How Much Does it Cost to Ship a Bike? [Answered]

Are you joining a cycling competition? Do you plan to move to another place but want to bring your bike?

Traveling with your bike can be problematic, especially if it’s costly. In addition, you don’t want to damage your bicycle while in transit.

What can be the best option? You’re not the only one with this question.

Many bikers also plan to bring their bicycles but are clueless about transportation costs.

Fortunately, you can find the necessary information in this article. So kindly continue reading about shipping costs and how you can bring your bike safely to your target destination.

How Much to Ship a Bike?

Shipping costs vary depending on your preferred service level and shipping provider. For short distances, DIY packing, and slower shipping, you can expect to pay from $50 upwards.

Ship a Bike

On the other hand, expect to pay at least $250 for longer distances, professional packing, and faster shipping.

The price increases depending on the delivery speed and the service you require.

ShipperBox Weight and SizePhiladelphia to MiamiPhiladelphia to Los AngelesChicago to DallasCleveland to San Diego
USPS Retail Ground Services35 pounds 43″ x 11″ x 32″$204.95$250.50$204.95$250.50
UPS35 pounds 43″ x 11″ x 32″$128.58 – $799.22$174.98 -$971.76$128 – $799.22$174.98 – $971.76
FedEx35 pounds 43″ x 11″ x 32″$145.47 – $1,009.50$190.80 – $1,293.88$145.47 – $1,004.76$190.80 – $1,293.88
Consolidated Freight (TSI)120 pounds$462.89$681.29$436.48$486.42
Specialty Bike Shippers (Ground Transport)35 pounds 43″ x 11″ x 32″$62.95$83.95$62.95$83.95
Specialty Bike Shippers (Air Transport)35 pounds 43″ x 11″ x 32″$197.95 – $372.95$349.95 – $47395$197.95 – $372.95$349.95 – $473.95

What Are Your Options to Ship a Bike?

FedEx ground and UPS are the major shipping companies that can ship your bike for a fee. However, if you opt to ship your bicycle with these carriers, you should know how to pack it.

You may also tap the services of companies specializing in shipping bikes. Generally, the cost depends on bicycle dimensions, preferred bike shipping service, and distance.

Some companies can help you with the entire process. For instance, they may ship a box fit for your bicycle.

You may also check the online resources about disassembling and packing your bike. Then, you can contact your preferred courier to pick up your bicycle.

Moreover, bike shipping companies can offer better rates because of the volume of bikes they receive.

You may also ask for a UPS quote. Generally, the estimated shipping cost for a 30-lb bike ranges from $75 to $400.

How to Pack a Bike for Shipping

One excellent piece of advice if it’s your first time shipping a bike is to pack it in a bike box.

If you avail of the services of a courier specializing in shipping bicycles, you can ask for suitable packaging for your bike.

You may also buy a bike box online, but be prepared to pay more for shipping it to your home. You can also check your local bike store to see if they have a box for your bike.

Next, you should disassemble your bike to fit in your preferred box. However, you shouldn’t disassemble everything because your aim is for the packaging to accommodate your bicycle completely.

Remove the front end and seat, and remember to secure the moving parts. It would help if you had plenty of bubble wrap, padding, zip ties, and bike tools.

You may prefer to ship accessories separately, such as your bike computer. Remove the pedals, front wheel, and handlebars.

Prepare to wrap the bike, avoiding metal on carbon or metal on metal friction inside the packaging. Use zip ties to secure all moving parts, such as the crank or rear wheel.

Arrange the bike parts in the box to protect them from each other.

If you hear a metal-on-metal sound when you move the packaging, you should reopen the box and see which parts are rubbing each other.

Ensure you thoroughly cushion your bike to prevent rubbing or to move inside the packaging.

If you don’t know how to pack it, you should ask your local bike shop to load it.

Prepare to pay your local bike shop for disassembling and professionally packing your bicycle. They may use a used bike box for it.

How to Receive the Bike after Shipping

Receiving a bike also has several ways. For example, if you’re shipping your bike for a race, you shouldn’t skimp.

Receive the Bike

It would be best if you shipped to a destination bike shop for them to reassemble your bike as you travel professionally. Then, you can pick the bicycle up as soon as you arrive.

On the other hand, if you ship a bike you sold on an online site, the buyer should assemble it.

Remember to mark the significant parts on your bike when you disassemble it; then, reassembly becomes faster and more precise.

For instance, mark the distance of the seat frame to the seat post, so you get the exact fit after reassembly.

Common Mistakes People Make in Shipping a Bike

1.    Not Packing the Bike Well

It would help if you packed your bike correctly to ensure safe shipping. You can check the voluminous resources online on how to load it correctly.

For instance, if you don’t protect the wheel axle, you may be surprised to find a hole or dent. Therefore, ensure to sufficiently pad the seat tube.

2.    Not Giving Enough Time For Bike Shipping

Consider the weather of your bike’s destination. Weather may be acceptable from the original location, but hurricanes, flooding, excessive rain, and snowstorms may occur in the target place.

Give time for unforeseen delays; therefore, give at least a day for shipping time.

3.    Incorrect Measurements

Shippers often face a significant issue due to incorrect measures, leading to damaged bikes.

Moreover, the shipping company may find it hard to determine the box size that will fit the bicycle.

