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abominable slowman
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Discussion Starter #1
I'm planning a trip to Wyoming/Montana for this summer. We'll be doing some biking while there, but lots of other things as well (hiking, kayaking etc.). I'm undecided as to whether I should take one of my bikes (probably my MTB) with me or rent one out there. I don't have a travel container for the bike, so I'd have to borrow one from my club or have my bike shipped out from my local shop to a shop in Jackson.

So what are pluses and minuses of each option? Shipping mine seems like it will be cheaper and then I'll have my bike, which would be nice. But is it a hassle to ship it? Would I be at the mercy of shop I don't know? If I rent, I'll spend more money, but I'll also have the option of renting a MTB for a few days and then a road bike for a few days. That would be cool.

Anybody have any advice on this? I've never traveled with my bike before. I have rented on a few trips and have never been terribly pleased with the bike I got.

Thanks.
 

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The big advantage of shipping your bike is that you get to ride your own bike instead of having to make a rental bike fit you. Shipping a bike in advance is much easier than trying to lug it on an airplane with you.
 

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I don't know what bike rental rates are in the Jackson area, but shipping bikes isn't all that cheap. Flying with them generally produces a $70 / $80 surcharge -- each way. I haven't UPS'd mine in a long time, but I don't recall it being all that much cheaper. Search the archives here -- there have been quite a few horror stories about shipping bikes via UPS, so you'd probably be better off sending it with another carrier. A minor amount of dis-assembly is required (turn the handlebars, remove the pedals), but padding your bike up so that it survives delivery scratch-free can take some time.

Sending it to a random shop? I've never done this (I always just fly with mine, but I have one of those hard-shell cases so I can breathe easy, or at least easier). I believe -- if you send it via the postal service -- that you can just send it to care of the postmaster in whatever town you're going to and they'll just hold it for you. Other carriers might have similair options.

There are definitely fewer hassles involved if you just rent one when you get there. If you go this route, I'd recommend still taking your pedals and your saddle along so that at least the contact ponits of the bike will seem familair to you.
 

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You're Not the Boss of Me
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How long is the trip? You say "for the summer" and if you mean for the whole summer, then absolutely ship your own bike. If you do it in a regular box to an LBS, the price is better than the charge while flying. Certainly less than even a week's rental.

Otherwise, as others have noted, traveling with a bike is expensive and somewhat inconvenient.
 

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abominable slowman
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Discussion Starter #5
The trip is about 2 weeks with 1 week in Grand Teton/Yellowstone area, which is where I plan to use the bike. There seems to be a good shop with high end rentals in Jackson so maybe that's the best option. The other thing I didn't consider is that i have a high priority race about 2 weeks after returning and I'd hate for something to happen to the bike just before it. So I"m leaning toward renting now.

Thanks for the input.
 

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Depends on time and your bike(s)

I have rented bikes on a number of occasions, but normally it is only if I am gone for a long weekend.. Road bike rates vary between 25-70 bucks for the day generally, depending on the bike. For a long weekend, it is worth it to me to avoid tha hassle of lugging and rebuilding my bike. I always bring my own pedals, helmet, etc, of course. In fact, I am renting a bike this weekend in Concord, MA.

If you are going to have the bike for over a week, however, it might make sense to take a bike. The rental costs will soon outpace the travel charges, though you will still have to lug it around for two weeks. I have a backup bike that is also my travel bike, so I don't have to worry about not having a bike when I return. Maybe this is just the excuse you need to get a new bike, turn your current ride into the travel backup!
 

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Jackson shops

Not sure if you have shop names, but Fitzgerald's is the best shop in the area (small - but high end). Hoback sports also does a good job. Damn Teton Pass is a nice ball buster ride. Spring Gulch road and climb up to Amangani Resort is a nice 3 mile climb. All the roads up the Gros Ventres (Bar Y road...just west of Spring Gulch rd) are also very quiet and nice climbs.
 

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take your bike!

I would highly recommend you take your own bike...put up the dough to buy a bike case (you can get one for about 100 bucks through "colorado cyclist" or check out "crateworks"-I have 2 myself) it takes minimal breakdown and comes with very secure straps and foam to cushion) The downside of taking your bike with you is that for domestic flights, it will cost you about 80-90 bucks depending on the airline (you would have to call to confirm) I take my bike everywhere with me (been to europe 3 times with it and across country twice)
 
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