Travelling with a Bike
Last Updated on Friday, 18 February 2011 09:35
Bringing Your Own Bike
On all of our Road Cycling and Mountain Biking Holidays, we are able to transport your bike box from the start to the finish of the trip, regardless of if it is a soft bag, a cardboard box or a hard box. Your bike box/bag may not however be easily accesible during the holiday so we advise you to remove any items from it that you may need during your trip.
Flying with your Bike
If you make sure that your bike is properly prepared for travel it is unlikely that any damage will come to it. In terms of how bikes are handled, it actually has nothing to do with the Airline but the Airport ground staff (which are the same for BA, EJ, KLM, Ryan Air etc.). We have found over the years that small airports with simple baggage handling systems are actually more reliable in delivering the bikes than the larger airports. Having said that, the large airlines are quicker at getting your bike to you in the event that it does not turn up on the same flights as you (this is a very rare occurrence and a hire bike can normally be borrowed while waiting for your own).
Costs: Most airlines now charge for transportation of bikes. They are also constantly changing their policies / charges, so it is best to check the latest information before booking your flights. The links below are for the most frequently used airlines used on our trips.
- Ryan Air: Although these seem fairly expensive, Ryan Air are the only airline that actually limits the number of bikes at the booking stage, so it is impossible for there to be more than 15 bikes on the flight. Also with their ridiculous charges for hold baggage, most people just fly with hand luggage meaning that their hold is actually fairly empty, making it very unlikely that there will not be space on the flight for your bike.
- British Airways
- Easy Jet
- Jet 2
Trains with your Bike
Depending on which French train company you are traveling with, you may have to pay for your bike.
- TER trains: if your bike is boxed then you are able to travel with it on any train, but if it is assembled and traveling as a bike, then you will be restricted to certain trains (marked on individual timetables).
- Other train lines: you will need a bike ticket, available to purchase over the phone from Rail Europe on 0844 848 5848. There is a flat rate booking fee of £8 (2010 price) regardless of number of bikes or journeys.
Packing your Bike
All airlines now insist that your bike is either be boxed or bagged.
- Blag a cardboard box from a local bike store.
- More and more bike shops are offering a bike bag / box rental service which may be worth looking into.
- If you know that you are going to do a lot of flying with you bike then check out the range of boxes/bags available on the Wiggle website.
Packing up your bike need not be too complicated. The key thing is to brace the forks / rear stay after you have taken a wheel out - this can be done with an old hub or the piece of plastic your bike came with (any bike shop will give you one of these for free).
Full info on packing up you bike will come with your bike bag / box, otherwise check out this bikeradar.com article which gives you a comprehensive overview. If you not sure how to pack your bike, or do not have a bike box, then check out Bike Box Online for hire of boxes and professional bike packing.
There is no need to bring any tools with you to reassemble your bike (except specific fork / suspension pumps). We have a torque wrench, but you will need to know the torque values. We naturally have track pumps and other general bike tools available throughout the trip.
If you do not want to have the hassle of bringing your own bike or need a bike with more gear (compact or triple) then you can hire a bike from Marmot Tours. This must be arranged in advance as there are limited bikes (and sizes) available. For more information please see the Bike Hire section.