Transporting touring bike and gear: Sydney to Melbourne

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Transporting touring bike and gear: Sydney to Melbourne

Postby bagelonabike » Mon Feb 10, 2014 8:57 pm

Hi, just after a little guidance from the touring gurus...

Any good/bad experiences with transporting bikes in Aus? Specifically Sydney to Melbourne. It seems my 2 options are:

Train /11 hrs / bike box needed
Fly /1.5 hrs / bike box also needed

It looks like its probably cheaper and faster to fly, but not sure whether any one airline is better than others for bikes. Of course I'll have not only the bike, but 4 panniers + bar bag + tent bag. Train on the other hand, am less worried about bike damage.

Any sage advice will be appreciated, as always! :mrgreen:

Thanks
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by BNA » Mon Feb 10, 2014 9:09 pm

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Transporting touring bike and gear: Sydney to Melbourne

Postby RonK » Mon Feb 10, 2014 9:09 pm

Melbourne to Sydney - one segment, minimal handling so fly. Doesn't much matter which airline, just buy an extra baggage allowance so there is no hassle trying to put heavy stuff in your cabin bag.
Last edited by RonK on Mon Feb 10, 2014 9:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Transporting touring bike and gear: Sydney to Melbourne

Postby il padrone » Mon Feb 10, 2014 9:20 pm

Fly /1.5 hrs / bike box not needed.

You can transport your bike perfectly well in a simple bike bag like the GE Bodybag. Airlines will rant on about boxes but they do the same about flat tyres too. They are really only seeking the chain to be covered to protect other luggage. A good bag will do this perfectly well - in fact so will a clear plastic bag, and allow the baggage handlers to see and realise that it is a bike, not to have the Morrison's giant luggage-super-trolley stacked on top of it.

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A third option to consider is Greyhound. They do take bikes on the bus (may need to just ring and book) and the handling rquired, and packaging demanded, is even less. My wife and daughter took the train to Sydney (no bikes involved). On the return some issue led to a transfer to coaches. They found the coach much more comfortable and quieter
Last edited by il padrone on Mon Feb 10, 2014 10:35 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Transporting touring bike and gear: Sydney to Melbourne

Postby bagelonabike » Mon Feb 10, 2014 9:33 pm

Thanks guys, lightening response as well!
Will do on both counts. I'd quite like to own a bag if the budget can cover it - will look into that.
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Re: Transporting touring bike and gear: Sydney to Melbourne

Postby Warin » Tue Feb 11, 2014 7:49 am

3rd option
I've sent mine to/from Syd to Hobart .. by courier .. I forget who. Even forget what it was 'boxed in.. could have been cardboard or a cordura (sp?) bike bag.. think in=t was cardboard. I did some cycling .. and some non cycling activities so did not travel with the bike.
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Re: Transporting touring bike and gear: Sydney to Melbourne

Postby Aushiker » Fri Feb 14, 2014 5:38 pm

Image

Flown with a bag, a Scicon AeroComfort Plus Bike Bag and I wrote up my experience here. Also flown with Qantas with my Surly Long Haul Trucker and an Extrawheel trailer and six panniers just using bike boxes. If you don't need the bag again I would just go the box route. Cheap and simple.

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Re: Transporting touring bike and gear: Sydney to Melbourne

Postby tmac100 » Sun Feb 16, 2014 4:29 am

IF the train between SYD and MEL now take bikes in a box, then HOORAY!!

In 2006 after I flew into MEL from Darwin with my touring stuff, VLine or whatever it was called then would NOT take my bike-in-a-box and said to send it by truck.

It cost over $120 AUD (in 2006) and then I had to pay $40 AUD to get the bike from the truck freight depot to central Sydney. Because of that BAD experience, I have a smaller "folding/disassemblable" custom built touring bike with 20" wheels that I will use in Australia this July-August. Much easier to take on a train because of the very small box.
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Re: Transporting touring bike and gear: Sydney to Melbourne

Postby il padrone » Sun Feb 16, 2014 10:36 pm

Since before 1998, the XPT trains from Melbourne to Sydney (and vice versa) have required bikes to be boxed. However the box has to be a specified size, that mostly would require the front wheel to be removed. Maybe your box was simply too big ??

In 1998 I transported my touring bike to Sydney, and returned from Murwillumbah to Sydney then Melbourne. Its front wheel stayed in place (as I told the V-line staff that taking it out to fit in the box would only reduce the bike's length by about 3-4" due to the front low-rider rack). He was frustarated by the silly NSW rule too, kicked the end out of the box and I taped it up with my front wheel poking out about 6-8". On return from Murwilumbah I did the same, despite the disgruntled NSW State Rail station staff telling me "you'll have no insurance cover, it won't fit in our racks".

The bike travelled happily both ways with no damage ensuing :lol:
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Re: Transporting touring bike and gear: Sydney to Melbourne

Postby Slammin Sammy » Mon Mar 31, 2014 2:27 am

I know I'm flogging a dead horse here, but wouldn't it be WONDERFUL if the NSW and VIC railways woke up to the potential extra ridership available if they just let you roll your bike onto the train? I've done it on (some) European trains, and I do it on CityRail in Newcastle and Sydney, fer kreis sake!!

The missus and I are planning a week on the Great Victorian Rail Trail, and I would dearly love to take the train rather than drive. (Especially since NSW TrainLink is offering 2 for 1 fares in April!) But I'm not prepared to take my bike apart to fit in a 120cm box (racks and dynamo light wiring make that a big hassle).

The Victorian RTs are enormously popular, and many would be accessible by train, if it was only more convenient.
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