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  1. #1
    Senior Member Soma Roark's Avatar
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    Would like to rent a bike in Geneva

    I have 4 to 5 days for day trips around Geneva and would love to do it on a bike. Anyone know of a moderately priced rental store that fits the bill? I doubt I'll bike more than 40 miles a day and have not determined any destinations. Or would anyone just recommend scrapping the bike altogether and just take public transportation?

    EDIT: The one website I found cost $50 a day... is that the norm? Should I try and buy a beater?
    Last edited by Soma Roark; 06-04-10 at 11:21 PM.

  2. #2
    Gear Combo Guru Chris_W's Avatar
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    Spec' Tarmac (road), Spec' Secteur Disc (commuter & tourer), Salsa Mamasita (MTB), CoMo Speedster (tandem), Surly Big Dummy (cargo), Airnimal (folder), a train pass, and NO car :)
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    Bike Switzerland is probably the site you found that is 50 Swiss Francs per day, which is probably about US$43 per day (including taxes). They rent lightweight hybrids and decent road bikes (all BMC). Active Mates is another company based in Geneva, they have more rugged hybrids (Trek) that you can have for 170 CHF for 4 days (US$147). A cheaper alternative would be to rent from the train station, the train company actually have their own bike rental division, their bikes are 33 CHF per day (US$29), and for a very small extra fee you can return these at many other railway stations, not just the one you picked it up from. However, the train station bikes will be more basic models than the ones listed from the other two companies, and you probably won't get as much personal service as you would from the other companies.

    You may be able to buy a beater bike to use for a few days, but finding one for the right price will be a bit of a hassle, and don't expect it to be very reliable. The Swiss generally don't use eBay, they use Ricardo instead. You could try to find something through that and arrange to meet the seller after you arrive (although some sellers may not want to deal with someone who is not currently in the country).

    Full disclaimer: I am affiliated with both Bike Switzerland and Active Mates, but that just means that I have personal knowledge that their bikes are good quality and their staff are helpful.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Soma Roark's Avatar
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    THANK YOU SO MUCH! That's very informative!

  4. #4
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    Keep in mind that it's not easy to figure out how to ride a bicycle any distance in the region of Geneva without running into significant hills. Which might influence your selection of bicycle.

    If you enjoy climbing up hills (I do, even on a train-station-rental bike), great. Otherwise you might want to look for clever combinations of train-bus with bike, so you can do more of your cycling in the downhill direction. (some of the Post-Bus vehicles in mountain areas of Switzerland have bike racks on the back of the bus There's at least one paper map you can buy which indicates which roads or paths are better for bicycling, and indicates where they have significant hilliness.

    To ride longer distances on mostly flat terrain, could take train-bus to the Rhone valley between Martigny and the east end (opposite from Geneva) of Lac Leman, where the Chateau de Chillon restored castle provides a great non-cycling reason for a visit. (A tourist-visit city closer to Geneva is Lausanne: but other than the waterfront, it's rather hilly.)

    Note that most of the land area surrounding Geneva is in France. One famous tourist place nearby in France is Annecy -- smaller but prettier city than Geneva, at the end of a smaller but prettier lake. There is a gentle/flat bike trail alongside above the southwest side of the lake, with prettier views than most bike trails, which could be ridden out-and-back -- or included in a 25-mile loop on roads around the whole lake (with 2 or 3 significant hills), which I've gladly come back to ride again a couple of times so far.

    Rental -- I've rented bikes from two different shops near the Annecy bike trail, and both also had fancier bikes available - (one time Sharon + I rented a tandem and rode it together around the lake). So another option for a tourist day is to take the train from Geneva to Annecy and rent a bike when you get there.

    Ken
    Last edited by Ken Roberts; 06-06-10 at 04:54 PM.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Soma Roark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Roberts View Post
    Keep in mind that it's not easy to figure out how to ride a bicycle any distance in the region of Geneva without running into significant hills. Which might influence your selection of bicycle.

    If you enjoy climbing up hills (I do, even on a train-station-rental bike), great. Otherwise you might want to look for clever combinations of train-bus with bike, so you can do more of your cycling in the downhill direction. (some of the Post-Bus vehicles in mountain areas of Switzerland have bike racks on the back of the bus There's at least one paper map you can buy which indicates which roads or paths are better for bicycling, and indicates where they have significant hilliness.

    To ride longer distances on mostly flat terrain, could take train-bus to the Rhone valley between Martigny and the east end (opposite from Geneva) of Lac Leman, where the Chateau de Chillon restored castle provides a great non-cycling reason for a visit. (A tourist-visit city closer to Geneva is Lausanne: but other than the waterfront, it's rather hilly.)

    Note that most of the land area surrounding Geneva is in France. One famous tourist place nearby in France is Annecy -- smaller but prettier city than Geneva, at the end of a smaller but prettier lake. There is a gentle/flat bike trail alongside above the southwest side of the lake, with prettier views than most bike trails, which could be ridden out-and-back -- or included in a 25-mile loop on roads around the whole lake (with 2 or 3 significant hills), which I've gladly come back to ride again a couple of times so far.

    Rental -- I've rented bikes from two different shops near the Annecy bike trail, and both also had fancier bikes available - (one time Sharon + I rented a tandem and rode it together around the lake). So another option for a tourist day is to take the train from Geneva to Annecy and rent a bike when you get there.

    Ken
    O good to know! I'm not really a hills person to that's really really good to know =) I'll definitely try the Annecy path, sounds lovely.

  6. #6
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    Hello,
    Hope I'm not too late, but if you're in Geneva, check out Geneveroule.
    They have mtbs and electrically assisted bikes. Prices range from 65 swiss francs to 150 for a week

    And if you're interested i Annecy, I live about 20 km fromt ehre, so if you want any tips, just ask....
    Last edited by ZeFrog; 06-28-10 at 04:19 AM.

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