Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Touring
Reload this Page >

Rent vs. a a Bike to Europe

Notices
Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

Rent vs. a a Bike to Europe

Old 02-16-21, 11:22 PM
  #1  
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Tbobx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Lakewood Ranch FL, Occassionally Woods Hole MA and East Marion NY
Posts: 50

Bikes: Seven AxiomS Road, Colnago Master Saronni Del Tongo, Trek 1.5

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
Liked 7 Times in 3 Posts
Rent vs. Bring Bike to Europe

After a year or more of COVID quarantine I am eager to go explore someplace new by bike.

For anyone who has flown to Italy or Europe to bike, did you bring your bike or rent one there? Is it possible to rent in one city and drop off in another? Any suggestions on how to ship to Italy, Belgium or other countries is appreciated.

Last edited by Tbobx; 02-16-21 at 11:24 PM. Reason: Fix typos
Tbobx is offline  
Old 02-17-21, 12:00 AM
  #2  
Senior Member
 
MarcusT's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: NE Italy
Posts: 1,619
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 765 Post(s)
Liked 613 Times in 342 Posts
It depends how much time. If less than 3 weeks, I would rent. The only places that would offer different city drop off would be the bike touring agencies and their scheduled routes. There are quite a few and are located throughout Italy. Unfortunately, some of the better agencies only have websites in italian.
MarcusT is offline  
Old 02-17-21, 01:10 AM
  #3  
Senior Member
 
saddlesores's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Thailand..........Nakhon Nowhere
Posts: 3,654

Bikes: inferior steel....and....noodly aluminium

Mentioned: 24 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1053 Post(s)
Liked 341 Times in 229 Posts
have you heard about the googles? i have!
would love to google it, but google no work in china.
gotta use some stupid chinese no-speak-english searcher.
amazingly can still find stuff on the interwebs!

https://www.italy-cycling.com/en/bic...ke-market.html

buy a used tour bike from this here tour agency,
they can box&ship to your home afterwards.
saddlesores is offline  
Old 02-17-21, 01:17 AM
  #4  
Bike touring webrarian
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 2,070

Bikes: I tour on a Waterford Adventurecycle. It is a fabulous touring bike.

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 120 Post(s)
Liked 93 Times in 52 Posts
Another option would be to do a loop tour so you can return the bike to the same place. The train system in Europe is good enough that you can get most anywhere fairly quickly with a bike.

On my last tour (9/2019), I flew into Vienna with my folding Bike Friday in its case, assembled the bike and left the case in a hotel in Vienna, took the (all day) train to Bolzano with the bike hung up on reserved bike hooks in the train, and rode back to Vienna. If instead of taking my own bike, I rented one in Vienna, it would have worked the same way.
raybo is offline  
Old 02-17-21, 01:30 AM
  #5  
Senior Member
 
downtube42's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 3,824

Bikes: Trek Domane SL6 Gen 3, Soma Fog Cutter, Focus Mares AL, Detroit Bikes Sparrow FG, Volae Team, Nimbus MUni

Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 890 Post(s)
Liked 2,042 Times in 1,069 Posts
International travel with a bike is a PITA. Airports, airlines, ground transport, hotel storage, assembly and disassembly, worryng about theft and loss and travel damage. Ug.

Unless you're riding big distances or need maximum speed, where you want your familiar steed, rent.
downtube42 is offline  
Old 02-17-21, 01:38 AM
  #6  
imi
aka Timi
 
imi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Gothenburg, Sweden
Posts: 3,237

Bikes: Bianchi Lupo (touring) Bianchi Volpe (commuter), Miyata On Off Road Runner

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 159 Post(s)
Liked 128 Times in 98 Posts
I would definitely take my own bike. Finding a rental touring bike that fits and is set up to carry your gear would be extremely hard and expensive imho.

