Bikes on TGV France

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  • I know the deal on eurostar - either bag it or pay £20 each way to put it in the luggage carriage - but what about the TGV?

    Seems to be lots of conflicting information about what you can take, on which services, and whether you need a ticket for it.

    Anyone been on the TGV recently that can clear this up.

  • I travelled back from Valence with mine yesterday. As long as it's bagged no-one mentions it. There is a lot of luggage storage space on a TGV so it's usually easy to find a space you can fit a bagged bike in. I couldn't yesterday so stood it in front of a rack, slightly blocking the aisle. I thought I might get asked to move it but the train manager just shrugged in a very Gallic manner when I asked if it was in the way.

  • Do you know what facility there is if the bike is not bagged and not dis-assembled in any way?

  • Some TGVs have a separate bike storage area, which you need to book in advance. It's next to impossible to get a bike onto a TGV unbagged and personally I wouldn't attempt it as the SNCF seem to employ a lot of station staff.

  • I travelled from Glasgow to Avignon and back at the weekend and here are my findings:

    Eurostar luggage racks really aren't large enough for most bikes in bike bags. There are however two large luggage compartments at carriages 9 and 10. Storing bikes here, in bags, is free. There are hooks from the ceiling which I assume are for bikes which have been paid on and aren't in cases.

    TGV racks on the lower level of duplex carriages are tiny but on the upper level of duplex carriages there are many very large racks which can each hold one bike bag safely. Yesterday I was told to take my bike bag off another bike bag and lean it against the rack by one of the guards.

    If you're bike isn't bagged on the TGV you could remove the front wheel and put a cover over it and place it on the luggage racks. Just make sure that you sit close enough that you can stop people from putting their luggage on top of it. I didn't see any bikes over the weekend which weren't in bike bags so it might be worth checking whether or not un-bagged bikes are allowed on the TGV.

  • OK - thanks for sharing your findings. Although I have a large padded bag it's gonna be difficult to take with me as I need to cycle to and from the TGV. Might invest in cheap lightweight cover (Argos £15!) and partly dissassemble the bike and use the cover as a bag which should then fold up and go in the rucksack. Don't really want the hassle of trying to buy a ticket for it and it not being nearby! Thanks again

  • I've used a bag similar to this before;

    http://www.sjscycles.co.uk/product-SJSC-­Ultralite-Nylon-210D-Bike-Carrying-Bag-U­npadded--Black-11445.htm

    It'll fold down to a small enough size that you can carry it with you, I used to attach it via a bungy cord to the top of my rear rack.

  • Also came back yesterday. Its 10 euros and you get it when you buy the ticket. There are bike hooks in one of the compartments. Not sure if all of the TGV's have this option but from Bordueax to Lille the definately do. Have fun..

  • Eurostar luggage racks really aren't large enough for most bikes in bike bags. There are however two large luggage compartments at carriages 9 and 10. Storing bikes here, in bags, is free. There are hooks from the ceiling which I assume are for bikes which have been paid on and aren't in cases.

    Really? I can get my bike bag, which is massive, on a rack on a Eurostar. Get on early and put it on the top rack and it's all good.

    Yesterday was comical, there must've been 30-40 people with bike bags boarding the Eurostar in Lille that I caught. The staff were running around in circles trying to keep doors and aisles clear. A top tip if this happens to you - stick your bag in the bar.

  • A top tip if this happens to you - stick yourself in the bar.

    Good idea.

  • Yesterday was comical, there must've been 30-40 people with bike bags boarding the Eurostar in Lille that I caught. The staff were running around in circles trying to keep doors and aisles clear. A top tip if this happens to you - stick your bag in the bar.

    Yep. There were a few bikes in the bar on Saturday on the way down. None yesterday for me though.

  • everything worked out fine - I made a 'bag' from a lightweight cycle cover from Halfords i.e. cut it down to size, gaffer taped the edges and put on a strip of velcro at the top. Dismantled bike and strapped wheels, bars and saddle/seatpost to the frame and then attached a luggage strap to the headtube and rear brake bridge. All folded down to a small pack in the rucksack! Had a great few days in France ....


