Hello everyone! This is my firts post.
I will be traveling to Europe in June from Mexico. Will arrive in Amsterdam and plan to do Amsterdam -> Hannover -> Berlin (I actually have to attend a congress here, hehe) -> Brussels -> Paris.
Now, I can either take my bike with me, or buy one over there. My bike is nothing special but it does the job, it's in good condition, and has okay components; I've cycle-toured with it in the past so I'm confident using it for this purpose.
Most airlines (Iberia, KLM, Delta, etc) will charge me something around $150 USD to let me carry it over there (then the same amount to bring it back!).
Ideally, I'd buy a bike in Europe and then sell it before coming back, however I'm afraid I may end up with something really cheap that will break after riding the first 100 km. On the other hand If I buy an expensive bike, I may not be able to sell it in time. Has anyone done this before?
One thing I can do is take my bike paying the fees, and sell it in Europe... I wouldn't mind buying another bike at home.
So, have you ever traveled to another continent with your bike? Any advice is appreciated :D
We have travelled to Europe 3 times and taken our own bikes each time, and brought them back. With your own bike, you know how reliable it is and it fits you. You also have all the pannier racks fitted and ready to go as soon as you arrive. If you buy your bike in Europe, you will be wasting some days finding a suitable bike and fitting it with racks and other gear such as a cycle computer. It is up to you whether you consider it worth taking back home once you finish. We have taken home our bikes on two occasions when they were worth little in value but they would be costly to buy a new bike back home. Our latest bikes are disc Truckers and worth considerably more than our previous bikes. More incentive to take them back home...
I have travelled several times to the US taking my bike with. the longer the trip, the better because you are used to it. I am from Europe, taking the amount you have to pay about 300us Dollars, you can't buy a decent bike over here with that Money. You think more of spending at leat as a Minimum 600 Dollars or euros. and then selling it you will loose too much Money because you are in a hurry to sell it.
I never experienced any Problems with the bike box, okay, it was a bit tedious getting to the Airport etc. but never ever was anything damaged.
Kind regards. ulla
I don't know if you need to read another comment on taking your bike versus buying another. I agree with the others - take your bike. While I am sure that you COULD find another great bike, why - for $150 - risk a tour of mechanical problems and frustration. On one trip abroad, I sold my bike on Craigslist prior to returning to the US (as was my original plan). If you can do this, it simplifies the last leg of your travels.
Oh, BTW, whatever you do, have a great ride!
Thank you for the advice. I've never been to Europe so this trip is really exciting, even if I don't know what I'll find, but hey, that's part of the thrill.
Anyway, I just found that British Airways charges the least amount for taking my bike (at least from Mexico) so I booked my flight with them.
So, see you in Netherlands/Germany/Belgium/France this June!
You dont need a very special bike for this trip. You can buy a reasonable but cheap bike at Decathlon which is a french chain. Look them up on the internet. I know of someone who has done this and found his bike fine it was about 200 euro a few years ago.
You won't find it hard to buy a decent bike there if you want to go for something better. I had my bike stolen in Paris and had to buy a new one for my trip. I bought a Giant for about 700 euros. Its qutie a nice bike. And of course you can go more fancy too.
That said, normally most people take their own bikes bit its such a scandal that you have to pay a baggage fee for the bike.