British Airways are my go-to. A bike can be included in your free-baggage allowance. Pack it in a cardboard box, assemble at arrival airport, then find a LBS close to your departure airport to get a new box for the home trip.

Trains are a great way to get around with your bike as raybo mentioned above.

Last edited by imi; 02-17-21 at 01:43 AM.
imi is offline  
Likes For imi:
Old 02-17-21, 01:48 AM
  #7  
Senior Member
 
Chris Pringle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: The Pearl of the Pacific, Mexico
Posts: 1,310

Bikes: '12 Rodriguez UTB Custom, '83 Miyata 610, '83 Nishiki Century Mixte (Work of Art), '18 Engin hardtail MTB

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 32 Post(s)
Liked 29 Times in 18 Posts
Not sure if it will be so easy to travel to Europe this summer unless restrictions change later this year. MAYBE very late summer (September) which is one of the best times of the year to visit Italy and southern Europe.

We did a self-guided tour in 2019 in Umbria with a company called Giro Libero which also operates tours in other parts of Italy and Europe. Self-guided is a lot more affordable than guided tours and they book your hotels (usually very good inns that include breakfast), transport your luggage from hotel to hotel and provide good notes of where to visit along the way. It was very much worth it. Please do keep in mind that it is not very easy/common to rent bikes from bike shops in Europe unless youíre doing a city tour or visit a mountain bike park. I flew with my own bike and my partner rented a touring bike directly from the touring company.

Bikeflights.com will ship bikes internationally. It might be simpler and cheaper to fly with your bike or rent one from a bike touring company.

Added note:
Italy has specific rules for bikes on trains, especially if youíre taking the high-speed trains - the bike must be in a bag. On regional trains, they have special cars for bikes. More here:
https://www.cycleeurope.com/blog/bik...aly-on-trains/

Last edited by Chris Pringle; 02-17-21 at 02:01 AM.
Chris Pringle is offline  
Old 02-17-21, 04:16 AM
  #8  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 11,162

Bikes: 1961 Ideor, 1966 Perfekt 3 Speed AB Hub, 1994 Bridgestone MB-6, 2006 Airnimal Joey, 2009 Thorn Sherpa, 2013 Thorn Nomad MkII, 2015 VO Pass Hunter, 2017 Lynskey Backroad, 2017 Raleigh Gran Prix, 1980s Bianchi Mixte on a trainer. Others are now gone.

Mentioned: 47 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3448 Post(s)
Liked 1,447 Times in 1,128 Posts
You have not said if you are planning a tour the way most of us on this board "tour", meaning with camping gear, cooking gear, etc. Or if you are planning to credit card tour, staying in B&B, etc. How you get to Europe and back and what kind of bike you use depend on that sort of thing.

You have not said if you have ever been on a bike in Europe or not. Or even if you have ever been there.

Sounds like you have never flown with a bike, or packed a bike for shipping. There are lots of you tube videos on how to pack a bike, some have bad info, some are pretty good. Remove your rear derailleur before putting it in the box so that the hanger does not get out of alignment, do not leave your front skewer in the wheel, that could get bent, etc.

Pre-Covid, generally if you were flying domestic, it was best to ship your bike to a motel or a bike shop by BikeFlights or one of their competitors. Some bike shops will pack and ship your bike (non-international travel) at end of trip. But flying international, things like customs duties get involved and if you ship the bike separate they assume the bike is staying there, thus the customs people get involved. For that reason, best to fly with your bike on the same plane.

There are tour companies that run bike trips in Europe, they provide the bike, most food, lodging, etc. Maybe you should do that instead. I did two Europe trips with REI travel, the bikes were hybrids, not higher end road bikes, but I knew that before I signed up. There are lots of other tour groups out there too.

After I took those two trips with a tour company, I did my solo trip in Iceland for a month, mostly camping, some hostel stays (that was pre-Covid), and had a great time. But I have an S&S coupled bike so I can't comment on packing and taking a full size bike box on a plane. I do not even know how to get a bike box to the airport, other than relying on a friend that has a mini-van. My S&S coupled bike case fits in a small car trunk.

