Bringing your bike on vacation?
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  1. #1
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    Bringing your bike on vacation?

    Anyone bring there bike with them on vacation? Or even just go somewhere in the world to bike?

    I'm thinking of purchasing a bike box. Want to take my bike to a few different cities in the US and probably Europe.

    Do many people do this? I understand packing your bike up and taking it on a plane for a race. Do a lot of you do it for fun?

  2. #2
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    I know someone who travels with their bike a lot and they use Bike Flights to ship their bike ahead of time. Not sure of they ship to Europe though.

    Iíve only taken my bike to our yearly week to the beach. No need for a bag or shipping for the 5 hour drive.

  3. #3
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    Bikeflights seems to be all the rage now:
    https://www.bikeflights.com

    I take my bike on vacation, but the only place I really go to vacation is driving 7 hours to visit in-laws. Bike goes on the roof rack (where last year it got smashed going into a tunnel... maybe I should have mailed it).

    P.S. Sorry to be a grammar nazi, but you meant "their", not "there"

    P.P.S. What FajitaDave said!

  4. #4
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    I took mine to Boy Scout camp a month ago...I thought I could put in a couple good rides in hilly Oklahoma (I am in flat Gulf Coast) as the boys were busy with scout stuff mid-day....well, although the surrounding country side was great for cycling, the final road to camp was 5 miles of dirt/gravel road...I was quite upset to make the final lengths of the drive to camp, and see my idea of popping out of camp onto rolling paved road was a fool's dream.

    The bike beckoned...

    I have Continental Roadcase flat-proof tires (I am not a paid spokesmodel), in 23mm. Not quite Dirt Road gear. So, I took a couple spare tubes, and decided: if I get a second flat, I am waving the white flag; but otherwise, I am going all-out for a 40-miler (10 of that on dirt road).

    No flats!

    But the bike was totally dirty, and average speed was not much above 10mph. But it felt great to get out in some new terrain and have a novel 4 hours of riding.

    Enjoy!

  5. #5
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    I understand flying overseas taking a bike is fairly reasonable. But many domestic flights the airlines hit your bike with massive fees, like up to $200 each way.

    unless you can pack your bike in a container under certain size limits. If so, then can ship as regular check baggage

    I looked into ikeFlights and they quoted me around $300 each way to ship my bike 1500 miles down to AZ. forget that.

    hence the rise of break-away bike frames and specialty boxes. going back like 15 years or so now. Ritchey makes such a frame/bag combo for reasonable price. And numerous frame builders offer S&S couplers as an option for custom made frame, which is what I did.

    Have flown down to AZ a few times and back east once now with my Break-away Lynskey in an S&S case and it went as normal check baggage each time. Takes about 20min to dissassemble or reassemble&wrap the bike for flying. Typically costs $25 each way, unless I go first class.


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  6. #6
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    I bought a bike box a few years ago and always take my bike with me. It's a bit of extra hassle and it costs more, but once there the rides are more enjoyable. I use the Scicon aerotech hard case. It's arguably the best case out there, if not the best value. Something a bit cheaper and also very good is Bike Box Alan. Also something a travel option I discovered this year is if you fly economy plus, at least with Lufthansa the bike counts as the second piece of luggage.

    The question on whether its better to bring your bike or rent abroad really depends on how long you'll be there, how serious you are and how sensitive you are to cost. The rent option is not trouble free either. I just came back from a cycling camp and some of the rented bikes , while a very respectable brand came did not come with the specified gearing options.

  7. #7
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    I've struggled with this question. I don't travel frequently, but with work and vacations, it comes out to about 5-7 trips a year. The last time I did the math (depending on the city), it was cheaper to rent a nice bike if I was riding 3 days or fewer. If I was riding > 3 days, it was cheaper to ship my own bike. Key positives and negatives of renting:

    Positives
    1. You get to try out a new bike brand
    2. You don't have to worry about your baby being damaged by the airline (numerous examples of this)
    3. If the rental place is good, they will get the rental to fit just like your own bike
    4. Talking to people at the rental place will allow you to figure out local group rides

    Negatives
    1. If the rental place isn't good, the bike fit will be off
    2. If the rental place only has low end bikes, you might get one that is in crap shape
    3. I use Look pedals, so I still have to bring my pedals and helmet
    4. If you want to use your computer, you need to bring your own mount

  8. #8
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    yes & no. rented bikes tend to come with 105 level components, sometimes ultegra, never dura ace(exceptions may exist in some places but you'll pay dearly). the wheels are usually basic and not high end.

    the fit will never be perfect but if you supply your measurements it should be acceptable. not only should you bring your own pedals, but you probably should bring your own seat.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trek_5200 View Post
    yes & no. rented bikes tend to come with 105 level components, sometimes ultegra, never dura ace(exceptions may exist in some places but you'll pay dearly). the wheels are usually basic and not high end.

    the fit will never be perfect but if you supply your measurements it should be acceptable. not only should you bring your own pedals, but you probably should bring your own seat.
    Good points. Personally, I've never been able to really tell a difference, when riding, between top level (Dura ace) and next level (Ultegra - which is what I usually get in a rental). I will say that I have rented three different bikes that were set up as close to perfect as you can get with different bike brands (different geometry considered). The first was a Colnago C50, second was a Trek Madone, third was a Specialized Tarmac. I've had numerous that were close, but not quite right (e.g. Cervelo Soloist). Even renting these didn't seem to really have a huge impact on my ride or my enjoyment of the ride.

