Find & rent bikes from the best independent bike shops in Europe using BICILET Bike Rental.
This will depend somewhat on the type of cycling you are planning to do, and where you are headed, but below are a few things we always like to make sure we have / or know that the rental shop will provide for us:
Helmet – shops usually provide these, but you may want to bring your own if you have a particularly large head, or just don’t fancy wearing one that lots of other people have used. In most places whether you wear a helmet is personal choice, however we would always recommend it. It’s worth noting that in some European countries it is mandatory for children, and so worth checking before you travel (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bicycle_helmet_laws_by_country).
Comfortable clothing – you don’t need to adopt the full lycra look, but if you are planning to spend a lot of time in the saddle pack some cycling specific clothing (padded shorts, in particular, will make a long ride much more enjoyable). Cycling-specific gloves are also worthwhile - make sure they have good padded inserts. You may also want to consider a rain-proof jacket – ideally one that is reflective. Sunglasses are also helpful!
Suitable shoes – for most bike types, a pair of trainers will be fine, but for some road and mountain bikes, the hire company may have set the bike up with a specific type of pedal, in which case you may want to bring compatible cycling-specific shoes. More usually, you will be able to ask for a specific pedal to match your shoe type – or bring your own pedals. It is always worth checking first.
A small backpack is also a good idea for those without cycling jerseys to store stuff in, or who are not planning long trips (they get uncomfortable after a while!). They are great for storing some food or water, as well as spare clothing, or even swimwear in case you spot a particularly inviting river or beach!
Water bottle – it is vital to stay hydrated when on the bike, especially in the height of summer. Whilst you can always stop at a café or shop, it’s always a good idea to carry spare water. Most shops will be able to give you one.
Most hire bikes will also come with a puncture repair kit, or one will be available at the shop, but it may be worth bringing a spare inner-tubes or two if you are planning to do lots of riding.
We’d also recommend bringing a mobile phone in case of emergency (and downloading emergency contact information for the country / area you are in (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_emergency_telephone_numbers) first, and storing the relevant numbers on your phone). On that note, make sure you have any insurance details with you too.
Camera – a bike is the best way to explore a country. Make sure you give yourself time to stop and take in the sights.
For the more professionally minded among you, you may also want to bring:
GPS, gels / bars, lights, heart rate monitor, chamois cream...
Bike measurements – if you know them and haven’t already given them to the shop, bring them with you. You’ll be much more comfortable on a well-fitted bike.
Henry: 16th Feb 2017 13:50:00