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Old 02-08-11, 09:22 PM   #1
BarracksSi
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What's the WORST rental bike you've been stuck with?

I hate the one I have to ride now, but I know there will be worse...

It's a Specialized Hardrock hardtail MTB with low-level components. The RD hanger is bent, the rear brake pads scrape like they're made of stone, the headset can't stop creaking, the grips are covered with medical tape, the BB flexes so the chain rubs the FD cage no matter what chainring I'm on...

And this is probably the best, most roadworthy example out of the twenty bikes I saw. When I asked a staffer at the rental shop (not a bike shop; they rent lots of recreational stuff), "Does anyone take care of these things?" she just said, "Yup."

How about yours?
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Old 02-08-11, 10:59 PM   #2
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I have never rented a bike. I saw some in Madison Wi that didn't look too bad but I wasn't there long enough to rent one.
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Old 02-08-11, 11:02 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by BarracksSi View Post
I hate the one I have to ride now, but I know there will be worse...

It's a Specialized Hardrock hardtail MTB with low-level components. The RD hanger is bent, the rear brake pads scrape like they're made of stone, the headset can't stop creaking, the grips are covered with medical tape, the BB flexes so the chain rubs the FD cage no matter what chainring I'm on...

And this is probably the best, most roadworthy example out of the twenty bikes I saw. When I asked a staffer at the rental shop (not a bike shop; they rent lots of recreational stuff), "Does anyone take care of these things?" she just said, "Yup."

How about yours?
You didn't happen to rent it from a place in San Francisco?
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Old 02-09-11, 12:02 AM   #4
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You didn't happen to rent it from a place in San Francisco?
Heh... Nope; Yuma, AZ, at the Marine airbase. These poor bikes get fairly abused and then are stored on hangers outdoors. I'm not sure that they're even protected from the rain they get every once in a while.
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Old 02-09-11, 12:10 AM   #5
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I'm familiar with that model bike Specialized HardRock. It could be the flex on the bottom bracket, but that model has the worse chainline that I have ever seen on a production bike. I see dropped chains all the time even though the front derailleur is set up properly.

Rental bikes do get really beat up. I think a lot of shops sell them within 6 months of use because of this. I bet you got yours at the end of this rotational cycle.
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Old 02-09-11, 01:20 AM   #6
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Even worse -- I remember when these models showed up at least 3-4 years ago.

The last time I had one, I set up the FD so it would only use the two big chainrings. I had no need for the granny ring anyway. I'm thinking of trying to fix this one up, too, but I wish I had shipped one of my bikes out here instead; I might return this POS.
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Old 02-09-11, 05:39 AM   #7
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Ive ridden Raleigh Pioneer (hybrid) and Trek 820 rigid MTB. Both were entry-level but ridable and I had a blast with bothe of them.
In Portugal I rode a free-bike
http://www.visitcentro.com/en/destin...-bikes-aveiro/
Very heavy singlespeed with MTB baloon tyres but it was
1. A bike
and
2. Free
so who's complaining.
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Old 02-09-11, 06:15 AM   #8
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When I was in France, I went to a bike rental place. They only had one bike, and the tires were worn through, through the black rubber and patches of gum rubber were showing.

I said this won't do.

The manager asks "How far do you plan to ride today?"

I said "When I was in Spain, I rode 126 miles in one day"

The Manager of the shop suddenly said "We are closing now, we're taking a siesta.

So that was it, I never had a chance to ride a bike in France. I always thought it was Spain where they took siestas.
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Old 02-09-11, 07:06 AM   #9
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My main utility bike is a 20+ year old hard-tailed Specialized Hard Rock. It's a sweet dependable bike. Sounds like the one the OP saw has been severely flogged.
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Old 02-10-11, 10:37 AM   #10
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The worst rental bikes I've ever seen were at a Cuban resort two years ago. The resort was very nice, and most of the ammenities were excellent, but the bikes were absolute garbage.
I had sort of hoped to rent one and tool around a bit, but it didn't take much of an inspection to see that was not a good idea.
They were all cheapo Xmart style MTBs with the derailleurs removed and the chains, mostly rusted solid anyway, hanging loosely on the cogs. I guess they were sort of rideable, as I saw people out and around on them, but I can't imagine they were having a good time.
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Old 02-10-11, 12:52 PM   #11
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I also noticed yesterday that the rear tire has a hole in the sidewall about the size of my thumbnail. Yup, the tube is poking out.
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Old 02-13-11, 12:00 PM   #12
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Yesterday, after sitting parked on the sunny side of the building, the tube finally popped, spraying some dried sealant onto a friend's bike (also a rental). I may not have time to do anything about it until Tuesday. I really don't care. I can walk.
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Old 02-13-11, 10:09 PM   #13
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I once took a "free rental" bike out from a resort in Duluth. They asked if I wanted one with gears but I had already noticed they were department store Bike Shaped Objects (BSO's) so I elected for a single speed. Thought I was smart in not worrying about lack of maintenance until the chain dropped on a downhill. That single speed became a liability as i couldn't back peddle so I had NO brakes!
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Old 02-15-11, 10:21 PM   #14
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I rented one in Greece that was pretty bad. The surface of the cables were over 50% rust. I discovered on a climb that it had 2 functional gears and trying to use any more would cause the rear derailleur to drop the chain into the spokes. When I returned it, I found out that the front disk brake was poorly adjusted and had been rubbing for 30 miles.

Still, it was the first time I had been on a bike in over three weeks, and I had a blast.
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Old 02-15-11, 10:25 PM   #15
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Today, a coworker's bike got a flat front tire. I had been getting annoyed at mine (and felt kinda lazy about taking it back today), so he swapped wheels and walked his bike -- with both tires flat -- the five minutes' walk back to the rental shop.
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Old 02-15-11, 11:28 PM   #16
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I was in Isla Mujeres, MEX a couple of years ago...the resort offered a bike tour, so my friends and I signed up. Basically, we were given mountain bikes of undeterminable brand or vintage. The only thing I remember is that the primary material of construction appeared to be rust. Also, prior to the ride, each bike got a "tune up" which consisted of a liberal soaking with WD-40. We squeaked the entire trip...
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Old 02-16-11, 12:20 PM   #17
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There's a place here in Louisville that rents cruiser bikes and four-wheel contraptions for tooling along the riverfront. I was on a bike ride with my daughter, and we noticed they had a tandem. We locked our bikes up, and I rented the tandem. It was a single-speed, coaster-brake, cruiser-style. It had no front brake, and the wheels were out of true. It was fun anyway.
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Old 02-16-11, 09:38 PM   #18
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Crank Broke at Everglades National Park

My fiance and I rented bikes for a loop at Everglades NP in FL. They were old, single speed, bikes with coaster brakes. But, generally sufficient. However, I was pedalling pretty hard and the crank on the left side just sheared in half, taking the pedal with it. I almost careened into the swamp but managed not too. I got to go another 1+ miles on this bike. That was my worst bike...and that includes a bike I rented in rural Laos...
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Old 02-18-11, 04:53 PM   #19
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The folks from my old place of work (a large bike shop) went to Cuba for a vacation and a bunch went out to rent bikes and explore the area away from the resort... everyone got bikes that were heavy clunkers with coaster brakes... well - everyone except the boss had coaster brakes - the boss had to drag his feet to stop his bike
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