Bikes these days are like golf clubs, they all have their intended purpose. You wouldn't go into a bunker with a one wood, nor should you rent a cross country bike for downhill trail. If you plan to hire a bike, its for the experience and the following 3 steps will ensure you get the most from your rental bike.
1. Trail 2. Bike 3. Setup
Speak to the bike shop staff about what you want out of a ride. Ensure you mention your ability (or lack off), be sure to discuss distance, access, and technicality level . Good considerations are, difficulty, fitness level and fun factor. Queenstown bike rides can vary greatly from a scenic lake ride to lift accessed downhill trails. You cant choose a rental bike until you know the trail you want to ride so be sure to communicate this first. See our link to Queenstown Bike Trails
Now you know what trail you're headed to its time to select the right rental bike. Too much bike will leave you depleted of energy during a cross country mission and not enough bike will see you under gunned when it comes to more technical trails. While a Downhill bike has lots of suspension travel and relaxed geometry an XC bike has minimal travel and built for efficiency. Many of Queenstowns' trails incorporate a good climb with followed by a fun and sometimes technical descent and the most popular bike here is the Enduro Bike, a 6" travel compromise bike that gets you to the top but plenty of fun on the way down.
Recently Bikeaholic have invested in the Transition Patrol as our Premium Full Suspension rental bike and this fits the bill as very capable rental bike. If an epic back country mission is more to your taste then a 'Trail' bike is well suited. The Kona's in our Standard Full Suspension rental bike that incorporates a 29" wheel with 130mm of travel is a perfect hire bike option, or spoil yourself and try a Yeti in the High Roller fleet. See our Queenstown Hire Bikes
So you know the trail, you have chosen your rental bike. The setup is key to getting the best performance from your bike. Any good bike store should absolutely be ensuring the following:
- The Fit: This is key. Hire the right size bike, don't take just what is left on the rack! As a guide. Under 163cm = Small. 164cm to 176cm = Medium. 177cm to 185cm Large. Above 185cm = Extra Large.
- Seat Height: Your seat height should be adjusted before you leave. The upper position of the post should leave about a 30 degree bend in your knee when your pedal is at the lowest position.
- Suspension: This needs to be set up to your body weight, the air chambers in the front and rear shock need to run about 30% sag (Sag is how much the bike sinks into its travel when you sit on)
- Brakes: Whilst in NZ we have our rear brake on the left and front brake on the right (Moto), other parts of the world are opposite. A costly mistake is not requesting a brake set up to your preference before you need them in an emergency.
Part of the setup should involve, you! What are you wearing? Do you have hydration and food? What helmet and protection will you require for the ride chosen? Any bike store offering more serious rides should be offering a fullface or standard helmet option. (We do include this at Bikeaholic!)
Bikeaholic take pride in not just the bike but these important factors to ensuring you get the best experience possible. Queenstown is an epic place to ride and the options can be overwhelming. We are more than happy to answer questions, suggest trail options, hire bike models and of course get you set up perfectly. Happy Trails!