And as noted above by Chris Pringle, maybe this year is too early. Nobody knows what travel restrictions there may be and how long. Only now are governments starting to talk about whether or not they will require vaccinations to avoid quarantine, etc., how to prove you have that, on paper or digital, etc.

I was planning a trip to Europe for this year, but I have decided to put that off to 2022. My current plans are a USA centric trip in fall this year.

I sent in my passport renewal a year ago, just as Covid was becoming a thing. It took several extra months for my passport renewal. If you plan to go to Europe this year, check to see if you need a passport renewal, there may be long delays in getting that done.

Last edited by Tourist in MSN; 02-17-21 at 04:23 AM.
Tourist in MSN is online now  
Old 02-17-21, 06:57 AM
  #9  
djb
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Montreal Canada
Posts: 13,207
Mentioned: 33 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2735 Post(s)
Liked 967 Times in 791 Posts
Originally Posted by downtube42
International travel with a bike is a PITA. Airports, airlines, ground transport, hotel storage, assembly and disassembly, worryng about theft and loss and travel damage. Ug.

Unless you're riding big distances or need maximum speed, where you want your familiar steed, rent.
I respectfully disagree with everything you have said, you have your mind made up, so I'm just responding to let the person asking the question know that we all fly with our bicycles, and its very doable and manageable.
djb is offline  
Old 02-17-21, 07:06 AM
  #10  
Senior Member
 
indyfabz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 39,185
Mentioned: 211 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 18388 Post(s)
Liked 15,452 Times in 7,299 Posts
I flew to Italy with my road bike in 2013. One guy in our group discovered a major mechanical problem with his bike before he left and had to rent one at our host destination. It was not cheap. Iíd bring my own, especially if you need a touring bike with racks. Flew to Spain with mine in 2000. Wasnít a huge deal.

As for ground transportation, many of the taxis in Venice were vans. When we flew home, four of us with bikes shared a ride to the airport.
indyfabz is offline  
Old 02-17-21, 07:20 AM
  #11  
djb
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Montreal Canada
Posts: 13,207
Mentioned: 33 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2735 Post(s)
Liked 967 Times in 791 Posts
Originally Posted by Tbobx
After a year or more of COVID quarantine I am eager to go explore someplace new by bike.

For anyone who has flown to Italy or Europe to bike, did you bring your bike or rent one there? Is it possible to rent in one city and drop off in another? Any suggestions on how to ship to Italy, Belgium or other countries is appreciated.
welcome to the forum
are you new to cycling, have you ever toured before?

one of the main advantages to having your own bike is that you'll be riding a known quantity, it fits you so physically you'll be good, you know it's in good shape and so no gotcha surprises.
of course you can maybe rent, but overall you're always going to be better off with your own bike, it just requires some planning, although its possible to ask a bike store to pack it for you if you aren't a hands on sort of person.
djb is offline  
Old 02-17-21, 08:11 AM
  #12  
Iím a little Surly
 
Germany_chris's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Near the district
Posts: 2,422

Bikes: Two Cross Checks, a Karate Monkey, a Disc Trucker, and a VO Randonneur

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 699 Post(s)
Liked 1,294 Times in 647 Posts
Side note..

Not all trains are bike friendly especially during rush hour.
Not all hotels want your bike in your room, I had this problem near Venice last summer.
Flying with your bike is "doable and manageable" but that doesn't make it not a PITA. In Frankfurt if it's in a bike box there's special pick up, in a hard case it's luggage, in Amsterdam it comes out in regular luggage.
Germany_chris is offline  
Old 02-17-21, 08:52 AM
  #13  
imi
aka Timi
 
imi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Gothenburg, Sweden
Posts: 3,237

Bikes: Bianchi Lupo (touring) Bianchi Volpe (commuter), Miyata On Off Road Runner

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 159 Post(s)
Liked 128 Times in 98 Posts
Originally Posted by djb
I respectfully disagree with everything you have said, you have your mind made up, so I'm just responding to let the person asking the question know that we all fly with our bicycles, and its very doable and manageable.
I have flown with bicycles many times. The biggest hassle can be finding a cardboard box before flying home. Typically small LBSs destroy the boxes as soon as the bikes are assembled to save space, and maybe only get new bikes in on specific days.

