Advantages of using Cycle Transfer
Depending on where your event is and how else you might arrange to get your bike and kit to the start and back from the finish, here are some advantages the Cycle Transfer service offers you:
Cycle Transfer collects your bike/holdall/spare wheels from you at designated meeting points throughout mainland UK several days in advance of your event.Getting your bike there on time is our priority – airlines normally put your bike as standby luggage, which can be a real problem, especially if there are dozens of other cyclists on the same flight.You don’t have to struggle to get your bike to the airport in its bag or box, you don’t have to fight your way with it and your other kit through the airport, or worry about excess baggage charges.You don’t have to hire an extra large car or taxi at the other end to take you, your kit and bike box or bag.
We take your bike in one piece (apart from asking you to take the pedals off) – no bike bags/boxes to fight with, no need for re-assembly, or losing your bike setup, especially when you want to concentrate on your event. If you have to travel with a bike box/bag you would have to disassemble your bike at home, reassemble at the event venue, disassemble it again after the event and finally reassemble it on your return home, not to mention storing the bag or box during the event and getting it to the event finish.
Leave your tyres inflated – some airlines require you to deflate your tyres.
A luggage holdall and/or spare wheels can also be transported for you with your bike. This means that you can travel to your event with only hand luggage, avoiding the hassle of dragging a bike box/bag and luggage through airports, railway stations, etc.
…leaving you free to enjoy the post event celebrations! We return your bike/holdall/spare wheels to you several days after your event and usually at the same meeting point where we collected them from you.
Presented below are some considerations to take into account if you decide to make your own bike transport arrangements. Many of these we at Cycle Transfer have learned the hard way! Also provided are some links in case you want to check out current prices and policies.
For travel to an event within the UK
- Purchase cost of a bike bag (from £70) or box (from £200) (Wiggle bike bags and boxes).
- Restrictions on taking your bike on a train vary depending on which rail company you’re with (check National Rail).
- Usually policy is “confirmed by station operator”, you cannot take your bike at peak times, you must reserve one of the limited places for it and engineering work may affect policy. Don’t forget to check all train companies that cover your journey!
- Trains; rarely get you very close to the event start so make sure you hire a car /taxi big enough for the purpose at both ends of your event if necessary.
- Cars; bikes and bike bags/boxes are bulky. Ensure it all fits in/on the vehicle. Make sure your driver is willing and able to take bikes and/or boxes.
For travel to an event within mainland Europe
- See “For a UK trip” above, but with some additional air travel considerations.
- Typical costs are from £40 EACH WAY to take your bike in a bag/box. Weight restrictions will apply, so don’t think you can get much more than the bike in the box/bag! (yes, one of us has been that person at Heathrow re-packing and sending lots of gear, nutrition, etc. back home in the car!).
- Policy is nearly always that it travels standby, so may not arrive when you do, which can make it expensive “popping” back to the airport to check each flight that it may be on! In the case of some of the low cost airlines they may be using airports that are not at all convenient for your accommodation.
- Dismantle and pack it well as it’ll be treated no differently to all other luggage by the baggage handlers and their machinery.
- It may be necessary to go to a special ‘outsize luggage’ area when checking in your bike box/bag and when collecting it in the baggage hall.
- Here are some airline policy links and our interpretations:
- Easyjet (£18.50 each way, max TOTAL weight of ALL luggage, 32kg)
- Ryanair (£40 each way 30 kg max as at 16/02/11)
- Flybe (£30 each way, max £30kg)
- BA (“free” as part of your luggage allowance, then £28 per bag each way)
- Air France (“included as part of your luggage allowance”, then… see if you can find the figure!)
- Lufthansa (the closest answer seems to be “well, that depends…” and €70 which could be one way or return)