THE CONVENIENT CYCLIST

How to save hundreds on international shipping

It appears the word has gotten out about Flatbike. In the past month, many of our bike deliveries have been international, from Ireland to Qatar, with some APO and FPO shipments in there as well.

We’re used to delivering components around the world, but shipping full-size folding bikes opens new challenges and new opportunities.

world view

A quick intro to shipping CHANGE bikes

A CHANGE bike ships folded, in a rugged pasteboard box that’s 35″ x 14″ x 30″ (89 cm x 35 cm x 76 cm). That’s way shorter than other full-size bikes, but still not small, so these bikes typically ship by ground in North America, taking a week to go cross-country from our shop in the Seattle area to the East coast of US or Canada.

  • Sales in the US include free shipping, and not even any tax unless you’re in Washington State.
  • Sales in Canada include free shipping (saving you hundreds), but Customs is extra and will be assessed by the carrier (which may be UPS or FedEx).
bikes ready for international shipping

 

APO and FPO have two types of shipping: packages below 108 dimensional inches ship by air; packages below 108″ ship by sea. All shipments are by US Postal Service. Flatbike components typically ship by air in a few days, and bikes ship by sea in about six weeks.

Outside of the US and Canada, Flatbike typically uses spot-rate quotes from DHL or FedEx. These are unpublished, discounted rates given to Flatbike for a specific date of shipment. That reduced rate, plus a coupon to cut the shipping rate even more, can save you hundreds in international shipping.

How it works: an example

Suppose you’ve found the perfect bike for you–the CHANGE 811 rugged hybrid. A folding bike so versatile that riders have purchased it for everything from river bikerafting in the US to dusty trail riding in hot and humid Qatar.

Problem is, you want to ship it to Australia, and the cheapest rate in the  Flatbike checkout cart has an astronomical shipping fee of $623.58.

So close, but out of reach…

 

so close, yet so far away

 

That prices this wonderful bike out of your budget, unless you know the magic, 3-step process for discounted shipments outside the US and Canada:

  1. Send an e-mail to bob.forgrave@flatbike.com with your postal code. It’s not a commitment to purchase, we don’t need to know what bike you’re considering, and the mail doesn’t even need to be in English. (We corresponded entirely in Italian for a CHANGE 812 recently).
  2. Flatbike will identify the best spot-rate quote for a bike to your postal code, subtract what we pay to ship to Canada–our most expensive free shipping–and give you a quote for what’s left. In this case, just $135.
  3. If that quote works, let us know and Flatbike will send you a discount coupon off the cheapest published rate, so you can purchase online. Once shipped, bikes usually take a week or less to arrive.

Why are these shipping around the world?

In a word, convenience. Every one of these bikes rides like a full-size bike (because it is one), but folds in half for storage and transport.

CHANGE 811 folding bike
The CHANGE 811 rugged hybrid

The CHANGE 811 rugged hybrid is designed for speed and comfort on all terrain. It weighs 27 lbs (12.25 kg), featuring 27.5″ wheels with 1.5″ tires and a light but rugged carbon fork. It is available in matte black and pine green (and arctic blue by special order).

CHANGE 812 folding bike (MTB)
The CHANGE 812 folding off-road MTB

It doesn’t matter where the roads go. With a CHANGE 812 folding off-road mountain bike, you’ve always got adventure in your trunk or apartment. In addition to the colors, 27.5″ wheels and internal cabling of the CHANGE 811, this bike features 2.2″ knobby tires, hydraulic brakes, and a FOX Performance air fork to handle even the roughest terrain.

CHANGE 702 folding bike
CHANGE 702 street hybrid

If there were a complete opposite to the CHANGE 812, it would be the CHANGE 702 street hybrid, which shines on pavement. At just 23 lbs (10.5 kg), it’s one of our lightest bikes and easiest to carry up a flight up steps to an urban apartment. And yet, with 27 gears, it’s also a fabulous commuter bike, no matter what hill you face on your route.

Now what?

wow
Now it’s time to take a second look!

If you’ve been looking at CHANGE bikes, maybe even zeroing in on a favorite if only you didn’t have to pay for international shipping, now is a great time to take a second look. Send an e-mail. Get a super-discounted international shipping rate. And see if you could be riding your own new CHANGE bike in as little as two weeks.

Happy riding, and great savings!

Bob Forgrave
President, Flatbike.com

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425-985-6219

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