The packaging company may use additional boxes. Moreover, the bike may experience unnecessary back-and-forth shipping.

Therefore, you need to know your measurements before shipping your bike.

Top Considerations When You Ship a Bike

·         Bike Value

If you’re relocating or joining a race, you should ship your custom, high-value, or specialty bikes.

However, if you have a cheap or old bike, it’s best to sell it and buy a new one in your new home.

·         Box Size

Your bike isn’t hefty, but you should box your shipment. However, it may be bulky; therefore, prepare to pay a higher cost because of your oversized box.

·         Weight

Generally, bikes weigh between 17 and 80 pounds, depending on the bicycle style. Therefore, don’t expect to pay heavy fees for it.

·         Insurance

Shipping companies offer federally mandated insurance. However, don’t expect it to pay for the bike’s entire cost.

You should buy additional insurance if you want it to cover the bicycle’s total cost. You should check Velosurance, an insurer specializing in bike insurance.

Stand-alone insurance usually pays for loss, theft, or damage during transit. Therefore, consider buying bike insurance if you need to ship your bicycle.

·         Packing

Packing is vital to ensure the safety of your bike in transit. If you’re transporting your racing bike frequently, you should buy hard-shelled or soft-shelled bicycle cases.

Packing

However, if you should ship your bike once because you’re relocating, you only need a solid corrugated cardboard bike box.

Pros and Cons of Bike Packaging

Touring with your bike, you should know the advantages and disadvantages of each bike’s packaging.

Cardboard Boxes

Pros

  • A bicycle box is inexpensive and provides protection. In addition, you can put the bike parts inside it.

Cons

  • Be ready for potential bike damage because airlines stack the bike boxes on their sides. Soft Bike Bag

Soft Bike Bag

Pros

  • Soft bicycle bags offer more protection, and all parts fit inside them.

Cons

  • Baggage handlers may be less careful because they don’t know you have a bike inside the bag. Moreover, bags are expensive, and they require bike disassembly.

Hard Bike Case

Pros

  • A hard case ensures your bike is safe because it’s indestructible. Damage is rare, and you can put all bike parts inside.

Cons

  • Storage at the destination may be problematic because the complex bike case is enormous. Moreover, the airline may charge extra for the heavy container.
  • Complex bicycle cases are expensive, but they’re worth it, especially if you often travel with your bike in tow.

FAQs

What cheapest way to ship my bicycle across the country or interstate?

The most inexpensive way to ship your bicycle across the country or interstate is through specialty bike shippers because they use ground transport.

The shippers offer lower rates because they can pass volume discounts. Moreover, specialty bike shippers know tailor-fitting bike shipping, depending on your requirement.

Where can I purchase a bicycle shipping box?

You can purchase a bicycle shipping box online or at a local bike shop. Moreover, you may check moving companies if they sell bike packaging.

How can I pack my bike in a cardboard box?

  1. Remove the bike pedals from the frame.
  2. Check the bike frame for dangling or loose cable or wire.
  3. Remove the saddle, handlebars, and front wheel.
  4. Put the handlebars on the frame, pointing downwards and parallel with the seat tube.
  5. Ensure the box has no empty spaces.
  6. Fasten loose accessories or items around the bike frame.
  7. Secure the wheels with cardboard or foam.
  8. Ensure everything is secure before you close the bike box.

Can I ship my bike without disassembly?

You should disassemble your bike before packing it in a box to prevent damage.

However, you may wrap your bicycle in bubble wrap and not disassemble it if it’s just a short trip.

Can I check my bike on a plane?

You have an assurance that your bicycle is always with you if you bring it on a plane.

However, it means you should have tools with you. Moreover, you should be ready for anything that may happen in transit.

Generally, bringing your bike on a plane with you is also cheaper. However, prepare to pay a bike fee with some airlines.

Moreover, lost cargo is a possibility if you should switch planes. Finally, some cyclists lie about bringing their bikes to avoid paying an additional fee.

If you should lie to skirt the fees, you also give up your right to insurance reimbursement if something happens.

If you’re embarking on an international trip, you should check your bicycle on the plane.

How long will it take to ship my bike?

Generally, it takes three to six days for ground delivery and one to two days for express delivery. You should choose a shipping service that suits your budget and needs.

If you decide to bring your bicycle on the plane, you should understand its pros and cons. TSA may inspect the bike package and won’t securely repack it after.

Therefore, expect TSA to open, examine, and unpack your bike box.

Where should I ship my bike at the destination?

Many cyclists opt to ship their bicycles to a local bike shop instead of sending them to a hotel or a private address.

Your bike is safer in a bike shop than on a hotel storage area or anyone’s front porch.

Moreover, the local bike shop can reassemble your bicycle for a fee, so when you arrive at your destination, your bike is ready for use.

How to Bring Your Bike on a Train with You

Distance and commuter trains allow passengers to bring their bicycles. Therefore, you should come to the station early for bike processing

 for commuter trains.

It would be best to stay on your bike while riding the train. However, commuter trains limit the number of bicycles per car.

Amtrak allows bicycles inside the baggage cars. Moreover, you can have your bike as a carry-on if it’s on a bike rack or inside a passenger coach.

Thomas Kersten

Thomas Kersten

Hi, I am a passionate biker, and I have been riding for more than ten years and share my biking tips and tricks with the world. I've tested more than 300 bikes.

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