Renting a Bike Vs. Bringing Your Own

September 5th, 2014

 

Aah, the age-old question: to bring your own mountain bike on an epic multi-day adventure, or to rent one once you reach your destination?

 

To help you make the call, we’ve laid out some of the most common merits and tradeoffs for both options.

 

If you do decide to go with a rental, check out the 8 question you most absolutely should ask before putting down your hard earned cash.

Renting

Bringing your own

Peace of mind
Not having to worry about taking your bike apart, packing it up nicely in a bike bag or case, lugging it half-way across the world and building it back up again. And most of all, knowing you won't be running the risk of damaging your bike while in transit.

Tried and tested
Bringing your trusty steed along with you means you'll be saddling up on the bike you know is perfectly suited for your riding style and fits you like a glove. Opt for a rental and you may find yourself on a bike you just aren't as fond of or doesn't fit you as well. You'll already be riding on foreign trails, do you really want to be riding an unfamiliar bike?

Testing out a new ride
Renting a bike invariably means getting to test out some new wheels. Whether you've been itching to try a 29er race machine or an all-mountain shredder, renting a bike gives you the perfect opportunity to try something new. And if you're already considering purchasing a new ride, what better way to assess compatibility than on a mutli-day trip?

Cheaper
Despite all the fees associated with airline bike travel, you'll still end up saving money by bringing your own bike (in most cases). Depending on the country you're visiting, the duration of your trip and the bike you end up with, you should expect to pay anywhere from $50 to $90 a day for a rental, whereas airlines will generally set you back roughly $50 - $150 each way for oversized luggage.

Freedom and flexibility
If you're planning on traveling before or after the biking portion of your trip, renting a bike allows you to get up and go as you please without having to worry about carrying a cumbersome case around with you or finding safe storage space for your bike.

Sh*t happens
Accidents can happen whether you're riding your own bike or a rental - only difference is you could be hit with a hefty price tag if your rental shows signs of damage, much more so than if you were to get your own bike repaired.

Conclusion

Opting to rent a bike or to bring your own on your dream mountain bike trip will very much depend on your destination, the length of your trip and your overall travel plans.

 

If you’re leaning towards bringing your own bike, keep in mind that oversized luggage policies vary drastically amongst airlines (check out some of the best airlines to fly with your bike). Before booking your flights, we strongly suggest looking up the contending airlines’ bicycle policies to inform your decision. Once you’ve booked your flights, we recommend contacting your airline to let them know you’ll be carrying a packed bike.

 

Alternatively, if you’re thinking of renting, keep in mind that rental costs will likely be higher and availability much slimmer in remote areas such as Argentina or Nepal. Which is why we’d recommend basing your decision on your destination: heading to Utah of BC for 5 days? Treat yourself to that nice plush ride you’ve been dreaming about by renting. Heading on an epic journey to Peru or New Zealand? Consider bringing your perfectly tuned all-mountain rig.