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Bicycle rentals and what you look for in the shop

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Bicycle rentals and what you look for in the shop

Old 01-22-21, 06:23 PM
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justinschulz9
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Bicycle rentals and what you look for in the shop

What are some of your experiences renting bikes from tourist locations? Besides water bottles and t-shirts what else do people look for when they go into a bicycle rental location?
Im looking for ideas that could help my business cater towards cyclists from out of town.
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Old 01-22-21, 06:31 PM
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Originally Posted by justinschulz9 View Post
What are some of your experiences renting bikes from tourist locations? Besides water bottles and t-shirts what else do people look for when they go into a bicycle rental location?
Im looking for ideas that could help my business cater towards cyclists from out of town.

Road bikes of different sizes, helmets. Option to rent platform or clip less pedals with the bike. That’s what I look for.
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Old 01-22-21, 06:32 PM
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what about accessories?
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Old 01-22-21, 06:40 PM
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Provide nice routes for various distances and abilities. GPS and printed.
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Old 01-22-21, 06:43 PM
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Originally Posted by justinschulz9 View Post
what about accessories?

Lights would be nice, Water bottle or the ability to purchase a water bottle. In these times I don’t think I would want to use a used water bottle. If you wanted to go above and beyond you could have gps cycling computers for rent with the bike. Also going back to the pedals, if you provided the option of clip less you could rent shoes.

It really depends on how much you are going to charge and what people are willing to pay. 50 dollars for the day is about max what I am willing to pay personally.
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Old 01-22-21, 07:01 PM
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Restroom
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Old 01-22-21, 08:28 PM
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Road service and/or spare tire with air pump.
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Old 01-22-21, 08:52 PM
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I've rented a carbon road bikes a few times from Arizona Outdoor Adventures in Scottsdale. I send them my "fit'" sheet and they adjust it accordingly. They supply water bottles, helmet, toolkit and pedals to match my cleats.. I bring my kit and shoes.

They have many routes on their webpage ranging from bike paths to centuries.
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Old 01-23-21, 08:06 AM
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Snacks and coffee
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Old 01-23-21, 08:22 AM
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Originally Posted by GlennR View Post
I've rented a carbon road bikes a few times from Arizona Outdoor Adventures in Scottsdale. I send them my "fit'" sheet and they adjust it accordingly. They supply water bottles, helmet, toolkit and pedals to match my cleats.. I bring my kit and shoes.

They have many routes on their webpage ranging from bike paths to centuries.
Awesome, I am a regular visitor to Phoenix. Keeping these notes.
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Old 01-23-21, 09:35 AM
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Originally Posted by BillyD View Post
Awesome, I am a regular visitor to Phoenix. Keeping these notes.
This was the bike section of the half iron man.... 52 miles out in the desert. My son and i rented Trek Domane SL6.

https://ridewithgps.com/events/30051...855667/preview



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Old 01-23-21, 06:45 PM
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Keep rental prices reasonable. I went to rent a road bike from a place in Austin, TX one time. They wanted to charge an extra $2000 to my credit card as a security deposit that would cover the full cost of the bike. That was in addition to the hourly rental cost. They’d refund the $2000 to the card if/when the bike was returned with no damage. I declined because I just thought that was ridiculous. I rented a nice bike from a place in Las Vegas that didn’t require a security deposit to cover the entire cost of the bike...around $60 per hour I think. That shop also provided a tour guide service...a local knowledgeable person to ride with you (for an additional charge). I was a little reluctant to do that but afterwards was glad I did. It was my first time in the Vegas area and wanted to make sure I’d get a nice ride in a scenic area. The guy knew just where to take me. And if you don’t use their guide service...they’d still transport you out the the area you want to ride in. They provided everything. Beverages (beers afterwards), cycling clothing (I had my own with me), shoes, helmet, sunglasses, CO₂ inflation, tools, etc.

Dan

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Old 01-23-21, 07:06 PM
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Originally Posted by _ForceD_ View Post
Keep rental prices reasonable. I went to rent a road bike from a place in Austin, TX one time. They wanted to charge an extra $2000 to my credit card as a security deposit that would cover the full cost of the bike. That was in addition to the hourly rental cost. They’d refund the $2000 to the card if/when the bike was returned with no damage. I declined because I just thought that was ridiculous. I rented a nice bike from a place in Las Vegas that didn’t require a security deposit to cover the entire cost of the bike...around $60 per hour I think. That shop also provided a tour guide service...a local knowledgeable person to ride with you (for an additional charge). I was a little reluctant to do that but afterwards was glad I did. It was my first time in the Vegas area and wanted to make sure I’d get a nice ride in a scenic area. The guy knew just where to take me. And if you don’t use their guide service...they’d still transport you out the the area you want to ride in. They provided everything. Beverages (beers afterwards), cycling clothing (I had my own with me), shoes, helmet, sunglasses, CO₂ inflation, tools, etc.

