Best means of shipping bike from Toronto to NYC?
July 30, 2010 11:41 AM   Subscribe

What's the best way to (inexpensively) ship a bike from Toronto to NYC?

I'm riding my bike from NYC to Toronto at the beginning of September. I plan on taking the bus back after a few days in Canada.

The bus company will not allow bikes on the bus.

In the past, I've taken bikes to local shops and shipped them via UPS for ~$60, but only domestically. Doing a quick 'n dirty check on the UPS site, this seems to be much more expensive (probably because of declared value).

What's the best, least expensive, way to get bike back home with me (travel together or separate, it doesn't matter)
posted by tip120 to Travel & Transportation (9 answers total)
You can take a train to NY instead. I did it from NY to Toronto once, took about 12 hours and was lovely, way more comfortable than a bus would be. You'll probably have better luck bringing the bike with you on a train. According to Via Rail, the fee is $20. I just priced a trip from Toronto to NY and the fare is $109 (not including bike fee).
posted by PercussivePaul at 11:52 AM on July 30, 2010

If you take your bike to a shop in toronto and have them box it for shipment (in a cardboard box like unassembled bikes come to the shop in originally), then I am certain you will not be given a hard time when putting it under the bus. There's a big difference between a bicycle and a cardboard box about the same size as a large suitcase that happens to have a bicycle in it.
posted by 256 at 12:09 PM on July 30, 2010 [2 favorites]

Just check the schedules on the trains before you get too attached to that route. I tried to get my parents from Toronto to New York on the train a couple of years back, and while it was possible, it basically required an overnight stay in someplace like Poughkeepsie because the schedules just didn't line up.
posted by jacquilynne at 1:28 PM on July 30, 2010

How about a rideshare? Post an ad on the Toronto craigslist section saying you're looking for a ride to NYC and you have a bike to bring with you.

I've had excellant luck transporting large loads with craigslist rideshare. Obviously safer if you ride with it, but I've never had a problem either way.
posted by arnicae at 1:48 PM on July 30, 2010

+1 for VIA Rail. I've used it to return to Toronto from Montreal in the past and will be doing so again in a month. You will need to remove the pedals and turn the handlebar so that it is parallel to the frame/front wheel in order to fit it in the box. I also have to release the brake cables on my drop-bar road bike to get the bar to turn enough, though others do not.

Arrive a little early. Beyond that it's a breeze. I imagine you're comfortable with working on bikes if you're taking a trip like that. Though if you're not, send me a message and I will be happy to describe what you'll have to do in more detail.
posted by fearofcorners at 4:51 PM on July 30, 2010

What Bus company? I've never done it, but greyhound is supposed to be okay for this.

Regarding the declared value thing. There is almost no chance that you could make an insurance claim on this shipment anyway (used item, no recent bill of sale, and even if there is it isn't being shipped by the seller), so you might as well just declare the value as $0.50.

MEC (Kind St. and Spadina Ave.) will give you the bike box for free. Other bike stores too, probably, but MEC will be friendly about it. Unfortunately you won't be able to buy anything there, unless you buy membership in the coop--not expensive, but you should at least be warned up front :P
posted by Chuckles at 11:18 AM on July 31, 2010 [1 favorite]

Generally speaking, King Street is absolutely not Kind, but MEC does okay..
posted by Chuckles at 11:21 AM on July 31, 2010

Thanks everyone. I like the train idea the best, because I am a sucker for the train.

However, the question is moot at this point in time, as my bike was stolen yesterday, and I don;t have the scratch to get a new one before my planned trip.

Filing this away for next summer.
posted by tip120 at 3:09 PM on August 11, 2010

Boooo! Condolences tip, that's shitty.
posted by PercussivePaul at 4:01 PM on August 11, 2010

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