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If you're going on a bike holiday, the one thing you can't do without is a bike. But that doesn't mean you have to take your own: here are the issues and options...

The bike you ride on your cycling adventures could make the difference between riding purgatory and carefree cruising. But unless you ride from your own front door, there are cost implications, whether you take your own, or find one at your destination...


Bring your own bike?

There's a lot to be said for taking your own bike on a cycling adventure: first, if it's your pride and joy, then a holiday with it is the chance to maximise your investment on the ride of your life.

Secondly, it's the one you're used to, so there won't be any nasty discomfort to ruin your ride.

But what about baggage fees? There's no getting over it - flying with a bike means research, planning, and almost always fees. These vary from Easyjet's £30 per bike per flight, to KLM's 150 Euros (£118) charge.

There are exceptions though, such as US airline United and British Airways, who let you include your bagged bike in your checked bag weight allowance. This limit is usually 23kg, which is just about enough for a bike if you're smart, but then you'll have to take the rest as carry-on, or wear it!

There's also the challenge of packing your bike for transit so it stays in one piece. Bike transport bags cost from about £60 and have to be stored at the other end if you're riding from the airport.


Or take a 'bike-free' cycling holiday...

If your own bike is not up to the journey you're planning - or you simply don't want the hassle of getting it abroad, there are plenty of other options.

For example, tour operator Headwater includes the cost of bike loan in its range of European self-guided hotel-to-hotel road cycling tours, and Alpine Elements offers free three-day hire for a decent hard-tail mountainbike to cruise the trails of Morzine and Les Gets in the Alps.

Or how about the best of both worlds: at the Hotel Lungomare in Cesenatico on northern Italy's Adriatic coast, you can hire a top end road or mountain bike for your stay, such as the Pinarello Dogma F8, or BMC's full carbon Teamelite mountain bike, and then if you like it, buy it.