Cycling in the Pyrenees: Where to Hire a Bike
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Over the past 12 months, I have had a number of friends visit me here in the Pyrenees for some cycling. Instead of bringing their own bikes with them, they decided that hiring a bike was an easier option. Knowing the area well I assisted them in sourcing the right bike from the different suppliers in the area. I thought it would be a great idea to share my experience to help other people looking to hire a bike in the Pyrenees. On top of that I have researched bike hire across the entire Pyrenees so no matter where you are planning to travel to, you will hopefully be able to hire a bike.
The good news is that organising bike hire in the Pyrenees is nice and easy and there are quite a few options to choose from. The stores that I used had online facilities to make the booking and the collection and drop-off procedures were well explained and took no time at all. The bikes supplied were as advertised, mechanically sound, and came with a basic repair kit.
You can hire all types of bikes in the Pyrenees including road bikes, mountain bikes, electric bikes, recreational bikes, and children’s bikes. Prices vary depending on the type of bike you hire and the amount of time you hire the bike for. Most of the shops publish rates on their websites so you can see which one has the best deal to suit you. Generally speaking, the longer you hire a bike, the cheaper the per-day rate is. For example, you might pay €20 to hire a bike for a day or €80 for 5 days.
Some of the things I have learned in organising bike hire for friends here in the Pyrenees include:
- Check pedal systems – if you have your own cycling shoes, double-check with the bike store that they have pedals to suit your cleats. Some of the bike hire outlets will provide different pedal options but others will supply flat pedals only.
- Saddles – while all the bikes come with a saddle, you may wish to consider bringing your own. This ensures you will be able to cycle with a saddle you are used to and find comfortable.
- Book early – if you are travelling in July or August to the Pyrenees and wish to hire a bike, make sure you book it nice and early to avoid missing out. This is especially the case if you need a particularly large or small frame.
- Shop around – not all bike hire outlets stock all frame sizes so you might need to shop around to find an outlet with the frame size you need. As an example, a friend of ours needed an XS frame size and there was only one outlet that stocked that particular size for hire.
- Speak to your hotel – if you are staying at one of the many cycling hotels in the Pyrenees, have a chat with them about bike hire. Many have partnered with local bike hire outlets and will be able to assist you with your requirements.
Bike hire in the Pyrenees by town
Here you will find the bike hire outlets across the Pyrenees that I have used myself and have been able to find online as we researched. I was surprised to see both Pau and Foix lacking any bike hire options as I know they are both popular holiday destinations and there are always plenty of people cycling in those areas, not to mention there are some spectacular rides to be had in those regions. There are other options close to Pau and Foix but nothing in the cities themselves.
I will keep looking and ask around locally about bike hire in both Pau and Foix and confirm that it is indeed the case that there is no bike hire available in either of these locations.
While there are a number of bike shops in Pau, none of them has bike hire options available. My suggestion would be to source your bike hire in Lourdes or Argeles Gazost where there are plenty of options. I will follow this up with some of the local operators as it seems strange for a town with such a cycling pedigree that there is no bike hire available.
Bike and Py is the only bike hire outlet in Lourdes and they offer a range of mountain bikes, road bikes, and electric bikes. They can deliver your bike to your accommodation if that is something that you would like to arrange. You can book your bike online and choose from Bianchi or Colnago road bikes, Commencal mountain bikes, or Néomouv electric bikes. They also have bikes available in children’s sizes. I have used Bike and Py previously and have no hesitation in recommending them for your bike hire needs. Bike and Py are also a bike shop and have its own in-house cafe, so even if you don’t need to hire a bike go and check out their store.
Cycles Arbes is another bike store in Lourdes that advertises bike hire on its website. However, they have a partnership arrangement with L’etape des Pyrenees in Argles Gazost. As such they don’t directly hire bikes themselves. Not an issue, but just something to be aware of, especially if you are going to be based in Lourdes. They are a great bike shop and I frequently visit when I need some spare parts or looking for something new.
There are two bike hire outlets located in Argeles Gazost, Cycl’in Pyrenees, and L’etape des Pyrenees. Both outlets are also bike shops providing sales and servicing of bikes as well as a range of accessories. Both stores offer online booking for their fleets of road bikes, mountain bikes, and electric bikes. You will find a range of bike types and sizes including children’s sizes.
I have had experience with both of these stores both for bike hire and for mechanical repairs. In all instances, they have provided a great service and I recommend them both.
Luz Saint Sauveur
Sitting at the base of the famous Col du Tourmalet is the village of Luz Saint Sauveur where you will find 3 bike hire outlets Ardiden Velos, Luz Bikes, and Tourmalet Bikes. Ardiden Velos and Tourmalet Bikes rent road bikes, mountain bikes, and electric bikes while Luz Bikes rent mountain bikes only. Bookings can be made online
I have had experience with Ardiden Velos on a couple of occasions and always found their service to be good. Their bikes are nice and new and in great condition.
Saint Lary Soulan
Saint Lary Soulan has three bike hire outlets Alex Sports, Evolution2, and Joe Bike to choose from. Alex Sports offers road bikes, mountain bikes, electric bikes, and leisure bikes while the other two offer road and mountain bikes only. Online bookings are possible with Evolution2 and Joe Bike but you will need to reserve via phone for Alex Sports.
Bagneres de Luchon
There are two bike hire outlets in Bagneres de Luchon, Luchon Mountain Bike and Luchon Bike Centre. Despite the name, Luchon Mountain Bike does hire different types of bikes including road bikes, mountain bikes, electric bikes, and urban bikes. Luchon Bike Centre hires a range of mountain bikes and road bikes. Bookings for Luchon Mountain Bike can be made online, while you will need to contact Luchon Bike Centre via phone or email to check on the availability of bikes.
Pamiers is located a short distance from Foix in the Ariege and has one bike hire outlet, Le Petit Plateau. It offers road bikes and mountain bikes. Bookings are via an email address.
Like Pau to the west, Foix does not have any bike hire outlets. There are a number of bike shops in the town but they don’t offer bike hire. BedBikesBreakfast Pyrenees is located in the village of Loubieres, a short drive from Foix and they do offer road bike hire, both electric and non-electric. Bookings need to be made by phone or email.
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If you are interested in bike hire in the Pyrenees then we have a couple of other articles on our site that complement this one.
- Hiring a bike in France – this article goes into a bit more detail about bike hire in France and some of the things to be aware of
- Cycling routes in the Pyrenees – once you have your bike sorted you can then look through our list of 40 cycling routes in the Pyrenees to see where you might like to ride.