BikeFlights?

stb222

Love Drunk
Jerk Squad
#21
It was with a small polo bike so it fit ok into a cheap canvas bag that wasn't too oversized. If it was my mountain bike, it would have been a pain to get it in there. Plus you still have to pay $25 for 1st checked bag so I don't know it was worth the annoyance anyway, but it worked out in this case since I used the bike a few days before travel and a few days after travel.
Sounds like the main issue with checking is TSA tossing your neatly packed bike and potentially losing or breaking stuff
 

02camaro

Well-Known Member
#24
ive used them twice, no issues both time. much cheaper than shipping a bike fedex/ups, a one way from NJ to CA was approx $125. if you need a box you local shop should be able to hook you up with one for free. wouldnt hesitate to use them again, SEND IT, literally.
 

Santapez

Well-Known Member
Team MTBNJ Halter's
#27
I've had TSA search my bike I brought on board probably 3/4 of the time. Few things I've noticed:

-Steel Ritchey Breakaway almost always has the TSA open the luggage it's in, look through it without messing anything up, leaves a note saying they inspected it. Let's face it, on X-Ray it looks like a bag of pipe bombs.
-Full Suspension Mountain Bike - I don't think they've ever opened the checked luggage. Almost always they separately search my carry-on which ends up containing the rear swingarm and crankset/pedals of my current mountain bike. I take those separately from my checked luggage as I'm afraid to put my carbon swingarm in my luggage, probably over cautious. I tend to take crankset/pedals in my carry-on as they weigh a lot and helps keep under the 50 lb limit.
-Newark doesn't search anything. All anyone cares about at Newark is luggage is under 50lbs.

I've got 10+ trips with a bike in checked luggage in basically standard sized luggage. Biggest issue is staying under the weight limits, nobody ever pulls out a tape measure. I always say bike PARTS and my CLOTHES. My luggage (Ritchey Breakaway bag lately) zips open and reveals pretty much the entire contents. TSA just needs to unzip, open the flap, see there's nothing to worry about, zip it back up. My fear with some of the other bags like the BikeNinja is you need to pretty much pull out the contents to see what it is.

One of the biggest reasons to go with BikeFlights is if you can ship it out early for your trip, you'll know if it arrives safely. I nearly have a heart attack every time I'm at the airport at the carousel waiting for my bike to come out.

Southwest doesn't charge for carry-ons. I have a United credit card so my checked baggage is free. So I don't think I have paid for taking a bike with me on a trip yet. Just the time to disassemble/reassemble. Which I don't find to be a big deal as it provides an opportunity to do maintenance.
 

Santapez

Well-Known Member
Team MTBNJ Halter's
#30
if you ship to a fedex center, you have to deal face to face with fedex employees
Only big benefit I see to shipping to FedEx is if it arrives damaged, you have a better chance at a claim.

Personally I'd rather it goes to my hotel so I'm not driving all around town on my vacation looking for the FedEx center.
 

chemgirl

Well-Known Member
#31
@skiphreak

I’ve never used this service, but I’ve see their van a lot. l’ve always just checked bikes as luggage. If you decide to carry with you you can borrow one of my bike ‘boxes’, just text me if you want.
 

onetracker

Well-Known Member
#32
Use Bike Flights a lot. A+ So much better than flying with a bike. Reinforce the cardboard bike box sides with pieces from a second bike box (on the inside), much stronger and reusable many times. Hard case bike boxes are heavy and expensive to ship; sold mine years ago. Custom cut pieces of pipe wrap and mark them with a sharpie so assembly is faster. Best to ship to a bike shop, nice to let the shop assemble unpack and repack your bike plus your bike is ready upon arrival (~$40) each way and then you do not need to pack tools plus more time for riding and visiting your destination rather than doing bike assemble/disassembly/packing. Also bike shops are a sure thing as a shipping destination. IMO.
 

rlb

Well-Known Member
#33
No real experience to share, I just want to chime in and say that this looks like a pretty good deal. The last time I went to San Diego I rented a bike for about the same price it would have been to ship my road bike.

The rental was a piece of shit and I didn't realize it until I got into the hills but the cassette was skipping like crazy. It was not a good experience, would have rather spent the extra time putting together my bike vs dealing with the shop.
 

Santapez

Well-Known Member
Team MTBNJ Halter's
#34
No real experience to share, I just want to chime in and say that this looks like a pretty good deal. The last time I went to San Diego I rented a bike for about the same price it would have been to ship my road bike.

The rental was a piece of shit and I didn't realize it until I got into the hills but the cassette was skipping like crazy. It was not a good experience, would have rather spent the extra time putting together my bike vs dealing with the shop.
I decided to stop renting years ago after renting a MTB in Moab. It's not that the bike was bad, it was the fact that it wasn't mine and didn't feel comfortable on it. If I'm going to be riding technical terrain, I want a bike I'm either comfortable on and setup for me, or a bike I'm demoing looking to buy it.
 

JimN

Well-Known Member
Team MTBNJ Halter's
#35
I decided to stop renting years ago after renting a MTB in Moab. It's not that the bike was bad, it was the fact that it wasn't mine and didn't feel comfortable on it. If I'm going to be riding technical terrain, I want a bike I'm either comfortable on and setup for me, or a bike I'm demoing looking to buy it.
I'm the opposite. I shipped my bike the first time I traveled for work and was able to stick around after to ride, but taking it apart and putting it back together twice was way too annoying. I'd rather be mildly uncomfortable on a rental bike than go through that again.
 

Robin

Well-Known Member
#36
Following up on this...

I had a great experience with BikeFlights and the help of @jdog /Halter's and Phat Tire in Bentonville.

I set up everything (shipping date/arrival date) on line and printed the labels. I brought my bike to Halter's, where they packed it up and FedEx picked up for delivery to Phat Tire, where it was assembled and ready for my arrival.

The initial BikeFlight cost was very reasonable (about $120) but I purchased additional insurance which brought the price up. I also paid the shops to disassemble/assemble my bike.

In the long run, it was probably close to similar price as flying with my bike/checking it - but I didn't have to worry about an additional piece of luggage to lug around nor did I have to worry about the time it took to assemble/disassemble and pack up.

Overall, a very good experience!
 

stb222

Love Drunk
Jerk Squad
#37
I used bike flights for the first time this month to ship my evo to and from Irvine, CA. I borrowed a Thule case from @Mountain Bike Mike and shipping from Yardley, PA to Irvine was only $50, which included a bit of extra insurance. I shipped it to my hotel and it arrived per the expected date that fed ex gave me.

The only thing I forgot to put in the box was CO2 and TSA took care of the three cartridges I forgot were in my carry on. Took me about 20 minnto reassemble in my hotel room and off I went.

No issues shipping home either. I had to call back to change my shipping address from the hotel and the bike flight person did it quickly and i received a new label in a few hours.

Am very pleased with the service.
 

tonyride

Don't piss off the red guy
#40
I just used them to ship a bike. With insurance for $1400 it came to $71 and change and it arrived in 3 days to VT from NJ. The quote was the same for Michigan.