Published by Lyn on 20 January 2019
New Year, new French cycling adventure?
I've had a lot of emails lately from people who are having trouble finding trains that take bikes in France.
I thought I'd post a short blog with some quick tips on finding train-bike tickets. It's short and sweet and there is more comprehensive info in the links at the bottom.
French trains are great and, with a little planning, you'll find that they take you pretty much anywhere and should get you within pedalling distance of the start of your chosen bike route.
However not all trains take fully assembled bikes.
To book bikes on French trains, you need to go via this link > OUI.sncf website.
Some SNCF links on Google since the company's recent rebrand do not carry the bike search links, so it's best to use the link above and then follow the steps below.
To search for lines that take bikes, you need to enter your stations and dates and then click the little pointy arrow in the bottom right corner of the search box >>>
This opens out to a larger screen where you need to click the '+de criteres' link in the bottom right of the next screen >>>
You'll then see prompts for velos - something like this below. CLick 'velo; if you see te first box.
It should take you to the second one where you need to fill the SECOND bullet point, which is for fully assembled bikes >>
The search results will then show trains that takes bikes. If you have no luck, break the journey into smaller chunks using local trains. We have more advice here to save you time on popular routes.
You can also try the Trainline booking service as its results are sometimes more digestible than those on SNCF.