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Bike transport to Bescancon

Philadelphia
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Bike transport to Bescancon

I will be flying into Frankfurt and then taking a train to Bescancon. I am trying to decide if I want to bring my boxed bike on the plane (which might then require that I assemble the bike prior to getting on the train to Besancon) or have the bike shipped directly to a bike shop in Besancon. Velosphere in Besancon has told me they will assemble it prior to my arrival.

It is not clear to me if I must assemble the bike prior to getting on the train in Frankfurt.

Any suggestions would be welcome.

7 replies to this topic
Perth, Australia
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1. Re: Bike transport to Bescancon

Why would you assemble the bike before getting on the train? I'm not understanding what benefit you think that would provide. Are you expecting or needing to ride it before you get to Besancon?

A lot of European trains (mainly the high-speed ones) cannot accommodate a fully built up bike. Local and regional trains often can. Unless you need the bike built up (i.e. in order to ride it) it will usually be easiest to leave it in its box and take it as part of your luggage.

Ensure that whoever you get to box it up does so in a compact manner, i.e. bars, pedals and wheel off and the whole thing no larger than 90cm x 140cm. Provided you keep it below that you will be able to fit it into the luggage racks.

Having said that, I often travel with a bike in a box on French trains and it is a fair amount of hassle. If you have the option to get it sent directly to Besancon I would definitely do that.

Perth, Australia
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2. Re: Bike transport to Bescancon

Edit -sorry, that maximum size should have been 90cm x 120cm not 90cm x 140cm.

Philadelphia
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3. Re: Bike transport to Bescancon

Thanks for your quickly reply! I thought I had read somewhere that on certain trains, bikes must be assembled rather than kept in a box (for security reasons, i.e., so it is obvious that it is a bike).

I'm in agreement with you that it makes the most sense to have the bike sent directly to Besancon and assembled at the bike shop.

Perth, Australia
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4. Re: Bike transport to Bescancon

I hadn't heard about the requirement to unbox a bike. On many French long distance trains the opposite is true - the newer TGVs can only take a bike if packed into a bag or box and they require you to do this.

I didn't mean to put you off travelling with the bike. It may be quite expensive to get it delivered, whereas it shouldn't cost you anything extra to take it on the trains with you. It is perfectly possible to travel with it and I have done so many times. It is just a bit of a pain carting around a bike box plus regular bag - you are very immobile and restricted on what you can do while waiting, not to mention the physical hassles of getting it on and off the train and hoping there will be a luggage rack free to take it. But it can be done.

Dresden, Germany
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5. Re: Bike transport to Bescancon

I'd agree with what jslonisch has said regarding keeping the bike in the box for traveling with it on the train. I've also never heard of any requirement to take it out of the box. On the contrary: usually you need to keep it in the box if you want to bring it on high-speed trains (which you'll probably want to do if you're coming from Frankfurt).

Another note: you don't say where you might ship the bike from. Frankfurt or the US? There's not only the issue of cost, but also of customs. When shipping from the US, you'll have to allow extra time for your bike to clear customs in the EU. Additionally, it is important to note that the bike is used, for personal use only, and will exit the EU at the end of your stay. Otherwise you might be subject to import taxes. Flying with your bike, eliminates this potential issue.

Philadelphia
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6. Re: Bike transport to Bescancon

I will be flying from the U.S. I think with the long-distance trains, one needs to indicate on the reservation (Bahn website) if traveling with a bike. I don't know how that works if the bike is in a box. The airline will only charge an extra baggage fee for a boxed bike if the dimensions fall below the maximum; if not, a fee is charged each way which is equal to or less than what a carrier like Fedex would charge.

You are right, Jace G, that moving through the airport (and train!) with a boxed bike might be a hassle. I suppose in the airport I can get one of those carts, but otherwise I will be struggling. Then, once I arrive in Besancon, I would still need to get the boxed bike to the shop there for assembly. My local bike shop told me that it is very common to have one's bike shipped directly to a bike shop in Europe and, yes, they informed me of the forms I would need to fill out for Customs, etc.

I have heard pros and cons to both scenarios, which is why I am unsure. If I am going to ship it to the bike shop in France, I will need to do so in a week's time, as the shop wants it there a week prior to my arrival and it will take another 5-10 days via Fedex.

Thanks for all your suggestions!!

Paris, France
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7. Re: Bike transport to Bescancon

If your bike is in a box/bag with dimensions no larger than 90cm x 120cm it travels as ordinary luggage and there is no need to reserve a space.

…voyages-sncf.com/services-train/velo-a-bord

Some TGV trains have space for fully assembled bikes but space is limited and reservations are required (see above link).

However, as has been suggested it would be easiest to have the bike shipped directly to a bike store in Besançon. I believe there is only 1 direct train daily between Frankfurt and Besançon and most other journeys require 2 transfers (a few have only one).

More info about bikes on trains in Europe:

europebicycletouring.com/Commentary-advice/t…

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