Bikes on trains in the UK

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  • I'm having a good think about the rinko approach for my bike.

    Not just for train journeys, but so I can take it into shops instead of chaining it up outside. If it was stolen it would be harakiri time. Everyone says 'I-never-let-my-bike-out-of-my-sight', but this rather limits it as a conveyance. I don't want the thieves to stop me enjoying my lovely bike.

    The main thing is the time it takes for disassembly and reassembly. Rinko devotees talk about 20 minutes. Maybe I could reduce that with special fittings or something? If the bike has no mudguards and racks it's much easier. And mine is Etap 11, so no gear cables.

    So the things which need to be perfected are:

    • unhooking brake cables
    • handlebar removal
    • fork removal
    • seatpost removal

    All needs to be done without any scratches, as this is my perfect ultimate superbike. Also no oil from the chain on everything. And without the setup and adjustment of brakes and seatpost needing to be done again at reassembly time. And hardly any crap to ride with, e..g. the bag, tools and scratch protection.

    More on rinko:­rts-useful-not-only-for-train-travel/­/31/the-secrets-of-a-rinko-bike-how-to-g­et-a-near-perfect-steed-for-train-travel­/­ts/110562254/rinko.pdf?version=1&modific­ationDate=1486045861527&api=v2­ments/rinko-packing-a-bike-for-travel-pd­f.407887/

  • i could sell you a fairmean bag

  • That looks perfect for the weight weenie in me. Have you had much success with it?

  • oh yes, its just that now I am a dad plus pandemic so I have no idea when I will be able to use it

    had success everywhere but eurostar

    was great on french trains

  • I’ve only done rinko with a full touring bike with rack and mudguards (as hand luggage on ICE and Eurostar) and four Bowden cables, but this sounds rather ambitious.

    I can’t imagine packing up a bike in a hurry without scratching it. The hardest part of rinkoing a bike is lining up all the bits in the sandwich.

    You’ll also need space and quiet time to disassemble the bike and not lose track of the bits. Not easy in a station and I can’t imagine doing it outside a shop anywhere busy.

  • Also the ICE conductor had a go at me about my “bike”, even though I was like one of three people in the carriage, and I can imagine UK train guards being similarly nonplussed about you trying to beat the system.

  • just get a cafe lock, the hiplock one is great
    and a ground effect tardis for actually travelling with your bike, if asked say it's "mobility equipment"
    job done

  • Perhaps full rinko would be unnecessary to go in a shop? If the front wheel and seatpost were removed and the bike was bagged perhaps it could be worn as a sort of long backpack, without protruding beyond one's elbows?

  • Not just for train journeys, but so I can take it into shops

    The time and hassle of dismantling a rinko bike makes it an unlikely solution for shopping, but the more compact setups look great for travel on public transport.

  • Great Western Railways - them of the useless bike hanging cupboards.

    I'm trying to book a train out to Winchester for a SDW end-to-end-in-a-day ride. There are definitely two of us, and potentially two more.

    Frustratingly all two of the bike spaces on the GWR trains out to Winchester are reserved on all of the trains I've tried. Gone through all of the morning options to no avail. Likewise reversing the journey (i.e. to ride Eastbourne - Winchester and then train back to Ldn in the eve) bears no fruit.

    Question: how lenient are the GWR staff when it comes to simply bringing your bike onto the train without a reservation? Will cross post into the "bikes on trains" thread

  • GWR don't run any trains to Winchester from London. South West Railways do and those trains are no reservation needed.

  • Oh dear. I am now rechecking the work emails I sent this morning for similar glaring errors.

