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Bikes on trains in western Europe

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WS Member ユーザー WS Member の写真
Bikes on trains in western Europe

Hello there, I'm flying into Paris in early August to start a month long cycle tour and have been overwhelmed with all the different information and lack thereof concerning traveling with your bike. At first I thought this would be fairly easy but it seems most trains require you to break down your bike, and a nice looking bus service, Flix, accepts bikes but it looks like you have to book WAY FAR in advance to secure a spot. Since I don't know exactly how far I will go in a day I can't realistically do that, although I would be happy to wait a few days for a bus with space.

I haven't included any route information here because whether or not I can take my bike on transport will help determine. I have been thinking I will go north to the Netherlands because I would not need to use any transport. But if I knew I had the option of hopping on a train to increase my distance ability I may, instead, head south and then east to Italy.

Do folks have any thoughts on this?

WS Member ユーザー WS Member の写真
Generally, in regional trains

Generally, in regional trains you don't need any reservation if you carry your bike. Just buy ticket for you and sometimes (it may depends on distance) you will have to pay some small fee for your bike. Also you can find information that in some train the space reserved for bikes is limited (for example: max 3 per train) but I think it is always enough; or you can take next train in case of this kind of problem but it shouldn't occur.

In case of long-distance trains (TGV etc.) I think it will be too expensive and you will look for some bus. Moreover, in long-distance trains they may ask you to partially disassemble your bike and also meet some requirements about its size, while in regional trains it doesn't happens.

However, regional trains usually are more expensive (in terms of €/km) than long-distance trains, specially in France.

WS Member ユーザー WS Member の写真
The planner of the German

The planner of the German railways on, under "Advanced options" or something like that, allows you to tick box to make it offer only connections with places for bikes. On the connections it offers with that box ticked, no disassembly is required. It also has a tickbox for "Only regional trains" - if you select that, you will usually get connections where you don't have to reserve anything in advance.

The problem is that you can't book international bike tickets online on that site. You need to go to an "official DB agent". are a Dutch company that can probably do this for you, I don't know if their website is multilingual but they surely speak English on the phone.

WS Member ユーザー WS Member の写真
Thanks for your help so far.

Thanks for your help so far. It sounds like maybe I could do regional trains and take small stops along the way even if I needed to go from one country to another?

Sounds like that might not be the cheapest or most efficient but it could work for me as I wouldn't mind exploring places along the way anyhow.

WS Member ユーザー WS Member の写真
I recommend you to go to

I recommend you to go to northern Italy. Regional trains there are cheaper than in France and, in my opinion, the railways net is big enough.
I wouldn't go to south Italy... in August it may be hard+their way of driving...
Now: how to go to Italy from Paris? Flix bus, which you already now; also some night train or "slow" (not TGV but also check price and possibility of carrying bike+requirements) day train... Think about blablacar with van.

Unregistered ユーザー anon_user の写真
"Europe" is not a country

As you will discover, "Europe" is not a country. Ask a more specific question.

WS Member ユーザー WS Member の写真
Pieter -

Pieter -

I am well aware that train service may vary greatly from country to country. Hence, my question. The lack of specificity is because I am deciding where makes the most sense to go and because I will be going across multiple countries which I tried to make clear in my original post which spelled out some options with specific routes and countries I am considering...

Unregistered ユーザー anon_user の写真
in france

take train with bike is rather complicated

there are

* very rapid train TGV
some have bike space ( very fews / train) you have to pay for your bike when you buy your ticket
most have not you have to desassemble your bike put it in a bag 120 cm x 90 cm that is quite small !!! ( good news no bike fees )

* rapid train call intercites
most have bike space ( limited / train) you have to pay but no need to desassemble
if you desassemble you don t have to pay

* local train call TER
most have bike place no desassemble and it is free

to know witch train take look on deutsch bahn website

to buy ticket go to
if you don t see bike option it is maybe there is no more space available

taking train is also is real effort the station is not bike friendly : staires , you known just a few minute before witch platform , lot of delay ( dont imagine take connecting train with short connexion)

so in my opinion the less train you take the best it is ,,,

WS Member ユーザー WS Member の写真
In Germany...

reginal trains in Germany allow bike-transport; most areas do not charge for the bike, but even if so, it is a cheap fee.
fast regional trains are calle RE (regionalexpress) or IR (Interregio). The slower ones are RB (Regionalbahn).
There are well-priced options here:
"quer durchs land ticket": works on a workday until 3:00 next day and you can use as many regional trains as you like for less than 50,- we went from Lübeck to Bad Kreuznach this way and also from Passau to Bad Kreuznach

on weekends, there is the" schönes-Wochenende ticket" with similar range, only that it lasts Sat & Sun, also for less then 50,-

The beauty of both is that any additional person (can take up to 5) is even cheaper to add!

Both can be bought at vending machines and at a DB-counter (more expensive there)
Have a great time!

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