When going on cycling holidays somewhere in their own country, most people don’t have to think twice about choosing their own bicycle rather than a rented one. However, when travelling abroad you have to consider the pros and cons of taking your bike on a flight or hiring one when you arrive at your destination.
A lot of people might be tempted to take their own bike when going on a cycling holiday abroad. After all, riding your own bike is a lot more comfortable than trying out an unfamiliar one. You know all of its quirks and it has all the right parts in place to make your cycling trip easier. Also, many cyclists are not interested in the technical aspects of maintaining a bike and trying out a new one may not appeal because it may come with a new set of problems which you need to fix yourself when out cycling in a remote area with no other help on hand.
Flying with a bike is certainly possible, although there are several things to consider. When travelling by plane, there is always the possibility that the airline will lose the bike or that it might arrive late, much like any other piece of luggage. If the bike is late, then you’ll still have to make do without it for a day or two at the start of your trip, which means that your cycling holidays may have to be curtailed in terms of the distances you can travel. Bear in mind as well that maintenance of the bike is solely your responsibility and a new part for might be difficult to come by, depending on what country you’re in.
If you are bringing your own bike, you must make sure that it is suitable for long-haul road touring. It will have to have wider tyres, as racing tyres will wear out much too quickly. However, the tyres shouldn’t be so wide as to cause resistance and slow the cyclist down. The frame of the bike will also need to be very rigid and strong and the rear rack will also have to be very sturdy as you will be carrying your baggage with you during the trip. The gears also need to be designed less for speed and more for the terrain you’ll be travelling on. You may not need to go very fast but you will probably have to cycle up quite a few hills.
Hiring a bike, although not the ideal solution, can eliminate a lot of the problems you might have to deal with when travelling with your own bike. Firstly, you can avoid the airline fees, which can add up to a surprising amount. Secondly, if you are not extremely fit then hiring a bike may be your best option, as there is a lot of physical effort required to carry a bike on and off the plane and perhaps on to the train in the town you’re staying in. If you don’t know much about dismantling and putting a bike back together again, then a hired bike may be the answer.
If anything should happen to a hired bike during a cycling trip, you can always contact the company about maintenance or repair issues. The fee for renting the bike will usually include insurance for such occurrences, so you won’t be faced with any hefty unforeseen expenses which could affect your holiday budget.