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  • everything worked out fine - I made a 'bag' from a lightweight cycle cover from Halfords i.e. cut it down to size, gaffer taped the edges and put on a strip of velcro at the top. Dismantled bike and strapped wheels, bars and saddle/seatpost to the frame and then attached a luggage strap to the headtube and rear brake bridge. All folded down to a small pack in the rucksack! Had a great few days in France ....

    Would you be able to estimate how big/heavy your cover ended up? I've just noticed this

    "Because space is limited, bicycles are allowed on board only if they can be folded and placed in a cover.."

    I'm hoping that doesn't mean I have to buy a brompton.

  • You'll probably find this in the polo thread, where we've all been using them, but for cheap/light bike bags, you cant beat laundry bags.

    Ideally this kind:

    http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/new­s/article1506697.ece (sorry about the Sun link. Damn Google images..)

    While there's no padding, which would suck for flying, theyre definitely no worse than the ultralight bag posted above.

    Theyre also light, come in sizes big enough to hold a frame and wheels, and look nothing like bike bags, which is ideal for those awkward "no bikes allowed" bus/train journeys. And theyre only £2.50...

  • I would estimate my solution (including the luggage strap) to weigh in at less than 500g. It folded down to about the size of a lightweight waterproof jacket and fitted in my rucksack front pocket! It also ended up around 1.2m x 0.9m which is the TGV size limit.

    Basically, it's just a lightweight cover - the bike & bits are tied together and the luggage strap attached to the frame.

  • You'll probably find this in the polo thread, where we've all been using them, but for cheap/light bike bags, you cant beat laundry bags.

    Ideally this kind:

    http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/new­s/article1506697.ece (sorry about the Sun link. Damn Google images..)

    While there's no padding, which would suck for flying, theyre definitely no worse than the ultralight bag posted above.

    Theyre also light, come in sizes big enough to hold a frame and wheels, and look nothing like bike bags, which is ideal for those awkward "no bikes allowed" bus/train journeys. And theyre only £2.50...

    I will definitely look into this! Thanks for the info.

  • Where do these laundry bags come from? I'm off to France for the Raid Pyrenean in a few weeks and need something as light as possible to post from the start town to the end town. I have a soft bag but it's much more bulky than a laundry bag.

  • Has anyone got any experience of taking a bikebox on the TGV?

    I've taken a bike in a Bag on before without a problem, but the bikebox will obviously takeup more room - are the guards more officious?

    Also i'm traveling 1st class - not sure if that will make taking a bike in the carriage easier (because theres more room) or harder (because the guards will be stricter)

    If its going to be a problem, I could always use the bag again.. but id rather have the security of the box.

  • As you know, there's plenty of space for bags. They apparently have a luggage storage space but with the closeness of our departure last year we ended up just jumping on the train and finding somewhere to put our bikes. The trains don't really stop for long enough for you to find this elusive storage compartment. Apparently it's just like the one on the Eurostar (where you pretty much need to put any bike bag/box because there's no good luggage space).

  • I was with friends two years ago and we took three bike boxes from London to Nice. We didn't have any trouble at all. On the TGV, it was just a bit of a jumble of bags and cases etc. We put the boxes out of the way as far as possible, but when the train stopped each time, two of us got up to step off the train with the boxes. This meant people with smaller bags could get on and off easily. When everyone was on, the boxes could go back in the way. It sounds a bit of a faff, but from memory, after leaving Paris, we only stopped three or four times and they were all well south - Aix en Provence, St Raphael etc. So not really to much hassle. It is also worth remembering that if you are travelling in the next couple of months, everyone is on holiday, so the train will be busy - be assertive about your seat reservation (not that the plebs are allowed in first class to get in the way).
    Hope this is helpful.

  • sounds promising..

    when I used a bag, I was actually able to fit it in the luggage rack at the end of carriage.. which was fine until some tête de noeud frenchman came along and tried to dump his 20kg samonite suitcase ontop of it.

  • I'm booked on the TGV back from Bordeaux to Paris in August and when i booked it, i requested bike space. They will take it from me and hang it up in a specific bike carriage. The service t'was free...

  • eurostar and tgv fine for me, london to geneva in 08

  • let you know how I get on

    I know there is a luggage carriage on the TVG... but thought you had to had to pay to book a space and even just to use if there happens to be space available.

    Having your bike in sight at all times is always more reassuring eitherway tho.

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Bikes on TGV France

Posted by Avatar for mowwog @mowwog

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