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  1. #1
    offroader
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    Rent or Carry my bike to a destination?

    What do you recommend? Should I just rent a bike when I get to my vacation destination or should I bring my own. Personally I would prefer to bring my own, since I have my preferences dialed in on my bike and I would feel at home in it as opposed to riding an unfamiliar bike. Some locations my not have my style of bike.

    And if you were to bring your own bike, what do you recommend using (how do you recommend carrying the bike)? Would a bike fit onto an airline without having to pay extra?

  2. #2
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    I generally prefer to bring my own; I'm just too picky to really enjoy myself riding someone else's bike. Maybe if I were traveling for work and only had time for 1 ride, I'd rent, but if I were traveling to go riding - 99% of my leisure travel these days, I'm bringing my own bike.

    I pack mine in an ironcase. You basically always have to pay extra unless you have a frame that can be disassembled, and even then you may be getting close to weight limits (which sometimes, some airlines enforce, other times they don't). If you could get it into 2 bags that might help, but then where are you going to put clothes and everything else you need?
    When comparing airlines, make sure to check their baggage fees! They vary a lot from one to another. Southwest charges $50 each way, I've seen as high as $200 from Delta for domestic flights.

  3. #3
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    Also interested in this. I am planning on visiting my sister in california in early-mid march, I live in the UK and have been looking into what was the best way to go about getting a bike over there. I have to admit I am quite tempted to pick up a craigslist/ebay bargain and have it delivered in time for my arrival.

    Last time I looked into getting a bike on a plane each carrier varied, BA were free others charged varying amounts from the affordable to the ridiculous.

  4. #4
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    If you rent bring pedals, shoes, hydration and a multi tool. As there's always something new to try in bikes, it can be fun to rent high end toys.
    agmtb

  5. #5
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    Could you FedEx/UPS it in a box to your destination for a cheaper cost?

    I'm just getting into it but I do travel several time per year.

  6. #6
    YOUREGO ISNOT YOURAMIGO
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    Quote Originally Posted by CupOfJava View Post
    What do you recommend? Should I just rent a bike when I get to my vacation destination or should I bring my own. Personally I would prefer to bring my own, since I have my preferences dialed in on my bike and I would feel at home in it as opposed to riding an unfamiliar bike. Some locations my not have my style of bike.

    And if you were to bring your own bike, what do you recommend using (how do you recommend carrying the bike)? Would a bike fit onto an airline without having to pay extra?
    Ship thru your LBS and ship to bike shop near your destination
    Cost about same as airlines but bike shop should put your bike together and take apart, for a fee, or you can do yourself.
    Just did this going to canada and back to San Francisco.
    Worked great and bikes are taken care of much better than UPS,FED-ripoff, or the airlines.
    Cheers,
    GoGo

    Quote Originally Posted by db09jku View Post
    Could you FedEx/UPS it in a box to your destination for a cheaper cost?

    I'm just getting into it but I do travel several time per year.
    See above response to OP.
    Banned for showing Boobies.

  7. #7
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    Rent... After travelling with my bike the last 3 MTB trips I have gone on (Moab/Fruita 2009 and 2010, Brianhead area Utah 2011) I can now say that i should have rented. The expense of shipping the bike OR taking on airplane (done both) and either paying a bike shop to build upon arrival, box/ship when leaving or building/transporting myself (DONE BOTH) , it's WAY easier to rent.

    The ONLY downside to renting a bike is that it may not be exactly what you are used to. The cost of renting a mid grade MTB is almost exactly the same as all the costs associated with shipping/bike shop fees. Plus the time to build if doing it yourself.

    Rent the bike. My next trip to California High Sierra/Lake Tahoe this Summer I am finally renting. No more travel with the bike.

    EDIT- If you plan on more than 2 weeks at your destination, then by all means take your bike. It would be chaeaper than renting then. But for 1 week or less renting is the way to go. Try something new and different. Try renting a bike you might be interested in owning in the future.

  8. #8
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    I have both rented and transported over the last 20 years. After riding some awful bikes (weight, condition, fit, etc), I bring my own whenever I can.

    Though renting may seem to be less of a hassle, don't forget the logistics required to pick up and drop off the bike. The shop location and hours may not work well for you.

    If you rent, bring tools, hydration, helmet and pedals (as noted by others). You may also wish to bring your own saddle so that the most important contact point is more familiar.

    When I bring my bike,I use a hard case and ship it via UPS or FedEx Ground to a shop/friend/hotel at my destination. You can easily pack the required tools for reassembly into your luggage or the box itself. I carry on my bike stuff and tools just in case my bike does not arrive (on time). If you don't have a case (expensive!), then you can get a bike box for free from any bike shop. They will probably give you free packing materials also (fork brace, hub caps, etc).

    I do have one story regarding air travel.Before the airline bike fees got crazy, I was traveling Northwest with my bike in a hard case. Knowing that a bike would cost me $75 one way, I did not volunteer the contents when I checked it. Not being one to explicitly lie, I was in a conundrum when the attendant asked me what was in the case. Without missing a beat, however, I replied "mountain climbing equipment". $75 saved. On the return flight, however, the question was impossible to dodge honestly."Is there a bike in the case?" $75 lost.

  9. #9
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    I don't recommend ever shipping your bike in a cardboard box. Shipping companies eat flimsy cardbard for breakfast. There are still some bike friendly airlines left where flying with a bike can cost $50 (each way). If you do this often, get a bike hard case and learn how to take your bike apart and reassemble. It's really not hard...remove pedals, seat post, turn handlebars sideways...maybe a few other things. For airline comparison fees, go here Airline Bicycle Fees | AirlineBagFees.com
    AirlineBagFees.com/bicycles | Find out what it costs flying with a bike on the airlines

  10. #10
    What day are we riding?
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    I always take my own if I am riding for more than one or two days. If I am taking my own, I ship it via FedEx in a cardboard bike box to the motel where I am staying. Never had a damage issue and have done it abut 20 or so times. Pipe insulation and clear packing tape is my best friend. Most of the outside of the box gets clear tape on it. You just have to be careful with hubs poking through the sides - I use the spacer things that come with new wheelsets and an extra piece of cardboard taped in the area they will rub.

  11. #11
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    Southwest will let you fly your bike for free (part of 2 free checked bags) as long as it is within their luggage size requirements. My bike is too big for this, so I use Fed-ex and a hard plastic bike box from Colorado Cyclist. I usually go with other friends that drive to the destination, so I ship my bike to them and they bring it on their vehicle.

    All that being said, I may just rent next time to try some machines (FS trail bikes) out that I have no need to own where I live/ride.

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