Renting a Bike in Bordeaux France

I get a lot of e-mails regarding the best places to rent bikes in or near Bordeaux.  If you’re thinking about adding a weekend bike trip to a trip to Bordeaux, or if you are planning on biking part of La Velodyssee or the Atlantic Route, here are some suggestions for bike rentals.  These are not the only bike rental companies in or around Bordeaux, but of the companies I have communicated with, I have found them to be the most cooperative and responsive.  As talked about in previous posts, nothing can make or break a wonderful bicycling adventure than a bad bike rental experience, so you want to be sure that you trust the company you are renting from.  I would feel comfortable renting from any of the following companies.  Which one you choose will depend on the type of equipment that you want, and where you plan to start your bike trip.

With the grand opening of La Velodyssee this coming June, there is certain to be more easily accessible bike rental options.  I will be exploring more options on my upcoming trip, and will plan to update the listing when I return.  In the meantime, here are some companies that should be able to help with your bike rental needs:

O2cycles:

Norbert Audouin has been in the bike rental business in Bordeaux for almost 10 years and he specializes in bikes for longer distance travel, as opposed to city bikes.  Norbert rents German bikes by the brand name Cube, as he has found these to have high quality components and be perfectly suited to long distance riding in the Atlantic region.  The all-terrain bikes are 24 speed with Shimano components and they can accommodate both front and rear panniers. Here is a photo and details on the bikes like I rent. For more serious riders who want to stick to fast riding on paved roads, O2cycles also rents road bikes.  For families traveling in the area, kids’ bike rentals are available, as well as trailers.  If you are fond of traveling very close to a loved one, tandems are available too.  If you do not have your own panniers, those are available for rent also.

Norbert does not have an actual storefront.  He delivers throughout a wide area of Southwest France.  Deliveries in and around the Bordeaux area are free, so you can make arrangements to have your bike delivered to the airport, train station or your hotel or B and B in Bordeaux.  Support services are provided for an area of 100 km around Bordeaux.

If you don’t see what you are looking for or you need additional information, you can simply contact Norbert directly with your specific questions at:  contact@o2cycles.com.  Norbert speaks great English and he is very prompt in replying to e-mail requests, something that is very important to me when choosing a company to work with.  The O2cycles website is in French, so unless you read French, just use Babelfish to translate.  Norbert is also a great resource for information on biking in the region, so be sure to ask him for information on his favorite routes.

Bike Hire Direct

Bike Hire Direct really has the entire customer service thing down pat, and they make renting bikes for your Atlantic Coast vacation fun and easy.  This is a family run business, started by Neville and Natasha Wright in 2006 after falling in love with the area when they got married.  Very responsive and helpful, this company bends over backwards to answer all your bike rental and route questions quickly and thoroughly.  Their website is very easy to use, is in French and English and answers most of the general questions you may have about biking in the Charente or Charente Maritime areas.  And if you need more information, Natasha will be more than willing to follow up with answers to all of your questions.

Bike Hire Direct has all the equipment you need for family bike trips including 18 speed Kross Hardtail all terrain bikes, kids’ bikes and tandem bikes.  They have a wide selection of accessories to make your travel easier.  All bike rentals include free helmets, lock and tool kit and full French liability insurance.  Delivery and pick up is free throughout the Charente and Charente-Maritime and they will also deliver to Bordeaux.

Bike Hire Direct is the only bike rental company that I encountered that has an early booking and family rental discount.  They have a family package that includes two adult bikes and two kids bikes for 150Euros for 5 days, or 250Euros for 10 days.  They also have a couple package and have a special discount if you reserve your bikes package before May 1.

The website has a some good information on bike paths in the Charente and Charente-Maritime areas, most of which is in French, but they are making a big effort to include more information in English.  If you can’t find the information on bike routes you are looking for on the website, be sure to ask Natasha.  You can contact her for information on bike rentals at info@bikehiredirect.com.