Funnily enough, Iíve hade no luck with Decathlon, huge sports retailers all over Europe. They have their own cardboard compressors in store and have been, well, unhelpful the times Iíve asked them.

I like to have a whole day to find a box, disassemble bike, then find my way to the airport the next morning.

My touring buddy has a picture of me riding fully loaded plus a box strapped onto my rear rack in France. Iíll see if I can post it.
imi is offline  
Old 02-17-21, 04:03 PM
  #14  
Biker
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: New Mexico
Posts: 263

Bikes: Boone McReynolds, Centurion Pro Tour

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 49 Post(s)
Liked 106 Times in 59 Posts
If you are going to be self guided, self supported, and depending on everything being efficient then I'd try to take your own bike and gear.' If you are going to use any support systems (e.g. Danube bike trail support from Austrian Tourism) or other bike tour resource, you probably could and should just use equipment they provide for not so expensive rates. One of the best bike touring experiences known to me are bike and barge tours using companies in Netherlands. Similar experiences exist for France and ??? The Paris to Bruges route is a great experience and easy from a logistical viewpoint. Italian traffic would be a bit intimidating for me, but they are good drivers even though roads are narrow, traffic is fast, and cars are too damned plentiful.
Peruano is offline  
Old 02-17-21, 04:41 PM
  #15  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 9,201
Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1186 Post(s)
Liked 289 Times in 177 Posts
I've done a few trips where we just rent a house and ride from one location for 10 days or so. For that type of trip bringing your own bike is convenient. Last trip was to Girona and had no problem finding different routes to ride every day. Highly recommended as a cycling destination. They rent bikes as well but it gets expensive for a 10-day trip.
gregf83 is offline  
Old 02-17-21, 04:45 PM
  #16  
Clark W. Griswold
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: ,location, location
Posts: 13,403

Bikes: Foundry Chilkoot Ti W/Ultegra Di2, Salsa Timberjack Ti, Cinelli Mash Work RandoCross Fun Time Machine, 1x9 XT Parts Hybrid, Co-Motion Cascadia, Specialized Langster, Phil Wood Apple VeloXS Frame (w/DA 7400), R+M Supercharger2 Rohloff, Habanero Ti 26

Mentioned: 54 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4301 Post(s)
Liked 3,922 Times in 2,622 Posts
Just FYI Covid is still raging. We all hate quarantining and wearing masks and social distancing and all of that stuff but until this is over people really DO NOT need to be traveling especially for pleasure trips. I do get it being cooped up is tough but we just got to be tough and resilient and learn to explore more locally. Having a vaccine is a good thing but it doesn't mean things are back to whatever "normal" it is going to take a long time to vaccinate everyone and get things under control.

Once this is all over though I would personally want my own bike so it is set up for me but if I am just doing some casual riding a rental in my size would work just bring any relevant fit data you have and a measuring tool if you can (or make sure the shop has one which they likely do but you never know) On a tour I want a bike I know well having someone else's bike means I have to fiddle with it more and I don't like to do that when I am on vacation. However if you do take your own bike make sure you work out with a shop where you are leaving from to get a box set aside in advance. Tell them a case a beer is coming as well. Also make sure the bike is in good mechanical condition well before you need to pack up the bike. You want to have it tuned and have ridden it a bit to figure out any issues before you get it packed.
veganbikes is offline  
Old 02-17-21, 04:50 PM
  #17  
Full Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Broomfield, Colorado
Posts: 491

Bikes: 2017 Gunnar CrossHairs Rohloff, 2022 Detroit Bikes Cortello

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 131 Post(s)
Liked 155 Times in 89 Posts
Originally Posted by imi
I would definitely take my own bike. Finding a rental touring bike that fits and is set up to carry your gear would be extremely hard and expensive imho.

