Rent a ride
Travelling interstate but don’t want to lug your trusty steed with you? Hiring a bike offers flexibility and saves time, find Emma Clark and Iain Treloar.
There are many reasons why someone might hire a bike. Business travellers can squeeze in a training ride before their morning meetings, tourists can explore a new city on two wheels and non-riders can experience life on the saddle before taking the plunge and purchasing a bike.
The types of bikes available vary widely from place to place. Generally, hire bikes are of average quality with mid-range specs, but higher-end models are available from some outlets. Helmets and locks are usually included in the price, but it’s a good idea to confirm this with the hirer. If you plan to ride in low light, check if lights are also available. Additionally, many places offer baby carriers, kids’ bikes, tag-alongs, racks and panniers.
Book ahead where possible, especially if you want a certain model of bike or if you plan to hire for a few days or more. Some places will deliver a bike to your accommodation for an extra fee.
Melbourne and Brisbane both have public bike hire schemes, which are great for shorter trips in the city (BYO helmet). A daily subscription to Melbourne Bike Share (www.melbournebikeshare.com.au) costs $2.70 and a weekly subscription will put you back $8. On top of the subscription cost, the bike hire is free for the first 30 minutes, then $2 for 60 minutes. Annual subscriptions are also available for $54.
Similarly, Brisbane’s City Cycles bike share scheme (www.citycycle.com.au) costs $2 for a daily subscription and $11 for a weekly subscription. It is also free for the first 30 minutes, then costs $2.20 for up to an hour. Student, annual and three-month subscriptions are also available.
Mr Spokes Bike Hire is located in central Canberra on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin, and has a range of bikes beginning at $40/day. Tag-alongs and trailers are also available.
www.mrspokes.com.au, 02 6257 1188
Real Fun hires out a wide range of mountain, hybrid and road bikes, plus canoes and camping gear. Bikes start at $45/day, which includes added services, such as free delivery to and pick up from accommodation, a Canberra cycleway map, lock and helmet. They will also replace the bike if you get a puncture. Tag-alongs, child seats and tandems are available.
www.realfun.com.au, 02 6228 1264
New South Wales
Centennial Park Cycles has a huge range of fairly basic bikes for hire, from kids’ bikes to pedal cars. Prices begin from $10/hour for a kids’ bike to $25/hour for a tandem. Helmets are included.
www.cyclehire.com.au, 02 9398 5027
Bike Hire @ Sydney Olympic Park has a fleet of basic hire bikes to explore the 35km of bike path surrounding Sydney Olympic Park. Prices start at $15/hour for a hybrid.
www.bikehiresydneyolympicpark.com.au, 02 9746 1572
BIKESydney Cargo bike Library is an excellent service for people carting a bulky load or those wanting to try out a cargo bike. The library boasts a few different types of cargo bikes and trailers available to hire. The first three hours are free and a 24-hour loan costs $10.
Darwin Scooter Hire offers mountain bikes and kids’ bikes from $20/day, which includes maps to explore the top end’s coastal tracks.
www.esummer.com.au, 08 8941 2434
Bike On has bike rental outlets on the Sunshine Coast and in Noosa, with a wide range of Trek bikes available. Prices start at $25/day for mountain bikes, kids’ bikes and cruisers, and $30/ day for road and hybrids. Delivery and pickup are available for an extra fee.
Bicycle Express bike shop rents out high-quality bikes, including Trek 3.1 Madone road bikes for $75/day and Trek Superfly mountain bikes for $100/day. A minimum two-day hire period applies.
www.bicycleexpress.com.au, 08 8232 7277
Bike About hire out a wide range of mountain and road bikes from their six outlets in the Adelaide Hills and are a great option if you’re keen to explore the region’s trails and paths. Prices start at $30 for 24 hours.
www.bikeabout.com.au, 08 8389 768
Adelaide City Bike is a free bike share initiative from Bike SA and Adelaide City Council. The bikes can be hired from a number of locations and come with a helmet and lock. The bikes must only be ridden during daylight hours when the temperature is less than 38°.
www.bikesa.asn.au/AdelaideCityBikes, 08 8168 9999
Barossa Bike Hire offers Giant hybrid bikes from $50/day, with options to rent for up to a week. Bikes are delivered to your accomodation with helmet, lock and bottle cage included in the price and, for an added fee, can also be paired with a range of hampers of local produce for picnics among the vines.
www.barossabikehire.com.au, 0412 380 651
ARTBIKES available from Arts Tasmania are available for touring the city’s arts precincts and galleries. Hire includes a helmet and lock with prices beginning at $22/overnight.
BikeNow in South Melbourne hires road, mountain and city bikes, complete with helmets, for anywhere between two hours and two months. Also available for hire are tool kits, racks, baby seats and car racks. If something speedy is more your style, they have a good range of carbon and alloy road bikes. Prices start from $35/day for a mountain bike and $65 for a carbon road bike.
www.bikenow.com.au, 03 9696 8588
Borsari Cycles in Carlton are a similar option, hiring out mountain bikes (from $50/day–$220/month), road bikes ($60/day) and tandems ($70/day). Price includes helmet and lock.
www.borsaricycles.com.au, 03 9347 4100
The Humble Vintage Bike Hire Co. is a good choice if a leisurely cruise around Melbourne is more your style. They rent out vintage and retro-style bikes from $20 for two hours up to $190 for a month. Bikes come with a helmet, lock and a copy of the excellent map and guidebook Melbourne for Visitors and Casual Cyclists.
thehumblevintage.com, 0432 032 450
About Bike Hire have an enormous range of bikes, from road bikes to tandems and touring bikes. They also hire out panniers, lights and racks. Prices start from $36/day for hybrids. Touring packages are also available. About Bike Hire deliver and pick up bikes for an extra fee.
aboutbikehire.com.au, 08 9221 2665
Munda Biddi Mountain Bike Hire cater for those seeking a thrilling ride and have a range of dual-suspension mountain bikes – from cross-country all the way up to downhill purposes – for hire. Prices vary depending on the particular bike, but start at $70/day.
www.perthmountainbikehire.com.au, 0429 924 691
Gecko Bike Hire offer hybrid bikes for men and women, available from four locations around Perth and in Busselton, down the coast. These eight-speed bikes are available from $22/four hours, up to $88/week, with helmet and lock included and the option to add a child trailer.
www.geckobikehire.com.au, 0439 989 610
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