A cyclist asks for advice on shipping a bike between Thunder Bay and Toronto, two Canadian cities 1500 km (932 miles) apart.
We have a tip sheet on packing a bike for travel and then decided to do a little current research to broaden the advice readers may want. Our survey shows a wide range of choice of shipping services and prices. We have provided links so you can compare prices for your own shipping destination.
Cities we looked at may not be where you want to ship your bike but we hope the links and general information will help you in your travels.
A Little Prep Work
Boxing a bike is a really good idea, whether traveling with a bike or shipping it separately. Packing it well gives you peace of mind in case it’s mishandled. So, the first step is deciding if you want to box it yourself or have a bike shop do it.
For the DIY people, Cycle Canada has a great set of instructions on: How to Box a Bike.
Your local bike shops can box a bike for you. Call ahead to reserve and check if they have a box on hand. We checked our local bike shop, Bikeland, in Barrie, and it will do the job for $50.00. Don’t leave it to last minute, particularly during cycling season. Shops can be very busy these days with so many people rediscovering cycling.
Memo to Bike Shops: List your shop on VeloHospitality.com. Here’s the link: Add a Listing. No charge for bike shops to list on our site!
Different Types of Boxes
You can buy a bike box or recycle one. New bikes are shipped in cardboard boxes and these are ideal for shipping your bike. Plus they get recycled. Ask your local bike shop if they could keep one for you. Commercial options are re-usable corrugated bike boxes or more expensive soft and hard shell cases. Corrugated cases should be around $50.00. Soft and hard shell in the $300.00 to $700.00 range. A side note here is that some carriers offer heavy plastic bags to cover a bike but the risk with those containers is that they move on a slippery surface and the bike can be damaged.
Even if well boxed, we recommend that you insure your bike for its replacement value. Check out your home insurance policy to see if it’s covered. You may need to add a special rider and pay a premium, but this precaution saves a lot of grief if your bike is damaged, or worse, lost. For all shipping methods find out what is covered by the carrier’s insurance.