British Airways are my go-to. A bike can be included in your free-baggage allowance. Pack it in a cardboard box, assemble at arrival airport, then find a LBS close to your departure airport to get a new box for the home trip.

Trains are a great way to get around with your bike as raybo mentioned above.
+1. Aircaddy boxes are good, have wheels that get you down the street from the train to your hotel.
randallr is offline  
Old 02-17-21, 06:40 PM
  #18  
Full Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 470
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 106 Post(s)
Liked 38 Times in 25 Posts
Depending on the nature of your tour, have you thought of buying a bike at your destination? If you're simply there for a month or so, no use spending a fortune on a bike, buy something cheap at a place like Decathlon sports. At the end of the tour donate to someone...or not.
gerryl is offline  
Old 02-17-21, 08:19 PM
  #19  
Senior Member
 
downtube42's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 3,824

Bikes: Trek Domane SL6 Gen 3, Soma Fog Cutter, Focus Mares AL, Detroit Bikes Sparrow FG, Volae Team, Nimbus MUni

Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 890 Post(s)
Liked 2,042 Times in 1,069 Posts
Originally Posted by djb
I respectfully disagree with everything you have said, you have your mind made up, so I'm just responding to let the person asking the question know that we all fly with our bicycles, and its very doable and manageable.
Not so much my mind is made up - I'm sure other people have had other experiences - just that's my experience. Air France lost my bike on the return trip; it did show up a week later. TSA broke my dyno headlight. Another year, Delta denied my bike at the gate, despite it being prepaid. It took an hour of wrangling with various agents and managers before they would take it, during which time it seemed my trip was trashed. The airline lost my friend Renee's bike going to France for PBP 2015, so he ended up hanging around in Paris after having prepared, qualified, and trained. At a big event like PBP, you become aware of the non-zero number of people dealing with lost and damaged bikes. Everyone knows someone dealing with these issues.

I've schlepped my bike through airports, bus stations, train stations, and on trains and buses. Not fun.

The best experiences, where transport was smooth, still had me assembling/disassembling my bike in a hotel courtyard or empty hotel conference room, then dealing with bike storage in either a tiny hotel room or a hotel luggage room intended for luggage, not bikes.

I hope to do LEL in 2022 and PBP in 2023, likely others. I do not look forward to the bike transport bit.

I suppose all these things could be solved with money though.
downtube42 is offline  
Old 02-17-21, 10:17 PM
  #20  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2019
Location: South Shore of Long Island
Posts: 2,780

Bikes: 2010 Carrera Volans, 2015 C-Dale Trail 2sl, 2017 Raleigh Rush Hour, 2017 Blue Proseccio, 1992 Giant Perigee, 80s Gitane Rallye Tandem

Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1078 Post(s)
Liked 1,011 Times in 715 Posts
I've done it 3 times, can be a hassle but at the time I was too poor to rent and staying in the destination country for at least 3 weeks doing archeology. Had a giant bag to shove the bike in. Last time was with a S&S equipped bike and I'd like another of those, totally worth the cost. Was also nice to travel with my own bike.
Russ Roth is offline  
Old 02-18-21, 04:38 AM
  #21  
Newbie
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Central Florida
Posts: 73

Bikes: Many, mostly old & low tech

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 29 Post(s)
Liked 20 Times in 11 Posts
An S&S coupled frame and case makes it much better but not always easy. The airline part is simple as a piece of normal luggage. Lugging a 50 lb. case without wheels around a big airport or on the street is no fun but a lot easier than with a large cardboard box and no handles or straps, Disposition of the case while riding is a matter of planning and negotiating on the ground. I've had hotels hold the case until the return from a loop tour. I've also had UPS/Fedex sent the case forward to be claimed a week or two later. That may be more complicated across international boarders.

