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  1. #1
    Member christhehusker's Avatar
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    Getting our bikes to Europe

    Hey everyone. New to this website and I've found it a really great source of information.
    My wife and I are in the preliminary stages of planning a trip to the Netherlands and one question I have is the best way to get our bikes there. I'm a little leary of a cardboard box and would like to use an actual hard case, but what do we do with the cases when we arrive? Has anyone else done this?
    Thanks for your suggestions.
    Chris

  2. #2
    Every day a winding road spinnaker's Avatar
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    One way is to start and end the trip at the same hotel. Contact the hotel before you leave and let them know you intend to stay at least two nights. Ask if they will store your case for you while you are on tour.

    They might do it for free or there might be a small charge. Whatever the agreement, make you get it in writing and take a copy with you to the hotel and keep a copy while on tour. You never know when management is going to have a change of guard.
    "The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it."

    Albert Einstein

  3. #3
    nun
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    ....or you can use the airport left luggage facility

    http://www.schiphol.nl/AtSchiphol/Lu...eftLuggage.htm

  4. #4
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    I just use a cardboard box, and have done for numerous flights within North America, between North America and Europe, and between North America and Australia.

  5. #5
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    Cardboard boxes have worked fine for us so far. Remember too that a hard case weighs a lot so it may cause extra fees for weight. Could be a very costly hard case.

    You could contact someone on warmshowers or couchsurfing or hospitality club to see if they would store the box for you.
    We blog about bike touring, with reviews, tips and cycle touring podcasts at Travelling Two

  6. #6
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    I've taken an unboxed bicycle on my last three European tours with Lufthansa and British Airways. All three times the bicycle arrived unscathed. Just turn the handlebars sideways and take off the pedals and lights.

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    I just asked at a bicycle retailer for a bicycle-cartoon (my bike i a 26" so I took a 28" to get it in). This was great. I think i payed around 20euro for the bike (about 27 dollar).
    I didenīt know about putting the bike without a box. I will ask British Airways for my trip to America.

    /Sebastian

  8. #8
    nun
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    Quote Originally Posted by markf View Post
    I've taken an unboxed bicycle on my last three European tours with Lufthansa and British Airways. All three times the bicycle arrived unscathed. Just turn the handlebars sideways and take off the pedals and lights.
    I'm tending towards the plastic bag or maybe the Ground Effect Tardis approach. With these you have the option to carry them on the bike. If you don't want to do that you can mail them to yourself at a post office close to the end of your journey General Delivery, or Poste Restante in Europe. Its like left luggage for the price of postage.

    http://www.fearlessgearless.com/2008...etting-airport

  9. #9
    Every day a winding road spinnaker's Avatar
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    You need to check with your airlines. All airlines have different requirements. Some require that the bike be in a box or hard case.
    "The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it."

    Albert Einstein

  10. #10
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Incidentally ... if you're going to go cardboard, I recommend the Madone boxes. They're a good size and they are sturdy.

  11. #11
    Every day a winding road spinnaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    Incidentally ... if you're going to go cardboard, I recommend the Madone boxes. They're a good size and they are sturdy.
    My Trek LBS charges $30 U.S. for these boxes. .

    I learned a little trick on my last trip to Italy. I came back from my trip to find my cardboard box punctured with holes. Someone must have taken a tantrum that the hotel stored the boxes in their space.

    I went around the corner to a bike shop and they had a box slightly larger than the one I had. I took the damaged box and slid it inside the good box.

    I did the two box thing on my trip to the Pacific Coast. The outer box takes a lot of the abuse out of the handling of the box. Not as good as a Madonne but it is free.
    Last edited by spinnaker; 11-30-08 at 01:57 PM.
    "The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it."

    Albert Einstein

  12. #12
    Senior Member sherbornpeddler's Avatar
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    Solo and for group rides, I've used everything including couplers. Only a few airlines will take a bike unboxed, some sell boxes. Plastic offers better protection and has wheels. Cardboard takes longer to pack, maybe 20% increased boo-boo probability and the satisfaction of saving $40 (rent) to $350 (buy). Storing a box is the same. Cardboard offers the possibility of tossing on arrival and finding another for the return trip.
    Life is like riding a bicycle. In order to keep your balance, you must keep moving. ~Albert Einstein

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