I know this question comes up from time to time, but would be interested to hear any recent perspectives on hiring a bike on the spot, vs bringing your own. My gf and I will be going to Europe for a month (from Australia), probably including a 1 week bike trip, probably in southern France or northern Spain. So...do we bring our own bikes, or hire on the spot?
We both have Specialized Tricross Sport that we're pretty comfortable on, with panniers, and fitting frame bag in my case. I don't really mind hiring a mountain bike for a couple of days, but a week of solid riding is enough to make me wary of a crappy mountain bike.
On the other hand, it will be a drag to pay all the extra fees to carry it on airlines (minimum 3 flights each way), plus the bits of the trip that aren't bike related. Quite possibly more than it's worth.
So, specific questions that could help:
- Is there anywhere in the places I mentioned that hires good quality touring bikes?
- Has anyone had success shipping a bike (ie, not as luggage on a plane)?
The trip will be roughly March 20-April 20, and the bike bit will be the last week probably, for weather. Will surely post more questions about route suggestion etc later...