Keen cyclists are creatures of habit. Their daily ride is an important part of their routine - but this becomes difficult when they're travelling. Bringing bikes on holiday isn't always convenient, so many accommodation providers now offer courtesy bicycles to guests, and keen cyclists book their holidays around places that provide this service. Knowing a bicycle is available can be a draw-card for your business, and this demand is growing.
Cycling is a great way to explore an unfamiliar city or countryside. As cycling infrastructure increases both in urban areas and along the national cycle-trail route, more and more tourists with an interest in cycling are flocking to our shores. Many will choose to leave their bikes at home and buy, rent or borrow bikes as they go.
Recently we had some American guests visit us in our Wellington store. They were about to head north, and decided to purchase new bikes after being disappointed at the state of the courtesy bikes at each stop they made in the South Island. The gentlemen was accustomed to his 8 mile morning ride as a force of habit, and although he booked accommodation around providers of courtesy bikes, a high percentage of them were poorly maintained and barely usable.
Due to the mechanical nature of bicycles, certain parts will wear with use, time and exposure to the elements. There are steps you can follow to make sure the bikes you own or provide as part of your business stay healthy enough get you (or guests) from A to B without too much effort.
1. Buy a bike for its low maintenance and not it's cheap purchase price.
Look for internally geared hubs which require far less maintenance than derailleur gears. Consider also whether the bike has stainless steel spokes and double walled alloy rims. The wheels are often the first thing to deteriorate on cheaper brands along with any chromed steel parts.
2. Consider a regular maintenance agreement with your local bike shop or the place where you purchased your fleet.
Most shops prefer to have the bikes dropped off to their premises for a general service to be undertaken. For larger fleets they may be willing to come to you for an additional fee. We recommend twice yearly servicing for fleet bikes as a minimum.
3. Have a set of tools and a designated Champion on hand for those basic repairs, tubes, pump, tyre levers etc.
Nominate someone with an interest in bikes to undertake the weekly care of your fleet. Its expensive to drop the bike off at the shop for every little adjustment or repair. Make sure they are polishing, oiling, pumping and checking the bikes every week. This should take 20 min per week max. Ask your local shop if they will provide training in the basics of upkeep.
Bikes cause more frustration than enjoyment if they are not well kept. Whether you're popping down to the supermarket or going on a scenic trail, you need a bike that functions as it should. Like cars, things need to be maintained and replaced at regular intervals to ensure an enjoyable ride. If you're in the area, pop into our Wellington store or get in touch - we have a fully functional bike workshop and are more than happy to talk about the best options for you or your business.