Ignore what I wrote below. Instead do a web search on "Bedoin bike rental".
Generally in Europe it is not
easy to rent a nice road bike. European riders who are serious about road-bicycling already have their own road bikes, and bring them along on vacation trips. (European roads in summertime are full of cars and vans with bicycles attached to them.
Less serious riders are generally happy with mountain bikes and city bikes -- so that's what's available for rent in most places.
The best bet in France I know of for renting a good road bike is around Grenoble and Bourg d'Oisans (near Alpe d'Huez, home of the over-hyped road climb).
For bicycling vacations, I always bring my own road-bike (Bike Friday specially designed for bringing as airline luggage). Sometimes I like to do some road-bicycling on non-bicycling vacations, so I've rented bikes . . .
I've have good experiences:
* riding rolling farmland in France on a rental city bike (heavy, with well-padded seats, heavy, single range of 7 gears, heavy) -- the first 20 minutes are horrible, but then my body and my mental expectations adjust, and the scenery is so great, and four hours later I've had a great ride.
* doing serious road climbs on a rental mountain bike. Lotsa people climb Mont Ventoux on a mountain bike -- their own, not rental. If you can make it to the top on road bike, you can probably also make it up on a mountain bike -- just not as fast.
What I usually do when I rent in Europe is bring my own pedals
and shoes -- and my own pedal wrench.
I also bring my own repair tools. Assume that any repair kit you get with a rental bike has missing or broken tools. When I'm serious, I bring (or purchase) my own Presta valve tube (of size compatible with the city versus mountain bike I'm guessing I'll rent) which I know will be compatible with my little pump.
You could also bring your own seat. But I've done fine with rental seats: sometimes after adjusting the tilt (with the wrenches that I brought myself
There's also a question of how you're going to get your bike
to the start of each ride. Are you bringing you own car rack (I do)? Or are you renting a car big enough to put the bike inside? Do you non-bicycling travel partners know that they are going to be riding in the car together with your bike? Are you sure that the rental car is going to have the car you hoped for available
when you arrive?
(Doesn't hurt to bring a waterproof plastic tarp in case you need to store it outside some nights because your travel partners will not permit it inside your hotel room, or perhaps to protect the interior of your rental car).
Or is it agreed that both the bike rental and lodging for several days is going to close enough to Mont Ventoux so you can ride there without a car on whichever day has good enough weather to be worth trying to climb it. (you know what the word "ventoux" means in French?)
Bringing your own bike? (see today's article on NYTimes.com about that topic). I've never brought my own full-size non-folding bike on an airplane. You do need a plan for what to do with the box. I've traveled with friends who brought their own full-size bike in a nice box. Fortunately I had rented a car big enough to fit the box.
My assessment: It would be asking a lot of non-bicycling travel partners to put up with the hassle of the big bike box.
(There are other approaches which do not involve carrying a box around)