A2O Bike Hire
A2O Bike Hire
Hire bikes have the potential to make, or break, your holiday. As a consequence, after hundreds of tours and testing many different types of bikes over numerous cycle trails, we know that a quality front suspension mountain bike with larger wheels (27.5″ or 29″), a good range of gears and off road tyres is the best bike for all the different terrain you’ll encounter on the Alps 2 Ocean Trail. To make life easy for our customers, all our mountain bikes now use the SRAM GX 1-11 gear system which has only one lever on the handlebars to worry about! Lastly, because a large percentage of our female customers ride step through hybrid bikes at home, we’ve deliberately selected our range of hire bikes to have the lowest possible top tube height. By adding a dropper seat post (that can be lowered with a lever on the handlebars) we’ve made it as easy as possible for clients to mount and dismount our bikes.
Our current fleet of mountain bikes for hire consists of the GT Karakoram Elite and the Kona Honzo:
The newest addition to our rental fleet is to include eBikes. After plenty of research and testing we’ve selected the Merida eBig Tour XT as having the right geometry, wheel size, components and a battery good enough to last through the day (providing you use it carefully!)
What’s Included with each Hire Bike?
All our tours include bike hire within the tour price. Each bike comes with a bottle cage and water bottle, helmet and puncture repair kit and gel MTB saddle. We don’t provide panniers, so if you don’t want to carry a backpack we provide a small handle bar bag instead (big enough for a camera/phone, jacket and small snack). Alternatively, you can bring your own day pack/rucksack. Remember, the van is never more than 2 hours away so you don’t need to carry much gear. All our bikes are fully serviced by an experienced bike mechanic before each tour and we always carry a spare bike, just in case. We also take the time on the first day to make sure the bike is fitted to you correctly. We’re also able to make many tweaks throughout the week to ensure you are as comfortable as possible, including changing your saddle as we carry a range to suit most bum shapes.
The mountain bikes come with grippy, flat pedals. If you are bringing your own clip in pedals, you MUST be experienced at using them off road on loose surfaces or we will ask you to change back to flats. We get many road cyclists used to riding with clip ins on the road who struggle to use them off road in the gravel. This is not a race so, if in doubt, stick with flats. For health & safety reasons, we do not allow pedal cages. You’re welcome to bring your own saddle.
Ebikes are an option upgrade, the price is dependent on the tour and availability. Our ebikes also come with grippy, flat pedals. You’re welcome to bring your own clip in pedals (as per the caveat above) and/or saddle. You will be given instructions for the ebike’s use and are responsible for looking after your bike key and recharging your own battery each night. As they are so much heavier than a standard mountain bike, in order to look after your Tour Leaders, you will need to remove and be responsible for the battery before the bike is loaded onto the trailer each day. These are pedal assisted bikes, the more you use the motor, the more the battery drains so we advise you start in the eco mode to ensure the battery lasts the day. If an ebike breaks, we will do our best to fix the bike parts but will not be able to fix the motor. We will carry a spare mountain bike, just in case. There are no refunds if an ebike breaks down during a tour.
If you’re bringing your own bike:
Our bikes are chosen for their suitability on the wide variety of terrain and gradients you’ll discover on the Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail, as well as their high quality components. We also make sure they are adjusted to fit you and you are able to customise them with your own pedals and saddle. Consequently, there is usually no need to bring your own bike. If you do, we recommend:
- Tyres at least 2.1″ wide suitable for off road riding. The trail is a mix of surfaces and so, from experience, off road tyres on mountain bikes are more comfortable on this trail.
- A minimum of front suspension. Some sections of trail are rough so trust us when we say you’ll want some form of suspension. Riders who’ve brought rigid or hybrid style bikes are definitely not as comfortable as the bikers on our hire bikes.
- Disc brakes. Even if you get great weather, you will ride through several streams so disc brakes perform much better in the wet. In addition, on some of the longer downhill you’ll get far less brake fade with disc brakes.
- Our bike trailer holds bikes secured by the rear wheel so please make sure you do not have rear panniers, or extra wide tyres (>2.4″) that stop a bike fitting into a standard vertical rear wheel bike rack. If it doesn’t fit, we can’t take it!
- If you do not want it to suffer from any form of trailer rash, we advise you to fit frame protectors. In addition, make sure you carry the most commonly needed spare parts specific to your bike, such as inner tubes, spare chain links/magic link and spare rear derailleur hanger, and know how to use them! All our spares and our training are specific to our hire bikes, we are not responsible for fixing your personal bike if something goes wrong.
- You will need to make your own arrangements to store your bike box/bag. When we collect you from your hotel, we immediately depart on your tour. Our depot is 45 minutes drive south of Queenstown so we are not able to collect or store your bike boxes/bags at our depot and there is no room in the van or trailer.
- If you are not bringing a helmet, please let us know so we will pack enough for everyone.
What Size Hire Bikes Should I Ask for?
Everyone has different body proportions so it’s impossible for us to advise you without meeting you. The following chart is a good guide to our hire bikes but please note that the exact size may depend on your individual proportions. Compare this chart to your own bike and, if you are between sizes, we normally recommend choosing the larger size as it makes the bike easier to tweak to fit.
To compare these sizes to your own bike, you will find the exact geometry of our rental bike fleet here: