im planning my first Olympic distance triathlon in Portugal in April.
I dont own a bike box, so buying one and bringing my bike with me for a 40k race seems extreme.
Anyone been in in this Position? What did you do, what do you recommend?
I did an overseas Olympic this year when I was in the US on Business. I emailed the event organizers and they lent me a TT bike, I met up with them the day before, got the bike setup correctly and fitted my own pedals. It was a flat bike course, but I managed my fastest ever bike leg, even though the bike was a little big. I also came 3rd in my age group, it was the only medal I won last year - so I was really pleased. But be warned, after doing this event on a borrowed TT Bike, I ended up buying a TT bike when I was back home (And I have susequently gone much faster)
If like my own situation, you have entered an Olympic abroad, tacked onto some other reason for being there, then borrowing / hiring a bike is fine and you might get lucky. On the other hand, if your whole reason for travelling is to take part in the Triathlon, then you want to do the best job you can, and that probably means taking your own bike.
You could always try to borrow a box, if you are a member of a tri club, they sometimes have boxes to rent or borrow. Alternatively drop an email on a forum, you never know, someone local could lend you a box.
You could always rent a bike box?
How much is it to rent a bike box typically?
Another consideration is the cost of taking your bike depending on the airlines baggage policy.
I recently raced Xterra in Hawaii I flew with Virgin/Delta it would have cost me $150 each way to take my bike but managed to find a bike rental in Hawaii for 6 days including race day at $280. The hire bike wasnt as good as my race bike but it did make it much easier travelling without a bike.
I also raced in Poland earlier this year, I pre booked a road bike hire to race a road triathlon but the day before I flew out they contacted me telling me the road bike was unavailable, I was travelling with my MTB so ended up racing road tri on that.
So in your case if its cheaper to rent a bike and its likely to be a better bike than the one you own I would go for rental.
Have fun, good luck and happy racing,
Oh wow, I hadn't considered I might be let down by a hire place.