By iguanabartola - Posted on 12 January 2009

NB: Originally posted elsewhere on the Global Riders Network and appears via syndication.

Hi Guys,

Happy new year to everyone!!!

Quick question. On my way to Canada in 3 weeks and looking to buy a new bike. Any suggestions on the cheapest way to ship it back to Oz?

Going to Whistler via Air Canada from SFO then back to Oz with Qantas. It would be great if I can avoid carrying the box with me with holidaying so wouldn't mind shipping it back home.

Thanks in advance for your help!


I would imagine if you ship it they will say it is an import 'as new' and slap a load of duty on it. You might as well mail order as many stores get discount shipping. Whereas if you carry it with you (and you ride it first too) it will just be a bike you're carrying and no duty (it will be used, right?). Carrying is probably a pain in the ass and you may well get stung with excess baggage, but is that more or less than the duty you'd get stung with? Hmmmm? Puzzled

Or wait 'til Loz flies to LA first class again and have him bring it home Eye-wink

Hi Rob,

Thanks for the quick reply. Bike will be an ex-rental so yeah, I will definetely use it while over there and bring it as a used. Duty is massive so don't wanna pay it.

Just spoke to Qantas and they allow me to bring it at no cost as long as I only bring two pieces (including the bike)!!!! I might as well try that and don't bother with anything else. The fellow at customer service is including the bike in my booking so they are aware I am bringing it with me!!! I now have to speak to Air Canada and find out if they will charge a fee for it.

I brought my bike in from Germany in October. I rode it a few times over there so it was used.
The most important thing is to clean the bike. The quarantine officer was checking everything and warned me to always clean a bike, especially MTB properly!
I had a proper bike case with wheels and it was included in the 20kg you get from the airlines! Buy a light bike, and put 7 kg worth of T-Shirts, socks and so on in your Hand luggage!

Hi Bernd,

Getting a DH machine so it won't be light. Did you have to pay any luggage fees when coming from Germany?

no, as my bike in the case came to about 15kg and I only had a bag with 9kg to check in (4kg over but got away with it) and stuffed a lot of cloth in a backpack (7kg).
check with your airline, some are ok with "Sports equipment".

Yeah, Qantas is OK with it. I have to check Air Canada now!!!!

Thanks for all the help. Keep sending any more tips just in case!!!


Change your airline to ANY other one possible, even if you think it means you'll be delayed. I gaurantee that your Air Canada flights will not be on time anyway, thats assuming they fly at all. Then there is the question of you never seeing your luggage again.

Just back from a family trip with 4 internal flights all on AC. Not one left on time, this included being loaded onto a plane and then told there are no pilots available for atleast an hour. They are so bad with luggage that the ski resort we went to has a truck booked on a daily basis to pick up its customers luggage left behind at Vancouver Airport and then drives it the 7hrs up the mountain to the resort. It gets there faster that way.

My advise would be to speak to the shop you are buying from. Get them to clean and strip the bike for you and then pack and ship it as a couple of boxes. As long as each is under the magic $1000 Australian, you won't have any problems with customs, and as its second hand I would think you should be able to do that pretty easily.

Good luck, if you stick with AC you'll need it.

Oh yeah, unless your on the arvo flight with the A380 don't expect your Qantas entertainment system to work. One last thing, when they ask what breakfast you want, go the cereal. Eggs that are cooked 14hrs before they are served to you don't taste too good on the way down, they taste even worse the second time around.

Let there be light

to hear from a happy client!

wow, not a good experience on your holiday!!!! Not nice to hear or read i should say! Glad you made it back to Oz!

I am not taking my ski gear with me. Only the boots and decided to rent the equipment in order to make room for the bike. Unfortunately I have to take the risk with AC and see what happens!!!!! Fingers crossed as i still have to check a bag anyway!!!

AC will charge me $25 for the box but due to international connection I might get away with it for free. As you know, it always depends on the person in the counter and how nice they wanna be. Bike has to be clean as you said so I am sure the shop will take care of that. As bike is ex-rental and purchased from the shop, I qualify as original owner and I still get the full warranty on the frame. I am organizing for the nice people at Supreme Cycles in Narra to put it back together once back and deal with Avanti (bike is a specialized) in case of any warranty problems in the future.

Stuart, all airlines suck - you should know that by now. But, ah... we consumers demand lower and lower prices and then wonder why they cannot provide a decent service. What other industry would get away with asking their customer to sign a piece of paper that said (and I paraphrase of course):

We (insert the name of any airline here) can take your money and don't have to do a thing. We can cancel your flights altogether, or leave you stranded in Timbuktu and you have no recourse. We can loose luggage you entrust to us and you have no recourse. We can take you where we like at any time we like, and you as the consumer will put up with it 'cos you are stupid and didn't read this. The majority of you do end up vaguely where you want to be at roughly the time you are supposed to be there so won't complain. We will charge you less in the future, but you have to accept that the 'majority' above is bound to decrease more and more until you (or the government - ha!) decide when you purchase a service that service should be delivered.

Read their Ts&Cs! Consumers have dug themselves a hole and don't like the view from the bottom. Bad luck! Sigh Sad

Qantas isn't a discount carrier. They charge premium rates and I don't think its too much to expect that you get the service you actually pay for.

Kind of got you by the short and curlies though, not like you can get off mid flight and ask for a refund

Let there be light

I was thinking of doing something similar to this soon. We shall see how it turns out. Smiling

Hopefully the airline malarky skips my turn.

All airlines are discount carriers. Like, durh! How else are prices between here and the UK the same price as 10 years ago? Cost cutting, cost cutting and more cost cutting!

..prices will go down even more soon!!!just spoke to "our" Travel girl....

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Best Mountain Bike