    Thank you

  • Havent posted on here in ages. Ive been walking to work mostly but recently decided to change jobs and thought id try getting the train to the local station and cycling the 6 or so miles in every day. It works out at a similar cost as the tank of petrol i'd use and I'd hopefully lose a bit of weight. Not to mention its supposed to be good for the environment not driving.
    But in the name of all that is holy, booking a normal sized bike on a train is a pain in the bum.
    I can reserve a slot from durham to newcastle. But then i change trains and the onward doesnt reserve, instead i have to ask station staff. This is utterly useless. What am i meant to do if they say no? Lock up the bike and then walk 6 miles to work from the second station. Im going to work and cant roll that dice.
    Honestly this train infrastructure is useless with regards to bikes.

    I also massively appreciated the "well a brompton can just be taken on", thats nice call center bod. I'll just pull 1k out my bum and have the bike delivered.

  • How about partial Rinko?

  • instead i have to ask station staff

    There's nowhere in the UK with this policy. Either they're allowed or they aren't. You may not be allowed on if the train is already chokka, but that's a different thing.

    (and in that case it'd be up to the train guard, not the station staff)

  • this train infrastructure is useless with regards to bikes

    It's almost as if no-one in power gives a flying fuck about reducing our slavish worship of the motor car. See also the cost of flying the length of the country vs. taking the train. Absolutely insane.

  • On South West Trains services I never book, or ask anyone, but I avoid rush hour. The guards don't seem to care whether I put the bike in the space provided next to the toilet, or I leave it by the doors. I sit nearby so I can move it to the other side of the carriage at the stations.

  • I meant the station staff for the specific operator. In this case Northern. Who won't reserve a slot and only allow 2 bikes on so if I'm not lucky I'm screwed.

  • Sorry, I meant the station staff for the specific operator. In this case Northern. Who won't reserve a slot and only allow 2 bikes on so if I'm not lucky I'm screwed.

  • Which service, I use Northern on my commute and they let loads of bikes on.

  • There are two variations right? A booked space usually in the engine/goods compartment or the hanging rack thing they used to do. Or the crappy variation of piling bikes up next to the toilet block. The last one isn't a reservation system and you can end up just blocking the carriage by being forced to stand with your bike near the doors, or getting into an altercation with innocent pushchair or wheelchair users understandably expecting to have somewhere to exist on the shitty UK train network that doesn't smell like a toilet. 👍

  • Newsflash: Avanti West Coast were great on our trip up to Glasgow. Every other train operator in this shithole country could learn a thing or two. I seriously thought I was in Germany or Netherlands or something - they were helpful, the bikes carriage was marked, they went on, they came off no problem. Like, actually pleasant UK train + bike travel. I was amazed.

  • just a shame the journey ended in Glasgow eh

    Avanti are good though, but that's probably because they are a continental company who regard this stuff as standard, even with rolling stock that they inherited.

    The class 800's on ECML & GWR are poorly designed for not just bike storage, but also larger items of luggage.

    Its an old drum I bang but with the HST's and Class 91's gone we will struggle for the next 30yrs in terms of bikes on mainline trains.

    Local trains as documented above will be ok and get better and better, but then they brings up the question of wider station cycling infrastructure & accessibility which, er, generally needs some work...

    If under GBR there is, lets say, a 'focus on operational infrastructure' then we may find that some stations are not in public ownership in 3-5yrs, which could be fun for cycling facility provisons

  • Haha the only shame was on the way back Scotland were playing in some shitball match. That cost us an hour as they fucked the trains up. We didn't really spend much time in Glasgow itself - 2 hotels, 2 brewdogs and an Indian restaurant was about all we visited. But it's a gateway north so I'll take it.

    GWR and its shitty 6-bikes in vertical storage bullshit can get fucked. I almost didn't get on the last time I tried to use that stupid service and then it was delayed an hour for cops to calm down some football fans in one of the carriages (they were students and actually seemed cool but someone wasn't enjoying the shenanigans so must've called the cops)

  • Yes, I had a good trip with them recently too. As long as they are all ready to take your bike (spaces reserved, train manager informed) then it is pretty smooth.

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Bikes on trains in the UK

Posted by Avatar for BikerDude24 @BikerDude24