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Sold a bike-shipping question(11 posts)

Sold a bike-shipping questionSadlebred
Dec 19, 2003 10:05 PM
Ok...this isn't going to be a debate about what shipping company to use.

I want to make sure the frame (dropouts) and fork don't get crushed. Does anyone have an idea of what I can put in them to keep them from getting broken? When I fly my bike, I have some carriage bolts with wingnuts/regular nuts that I made to fit in the dropouts, but they are too wide to ship in a bike box and they would easily break through the cardboard.

Any tips on sending a bike via USPS/Fed-ex/etc.? I bought some cheap pipe insulation to wrap the tubes in. I am going to double box the bike in bike boxes I got from the LBS....
re: Sold a bike-shipping questionyellowspox
Dec 20, 2003 2:22 AM
I've had 4 different bikes shipped between the west coast and the midwest and have shipped all of them UPS ground in a regular bike box from the LBS. All of them were supplied w/ some type of plastic spacer between the forks. I'll bet your LBS has a pile of them laying around at free to minimal cost. You could also make a spacer by simply cutting a short section of dowel rod and notching the ends to slide into the end of the fork....tape in place. Just be a bit creative!
I've received a couple of frames with...TFerguson
Dec 20, 2003 4:56 AM
a section of about 1" pvc pipe either bolted or taped between the fork ends/dropouts. Use electrical tape. Packing tape could take the paint with it when removed. You could also use a length of 3/8" wooded dowl(sp?) as an axle inside the pipe to keep it in position.

Who is paying packing and shipping?baylor
Dec 20, 2003 5:43 AM
When I sold my Serotta I proposed to the buyer "professional packing and shipping by LBS" which meant $50 to pack and about $30 to ship, but it gave us both piece of mind and gave me a responsible party to point the finger at if it was a defect in packing.
Who is paying packing and shipping?Sadlebred
Dec 20, 2003 6:11 AM
Since I only charged him $45 shipping and packing, I have to do it myself. I will check out the wooden dowels.
I've shipped a couplemsmootsiemartin
Dec 20, 2003 6:24 AM
Bike shops should have the plastic spacers to put between the dropouts (ask nice and they'll give them to you), but I have also cut some 1" x 1" pieces of wood and slightly wedged them into place and then wrapped them with tape to hold them in firmly. I then wrap the frame with light foam and tape into place ANYTHING that could potentially rub on the frame. UPS has done a good job for me with the couple of frames I've shipped. Make sure to insure it and a digital photo or two of how you packed it might help in case you need to make a claim.
Dec 20, 2003 7:59 AM
Always ship it insured. It cost a couple of bucks more only, and you are covered if a problem.
You'll need lots of bubblewrap orB2
Dec 20, 2003 8:28 AM
something similar and wrap just about every exopsed surface. The pipe insulation works good, but can leave some gaps in your coverage. With you're typical bike box you'll want to leave the rear wheel installed so put some good padding over the skewers or they'll be sticking out the side of the box when it gets there. I really don't think you can "over-do" the protection thing.

He may be paying for shipping, but your packing it so in my book, you're the one guaranteeing it will arrive intact with the exception of the shipping carrier mishandling the box. Even that issue could justly be yours as well.

Good Luck,
I'm way to anal but...Picshooter
Dec 20, 2003 8:58 AM
I sent my last one away for paint with threaded steel rod between rear dropouts. Nutted inside and out no way that was coming out, breaking etc.Pipe insulation and bubble wrap too.
It came back with the usual plastic bar, paper wrapped tubes and a box stuffed with shreaded newspaper.
re: there are plastic rods that manufacturers usejrm
Dec 20, 2003 9:04 AM
when they ship new bikes to LBS's. They snap in the fork dropouts. To keep the rear dropouts from collapsing ive used a chunk of wood in between the dropouts. If the derailer hanger is replaceable then remove it.

The main thing is not to pad the frame itself in the box but to suspend it in the box so it deosnt come in contact with the side(s) of the box. A little padding doesnt hurt but if you add to much thenthe price to ship increases dsue to the additional weight.

I use Fed Ex as much as i can when i ship stuff. Ive foudn their hours and service to more "consumer" orientated with cheaper rates then UPS and being open on Saturdays is a BIG plus in my book.
Here is how I ship frames/forksFrank121
Dec 20, 2003 9:35 AM
I have shipped some complete bikes in the past, but I took them to a bike shop and had them pack them and then I took them to UPS to ship them. Just seemed like too much at risk to not have it done well.

I have chosen to no longer sell complete bikes because of the expense and time of having that bike shop prep done, plus the cost of shipping, but do buy and sell lots of framesets.

As far as shipping frames and forks, I do them myself, but even those are represent a significant expense to ship. I used to be able to ship bikes via UPS Ground Service without them measuring the bike box...only was billed actual weight. Now, they go by dimensional weight instead of actual weight and the cost is significantly higher, especially for what they consider "oversize" packages like bike boxes. Last frame and fork I shipped was $41.48 to California.

Pipe insulation is $7 per pack and takes almost two packs to cover a frame and fork with every tube wrapped in closed cell pipe insulation, plus the cost of electrical tape, zip ties, dropout protectors, bike box, etc.

I am very methodical and thorough with my packing. I first put a plastic dropout protector in the rear drop out and the front fork. I then wrap each tube of the frame, including the fork legs, in closed-cell pipe insulation and fasten them with zipties. I then wrap bubble wrap or pipe insulation around the seat tube and headtube opening, as well as around the bottom of the bottom bracket shell and front and rear dropouts. I also take the fork off and wrap it in some additional bubble wrap or packing to keep it from damaging either the fork or frame during transit. I then put in some other soft material, or warp the already protected frame in the thick plastic that new mattresses come wrapped in, to help prevent the frame and fork from moving around much during transit.

It may seem like overkill, but I have yet to have a frame damaged and have received many comments on "best packing job ever". I also make sure I list the shipping charges in any auctions or sales so a buyer knows what they will be paying rather than listing the item and after the auction coming up with a figure higher than what they expected.