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  1. #1
    negligent. slynkie's Avatar
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    Evoc bike bag on Eurostar from Paris to London - reality?

    Does anyone have firsthand experience bringing a large bicycle bag (like an Evoc, which measures 135 x 80 x 38cm) on a Eurostar train, between Paris and London?

    Eurostar's website tells me that due to the size I'll have to check it as registered baggage, for GBP30. I'd have no problem with this, except they don't guarantee the bag will actually travel on the same train as you...

    If I check in the bag, say, 2 hours before my own departure, does that come close to a guarantee that the bag will arrive before or at the same time as me?

    We'll be traveling on a Friday, mid-day, if that makes a difference.

    I'd appreciate any advice and personal experiences..really hoping to bring my bike for this trip, but want to be fairly sure it will all go smoothly...

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Gear Combo Guru Chris_W's Avatar
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    Spec' Tarmac (road), Spec' Secteur Disc (commuter & tourer), Salsa Mamasita (MTB), CoMo Speedster (tandem), Surly Big Dummy (cargo), Airnimal (folder), a train pass, and NO car :)
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    If you want to be sure that you'll have no hassle, then get an Airnimal folding bike! I've built up a Joey frameset mostly with extra parts that I had, so it has drop bars and 26" wheels and 25mm-wide tires (which JUST fit in the frame, even though it's only designed for 24" wheels, so you can't use rim brakes, only discs); the position is almost exactly the same as on my road/race bike. I've taken this on many TGVs and the Eurostar once, packed inside a small, unpadded bag. I think the Eurostar regulations say that carry-on bags cannot exceed 85 cm in any direction; the Airnimal folds down easily to 90cm, so I just tried taking it on like that and no-one said anything. If needed, I could have taken a few more bits off and got it to under 85cm, but that wasn't needed. I easily found a spot more than large enough for it on the train, although if you were the last person onto a busy train then you might have a problem.

  3. #3
    negligent. slynkie's Avatar
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    Hmm. Ok.

  4. #4
    Senior Member speedwobbles's Avatar
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    "For total peace of mind, we have a guaranteed bike transfer service, where you can reserve a place for your bike or bike bag on the train you’re travelling on. This is available for bike bags and fully assembled bikes up to 2m long. To book a place in advance for a journey starting in London, Paris or Brussels, it costs 30 each way and you'll need to quote your Eurostar booking reference or show your ticket to make your reservation. This charge is non-refundable but, if there isn't enough luggage space in the hold on your train, you can change your bike booking to travel on another Eurostar train.

    To book in advance or find out more about this service, call us on +44 (0) 844 822 5822 , visit the EuroDespatch Centre at St Pancras International" - link

    It looks like you're guaranteed to travel on the same train as your bike. Although there is a small chance that you need to wait for a later train. Is London the final destination? I think once you get out of the Eurostar registered baggage system things can get more tricky.

  5. #5
    negligent. slynkie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by speedwobbles View Post
    "For total peace of mind, we have a guaranteed bike transfer service, where you can reserve a place for your bike or bike bag on the train you’re travelling on. This is available for bike bags and fully assembled bikes up to 2m long. To book a place in advance for a journey starting in London, Paris or Brussels, it costs 30 each way and you'll need to quote your Eurostar booking reference or show your ticket to make your reservation. This charge is non-refundable but, if there isn't enough luggage space in the hold on your train, you can change your bike booking to travel on another Eurostar train.

    To book in advance or find out more about this service, call us on +44 (0) 844 822 5822 , visit the EuroDespatch Centre at St Pancras International" - link

    It looks like you're guaranteed to travel on the same train as your bike. Although there is a small chance that you need to wait for a later train. Is London the final destination? I think once you get out of the Eurostar registered baggage system things can get more tricky.
    Aha! Thanks very much, I'd missed that option somehow. London's our destination for a few days, then we'll be heading west to the Bath area - I haven't started researching that leg yet, though

    Thanks for the info!

  6. #6
    Senior Member speedwobbles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slynkie View Post
    Aha! Thanks very much, I'd missed that option somehow. London's our destination for a few days, then we'll be heading west to the Bath area - I haven't started researching that leg yet, though

    Thanks for the info!
    You're welcome. You probably saw the previous option where your bike isn't guaranteed to ride on the same train as you.

    FWIW - If you're thinking about lugging bikes from the US to France, travelling around France and then travelling to London and onwards for only a few days riding, I would also look into bike rentals as well. I'm not sure if you're familiar with French hotel rooms, but they a pretty damn small (especially compared to those in the US/Canada). Travelling with a bike is do-able (I moved from France to Belgium and back again by public transport with a suitcase, duffle bag and a bike bag), but it's a huge pain-in-the-ass!

  7. #7
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    Size restriction is something that I never thought of. I am travelling from Paris to Amsterdam this spring. My wife and I both have large suitcases with Bike Fridays in them. The suitcases are suitable for travel on airlines. We have already booked out seats on the train should I contact the rail folks to reserve a spot a few days prior to the trip?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by wajg3 View Post
    Size restriction is something that I never thought of. I am travelling from Paris to Amsterdam this spring. My wife and I both have large suitcases with Bike Fridays in them. The suitcases are suitable for travel on airlines. We have already booked out seats on the train should I contact the rail folks to reserve a spot a few days prior to the trip?
    The standard baggage policy is that each passenger can have two bags as long as the length of each is less than 85 cm (~33.5") plus a small handbag. I expect your BF suitcase complies with that so there shouldn't be any issue as long as you don't have more than a total of 4 suitcases between the two of you.

  9. #9
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    Thanks Prathman I should be good then. I have seen blogs recently of others who have taken BFs on this train.

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