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Readers Respond: Ways to Find a Good Bike When You're on the Road

Responses: 10


It can be hard to mix frequent travel with a love of biking. Finding the right bike at your destination is perhaps the biggest challenge. But many enthusiasts have come up with ways to go riding even when they are away from home. If you've had success with this, please let others know. Share Your Strategy

Sydney Bike Hires

We always rent with Peter at Livelo when we visit home. (Sydney, AU). http://www.livelo.com.au
—Guest Barry Watts

Avoid folding bikes.

Whatever you do avoid-avoid folding bikes unless they are of a supercool company which offers gurantees on the folding aspect. I tried one and ended up with a broken bike. Now i bought a compact LA which easily dismantles and reassembles.
—Guest Mike Raff

Handlebar issue

I've always found a problem boxing the bike or having multiple bikes on a rack or even storing in the garage. I found this great product www.flipphandle.com that helps enormously 'cause it makes the handlebars skinny.
—Guest ale

ebay bike!

A friend of mine in CA actually went on ebay looking for someone selling a bike my size and I rented it from him when I got there. Luckily, he even had shoes my size 'cause I forgot to bring mine!
—Guest Dave D


If you want to avoid the car and plane, I highly recommend using Amtrak. For $10 you can check your bike on most trains. To fit your bike on the train you will need to loosen your stem to rotate the handlebars and also remove your pedals.
—Guest Dan

Try Amtrak

Checking your bike on the train can be a viable an option too. Call your local train station to see if your train has that storage option. I've found many to most do, and it only costs $10. Checking your bike on a train generally consists of making the bike fit into a box. You'll need to loosen your stem to twist the handlebars to the side and remove the pedals. If you're touring, I recommend panniers over a fixed rack with saddle baskets which would be difficult to fit in the box.
—Guest Dan Charleston, SC

renting bikes

Why does it often cost more to rent a bicycle than a car? I see $45 per day for a $900 bicycle and $29.95 for a $15,000 car.
—Guest miller2000

In Adelaide South Australia

If you are travelling to Adelaide, South Australia, the government supported organisation, Bicycle SA, a cycling advocacy group, hires bikes for no cost. You leave a deposit which is refunded when you return the bike. Adelaide is a flat city and ideal for leisurely riding, but it is in the shadow of hills for more challenging riding.
—Guest Peter

The Key to Comfortable Rentals

I've traveled and rented bikes in several cities. Two key pieces of information about your current bike will help get you one at your destination that will fit acceptably: 1) the length of the seat tube, 2) the length of the top tube. You should also know the distance from the crank to the top of your saddle, and the distance from the front of your saddle to the center of the handlebars. That way you can position the saddle so that your leg extension and reach will be what you are used to. There is one critical piece of equipment (besides a helmet) that you need to bring. Your saddle! No matter how good the bike, if the saddle isn't what your rear is used to, the rental can be painful (even if the bike has the same dimensions as yours). I've rented bikes in several cities following this formula, and ended up feeling right at home in the (my) saddle. Bruce

another option

I agree driving & taking a bike with is a good option. but when the destination is too far for driving what has worked best for me is to ship my folding bike via Fed X or UPS. No airline hassle. I had to buy a special case but once it's at my destination there's very little problem with set-up & assembly. everything folds into a "large suitcase" which wasn't cheap but works great. the bike is good for 40-50 mile trips at 14-15 mph even though it's no feather weight road bike it works great for me!
—Guest tim james

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Ways to Find a Good Bike When You're on the Road

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