Car rental companies are everywhere these days, but there’s one place you might not have considered: You don’t need a car.
That’s right, it’s not like you need a rental car to be able to rent cars.
Instead, you can simply rent a bike.
In fact, according to a recent survey conducted by BikeLounge, one in four Australians is a cyclist.
But if you want to make sure your bike is the best fit for your riding style, you might want to know what the best bike rental companies offer.
Which ones are the best?
You can find out which car rental companies in Australia are the safest and most reliable, and which ones are not.
Read moreRead moreWhen it comes to the safety of a bike rental company, it comes down to their own standards.
For the average cyclist, the bike they rent is more likely to be a regular, everyday commuter, which means it should be safe.
“A typical bike is more like a bike that’s ridden daily for a couple of years, that’s well maintained and a safe, reliable bike,” says Harley Davidson Australia’s director of marketing, Ben Moller.
“The main issue we see for people getting a bike is that it’s too big, it doesn’t have a handlebar, and the handlebars are too low, so they get a bit of a scratch or bump on their handlebars.”
So, when it comes time to pick a bike, a bike company will try to make the bike fit the needs of the individual rider.
“We’ll work with the rider to make that bike fit,” Moller says.
“When we’ve got the bike in hand, it will get assessed, it’ll go through some sort of validation.
We’ll then do a bike inspection, which includes checking the bike is fit for a particular rider, whether they’re a beginner or someone who is used to doing a bit more serious training, and whether they are going to ride a bike on a longer journey.”
Harley Davidson also recommends having the bike inspected for a variety of things, including whether the bike fits properly in the saddle, and how much space it has in the seat.
If the bike does not fit properly, then the company will ask the rider for their permission to send the bike back.
Moller stresses that it is not the responsibility of the company to test a bike before sending it out.
“We can’t be in the middle of the road and have someone send their bike back and say, ‘Oh, it was too big’,” he says.
In a survey conducted for BikeLingle by Australian Bike & Fitness, more than a quarter of respondents said they would recommend the company over any other bike rental service.
“I’m a bike rider and I’m a big believer in having confidence in the bikes I buy, and I believe in the customer service I get,” says David Gee, founder and CEO of the Australian Bike&Fit franchise.
“But I’ve had my fair share of bad experiences, and this is a big part of that.”
He says he’s had customers complain about the size of the seatpost, as well as the weight of the handlebar.
“If a customer comes in, and it’s an average sized bike, I’d be more than happy to send it back,” Gee says.
For someone who has experienced the frustrations of a large bike being sent back, there are other options.
For instance, a company like Favourite Bike Rentals, which specializes in bikes for children and young adults, offers bike lockers that allow riders to keep their bikes securely locked away.
“It’s a great way to keep your bike locked up and it doesn’ cost anything,” says owner and owner of Favourites, Nick Williams.
“For me, it just makes sense.
I like the convenience of being able to have it locked up for me when I want it locked away when I need it.”
Another option is to simply ride your bike to work or school, but if you are worried about how the bike will be secured, or if there’s any sort of damage, you may want to consider renting a lock truck to do the job.
“There’s no one perfect bike, but I think the lock truck will give you the best chance of getting it locked and then being able go home with it,” Williams says.
If you are looking for a bike to rent but don’t have the cash for the rental, there is another way to rent one: bike sharing.
Bike sharing is a service where riders rent bikes from each other, and can then share them when the bikes are due to be delivered.
You’ll find it advertised on bike racks and on bulletin boards, and if you have a bike share card, you’ll be able access it from your phone.
You can also rent bikes at a bike shop and pick up a bike from there.
This option is a little more expensive than renting a bike outright, but it’s certainly cheaper than