Bordeaux Scooters

I was recommended to Regis Valladon at Bordeaux Scooters by Florent Leroux who runs a bike touring company in Beaune.  I contacted Florent when I began looking for a rental in Bordeaux because Detours in France operates self-guided tours in the area, so I knew that he would have a recommendation.  Florent agreed that bicycle rentals were often difficult in the area around Bordeaux, so he recommended that I contact Regis Valladon at Bordeaux Scooters.

This company is located in central Bordeaux and has an extensive offering of everything from motorcycles to sales and rental of electric bikes, an increasingly popular choice in Europe.   I found it interesting that the company rents Peugeot road bikes, since these are generally very difficult to rent in France.  So if you are interested in covering some serious distances, definitely not the kind of recreational biking I do, this may be a good option for you.  For all-terrain bikes, Bordeaux Scooters uses the Sparta Maya brand, and you can learn more about it by clicking on the name.

Rentals here are very affordable, ranging from 14Euros/day for an all-terrain bike to 18Euros/day for a road bike to 25Euros/day for an electric bike.  Multiple day rates are the bargain here:  75Euros/week for an all-terrain bike, 75Euros/week for a road bike and 149Euros/week for the electric bike.  Bordeaux Scooters is located at 47 rue de Tauzia in Bordeaux.  For further information, send requests to: regisvalladon@hotmail.com.

Bike Atlantic

Even though this rental company does not rent bikes in the immediate Bordeaux area, I have included it on my list for those people who are riding the Atlantic Route and may be starting their journey in Southwest France near the Spanish Border.  If so, this bike rental company is an excellent choice.  They are located in the small town of Anglet near the town of Bayonne.  They specialize in bike trips and bike rentals in Basque Country and the Landes, and they deliver and pick up anywhere within a 20 km area.  They will deliver bikes to Bordeaux, but it can be expensive.  According to Bike Atlantic Director Marc Fenies, many people begin their bike trip in the south of France near Bayonne, and then just take the train to return the bikes at the end of the trip.  It is less than 2 hours by train.

What is the advantage of using Bike Atlantic?  If you are adament about having a Trek all terrain bike for a long bike vacation, this may be your best bet.  The company rents 24 speed Trek bikes, including a handlebar bag with lock, spare tube, patch kit and pump.  If you don’t have your own panniers, they also can provide them, approximate cost for two weeks is 30Euros per pair.  Bike rental is 20Euros/day, 90Euros/week or 160Euros/two weeks. Bike Atlantic also offers a self-guided bike tour of Southwest France beginning in Bayonne and ending in Les Eyzies in the Dordogne Valley.  For questions, a rental quote or for additional information, contact Marc Fenies at:  mfenies@hotmail.com.

I hope that you will find this information of some use, in the event that you are planning a bicycling trip to the Atlantic Coast of France.  You will need to weigh the pros and cons of bringing your own bike versus renting.  If I lived in England or another European country and transportation was not such a huge issue, I wouldn’t think twice about bringing my own bike.  But between the inconvenience of packing up and carting a bike, paying close to $100 in fees to transport each bike, and trying to figure out where to store the packing box while on vacation, it is just much easier in my mind to rent.

Posted by Maggie LaCoste

I love the adventure and unpredictability of experiencing France by bike. Cycling in France is the ultimate slow travel adventure, an opportunity to see it through the back door in a way few tourists experience. One week on a bike in France and life takes on a different meaning! I created Experience France By Bike to inspire recreational cyclists to visit France the slow way....by bike, and to be the best source of information for planning the perfect bicycling adventure. I encourage readers to embrace the uncertainty of the road ahead and to take the path less traveled, exploring roads, towns and villages that you would never experience traveling by car.

  1. Hi there. Thanks so much for compiling this information. I wanted to know how current it is. I’m trying to rent a bike right now in Bordeaux and having a hard time getting a reliable answer via email. Thanks so much!

    1. The information is up to date, as it was written the end of March. I used O2Cycles in Bordeaux. You might try calling Norbert Audouin at 06-50-02-41-64. He delivers bikes all around the Bordeaux area. Same is true of Bike Hire Direct. Natasha is a pleasure to work with and if she is not responding to e-mail, contact her on her Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/bikehiredirect?sk=wall.

