You've booked your New Zealand mountain bike tour, paid the deposit and booked your flights. The next big question is what to pack and should I bring my own bike or rent one?
There will be a number of factors to consider, starting with
have you got a suitable bike for the New Zealand mountain bike trails
is it serviced & fully working
how much will it cost to transport
do you have a sufficient method of packing
are you travelling outside of the tour time
how long are you riding for
Benefits Of Bringing Your Own MTB
The very first advantage of bringing your own bike is that you know it inside out. You've bought it to suit your needs & riding style, and perfected the setup; stem, bars, suspension etc. It's likely you've been riding it for a few months if not years and understand how it reacts on different terrain and in different environments.
New Zealand's riding terrain will likely be different to what you're used to riding at home, so being able to keep as many variables the same can provide a huge advantage whilst you're riding. This will mean you'll be able to ride faster and more confidently - and who doesn't want that?
Of course you already own your bike, so you'll save some money bringing it with you versus renting. Most mountain bike rental companies in New Zealand will charge $100 a day for a good quality full suspension bike like a Giant Trance. Airlines such as Air New Zealand will only charge $100 - $150 to carry your bike.
Considerations When Bringing Your Own Mountain Bike
Firstly you should consider if your bike is suitable for the tour you've signed up for. Take a look at our blog - Which Mountain Bike To Bring To New Zealand to see our suggestions on what makes the perfect bike for the terrain. If you haven't got something suitable for the style of riding you're going to be doing, it's worth renting - this will massively increase your enjoyment being on a bike that's perfect for the situation.
It's essential to service your bike before your New Zealand mountain bike tour and make sure it's working perfectly. The bikes get ridden hard for days in a row and any weaknesses with your machine will soon provide an issue. Even a small thing like a worn gear cable can end in disaster with a snapped mech and hanger. If you haven't got time or it's going to cost too much to service, it may be worth renting for your own peace of mind and enjoyment.
You'll also have to pack your bike in order to take it on the plane. If you don't already have a bike bag we highly recommend the Biknd range. If not, a cardboard box from your local bike shop will do. For details on how to pack it, see our blog post Packing Your Bike For Travel.
Benefits Of Renting An MTB
By far the biggest benefit of renting a mountain bike is that it makes everything much easier. The bike you rent will have been serviced by a mechanic and should be working well. It should also be the perfect tool for the terrain as you'll have specified what trails you'll be riding.
It makes travelling a lot easier, especially if you are planning on stopping in another country on your way to New Zealand for a few extra days holiday. If you're only riding for a couple of days renting will likely end up cheaper.
You'll save time & stress the night before you travel because you won't have a bike to pack. Instead you can relax and have a beer!
Another added benefit is that you can treat it as a test ride. If you're in the market to buy a new bike, or want to try out the latest tech before investing your own cash, what better way than to test it out on some proper mountain bike terrain. And if you do decide to buy from the shop you rent from, you'll likely get a great price too.
Renting An MTB In New Zealand - What To Consider
That daily charge can add up. If you're joining us for a 12 day mountain bike tour, renting a bike may seem quite expensive versus bringing your own.
Because it's not your bike, it won't be set up for you. Some things you'll be able to dial in; brake lever angles, tire pressures, suspension etc. Some things you won't; stem length, bar width, drop on your seat post. Every bike differs in geometry too; reach, head & seat angle, wheelbase and chain stay length will be different from your bike at home. This can make the bike feel a little alien at first so you'll have to take the time to learn how it rides and how far you can push it.
If you break a rental bike, you'll likely have to pay for repairs unless you've taken out insurance. Chances are that broken mech or tyre that you'd wait and buy on sale for your own bike will cost you a lot more to buy immediately at the local bike shop.
Renting A Mountain Bike - What We Can Offer
If you're joining us for a mountain bike tour in New Zealand we can talk you through various rental bike options. We run a number of Giant Trances which we've handpicked as the ideal tool for the varied terrain we ride on. If you want to know a little bit more about the rental options we can provide for you, please contact us.