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Traveling with bike

Old 02-22-20, 08:48 PM
  #1  
Moonshae
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Traveling with bike

I'm new and passionate, and ride several times each week as it is my primary cardio workout. I have a vacation planned in late August in Europe (Paris, then Amsterdam). Is it worth checking my bike as luggage or will I be able to rent a decent road bike while I'm overseas? I use clipless pedals so switching to regular might be tricky, especially with an unfamiliar bike. Thus my question as to whether it's just better to take my own?
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Old 02-22-20, 09:01 PM
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guachi
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It depends on how much you really like your bike and how much it'll cost for the transportation of the bike. Many airlines now no longer charge extra baggage fees (just the normal fee) if the packed bike fits their dimensions and weight, which most road bikes in a bike carrier will.

I'm going to Austria in June and I'm not taking my bike as there will be rentals there that are basically the exact same bike I currently own. So I'm not taking mine.
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Old 02-22-20, 09:21 PM
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Moonshae
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Originally Posted by guachi View Post
It depends on how much you really like your bike and how much it'll cost for the transportation of the bike. Many airlines now no longer charge extra baggage fees (just the normal fee) if the packed bike fits their dimensions and weight, which most road bikes in a bike carrier will.

I'm going to Austria in June and I'm not taking my bike as there will be rentals there that are basically the exact same bike I currently own. So I'm not taking mine.
Thanks. This is my first experience with a "good" bike, as my previous bike was a $250 MB from a local shop that I bought almost 20 years ago and weighed a ton (and I consequently barely rode). I've gotten used to my fabulous road bike and since I'm totally inexperienced with what would be available for rent, I asked. Do rental shops offer clipless pedals?
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Old 02-22-20, 09:25 PM
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Renting a klutzy city bike costs of the order of 10 euro/day with discounts kicking in after few days. Renting a sporty bike costs 20-35 euro/day again with discounts for longer periods. Use Google for your starting city. Needless to say that you will not be able to rent it in one city and drop in another. Better bikes can be quite nice and you can normally try them so I would not worry about adjustments. Renting lower end makes you, on the other hand, comfortable riding anything. I oscillate between renting locally and taking along a Brompton.
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Old 02-22-20, 09:52 PM
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Very simple to rent a bike for a couple of days. Take your pedals and shoes with you and the rental shop can install them for you. If you plan to ride more than a couple of days it may be worth your while to rent a travel bag for your bike and take it along with you
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Old 02-23-20, 09:30 AM
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If you are going on a cycle holiday and plan on doing a lot of riding than I would want my own bike. If I was just doing some occasional riding, I would take my pedals, shoes and possibly saddle. I would also make sure I take some measurements especially if I have gotten a fit on my bike (which I have) so I can at least get semi close to my fit and be more comfortable on the bike. You might figure out where you are going to be and what kind of bikes you can rent and maybe find something close to what you have if you aren't riding a ton.

You could also potentially look into getting a steel or titanium frame with S&S couplers or Ritchey BreakAway so you can travel with it more easily.
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Old 02-23-20, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Moonshae View Post
Thanks. This is my first experience with a "good" bike, as my previous bike was a $250 MB from a local shop that I bought almost 20 years ago and weighed a ton (and I consequently barely rode). I've gotten used to my fabulous road bike and since I'm totally inexperienced with what would be available for rent, I asked. Do rental shops offer clipless pedals?
A fabulous road bike may not last long if you park it anywhere in Amsterdam, better plan on bringing or buying a super-duper locking device or being "chained" to the bike yourself. I'd recommend renting or buying an inexpensive bike for local riding in Amsterdam. It is all flat terrain and multiple gears are hardly necessary; traffic density in Amsterdam (bicycle, pedestrian, and motor vehicles) may make you regret the special features of a fabulous road bike.
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Old 02-23-20, 11:48 AM
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I spend a lot of time in S E Asia. I bought a fat bike on a previous trip, and leave it with friends when I go home. A fat bike is good on the dirt tracks, which often have mud, when cycling to villages.

Bikes can be less expensive in S E Asia. However, many shops start out asking a high price, and you have to bargain with them, which is a big wast of time. If you don't know what the bike is worth, you may pay too much.
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Old 02-23-20, 08:16 PM
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I've ridden through Paris twice and have been to Amsterdam twice. I left my bike at the hotel close to schiphol Airport and took the train into Amsterdam. Bike theft is prevelent in both cities. There was about 114,000 bike thefts in The Netherlands last year, 80,000 were in Amsterdam. There are estimates of 400,000 bike stolen in France a year. Actually bike theft is a problem in most of the big cities. We met some folks in Paris who invited us on a day ride. We took a train with our bikes out of Paris and rode from one train station to another out in the country. They didn't want to ride in Paris, and they have lived there for 30 years! There are may great places to ride near Paris and Amsterdam, but IMO it is much easier and ejoyable to be on foot or public transportation in Paris and Amterdam. On our last tour we started in Paris and and only rode from CDG Airport to our rented apartment; and from the apartment to the train station when leaving. It was exciting, but not much fun We spent almost week in Paris ( we had our 2 daughters with us on the tour), and did not use our bike during that time. We had 2 months to ride, and really did not want to start our ride through the Paris suburbs. Paris is not France, and Amsterdam is not the Netherlands; just like NYC is not New York. I recommend getting out of the big cities and into the countryside to get a better feel for the country, and some great riding.

My wife and I have done 3 tours in Europe, totalling 7 months riding. We would ony use our own bikes beause of the amount of time we are riding. Taking a bike to Europe is easy, and if you are leaving The Netherland from Schiphol Airport on the return flight, it is really easy. Schiphol is really bike friendly. If you are flying from Paris to Amsterdam, it may not worth the challenges of packing the bike and getiing it to the airport. However, it may be about the same as trying to rent bikes in both cities.

If you take your own bike, have tools to remove the pedals and needed for packing and unpacking the bike. Whatever you decide, have a great trip!


Schiphol Airport
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Last edited by Doug64; 02-23-20 at 10:18 PM.
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