Has anyone got recommendations for long-term bike rentals in Italy (4-5 weeks?)
We plan to spend 5 weeks this summer in my wife’s ancestral hometown of Torino, Italy.
The idea of spending most of the summer off the bike is painful enough, but sitting around twiddling my thumbs at the base of the Alps would be excruciating!
All the rentals I can find on the internet amount to half the price of buying a new bike, any creative solutions? I’d even be willing to try to buy (then sell) something used, if I knew where to look…
I don’t know if Spinlister are active in Italy, but you might be able to work out a deal with someone that way?
You could get on craiglist or local equivalent, buy the first halfway decent bike you see, ride it for a month, and then sell it on the same site at the end. You’d be taking a gamble on how much of a loss you eventually sell it for.
Alternatively, if you’re going to be there as long as 4-5 weeks, I think you’re tipping past the point of getting value for whatever baggage charges your airline might impose for bringing your own bike.
Why not just travel with your bike? Surely the cost of a good hard sided case and associate luggage fees is well less than a month of bike rentals?
Main reasons not to fly with a bike are my four year old and my two year old; we have our hands full as it is.
That said, the cost of a hard shell bike case seems to be $600+ before handling fees, so maybe I should be viewing the rental fees more favorably!
You could have your bike boxed up and shipped to Italy for less than that, and that also takes away the hassle of having it as luggage.
I would definitely check the local used market. I bet a good road bike could be had for under €1k, and you’ll be able to offload at the end of your trip for $800. And if you really like it, you can plead n+1 and bring it home
I think this is your best option. There may be local bike shops that could help - contact a few in advance. About 10 years ago, I found that many of the younger employees in Italian bike shops spoke at least reasonable English, and I can’t imagine the situation has got worse.
I also wonder about looking at home in advance (reducing the likelihood of buying a lemon and making any small repairs that are needed easier), having what you buy shipped to Italy (I’d guess cost $200-300), and then selling it over there at the end of the trip. Yes, you’ll lose more money, probably in the region of $500, but it would strike me as maybe the least hassle.
This can be a good option but overseas shipping from US to Europe can get super expensive, not sure where the OP is from though. The last time I was going overseas with a bike, it would have been $800 each way to ship it… plus another $140 for insurance. I bought a bike box for $600 and paid a $100 fee to the airline each way so it was $800 round trip and I’ve used the bike box a dozen other times since then.
I’m with tbro21, either buy a case and fly with it or if that is too much of a headache just ship the sucker to a bike shop in Italy, have it assembled while you’re on the plane, pick it up ride it and then drop it at the shop to have it repacked and shipped home. Priced it from my house in Scottsdale,AZ and you’re 1000 bucks from tip to tail which comes out to 200 bucks a week to ride your bike which is likely fitted and set up for you better than a rental bike. If OP is wealthy enough to take his family on a 5 week vacation a grand is nothing, especially traveling with kids seems like a faff to fart around trying to buy and sell a bike and parts to make sure it’s fitted right.
Thanks for the suggestions! I’m going to try talking to used bike shops in advance; my wife speaks Italian so hopefully not too much will get lost in translation.
Here in California the used bike market is still pretty weird compared to before COVID. I’ve looked around and there’s not really any bargains to be had except on the occasional obviously stolen bike with a wildly inaccurate description. But just poking around online things seem more promising in Turin and Milan.
And yes, I’m grateful to be in a position to go to Italy, but unfortunately we aren’t so wealthy that spending $1,000 on shipping/renting a bike would be “nothing” (I wish!). It seems like buying used from a shop and then arranging to re-sell is probably the most cost-effective option, I’ll come back and let you all know how it goes, hopefully accompanied by photos from a few iconic climbs…
Yeah, I’ve no idea how the used market is in Torino, but it has to be better than here in CA.
I’m waiting for the OP to buy a classic old-school Italian steelie - because it’s all that’s available in this imaginary and surreal scenario - and then fall in love with it and try to work out which of the family it’s replacing on the flight back home
In all seriousness, I rented an alloy Bianchi when I was in Avignon c.2010. It wasn’t very high end, had a Campag triple (which wasn’t dialled in very well iirc), and was fitted with nylon toe-clips, but somehow it was absolutely, gloriously appropriate to the setting and I really enjoyed riding it for 3 days.
I give the “overpays for a beautiful italian classic and then can’t bear to part with it” scenario even odds.
It would be a much better backstory than mere n+1, after all.
It would be what I would be secretly hoping for out of such a trip. Waaaay better souvenir than a crappy “I Italia” t-shirt.
I think you should try to contact some shops in Torino, in advance, to see if there are any options over there.
Good luck and keep us posted. Sounds like an awesome opportunity! Channel your inner Dave Stohler!