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Old 04-17-07, 10:06 AM   #1
PurpleK
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European bike rental help...

Okay...after having always carried my bike from USA to Europe for tours, I've decided to save myself the airport/airline hassle and try a bike rental upon arrival. I'll probably take my own saddle because my butt appreciates spending several hours a day on something it is accustomed to. I figure a 10 day rental at most. Of course, I will want a bike designed for light touring on paved roads. I figure about sixty miles daily max average and NO camping.

I've always equated bike rental with having a one night stand with a stranger......you never know what you're going to end up with. Sooo, never having done this, I have a couple of questions. Is there a group or business that offers a continent wide rental possibility, or do I have to investigate each country individually? I would assume the latter but the former sure would be a blessing.

Though I haven't made my final selection, I'll probably be doing a tour of Denmark. Anyone have any suggestions for Danish bike rentals? Doesn't have to be in Copenhagen, though that is where I'll fly in and probably out. Czech Republic is also a possibility.....Bulgaria...... Heck, ANYthing is a possibility at this point. If you know of a good rental option I'd like to hear it, regardless of the country. I haven't set any dates or anything yet, just curious of the possibilities that a rental may offer for future consideration.

Any help would be appreciated.
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Old 04-17-07, 11:26 AM   #2
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Living here, I have never actually rented a bicycle in Denmark, but a quick web search found the following:

http://www.bikedenmark.com -- offers self-guided tours, don't know about individual bike rentals

http://www.visitdenmark.com/usa/en-u...el/cykling.htm -- has links to bike touring companies in Scandinavia

You can also try the Danish Cycling Federation at www.dcf.dk. I don't see an English version, but their phone number is at the bottom, or contact them from this page: http://www.dcf.dk/composite-57.htm. They will speak excellent English. Just tell them what you want, and see if they have ideas.

What kind of bike are you looking for? Is it just you? Many bike shops will probably rent you a bike, but it will be hard to find anything other than a city-style bike: flat bars, fairly upright (see the pictures on the pages above). A drop-bar tourer is hard to come by. If you tell me what style of bike, what size, and roughly when and how long you want it, I'll make a general inquiry next time I'm in a shop (there are probably 10 within 3km of my house), just to see if they have ideas. If I find something, Odense is an easy 2 hours from the airport in Copenhagen.

I'm not Danish, and have only lived here a year -- a Dane or long-term resident will probably have more ideas.

Keywords to search:

leje = rent
cykel = duh...
ferie = holiday
tur = tour

Let me know how it works out.
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Old 04-17-07, 11:48 AM   #3
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See also:
http://bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=288376
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Old 04-17-07, 12:22 PM   #4
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Old 04-17-07, 12:48 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by gcl8a
What kind of bike are you looking for? Is it just you? Many bike shops will probably rent you a bike, but it will be hard to find anything other than a city-style bike: flat bars, fairly upright (see the pictures on the pages above). A drop-bar tourer is hard to come by. If you tell me what style of bike, what size, and roughly when and how long you want it, I'll make a general inquiry next time I'm in a shop (there are probably 10 within 3km of my house), just to see if they have ideas. If I find something, Odense is an easy 2 hours from the airport in Copenhagen.
Thanks for the info.
I was hoping for a dropped bar tourer. I realize that may be difficult to come by and will consider other options, though a city bike doesn't seem like it would be a good choice for loaded touring, albeit light. I would like a size in the 49 - 52 range. I will need it for 10 days at the most, but not less than 8. At this point I do not know precisely how long nor when I will use it because I haven't gotten that far in my planning yet.....maybe this September, maybe next May...just don't know yet. At this point, I'm more interested in learning what's out there as possibilities so I can weigh the cons/benefits versus taking my own bike again.
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Old 04-17-07, 12:50 PM   #6
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Now this is one with some legs! If I end up going to Germany, definitely will give Becnal a holler.
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Old 04-17-07, 04:29 PM   #7
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Last fall I was in Bonn, Germany for a teaching gig and needed a bike for the month I would be there. Went to the train station where there is a BIG bike storage/rental/repair shop. The going rate for a day's rental was 8 - 10 euros. The models were all city bikes with rear racks on them. When I asked about rental for a month, the manager looked at me strangely and told me I'd be better off buying a bike than renting one for that long.

So I bought a bike on sale for 600 euros & rode it for a month. Then sold it when I had to leave to a friend in Bonn for 300 euros. He got some things changed on it to suit his riding style & has been commuting on it all year. This summer I'll 'rent' my former bike from him for a month again and 'pay' him by doing some repairs, maybe putting on new tires, whatever the bike needs. At first I couldn't believe I actually spent that much money on the bike (a reasonable generic aluminum crossbike) knowing that I was not going to bring it back to the States but the experience was worth it to be able to ride every day and now I've got a bike I can 'borrow' whenever I go.

In my experience nearly every major Dutch & German train station has a bike rental facility but they're not designed for touring needs, rather for one or two days city tours/local commuting.

Haven't been to Denmark so hope this doesn't seem too off-topic.
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Old 04-18-07, 12:31 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by PurpleK
Thanks for the info.
I was hoping for a dropped bar tourer. I realize that may be difficult to come by and will consider other options, though a city bike doesn't seem like it would be a good choice for loaded touring, albeit light.
Yeah, that's the rub. Dropped-bar tourers are hard to find, although the 'day-tourers' are a dime a dozen. Pretty much anything with drop-bars is a 'racercykel', and won't have holes for fenders or a rack.

I spent a few days in France this Spring and had the same trouble. But if Paris is an option, I had great luck with Blue Marble Travel: www.bluemarble.org. They have a solid line-up of honest touring bikes, though individual bike rental might be more difficult in the summer when their bike tours are in full swing. Worth dropping them an email to find out.

Then again, this looks like your size:

http://www.guloggratis.dk/cykler/her...76?bigimages=1

For $250 + a repair (something wrong with the back wheel), less what you can resell it for, it's not a bad option. I'd be willing to handle the transaction, not because I'm a nice guy, but because my brother-in-law will need a bike when he comes to visit -- maybe this will be an excuse to start building the livery up a bit.
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