Saturday, July 23, 2016

Questions to ask a bike hire company

If you are planning to hire a bike or an e-bike for a touring holiday then it is worthwhile checking the following points:
  • Saddle:  
    • Can you take your own saddle with you and fit it before you leave? 
    • Can you leave the hire company's saddle with the hire company?
  • Pedals:
    • If you normally cycle in clip pedals then check whether you can take your own with you and fit them before you leave? This is not as silly as it looks. A friend of ours hired a bike in Ireland some years ago and was surprised to see on arrival that the hire bike had the curved steel rod cranks often fitted to children's bicycles.
  • Bags: 
    • Does your favoured bike have a rack? Try and avoid carrying a heavy rucksack on your back.
    • Will it take your brand of panniers?
    • Do you need a pannier? You can always buy bungees or straps to attach a small bag to the rack.
    • Can you attach a bar bag to the handlebars? This is often not possible with e-bikes.
  • Locks:
    • Does the hire company offer locks free of charge?
    • Are they just the rear wheel frame locks beloved of cycling midwives, as seen on TV?
    • Can you hire a better lock so that you can attach the bike/s to a fixed object?
  • Mudguards/Fenders:
    • It does rain in summer in much of Western Europe in spite of the brightly coloured photographs in the tourist office brochures. I realise that bikes with mudguards/fenders don't look as cool as those without, but muddy legs don't look cool either.. Obviously this does not apply if you are going mountain biking and are used to showering with your bike and your clothes after a day out in the hills.
  • Helmet:
    • Helmet wearing in Europe is not compulsory. In fact in countries with heavy use of bicycles as a means of transport, e.g. Denmark, the Netherlands, it is unusual apart from keenie-beanie road men and women. If you wear a helmet when touring in these countries you run the risk of being thought a German. Some hire companies throw bike helmets in with the deal others charge you a Euro or so a day to hire.
  • Punctures:
    • It is worth enquiring what to do in case of a puncture? Does the hire company supply a tool kit, a pump and a puncture repair outfit? Bigger supermarkets will sell cheap spanners and puncture repair kits.
  • Spare batteries for e-bikes:
    • Hire e-bikes see some kilometres in a season, so it is worthwhile trying to pin the hire bike companies down to find out what the typical range of their batteries is to decide whether to hire a spare battery. A spare battery weighs more than a kilogram.
  • Water Bottle
    • Does the hire bike come with a bottle or a holder? 
    • If it's just a holder would your bottle fit in it? 
    • Does your pannier and/or rackpack take a bottle?

No comments:

Post a Comment

Blog Archive