    I've rented some mountain bikes that made me want to buy a new full suspension bike when I got home.

    I would definitely agree that most people should bring their own saddle. I can ride pretty much any saddle, so it generally doesn't bother me. However, I did rent a really basic bike one time and that cushioned saddle about killed me.

  10. #10
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    yes, a lot of people do.


    I don't, but that doesn't have anything to do with fees, hassle, whatever. I manage to get all the miles and quality I need within a car ride from home so if I'm getting on a flight it's to do something other than cycling (except for perhaps renting a hybrid as transportation to explore).

    I go to Europe quite a bit but cycling isn't my priority there because there's so much else I'm interested in that I can't get at or near home. If I were to fly to cycle it would be some place like Arizona to escape the New England winter.

  11. #11
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    All driving vacations I bring the bike.

    Flying gets a little tougher, I have found it much easier to ship my bike ahead of time rather than trying to fly it with me.
    Most good hotels are willing to accept the package and when that's not an option the local bike shop has always come through for me.

    I love riding in new areas, knowing what routes to use takes a bit of research but it's worth it knowing what roads the locals are using regularly.

  12. #12
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    and you can't ask anyone except someone who rides, and will know distance, road conditions, etc.

    this group of dads i was with in my anecdote above had no idea i might reel off 40 miles. at the same time, boy scouts have de riguer hike distances at 10 and 20 miles (?).

  13. #13
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    Yes, I take a bike on Vacation and Overseas for work.
    I have an older bike that I put on the roof rack when I travel by car. The older bike is nice but a little ugly so I do not worry about it so much and its a steel frame and thus a little more durable. I do travel with the nicer bike but it is inside the car however once inside it eliminates the room for luggage so the trips are shorter. For work; I typically buy a bike after I arrive.

    A bike is a necessity for travel and peace of mind!! Nothing better than exploring on a bike. Youíll know tons more about the area and the people after riding thru on a bike than in a car or train and or ?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trek_5200 View Post
    I bought a bike box a few years ago and always take my bike with me. It's a bit of extra hassle and it costs more, but once there the rides are more enjoyable. I use the Scicon aerotech hard case. It's arguably the best case out there, if not the best value. Something a bit cheaper and also very good is Bike Box Alan. Also something a travel option I discovered this year is if you fly economy plus, at least with Lufthansa the bike counts as the second piece of luggage.

    The question on whether its better to bring your bike or rent abroad really depends on how long you'll be there, how serious you are and how sensitive you are to cost. The rent option is not trouble free either. I just came back from a cycling camp and some of the rented bikes , while a very respectable brand came did not come with the specified gearing options.
    Definitely looking into either the scicon or bike box alan. I'll take whatever I can get cheaper. Hard to get a deal on either here in Canada.

    It's easier getting a deal on the evoc where I am. I know it has some really good reviews but there are some bad stories also. Can't really find too much negative with the bike box or scicon except the price

  15. #15
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    i just came back from the french alps and la marmotte. what i saw there isn't available in the u.s. colorado has the altitude but not the climbs.

  16. #16
    .je
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    I've flown once with a box from the LBS. Westjet charges 25 like any checked bag if it's a bike. But like any box or bag you have to open it take everything out so they can inspect or scan everything. Total PITA! Even your Bike Alan or what have you (a great option if you do this a lot). Not a terrible arrangement altogether especially for the fee.

  17. #17
    .je
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    Well speaking of fee, effective March 11, 2019, a handling fee of $50 CAD/USD will be charged for bikes. Last year, the bike flew free if if was the first checked bag.
    Last edited by .je; 06-23-2019 at 06:41 PM.

  18. #18
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    Like some others here, my vacations are planned to go to places to ride. Normally, I load the bike on the roof and drive there. Sometimes it takes two or three days to get to my main destination, but I will often stop for a day or two so i can ride elsewhere than the final destination.

    I have flown my bike to Europe once and a couple of times here in the US, but I prefer to go by car (and I can't afford to go to Europe again). This way I can alter my plans if weather doesn't cooperate or just because I feel like it.
    Life is short... enjoy the ride.

  19. #19
    tlg
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    Quote Originally Posted by bradkay View Post
    Like some others here, my vacations are planned to go to places to ride. Normally, I load the bike on the roof and drive there. Sometimes it takes two or three days to get to my main destination, but I will often stop for a day or two so i can ride elsewhere than the final destination.
    That's how my wife and I do it. Usually plan somewhere within 6hr drive. Drive half way the first day, spend the night, ride around the area. Then drive the rest of the way. Great way to break up the monotony of driving and explore different areas.
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