so the boxes were probably opened by airport security, undoing all of my careful packing.

I guess I'm saying that I wouldn't trust a $5000 euro bike to an airline and a cardboard box!

The fact that you don't have wheels does make it easier. Why don't you just have the shop ship the bike to you in the Netherlands? If they pack it really well in an extra sturdy box there shouldn't be a problem.

If you do take the bike on a plane buy extra insurance as airlines pay by the pound which will not cover an expensive bike.
Yeah the shop wouldn't ship it to the Netherlands.

I wonder whether EasyJet would allow such extra insurance. Hmm will dig into it.

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