AVE train - bicycle reservation

  • 23 December 2023
  • 9 replies


I want to reserve the bicycle place in AVE train for traveling between Barcelona and Madrid on the 26 January. According to Renfe website, this is mandatory: “Keep in mind that you must add the Bicycle Add-on when you buy your AVE and Larga Distancia (long distance high-speed) tickets if the bicycle exceeds the maximum hand luggage dimensions, it is free! “

I already booked my seats from the interrail website, but the option to book the bicycle place was not present.

On renfe website, I did not find a way to only book the bicycle place without buying a ticket...

Anyone know how to book the bicycle space without buying a passenger ticket?

Or do you have experience of taking AVE train without a reservation for bicycle or special luggage? did you managed to get in ?

Thanks in advance :)


Best answer by ralderton 23 December 2023, 17:15

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9 replies

Thanks a lot for your detailed reply! I will also just try and hope that I am as lucky as you :) My exchange time between trains in Madrid-Puearta de Atocha is very short, I hope I will make it in time to the next train...

So I did the journey Barcelona Saints - Madrid-P. de Atocha and then Madrid-P. de Atocha - Malaga without a bicycle reservation at the end of January. No one asked for the reservation. Before entering the train, at the ticket checking, I just presented the QR-code for scanning and the RENFE guy didn’t bother to read what was written on the ticket + he didn’t seems surprised at all with me carrying a huge bag (that was slightly bigger than the max allowed size btw (130x85x40 cm^3) (the allowed size is 120x90x40) as if it was perfectly normal.

In the trains that I took (AVE trains), there was a huge rack next to the restaurant coach (see picture (it’s my bike on the rack)) but I don’t know if it’s the case for all the trains… On the return journey, my seat reservation was too far from this coach so I just left the bike between 2 coachs, next to a wall (making sure that there was enough space for people to pass next to it). The RENFE personnel in the train did not complain about that.

I don’t know if everything when smooth because I was lucky and/or because it was the low season (?) or maybe it’s always like that... :)


Regarding the packing of the bike, I used a bike bag like that (just one layer of nylon (or so) fabric):


And here is a picture of the bike before closing the bag (I also fitted all my cloths and gear in there for 1 week of mountain biking). The bag was very bulky and heavy (almost 30kg) so it was really a pain to carry (especially in Madrid-P. de Atocha because this station is very big and built a bit like an airport (you don’t exit the train at the same place that you get in so you have to do a verrryyy long walk between the trains...) . Next time I will add some small wheels under the bag so I can just make it roll :)


I have the same plans as you. Can you tell me about your experience? Did it work with the bike transport even without the AddOn? And how did you pack your bike? Thanks!

Thanks but I'm too far from Germany. Anyway this is too complicated just for booking a bicycle reservation... this should really be embedded in the interrail seat booking webshop/app. 

I will just go without bike réservation and hope for the best...

Userlevel 7
Badge +5

Yeah they can't, I asked a friend working at DB counters. But all regular Spanish reservations are still working, that's a great feature of DB (when staff is aware of the option ofc).

Since it's an "extra luggage fee" (as only folded bikes are allowed anyway) there shouldn't be any limitation I guess ? aka available at counters there or even on the platform

I don't have any personal experience to share...

Userlevel 7
Badge +9

DB can book Interrail reservations so if you live not far from the border it might be worth a try.

The DB ticket office at Basel Bad. Bf can do that, for example.

But I doubt they can book a bike reservation for Spain.

Userlevel 7
Badge +5

DB can book Interrail reservations so if you live not far from the border it might be worth a try.

Let me ask a friend...

Thanks for the answer!

So I called RENFE, they said they can’t add the reservation for the bicycle because the seat reservation was booked via interrail and so the bicycle should be booked also with interrail (which apparently is not possible or ?) … or at a train station in Spain (very practical from Switzerland...) 🙄

Userlevel 7
Badge +4

Yeah it’s a bit unfortunate when the bike reservation is linked to buying a ticket - and you’re not buying a ticket!

 It might be best to call RENFE on +34 919 19 05 04