Bike storage on trains is a topic which always gets people talking...probably because it's hard to have a positive experience...
Miller recalled taking "a bike on a GWR train recently, having booked a place, and had the pleasure of using the hook system. One bike took up most of the space, I wouldn't like to be wrestling two in there. I could only just get a 39mm deep rim with 34mm tyre onto the hook, anything deeper would have been impossible."
hawkinspeter summed it up nicely: "It's actually quite impressive that they managed to make bike storage that fits as few bikes as possible."
BalladOfStruth reckons: "getting a bike on a train has been made intentionally dificult."
"I currently commute to work by bike roughly 5 miles into the office. I'm due to move in August to the west coast of Wales, but keeping the same job on a remote contract. For the few days I will be required to be onsite, I was hoping to use the train as there's a 'station' a few miles cycle from where I'm moving to and a station at the end of the street the office is on.
"Because it's such a long train journey, it's quite difficult to miss the commuter trains and I obviously wont be able to get a bike on one of those. The only train I can realistically take is the indirect 10:00am train with four changes which means rolling the dice on being able to squeeze the bike onto five separate trains or ending up stranded 100+ miles from home or work.
"Despite being one of the more anti-car people around, who is willing to go to a fair bit of effort to find an alternative to a car journey, I think I'm going to drive."
AlsoSomniloquism said: "I've mentioned before, Virgin used to allow 'Only two bikes' into the storage area in the front engine compartment and only if booked in advance and have a destination ticket on it. Oh and not on certain 'rush hour' trains. I did use it once and you could have fitted six bikes minimum in the space allowed. However when I did follow all the rules and got back into Birmingham (where luckily the train ended). The 'train manager' decided to leave the train and I couldn't get my bike off as the door could only be opened from within with one of those key things. I said luckily the train ended as the driver (whose end I was at) appeared from his cab to leave and let me out."
Dnnnnnn added: "I've had that 'locked in' experience a few times, fortunately also only at the end of the route.
"On GWR's intercity trains, they only allow four bikes to be booked on, although I've counted 10 (badly designed) spaces on some. You're not meant to bring a bike without a reservation, of course, so there are intentionally six empty spaces and half a dozen disappointed potential passengers."
And it seems your experience of ScotRail might be slightly different to ours (admittedly based on photos and shiny press releases)...
BigSigh said: "I'd echo the advice that people not to turn up expecting all ScotRail trains have these carriages! The 153 (the one with all the bike spaces) only runs on the Glasgow to Oban route, only at certain times and, with the current emergency timetable, even some of those services have been removed for the foreseeable future. That said, the 156's always run on the Oban route (as well as ex.the Fort William and Mallaig route) and each unit (not carriage) has space for six bikes. But even then, remember to book. And take off any frame bags. Pretty much all the other trains are much more limited for bike spaces. I know there's been a lot of fanfare with the introduction on the bike carriages and praise here, but it's by no means the full picture."
mikecassie echoed the sentiment above: "The Inverness to Aberdeen train has only two spaces on the whole train and I couldn't fit my Bokeh with 38mm tyres into the hooks. The other storage method of a big horizontal U doesn't work if you have frame bags. The trains run and what appears to be 50 per cent capacity at most and they could easily give up more space for bikes but they don't. Unless you are running a road bike with narrow bars and 23mm tyres on shallow rims the bike storage hooks are a joke."