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Take, buy or hire? - Traveling with a bike and kids

philberesford's picture

By philberesford - Posted on 09 May 2014

I'm off to the UK for 3 weeks with the family in June/July and I want to keep riding whilst I'm there. There's also 'some bike race' in July that practically goes past my mum's front door Eye-wink

My options are:

Take my own
Pros: It's my bike
Cons: Juggling with other luggage, 2 kids, Central London and travel up to Yorkshire. Need to bag it or box it.
Anyone got any tips?

Hire one for 3 weeks
Cons: Expensive for a piece of shit spec bike
Pros: I hand it back (hopefully in one piece)

Buy one on eBay
Cons: Left with a bike to move on
Pros: Same cost as hire but better spec. Can probably make my money back

Would love to hear what other people's thoughts are around this. Particularly the logistical issue on the BYO option and luggage allowance's etc


Pete B's picture

How old are your kids? Are they old enough to pull their own cases? If so, take your own bike. Hire an evoc bag for your bike as they have wheels so are easy to drag around airports etc.

Just remember to hire a big enough car to carry everything.

Let me know how you get on as I'm heading home for a month with baby and possibly bike and would like to hit some of the trails around the Peak District.

philberesford's picture

Thanks Pete
Not really, they're 1yrs and 4yrs.

PS I'm from the Peak District so all my riding will be done there on either road or MTB

Rob's picture

If the kids are 1 & 4, surely they will fit in the bike bag or backpack. What's the problem? Eye-wink

rossco_'s picture

Can u ship your bike by post instead? Don't forget the cost of bike bag.

Discodan's picture

Buy a bike over there cheaper than you could here and bring it back with you. You get a good bike and an excuse to add something to the shed

philberesford's picture

I am also considering that option too Eye-wink

Pete B's picture

The n+1 option seems to be the only way. Smiling

If you have any recommendations for trails, I'd be keen to hear about them. I was never in to MTB back home so would love to see what I missed out on.

staffe's picture

I brought my training bike with me to Sweden last year for exactly the same reason, then had to lug it through Rome for our stop over there on our way home. Seemed like a bad idea before we left but there were no issues and I'm really glad I did bring it. Much better to ride something that I'm used to than getting a half crappy rental that is not set up to suit. If you have a lot of stop overs you can always find secure storage at airports but a bike bag is not that big so it is hardly worth it.

The only thing I had to do on arrival was to straighten out a rotor. I just took a shifter and bent it back until the wheel could spin again. Still using that very rotor on that bike. I was worried that they would crack the frame which is carbon but the wheels are protecting the frame when it is all packed in the bag no issues with that either.

All done with the cheapest soft bag I could find which was $100 and the extra effort to push it in and out of a few taxis is not a big deal either.

brakeburner's picture

I rented when I was in rotorua last year and although it was a half decent bike, your always left thinking " I wish I brought my own"!

Mojo Ridin's picture

I'm in the UK at present. I boxed my bike and found the airports way better than expected. The box had a few minor bumps but all was good inside. There are 3 of us and we easily stacked all of our gear onto two trolleys with room to spare. I reckon you should take your own just give yourself plenty of time before check-in in case you need to juggle.

Emirates give you 30kg per person - we managed to get my bike and all our luggage with no extra charge. Also Dubai makes an awesome stopover if you want to break up the journey for your kids.

If you're flying into Heathrow it's worth knowing that they just dump your bike in the centre of the baggage collection hall with no one watching them, so you might want to get there as soon as you can to collect it.

We drove through the Peaks yesterday - no time to ride but it looks amazing. Will defo hit some trails there on our way back through in October after Europe!

philberesford's picture

Cheers for the advice Rob, particularly about the bag dump at LHR. I will be flying through Dubai too. Glad you like the Peaks. I'm not a very sentimental or home sick person but I do miss them from time to time. Can't wait to get back and ride them.

Can def recommend riding around Castleton, Ladybower, Hope and Hathersage.


PS Kudos for checking NoBMoB whilst overseas. Dedication to the cause Laughing out loud

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