Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  

Go Back   > >

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.

User Tag List

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 01-31-10, 01:48 AM   #1
Senior Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Bikes: Specialized Tricross Sport 2009
Posts: 1,488
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Hire vs bring, for one week tour in Europe

Hi all,
I know this question comes up from time to time, but would be interested to hear any recent perspectives on hiring a bike on the spot, vs bringing your own. My gf and I will be going to Europe for a month (from Australia), probably including a 1 week bike trip, probably in southern France or northern Spain. we bring our own bikes, or hire on the spot?

We both have Specialized Tricross Sport that we're pretty comfortable on, with panniers, and fitting frame bag in my case. I don't really mind hiring a mountain bike for a couple of days, but a week of solid riding is enough to make me wary of a crappy mountain bike.

On the other hand, it will be a drag to pay all the extra fees to carry it on airlines (minimum 3 flights each way), plus the bits of the trip that aren't bike related. Quite possibly more than it's worth.

So, specific questions that could help:
- Is there anywhere in the places I mentioned that hires good quality touring bikes?
- Has anyone had success shipping a bike (ie, not as luggage on a plane)?

The trip will be roughly March 20-April 20, and the bike bit will be the last week probably, for weather. Will surely post more questions about route suggestion etc later...
stevage is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-31-10, 02:19 AM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: May 2006
Location: The Hague, Netherlands
Bikes: Two Robin Mather custom built tourers
Posts: 549
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I would start by getting in touch with bike shops in the areas you think you might start from. Since you mentioned northern Spain, I can recommend one in Pamplona. Aitor & Ibon are the two brothers who own it. The shop is called 2.ejkua and can be found at Carmen St. 17 in the city, not far from one of the pilgrims hostels for the Camino de Santiago. You can call them by phoning: +34 948 213668

I also did an interview with them.

When we were there in 2007, they were considering hiring bikes because they are on the Camino de Santiago path. I'm sure you could work something out with them. If you have any interest in buying a high-end touring bike and taking it back with you (possibly a good deal because you can reclaim VAT), I can recommend a place in Amsterdam that will help you out. You buy the bike, they have it ready when you get there, and just before you fly out you can get it serviced. Possibly a bit tight for a week though. If you have 4-6 weeks in Europe this is a more appealing option.
avatarworf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-31-10, 05:34 AM   #3
Senior Member
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: England
Posts: 12,953
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 14 Post(s)
The are companies that do various tour support for cyclists, from bike hire to lugage transfers. Many of these are run by Brits living in France. I found this one but I know there are others.

If you do hire, consider taking your own saddle and pedals.

Traditional English-style touring bikes are very rare in French bike shops (Ive seen one in Grenoble) and never in Spain. The French tour on lightweight day-touring bikes or on hybrids.

Ive ridden in the Eastern Pyrenees and in the Picos de Europas in N Spain and I can recommend both areas.

Last edited by MichaelW; 01-31-10 at 05:38 AM.
MichaelW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-31-10, 07:05 AM   #4
vintage tourer
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: japan
Bikes: '72 bianchi
Posts: 201
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
while i know from personal experience that it's pretty much impossible to do nearly the same number of miles per day on a mntbike as on a touring bike, i also think that for a week it would be entirely acceptable. maybe you could consider bringing your own panniers and saddle and buying the cheapest mountain bike you can. with any luck at all you may be able to sell or barter it before you leave.

the last time i remember a similar thread, it seemed that many airlines were charging bicycles as extra baggage or tacking on extra fees. you might want to checkout airline policies. i also recall that advice was given to print up the policy and bring it with you, as the on-line info and the check-in people didn't always seem to operate from the same knowledge base.

hope you have a nice trip

Last edited by philso; 01-31-10 at 07:13 AM.
philso is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-31-10, 09:57 PM   #5
Senior Member
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 83
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Check out this web page:, then call a couple of airlines. It is possible that you may be able to fly your bicycle at close to the cost of hiring a bike. I have done some recent research on this topic and found that as a general rule the European airlines (with some notable exceptions) tend to have fairly reasonable baggage fees for bicycles.
Feaduin is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:58 PM.

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.
  • Ask a Question
    get answers from real people!
Click to start entering your question.