Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Northern Nevada
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This is second-hand--a friend of mine and his wife toured England on bikes last year. I didn't go ANYWHERE... But he had some damage to both bikes in soft bags. It took a couple of days in a good shop in London to get things fixed, which meant a stay in a big-city hotel he hadn't planned on. Total, it cost them almost $1000.
He's going back next year, and just bought a Bike Friday tandem to use on that ride (too expensive for me, but money's not a problem for him). It folds up small enough to go into a bus or taxi, he says, which would have saved them some long, rainy rides. A couple of times they were out in the countryside when the weather went bad, but couldn't get a cab because nobody could carry their bikes.
With his existing bikes, he said, he'd definitely use hard cases to protect them, and try to arrange in advance with a bike shop at his destination to store the cases for a couple of weeks. In his case, the unexpected repairs and related expenses would have covered the cost of the cases.