Bikes for tourism rental

Discussion in 'Bike buying advice' started by Martin Sorensen, Mar 16, 2016.

  1. Martin Sorensen

    Martin Sorensen New Member

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    Hi,

    We have a tourism rental in southern Portugal and provide bicycles for our guest to use for free. The idea is "nothing fancy", but we do have guests who manage without car even if we are 3-4km from shopping.

    Until now we have bought cheap supermarket bicycles (MTB style, normally around €100-€120 here), but after 3 out of 4 of last years bikes (@ €80!, I am astonished it is possible to make, ship and pay tax and profit of a working bicycle for that money) died within a year we are re-evaluating - in particular as my 18 year old Centurion is still working.

    The problem is that most guest go on the local bridlepath which get partly flooded at full and new moon. Even if they don't go through sea water the bikes are subjected to fine dust with salt, and the effect is that the transmission often locks up after a year or two. This is also why I have been reluctant to spend much.

    What is your suggestion? How much better will we get by spending e.g. €200/bike?

    I should add that is is not very hilly where most guests go, but they often have a good headwind coming back in the afternoon.

    Thanks, Martin

    PS: I am new in this forum but being originally Danish I have never been far from bicycles - and I had to do the maintenance myself :)
     
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  2. Corzhens

    Corzhens Well-Known Member

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    I had been to a resort with that feature - bikes for the tourists. The bikes were actually for rent but on a lower rate for a come on to the tourists. There was a corner where bikes were for repairs. The custodian said repairs are always needed for their bikes because of the "irresponsible" usage of the tourists. What he meant was not really the sea salt but the broken parts maybe due to crashes.

    I think you need to have a lot of allowance for repairs for that particular business - lending bikes to tourists - because you cannot trust the tourist to take care of your bikes. There are even cases that bikes are intentionally ruined by some users.
     
  3. Martin Sorensen

    Martin Sorensen New Member

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    So far my impression is that the problem is because the guests do not realise how tough the place is for bikes. Most of the time the path is dry and in good quality, but in a climate similar to California (between SF and LA) the salt stays there.

    We are a small place, and the vast majority of our guests are friendly and responsible. I will put a note up about hosing the bikes down, unlikely to hurt.
     
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