Dan
So you didn’t go for a ride in Austin then? Damage deposit is fairly normal and not a issue for me not sure what the concern is?
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Old 01-23-21, 08:02 PM
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Originally Posted by _ForceD_ View Post
around $60 per hour I think.

Dan
That's crazy.... i've rented a Trek Domane SL7 for $80 for 24/hrs. I was able to get an after noon ride and a morning ride the next day.
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Old 01-23-21, 09:59 PM
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Old 01-24-21, 01:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Atlas Shrugged View Post
So you didn’t go for a ride in Austin then? Damage deposit is fairly normal and not a issue for me not sure what the concern is?
Well...I did ride in Austin...on one of the ride share bikes. Funny thing is that I rode it like 25-30 miles...well out of downtown Austin. I was in the outskirts of town at a stoplight and a person walking commented to me “Wow...I’ve never seen one of those bikes so far out of the city.” But...I just find it ridiculous to have to put up $2000 to rent a road bike for a couple of hours.

Dan
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Old 01-24-21, 08:32 AM
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Originally Posted by GlennR View Post
I've rented a carbon road bikes a few times from Arizona Outdoor Adventures in Scottsdale. I send them my "fit'" sheet and they adjust it accordingly. They supply water bottles, helmet, toolkit and pedals to match my cleats.. I bring my kit and shoes.

They have many routes on their webpage ranging from bike paths to centuries.
+1 for AOA. fwiw, they have been acquired by REI. Don’t know how if at all business has changed or if AOA name may eventually disappear. Another nice option is to provide a Garmin mount on request
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Old 01-24-21, 08:38 AM
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Originally Posted by _ForceD_ View Post
Well...I did ride in Austin...on one of the ride share bikes. Funny thing is that I rode it like 25-30 miles...well out of downtown Austin. I was in the outskirts of town at a stoplight and a person walking commented to me “Wow...I’ve never seen one of those bikes so far out of the city.” But...I just find it ridiculous to have to put up $2000 to rent a road bike for a couple of hours.

