Finally, just seven days to go! Exciting times ahead for this week. The march to madness has started with a new experience: bike shipping. In the past, I have used Tribike transport to get my ride to the race. For CDA, I was lucky enough to just be able to drive to the race. Unfortunately, there are no Tribike transport pick ups in Montana (who would have guessed.) After searching around, some of my teammates directed me to shipbikes.com
From those guys, I ordered an “Air Caddy” for about 100 bucks. Here’s how this is supposed to work. I buy a reusable caddy from shipbikes.com. I can then either ship my bike via FedEx or load it as luggage on a plane. You can even get a roller kit that will make it easy to wheel this thing around the airport.
Options for shipping by FedEx are full gamut. You can box your bike, take it a FedEx drop off and pick it up at a FedEx point near the race site. For a little more money, you can get “concierge” level service. For that, FedEx will pick up your box at your house and deliver it to your lodging. I’m kind of busy lately, so I went with that option. Total shipping costs between Montana and Arizona was about 120 one way. Shipping time is 4 days.
I know what your thinking from the intro image. Its a cardboard box. These days, when bike carriers look like boxes designed to carry small nuclear weapons, its hard to imagine using cardboard to ship your pride and joy. Per shipbikes.com, the triangle shape of the box gives it strength. In fact, it states that it can hold up to 3500lbs of force. Now, I’m no engineer, but I know enough that such statements should be viewed skeptically. I can see how the triangle shape would protect if from an overhead weight, but I am still concerned about a side impact. Well talk more after the assembly. Okay, lets get to it. You can click on the pics to get up close and personal.
And there we have it. Overall, it looks sturdy. Would I drop it off the back of a truck? No. Would I stand on it? Maybe. As long as no significant force gets imparted on this thing, I think it will make it okay. My two main concerns are as follows:
1. I am worried about how you stick the wheel in there. If this thing gets rocked enough, the handlebar is going to impact my spokes. I’m glad that their is an expo at every race.
2. This box is designed to be used multiple times. I’m going to believe that when I see it. All I really care about is that it lasts two trips right now. I realized that you definitely do not want to be pulling tape off this thing during unpacking. I’m going to be using a knife to cut the tape when I get there. Hopefully that will help keep the box in better shape.
Tomorrow this bad baby is getting picked up. Hopefully, in four days, I can write about how everything worked just awesome. Either that, or I will have an equally awesome post about the new bike I bought at the expo.