In Spain and France just before COVID I found regional trains to be very good with free bike sections on each train. Those networks cover large areas with frequent schedules. The intercity and high speed trains do not accommodate bikes like this, if at all. In Central America "chicken buses" gladly carry your bike along with all kinds of cargo on roof racks. A dollar to the conductor hauling it up the ladder makes for a very happy lad. To bad it's not a common practice around the world. In El Salvador I had to pay $2 for the extra seat my S&S case took up.

Where there's a will there's a way.
tommymc is offline  
Likes For tommymc:
Old 02-18-21, 12:55 PM
  #22  
Senior Member
 
indyfabz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 39,185
Mentioned: 211 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 18388 Post(s)
Liked 15,452 Times in 7,299 Posts
A campground just outside Sevilla held my bike box for 7 weeks. Not a problem when I told the manager I would be back to spend a couple of more nights there.

Yep. Where there is a will there is a way.
indyfabz is offline  
Old 02-18-21, 01:48 PM
  #23  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 11,162

Bikes: 1961 Ideor, 1966 Perfekt 3 Speed AB Hub, 1994 Bridgestone MB-6, 2006 Airnimal Joey, 2009 Thorn Sherpa, 2013 Thorn Nomad MkII, 2015 VO Pass Hunter, 2017 Lynskey Backroad, 2017 Raleigh Gran Prix, 1980s Bianchi Mixte on a trainer. Others are now gone.

Mentioned: 47 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3448 Post(s)
Liked 1,447 Times in 1,128 Posts
Air travel, international travel, if I did not have a S&S coupled bike, my trips would have been much more complicated. Now that some airlines have dropped their oversize fees for domestic travel for bikes, that makes S&S couplers or the Ritchey Break Away bikes, or folding bikes less important for domestic travel. But for international travel, I am convinced that is the way to go.

Photo from my 2019 trip to Canadian Maritimes, the panniers were my carry on and personal items, the helmet went into the overhead bin on the plane. The S&S case is the black case, it is the Backpack version. The orange bag is a large waterproof backpack. It is air tight, so I have a piece of fabric in the roll top part of the bag so air can get in and out with the aircraft changes in air pressure. There is better luggage than the orange bag, but it collapses down to almost nothing for storage during my tour. That and the ease of carry as a backpack made it the right luggage for this trip. Luggage storage is another factor that you have to deal with.



I also took my folding bike for a bike trip on Southwest air to Texas. Southwest had free two checked bag allowance, so my bike traveled for free, I used my S&S Backpack for that too. I am wearing the S&S Backpack case as a backpack in the photo below.



I have now saved enough on oversize fees to pay for the S&S couplers and pay for the S&S Backpack case. Took several years, but the non-monetary advantages of a coupled bike that is easy to carry to and from an airport made it worth more than just the monetary savings.

You have to be comfortable dis-assembling and re-assembling a bike for S&S couplers to be a good option. I built up the bikes that I use in the S&S Backpack case, I worked in a bike shop years ago, to me the only negative factor to using the S&S case is the time to pack the bike and unpack and re-assembly later.

If you consider going with an S&S option, 26 inch wheels fit more easily in a 26 X 26 X 10 inch case than 700c.
Tourist in MSN is online now  
Old 02-18-21, 02:33 PM
  #24  
Senior Member
 
Doug64's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Oregon
Posts: 6,487
Mentioned: 31 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1182 Post(s)
Liked 831 Times in 434 Posts
My wife and I and our two daughters, planned a 2-month tour in Europe starting in Paris. My wife and I spent 5 months touring in Europe on two other tours, so we were pretty confident about the logistics. The first challenge was finding a good route that would put us near an airport about halfway though the trip. One of our daughters could only spend a month with us, because she had to return to work. We use 1000 miles a month for planning purposes, and the Frankfurt Airport seemed like it would work.