Dan
Usually I thought these 'deposits' would be hold on the funds, not a charge that has to be reversed and refunded.
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Old 01-24-21, 09:02 AM
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Really make sure you live in an area where rentals are needed and what kind. Worked at a shop that tried renting road bikes, didn't take long to only renting a couple of tri bikes before just renting hybrids. They thought it would work being an upscale town but the area wasn't known for its roads. Hybrids were only a 20.00 rental for up to 3 hours but in the middle of the summer we could have 30 of them out the door at any given time. Considering they cost the shop 200.00 for an entry level Giant, riders didn't care they were 2 years old, and after 2 years they'd resale for 200.00 they were a really nice summer boost, during the best days over 2 grand a day just rentals wasn't hard. Where I am now I've found places that rent fat bikes and beach cruisers and can make a killing. But while the first place was a common touristy area it was usually for more sedate visitors and the locals rented as much as anything. Only thing we offered were helmets.
There's some areas where MTB would be the way to go, and some areas are more road meccas.
If I was renting a road bike, clipless pedal options would be desired, offering bottles should probably be a surcharge with little markup. I'm cheap so if my option is a couple empty bottles with your tap water at 8.00 to 10 each then forget it. The bottled water at the gas station will fit the cages fine and probably be safer to drink. If they're only a couple bucks to make little more then cost I'd buy them and still fill with bottled water. A good helmet should be included just make sure you change the pads from time to time, no one likes a gross looking helmet. Sunglasses could be an optional upcharge.
Price wise I'd pay 50-75 for a day but after that it just isn't worth it to me, others may be different especially if it doesn't mean they have to rent more then one for a spouse. I'd have to. A couple shops I know posted prices for the rentals and if someone finished and wanted to buy it they could get it for the fixed price with a rental fee refund or get a brand new one and have the fee deducted from the cost of the new bike. That got a couple people doing day rentals to test out if they liked the ride and fit of a bike.
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Old 01-24-21, 09:17 AM
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Have decent road bikes, or all-road with street tires if that's the area you're in, available. I'd expect you need your share of comfort type bikes and/or hybrids for the general public, but decent roads bikes are a big plus. We rent mid+ level Bianchis from Kafe Racer in Dunedin, FL when we visit down that way. They did a quick fitting and supplied SPD pedals. Unless something has changed, they are the only bike shop in the Tampa area that had road bikes..everyone else only had comfort bikes, beach bikes..etc. Kafe Racer also had a good selection of recumbent trikes (TerraTrikes). Not my cup of tea in general, but they are located on the Pinellas Trail..in Florida..LOTS of folks riding trikes down there. Trikes may be attractive lark for people on vacation, particularly people that are not normal riders. Last time we were down there(last year) we rented a tandem trike (TerraTrike) for a half-day..never been on one. 11 feet long..it was a hoot. We did about 40 miles on the Pin Trail..like a freight train with both of us cranking.
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Old 01-29-21, 09:44 AM
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Yeah, I would be looking for a decent bike with a decent drivetrain. I would not rent walmart type bikes and associated drivetrains. Not being a snob, just would not enjoy riding something like that.
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Old 01-31-21, 10:17 AM
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Gear the bike for the terrain, I rented a bike on the island of Hawaii once planning to do lots of climbing, the bike was 52/33 front and 11/24 rear, not good for climbing Kohala mountain road, and changing the rear was not an option.
On the plus side, you can give people CO2 inflater with the rental, sell them CO2 cartridges, and if they don't use them, give them their money back in store credits if they turn them back in.
T shirts or jerseys with store or vacation spot logos are nice.
A place to change clothes and store gear, for people just renting the bike for 1 ride.
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Old 02-01-21, 01:26 AM
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I've rented road bikes many, many times. All I look for is information on the brand and size of bikes they rent so I can go online to see if it's within fit parameters for me and if the gearing is reasonable for the riding I'll be doing. I might ask if they will swap stems for me, but often I just bring my own and swap it myself if need-be.

I always bring my own stuff so it doesn't matter if they supply it or not:
basic tools, mini pump
Pedals
Shoes
Helmet
Saddle (although I usually at least try their stock saddle for a day to see if I like it, a good way to "test" saddles).
Possibly a stem or two for fit purposes
All my riding clothes.

My wife's very small so when we're renting a bike for her I bring all of the above, but make sure I have stems and stem risers to make a bike fit for her. I've even brought cassettes and chain to reduce gearing in back if necessary.

For what it's worth, in my own life my bikes have upper level Shimano and Sram 9 and 10 speed-era drive trains. I've rented lower level bikes many times, for example with Shimano Sora or Sram Apex shifting and have been perfectly happy. That is not a decision factor for me at all. Fit is.

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Old 02-01-21, 01:35 AM
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I've rented a few times for things like centuries, and up the Klondike Highway in Skagway (pretty much the definition of a tourist town). So I usually have a route or ride in mind, and I might chat with the shop workers about it. The things I appreciate:

1. A thorough description on the website, i.e. bike makes/model, sizes, gearing. Gearing information is especially appreciated so I know I won't be under-geared for the climbs.
2. Availability of pedals. I prefer to not have to pull my own pedals off my bike.
3. Support. A "call us at this number if you need us". Skagway was great because the bike shop ran downhill tours all day, so their vans would pass me and honk as I was climbing. If I had a mechanical a van or a downhill tour group would have probably passed by within 20 minutes. bikes have generally had mini-pump/tools/spare tube.
4. Fit. I'm pretty flexible, but I appreciate it when the shop takes it seriously and spends some time on fit before sending me out the door.

I prefer to bring my own helmet/clothes/water bottle/nutrition.
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Old 02-01-21, 05:12 AM
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I've had a variety of experiences that haven't made any difference to the ride enjoyment itself.

Bad stuff:
Poorly adjusted brakes and gears, hotel bike pick up that didn't happen, ignored when entering the shop, 5pm closing.
Getting a full suspension MTB instead of a road bike. That was actually a fun day because my riding partner was still slower than me.

Good stuff
Showers. Bag stowage, mechanic recabling bike before giving it to me. Free water bottle. Late closing or 24hr rental. Friendly knowledgeable staff who can recommend routes and pubs.
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