Bikes – Hiring a Bike
What hire bikes do you supply?
We supply Italian road bikes from Scapin (EYS). The bike frames are carbon and come with Campagnolo gearing (centaur): a 50/34 compact with a widespread 11-29 cassette. The Scapin EYS comes with Mavic Aksium wheels.
Is there a bike mechanic on hand during the trip?
We have a mechanic in our team who assist in initial bike set-up and well as on the road.
How do I choose the right size?
Within the trip booking forms is a section for bike hire which request for you to inform us of your height (cm) and current bike model and size. We use this information to attain your correct bike size in context to the geometry’s of the bikes we hire.
What is included with the hire bike?
Included with hire bike is mechanical service before use, bike drop off and pick-up, and spare tire tubes with levers and CO2 canister’s. Regarding the later inclusion, we have with us ‘over-supply’ of spare tubes and CO2 canisters so replacement of these items is simple and come with no additional cost.
The hire bike also come’s with 2 bottle cages and bike helmet.
What do I need to bring if I am hiring a bike?
If you choose to hire a bike you will need to bring own pedals. Some clients in the past have opted to bring own bike seat, an important consideration, particularly if you have had issues with bike seats in the past. As well more and more clients in recent times are opting to bring bike computers to attach to hire bikes, and own bike helmets rather than opt for the helmet that comes with hire bike.
In addition riders will need to bring own drink bottles (we recommend 2 x 750ml).
Bikes – BYO
What gearing should I bring?
As with the gearing on our hire bikes we highly recommend a 50/34 compact with a widespread cassette (11-29). Indeed the wide diversity of terrain we experience on our trips is best complemented with compact gearing and specifically gears that allow you to ‘spin’ with some level of economy in hilly and mountainous terrain. As a general guide our support riding team are comprised of experienced local riders that choose to ride compact 50/34 with either 11-25 or 11-27 cassette.
How should I pack my bike?
A con of bringing your own bike is the risk of damage in transport (flight). It is therefore highly recommended that should you choose to bring own bike that you pack in quality bike transportation case. Generally speaking a hard case will offer the best protection (but at greater cost), although some of soft cases now on the market come with very good protection mechanisms built into their respective products and good customer reviews. A soft case is a cheaper and more practical option.
Just as important in reducing risk of damage is insuring that the bike is properly packed into its protective case. If not confident or not experienced with packing a bike in a case for transportation we would recommend you have a bike mechanic do this for you – as they say better to be safe than sorry!
Riding Ability & Preparation
What level of riding ability do I need?
Our trips cater for most riding levels but we assume you are a regular rider (ride at least 3 times p/week) and are comfortable riding climbs. Italy is quite mountainous so you need to include regular climb training into your preparation. Our trips into France include the Alps and/or Pyrenees so again climbing training is imperative and required for our trips. We always have a bike guide at the front and back of our groups and a support bus so you can ride part or all of the itinerary – it’s up to you. You do not need to be quick, you can ride at your own pace, we encourage and support all riders. We do ask you to list your riding activity in our booking forms and we also encourage you to speak with us if you are unsure if your ability is suitable for our trips. We are also happy to work with you before the trip and develop a training program to get you ready.
How do I prepare for my trip?
Correct preparation is the key to a successful and enjoyable trip. Here at Solo bike we are qualified and more than happy to help you with these preparations including training programs, dietary and fitness advice. Once you book your chosen trip you need to set out a plan which takes you up to your trip date, this helps you focus and gives you motivation to get your training going in the right direction.