The question that has filled Cycle Norway’s inbox for years. Traveling with a bike is far from ideal and can be stressful at times. On this page, we’ll try and release some of that stress with our comprehensive overview of bike box travel options when visiting Norway. Please note Information on airlines and airport travel with a bike can be found on the ‘Getting to Norway’ page.
The big question asked is where to store your bike case on arrival in Norway? Unless you plan to use a base you’ll need to find somewhere to store while bikepacking. I would usually advise flying out of the same city you arrived in if traveling with a bike case.
Regional Trains: you can store your bike case where the bicycle and prams usually go (see signs on specific carriage doors). You may get charged a bike ticket from the conductor but they may also just consider it luggage and not charge you. I have not been charged when traveling with my bike case.
Inter-Rail: there will be no room in the carriages for the case. You will need to book a bike spot which will cost extra. Like with your bike, it will be stored in a separate area and you will need to find the conductor on the platform when the train arrives.
Boats: Hurtigruten offers a freight service where your bike box, luggage or even bike can be transported up or down the coast. They have over 30 locations that you can drop or pick up from. I’ve been told their prices are reasonable for the service provided. Unfortunately the site is only in Norwegian but it’s worth contacting them if you plan to fly out of a different city along the west coast.
Buses: The bus websites state bikes can not be considered extra luggage. Therefore, in theory, the same rules apply as we have stated in ‘getting around Norway’. Having said that, I’m confident, if my bike is in a case and there is space the driver would allow it at perhaps an extra cost.
Bikes in boxes or cases can travel on Swedish trains.
“Bicycles are to be disassembled or folded and stored in a bicycle bag before embarking (maximum dimensions 140x85x30 cm, maximum weight 25 kg including both bicycle and bag). The bag must be placed on vacant floor space as instructed by the onboard staff. The bag must not protrude into the aisle or block doors.”
Tip from Eirik: To get around Sweden’s no bike rule you could buy a light weight bag that fits your bike in and is also easy to carry on you when cycling: https://buds-sports.com/en/collections/roadbag/products/housse-velo-de-route-roadbag-light
This for many cyclists is perhaps the easiest and cheapest solution.
Getting an old bike box before you travel shouldn’t be too difficult and if you pack your bike well you should expect no damage while in transit. Once you arrive in Norway you have two options.
Assemble a bike at the airport. Find a quiet corner and build up your bike and bag set up. Don’t forget to bring the tools required! You will need to dispose of the cardboard box. Speak to airport staff and try and find a solution. If no one will help you try and rip your box up into smaller pieces and dispose of it in airport bins if it’s possible.
Assemble your bike at your accommodation: Travel with your bike box on the airport train, bus, or taxi (see getting to Norway). If you take the Express bus (Flybus) it may stop at certain hotels in the city. If you arrive at the main train or bus station you could, if it’s close, unashamedly drag your bike box to your accommodation (I’ve done that before)! The other option is to take a large taxi (see photo). I usually don’t advise taking public transport in the city with a bike box but it’s been done before! You could also assemble your bike at the train or bus station but it’s perhaps better to do it at the airport.
If you want to keep your cardboard bike box for the return journey you could follow one of the options mentioned above but getting a new box for departure should not be difficult with a bit of planning.
Getting hold of a Cardboard Bike Box
Norwegians are passionate about the great outdoors and thus you will find sports/bike shops in most towns and several in the big cities. Some of the sports shops in cities are huge and not something you would expect for a small country of 5.5 million people.
Major Sports Shops in Norway
In the majority of towns and cities you will find these stores have a large bike section and asking for a spare bike box compatible with your bike should not be a problem. But be firm and persistent with any unhelpful shop attendant. Note in some towns like Bodø and Ålesund you will only find the large sports shops in the shopping malls on the outskirts of town. A local bus will take you there and back with you’re newly acquired bike box(s).
If you’re planning on flying out of a small town I would call the local sport/bike shop a few days in advance and check they have a spare box and perhaps they can reserve it for you. Just make sure the box fits your bike. A mountain bike probably won’t fit in a road bike box.
How much is a box?
Usually, you’ll get one for free but I have paid 50kr and 100kr before.
Tape, bubble wrap, packaging, etc
How long will all this take?
Sourcing a box and packaging, getting it back to your accommodation, dissembling your bike, packing, and taping will probably take half a day.
Shops in general will be CLOSED on SUNDAY. If you arrive in Oslo on Saturday evening and plan to fly out Monday morning you will not get a chance to pick up a box and pack in time. You will need to arrive earlier on Saturday and ensure you get to the shops before they close. You might not get a box at the first shop and require to visit other stores. Always give yourself plenty of time to cover unexpected situations.
Getting back to the Airport:
All airport buses and trains will allow bike boxes onboard. Moreover, larger taxis such as minivans will be available in every major town or city.
Remember: Book a taxi in advance especially if traveling early and ask for a set price.
How to pack a cardboard bike box by GCN