      It’s the summer season, so I am sure that they are pretty busy, but I know that one of them would contact you back!

      Hope this helps!

      Maggie LaCoste
      Experience France by Bike

  2. […] This is the perfect way to see the city of Bordeaux and there are plenty of options (see this great round-up from Experience France by Bike) […]

  3. Here are some great comments I received from Cliff Van Eaton of Papamoa New Zealand:

    We have just cycled from Bordeaux to Toulouse, and thanks to what we read in this post we used the services of Regis at Bordeaux Scooters. In a nutshell, we couldn’t have been happier.

    Despite the “scooter” name, Regis has over 200 cycles for rent, but these aren’t your common B’twin €200 hybrids. They’re instead much more expensive Dutch bikes that are very strongly made and can handle pretty much all conditions.

    The price is almost too good to be true, especially prior to July 1, and unlike a lot of other rental firms it includes front and rear panniers at no extra cost.

    The location of Regis’s shop is also a draw card. It’s only a couple of blocks from the train station, which means you can pick up your bikes straight away and then use them to get yourself all around beautiful Bordeaux, a wonderful cycle-friendly city. It also means that it’s easy to return your bikes from Toulouse. Just hop on the regional train.

    The only thing that may put people off is that Regis’s website isn’t in English, and he doesn’t have a fancy reply form you can use to book your bikes. But he also didn’t ask for a deposit when we booked, which was very generous of him.

    To access his service, just pull up his website (bordeauxscooters. com) and use Google Translate, then send him an email with your request. He speakers excellent English, and in our case responded almost immediately.

    ****

    Here’s another quick snippet, Maggie, that readers might find useful:

    We love your website, Maggie, and without it we probably wouldn’t have attempted our little cycle trip from Bordeaux to Toulouse. For what it’s worth, readers shouldn’t be put off by what looks like a long journey, or comments about lack of signs and getting lost. It’s really pretty straight-forward, and of course not knowing where you are, and then discovering out of the way places is part of the fun.

    By all means head straight out from Bordeaux. Take the very nice Pont Saint-Jean (bridge), then follow the local cycle lane until it meets up with Voie Roger Lapebie, a wonderful wooded “rail trail” that was one of the highlights of the whole trip. If you leave Bordeaux by about 9am you’ll be ready for coffee at the trail-side cafe in Lignan, very much the place where all the locals come for caffeine as well.

    We took a side-trip to Saint-Emillion, which included some hill work, but the only real issue for people on the direct route is that the rail trail doesn’t connect directly with the canal bike trail. The wonderful cycle map provided by the Bordeaux tourist office (Carte Touristique Voie Verte Bordeaux -Toulouse a’ Velo) is a must to get you through, but don’t expect good signage along the road route. In fact there are some signs for local cycle routes in both Sauveterre-de-Guyenne and St Martin-de-Lerm that will send you down wrong roads (note to the wise: At St Martin-de-Lerm, take the first right as soon as you get into the village, just opposite the Mairie, even though it looks like a one lane track; note to the local council: please put up a sign).

    Eventually you’ll make it from Sauveterre-de-Guyenne to La Reole, where we’d highly recommend staying with Anne at La Parenthese B&B, the best accommodation we had during our trip. We were turned on to it by a fellow cyclist on the rail trail going the other way who told us if we were going to La Reole we had to stay there.

    The rest of the trip was easy, if not always entirely picturesque. In fact the bit that conjures up images of cycling the canals, with huge, shady plane trees and lots of funky canal boats, is along the first day’s route from La Reole (actually Fontet across the river). We came back at the end of our journey and took friends on a day trip starting here, and they were equally enchanted.

    ****

    Once again, Maggie, thanks for such a great website. We’ll be making more cycle trips in France in the future, that’s for sure.

    Cheers,

    Cliff Van Eaton
    Papamoa, New Zealand

  4. […] This is the perfect way to see the city of Bordeaux and there are plenty of options (see this great round-up from Experience France by Bike) […]