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Renting a bike for a century?

Old 06-11-16, 04:50 PM
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cormacf
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Renting a bike for a century?

I'm doing a century in Oregon this September. I was planning on being a local by that point and riding my current (steel / 105) road bike. Looks like I won't be moving up there until a bit later, so I can either pack and ship my bike two ways or, for a bit less, rent a carbon / 105 like a Jamis Endura. I kind of like the simplicity of getting off a plane, picking up a bike, and dropping it off a couple days later, care-free. I just wonder if that's setting myself up for any problems. I'm assuming any fit issues can be taken care of at the shop, and I figure I'll bring my saddle to keep the feel pretty close.

Oh. This is my first century, if that matters. Still pretty new to road biking. Up to 50-60 mile long rides at the moment.

Thanks!
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Old 06-11-16, 05:43 PM
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I've done this in the past with no problems. A lot of shops rent good quality bikes for moderate prices. I do use an average length stem and know enough about my fit preferences to adjust the saddle height, tilt, and fore-aft position by myself (usually trial and error with a hex wrench on the road). You should expect to pay the shop if you want them to really dial in your fit for you, and maybe make an appointment for this service well in advance to make sure their fitting expert is available that day.
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Old 06-11-16, 05:59 PM
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Thanks. The Jamis geometry is tough to compare to the Rivendell, since it has a sloping TT, but from what I can tell, it's a little racier, but not too much so. It still seems pretty flexible and endurance-oriented. But bringing my Cambium saddle and pedals with which I'm familiar make sense, right? Or is that overthinking it?

since it
Originally Posted by johnny99 View Post
I've done this in the past with no problems. A lot of shops rent good quality bikes for moderate prices. I do use an average length stem and know enough about my fit preferences to adjust the saddle height, tilt, and fore-aft position by myself (usually trial and error with a hex wrench on the road). You should expect to pay the shop if you want them to really dial in your fit for you, and maybe make an appointment for this service well in advance to make sure their fitting expert is available that day.
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Old 06-11-16, 06:05 PM
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Yes, bring your saddle and pedals. If you're used to having a real tall handlebar like on some Rivendell's, that may be difficult to duplicate on other brands of bikes. Measure your saddle height and setback (from the center of the BB) on your current bike and that will at least be a starting position for your rental bike.
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Old 06-11-16, 06:06 PM
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I say go for the rental, OP. Seems like the easiest route to go. You might enjoy riding a different bike for the ride too.
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Old 06-11-16, 06:11 PM
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Thx all!
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Old 06-11-16, 06:32 PM
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Where are you flying into? Riding? Course?

How picky are you about fit? I can generally vary a bit. Anyway, perhaps talk to your bike provider early about some of your needs. Bring your own shoes and pedals?
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Old 06-11-16, 06:40 PM
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The Harvest Century in Hillsboro. I'll probably get there the morning before, so I can get a good night's sleep. Veloce seems well-reviewed, and $150 for a 3-day rental on a carbon bike sounds reasonable. I spoke with someone on the phone, and they seemed like they'd rented quite a few bikes for the ride in the past.

Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
Where are you flying into? Riding? Course?

How picky are you about fit? I can generally vary a bit. Anyway, perhaps talk to your bike provider early about some of your needs. Bring your own shoes and pedals?
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Old 06-12-16, 08:04 AM
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I'm doing something simiilar. My wife and I are flying to Lompoc to visit some of her relatives. I stopped at my LBS and they suggested rentabikenow.com. I found a couple shops very close to where we are staying and plan to rent a bike from one or both. I'm wanting to ride three days or so while there and thought this would be a good way to test ride a new bike.
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Old 06-12-16, 11:37 AM
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I have flown out places and rented bikes before. It worked well yes...but I wasn't biking a century. I also had fit issues, my butt would always hurt the first 1-3 rides on a new saddle, and I would be more fatigued riding than with a regular bike.

My rides though, were 15-30 miles, with a group of people who didn't care about speed just wanted to be out for a ride (if anyone cared about speed it was probably me the most lol so no issue).

Personally, if I was riding a century I'd want to bring my own bike for those reasons.
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Old 06-12-16, 01:04 PM
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Who You going to rent it from? * The local only has Beach cruisers in its rental bike offering.

Maybe sort out a Buy and Return, for most of the cost, refund scheme.. the difference will be your rent fee. , to get a bike you can stand to ride for 100 miles,

They'll get it back and can resell it used , to someone else. and still do OK by all parties involved.

* Dont know? call around Portland, there is 100+ bike Shops there.
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Old 06-12-16, 01:27 PM
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I've rented many times in many states. I've never had a problem getting a rental to be comfortable (but I'm a straight on "medium" sized guy), and even the lowest-end ones are fun to ride if they're comfortable and shift well.

The saddle is really the most important part of the equation, so absolutely bring your saddle (and pedals and shoes, of course.). My smartphone has a bubble level app. I've used it many, many times to level my saddle on rentals. I just note the degrees tilt on my own bike and get it close on the rental. It does work.

It's pretty easy to get the rental close to your own bike's fit if you know the basics of saddle height and reach.

I bring my mini-pump and little saddle bag which has everything I need to adjust and tweak fit, fix flat, etc. Some rentals provide this, but they're often incomplete. I just use my own and am always happy to have it.

Stems - so easy to swap to tweak your fit, so consider bringing a couple if you have any laying around. You can usually call the shop and find out what stem is on there and then I just bring a longer and shorter one. You can ask them to swap the stem for you if you know what you need for that frame.

So, my equipment list (as opposed to clothing:

MUST BRING
SADDLE
PEDALS and SHOES
GLASSES (one for sunny, one for cloudy)

Maybe Bring
Water bottle(s) - or buy a couple from the shop or ride as souvenirs!
helmet (rentals usually include helmet, but I prefer my own)
stem(s)
small saddle bag: multi tool, CO2, tire levers, tube, patch kit
mini pump

This list seems long but it's neither large nor heavy.

Shops will almost always be happy to install the pedals and stem as they'd rather do the wrenching than risk a customer cross threading or breaking something. If you go at a time it's not busy, they will help you get it set up at least good enough for minor tweaking during your test ride.

I haven't done a century with a rented bike, but did a 250 mile tour (5 days, motel style) and just using my saddle and pedals, adjusting the height and eyeballing the set back (I like a lot of set back, so I generally just max it), approximating reach and bar height, I felt just as at home on the rental as my own bike. The same? Not really, but plenty comfortable with my own saddle and a close proximity of the overall set up.

I rent bikes all the time and hardly ever schlep mine around unless I can save at least $200 in rental.

Last edited by Camilo; 06-12-16 at 01:59 PM.
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