The second challenge was getting 4 boxed bikes and 4 people 120 miles to the airport. The solution was to rent a 4 door pickup for about $80. No problems in the Portland Airport. The bikes, all in good shape, were assembled at the Charles de Gaulle Airport, and we rode them into Paris.

We arrived in Frankfurt a couple of days prior to our daughter's departure flight, giving us time to ride out to the airport and check it out. This is a good practice, especially when you are not familiar with the airport. From prior homework we knew that the airport sold bike boxes. What we didn't know is that the boxes were in one terminal, and she departed from another terminal. The Frankfurt Airport is not bike friendly. The shuttle between terminals did not allow bikes or bike boxes on them. I finally talked the driver into allowing me to take an empty box between the terminals. This would be a real challenge for a solo person. It all went smoothly from there.

Mom already missing her "little" girl. This 5' tall young lady handled her bike through a flight change in Iceland, repacked all her gear in Portland, reassembled the bike, and rode it home.


The rest of us departed from Schiphol Airport in the Netherlands, one of the most bike friendly airports in Europe

Yes, where there is a will there is a way.

P.S. Box your bike so that it can be positioned in any direction. This configuration makes it easy to navigate around airports . Make sure to empty you water bottles. Ask me how I know.

Last edited by Doug64; 02-18-21 at 03:33 PM.
Doug64 is offline  
Old 02-18-21, 03:00 PM
  #25  
Newbie racer
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 3,406

Bikes: Propel, red is faster

Mentioned: 34 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1575 Post(s)
Liked 1,569 Times in 974 Posts
I have. I was on a 2 1/2 week work trip to eastern France in 2018. During the World Cup and Le Tour.

I will give my timeline of how this went:

-Researched rent versus ship versus take on plane: Basically I couldn't get reliable receiving information or commitments from anywhere in the local area I was going to ship the bike via Bikeflights ahead to a local bike shop for pickup once I arrived. Almost none responded to my English and Google translated French email. So, that went out the window. Next up was researching rentals. I found a place local that rented city bikes, but they never responded either. Information on their website was scarce and it looked like a distinct possibility of showing up and not getting a bike. Next up were some "big brand" renters country wide who would deliver you a rental bike to a hotel or something then pick it up once leaving. The deposit of the full purchase price of a bike was a non-starter for me. Zero interest in that.

I wound up buying a used hard case off Craigslist for $100 and paying the airline fee. I flew direct from Raleigh to Paris.

To me, your plane size and flight schedule matters. Are the layovers longer or tight? As in your bike will get missed. Is the plane too small to take bikes onboard? Something to consider.

I wrapped the bike with bubble wrap and painter's tape. I threw a roll of painter's tape into the box with the bike. Undid the RD, bars, chain in a baggie, deflated tires, little rods to keep from crushing the box in a few areas, etc.....

It showed up fine. Assembly took me maybe 15min at the hotel.

I will say...........pay attention to the bike box you use. If it is heavier you need wheels and a strap, detachable wheels. The airport will want you to remove them and stow them inside the box sometimes. I would anyway. Or, get a bike box lighter. You have to think of lugging it long distances to a train or car rental place.

I rented a 2-door manual hatchback with rear seats that fold down. Bike box fit fine. But you have to pay attention to this in your considerations.

I loved having a fully capable bike. I used some 28mm gators for road riding and always carried like 3 spare tubes and a battery charger just in case. Also I took the cyclocross bike for comfort on unknown road surfaces. This allowed me to explore a castle in the forest at the top of a mountain in Alsace that the road bike would have laughed at the gravel road and trail! Can't find pics of that castle right now.

Was well worth it!



burnthesheep is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.