Bike FAQs

What bikes do you carry?

We carry Norco bikes for use on our California bike tours. The majority of our bike fleet is composed of a mix of recent model years of Norco VFR2 hybrid bikes and Norco Valence A3 road bikes. (We have the Valence A3 from both 2014 and 2015 model years. Frame geometry is slightly different for the two years - click on this link for specification for 2014 Valence A3). Both styles of bikes are designed for efficient travel on the road and have Shimano components. We can put flat pedals or pedals with toe cages on any of our bikes, but some of our clients prefer to bring their own pedals, which we can help you install. Just let us know which bike style you prefer, how tall you are and what your pedal preference is and we'll make sure the right equipment is tuned up and ready for you.

NOTICE: From January 2017 to April 2017 we will be transitioning our hybrid fleet from Norco VFR2 to Trek FX3. During this time if you request a hybrid, you may get either a Norco VFR2 or a Trek FX3. Here is a link to the Trek FX3.

Norco Valence A3 Road Bike

Norco VFR2 Hybrid Bike

Trek FX3 Hybrid Bike

What kind of pedals are on your bikes? Can I bring my own pedals?

We can put flat pedals or pedals with toe cages on the bike for your tour, or you can bring your own pedals. Due to cost and complexity we do not supply any clip-in pedal systems like Shimano SPD. If you are bringing your own pedals, we suggest trying to take them off your bike at home at least a few days before you travel here as sometimes pedals can get stuck on crank arms and a visit to a bike shop may be necessary to get them off. We will have all the necessary tools to install your pedals on our bikes.

Can I upgrade to a full carbon bike?

Yes. We don't have full carbon bikes in our fleet, so we have to rent these from a local bike shop. Upgrades to full carbon bikes usually cost a minimum of $60 per bike per day and often more. Please contact us if you'd like us to look into a full carbon upgrade for you.

Do you offer just bike rentals?

No. All our bikes are for our trips, guided or self guided. We do not have a retail storefront for people to visit and rent equipment. For local rentals we suggest Wally's Bicycle Works. They have locations in San Luis Obispo and Avila Beach.

Do you sell just directions and/or maps for your bike tours?

No. Many people ask us about buying directions, maps and perhaps getting accommodations recommendations for bike trips down the coast. In cases like this we are happy to give some free advice over the phone, but we don't sell just information separately from taking one of our tours, guided or self guided. For people planning a tour down the coast who don't need our bikes or excess luggage transport, we recommend buying "Bicycling the Pacific Coast" by Tom Kirkendall and Vicky Spring. It has detailed maps and directions for the entire Pacific Coast bike route. They route people a little differently than we do in certain situations and the information is a bit dated (last edition is 2005), but it will get you down the coast. The book also lists most of the campgrounds along the coast. For hotel accommodations, we suggest picking towns to stay in and then looking up accommodations on a site such as TripAdvisor.

On the bike tours through wine country, do some people get too drunk to ride?

It is not necessary to get inebriated when doing a bike tour that encompasses wine tasting. You don't have to stop at every winery you pass. It's best to pick just a few and taste there. In a typical tasting scenario you end up drinking about one full glass of wine when you add up all the "tastes." When tasting it is perfectly appropriate to skip certain wines, use the spit bucket or "share" a tasting with your partner. It is also important to know that all the laws about driving in a vehicle after drinking apply equally to riding a bike after drinking. On our guided tours, if anyone does have a bit too much wine before the end of the ride, there is always the support vehicle available to shuttle in.

What rack and pannier system are provided on your self guided bike tours?

On our self guided tours where you carry your own clothing and gear, we have two different types of rack and pannier systems. Unless a specific request is made and confirmed, you may get either of our systems on your bike. The most common system we use is a Topeak seat post mount rack and rear bag with fold out panniers. Here are links to the most common system we use:

  • Rack system - We use the optional side frame for use with fold down panniers from the MTX Trunkbag EXP.
  • Rear bag

 

Sometimes we may also use a more traditional style rack that attaches near the rear hub as well as on the bike frame under the seat. The panniers are traditional side rear panniers. We provide a set of two panniers per bike. Here is a link to the most common pannier set we use:

 

During rainy season, we use a traditional rack with waterproof panniers:

 

We usually do not provide a handlebar bag, but can do so on special request. We never provide front panniers.