Renting a Mountain Bike
So you are thinking of getting into mountain biking or maybe you are going on a trip somewhere that has some great trails but don't have a way to bring your bike. What do you do in this type of situation? Well what you can do is rent a mountain bike and take all the worry out of buying a bike before knowing what you are getting yourself into or dealing with trying to get your bike to your destination, especially if you are flying there.
Many bike shops or even the manufactures themselves will rent you a bike for the day or days so you can get out on the trail without any hassles, except for hassling your wallet maybe. Plus the shop will adjust all the settings like the seat height and suspension air pressure and sag to dial it in for your height, weight and riding style. Renting a bike is also a great way to try out a new bike model that you were thinking of buying before you buy it. That way there is no regrets if you buy a bike without really giving it the proper test. Some bike shops will do demo days where you can try out bikes as well but you get a very limited time on them since other people will be waiting to get their chance.
The cost of renting a bike will vary depending on where you rent it, how long you rent it and what type of bike it is. For some reason the more expensive the bike the more a lot of places will charge to rent it. You can usually rent a bike for a half day or a full day so figure out how long you think you will need it before going through the process. And make sure to bring it back on time and before the shop closes so you aren't paying for an extra day. Since many bike shops don't open until later in the morning you might be able to pick it up the evening before so you can get an early start rather than waiting for them to open. You can expect to pay around $60-$100 a day to rent a bike but it's still better than the cost of shipping your bike to your location or buying a bike before giving it a proper testing out.
If you are traveling somewhere specifically for a bike trip then you may want to consider finding a way to get your bike to your location because it will probably be cheaper in the long run plus you will have the benefit of riding a bike you are familiar with. If you like to go spend a day at a bike park then that's another great place to rent a bike because they have bikes specific to that type of riding and your XC bike may not be up to the task of taking on some downhill bike park runs. Or if you do try it with your XC bike it definitely won't be as fun, or as safe.
Another thing to remember about renting a bike is that the bike shop will most likely have an "if you break it you pay to fix it" policy so don't go thinking you can abuse it like it's a rental car. Check the bike out before you leave the shop and make sure everything is in working order such as the brakes and drivetrain. Shift through all the gears to make sure nothing is sticking or seems to be out of whack. Also make sure you have a spare tube that matches the bike wheel size. You won't be seeing any 26" wheel bikes for rent so check to see if its 27.5" or 29". The shop may or may not cover flats so find that out as well. Finally you should decide what type of pedals you are planning on using, flat pedals or clipless. If you use flat pedals they will most likely provide the pedals but if you ride clipless you may want to bring your own because there are different types and you need to make sure they match the cleats on your shoes and are adjusted to your liking.
Posted by Preston Mason