Taking bikes on the train
You can travel with your bicycle on many European trains, but each rail operator has a different policy. Some accept fully assembled bikes, but many require that you dismantle the bike and store it in a bike bag. A few require bicycle reservations. Some only offer bike reservation in standard class. This article contains all the information you should need to plan a successful trip across Europe with your bike.
IN THIS ARTICLE
Bikes on domestic UK trains
National Rail encourages the integrated use of bicycles and trains, but each rail operator has its own policy regarding bikes, especially during peak times.
You can find out if you can travel with your bike by checking National Rail's train company page. Simply select the train company you will be travelling with and navigate to the "Onboard facilities" menu:
Bikes on the Eurostar
Folding bikes are permitted on any Eurostar train, as long as they’re smaller than 85cm when folded and enclosed in a protective case.
Non-folding bikes & bikes longer than 85cm
These must travel with Eurostar's luggage service, EuroDespatch. This service is available from London, Paris, Lille and Brussels only, and costs £30 for advance bookings and £25 for on the day bookings. You can contact EuroDespatch on +44 (0) 844 822 5822 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You may need to allow extra time when planning your journey to collect items when connecting with onward travel.
Please note that EuroDespatch services are not available between London, Ashford and Lyon. See Eurostar's website for more information.
Bikes on SNCF trains & TGV Lyria
In order to make a bicycle reservation on Loco2, you will need to make sure that your currency is set to Euros. There's a €10 fee for bicycle reservations.
Most TGV (with the exception of the TGV Duplex), TGV Lyria and Regional French trains have a dedicated bicycle storage area for fully assembled bikes in Standard class. You can see which routes have this facility on SNCF's bike storage map. If you don't want to disassemble your bike, you can purchase a compulsory bike reservation with your ticket. But, please note that bike reservations cannot be purchased once a booking is complete. You can add your bike reservation on the ticket details page:
TGV Duplex trains
There are no spaces for fully assembled bikes on the TGV Duplex, so all bikes must be carried in a bike bag. As long as the dimensions of your bike bag do not exceed 120cm x 90cm, SNCF will allow you to take your bike in a zip-up bike bag as hand luggage (free of charge and no booking required). If the train you are booking is a TGV Duplex this will be clearly displayed on the search results and ticket details pages on Loco2.
Bikes on the Thalys
There is no storage space for assembled bikes on Thalys high-speed trains.
Fold-up and dismantled bicycles in bike bags are permitted as hand luggage, free of charge, as long as the dimensions of your bike bag do not exceed 120cm x 90cm.
Bikes on Deutsche Bahn trains (Germany)
On ICE trains
Assembled bicycles are not permitted, but fold-up bikes and dismantled bikes in bags are permitted as part of your luggage allowance.
On Eurocity and Intercity trains
You can take your bike on all Intercity and Eurocity trains within Germany. However, you are required to purchase a bicycle reservation as well as a bicycle ticket. Unfortunately we cannot yet facilitate these bookings, so you will have to make a reservation directly with Deutsche Bahn.
Bikes on Thello trains
Bicycles are only allowed on the Thello if they are dismantled and in a transport case, which must be smaller than 160cm. This case will count as one piece of luggage, with each passenger permitted two pieces of baggage and one piece of hand luggage. Unfortunately the Thello does not have designated bicycle spaces onboard.
Bikes on Trenitalia Trains (Italy)
Regional Trenitalia trains
Assembled bikes can be taken on regional Trenitalia services, but you will require a reservation which we are currently unable to offer. If you wish to take on board an assembled bike, you will have to make your reservation directly with Trenitalia.
Folded bikes are only permitted in Second Class if they are stored in a bike bag.
Domestic Trenitalia trains
You may take your bike on any domestic Trenitalia service if it is folded, stored in a bike bag and will fit in the luggage compartments on board. If there is a lack of space, you can store your bike elsewhere as long as it does not cause a safety issue or annoyance of other passengers.
International Trenitalia trains
Unfortunately we cannot offer reservations for assembled bikes on international Trenitalia trains. If you wish to travel with an assembled bike, you must book directly with Trenitalia.
Bikes on Italo Trains (Italy)
Any bike that can be folded into a bag of dimensions are 120 x 90cm or less can be taken on board Italo trains, free of charge. Italo permits two items of luggage per passenger. A bike bag will count as one of the two permitted items of baggage.
Bikes on Renfe trains (Spain)
AVE, Long Distance and Avant
Fold-up bikes and dismantled bikes in bags are permitted as part of your luggage, free of charge, if they are inside a carrying case with dimensions not exceeding 120 x 90 x 40 cm (length-height-width). They will be treated as regular luggage.
In sleeper seats, beds & bunks:
Bicycle transport is free of charge if you hold tickets for a for a family compartment, with a maximum of two bicycles per compartment.
On conventional Medium Distance, Suburban and Metric Gauge trains
Folding bicycles do not need to be transported inside a carrying case. On Conventional Medium Distance and Metric Gauge (Medium Distance) trains, the cost for transporting a bicycle is €3 for journeys exceeding 100 km. For journeys of less than 100 km on these trains, transport is free of charge.
There is a limit of one bicycle per passenger and only on conventional Medium Distance, Suburban and Metric Gauge trains under the following conditions:
- Without a reserved seat:
There may be a limit of two bicycles per train. For services that do not establish a limit on the number of bicycles per train, the only limitation is that bicycles must not disturb other passengers.
- With a reserved seat:
There is a limit of two bicycles per train. They will only be allowed on trains that have a space or specific area for bicycle transport, and therefore the number of bicycles per train is limited.