bikeNOW Europe

COAST TO COAST

Any questions?

INFORMATION & BOOKING

Who can ride a bikeNOW Europe tour?

We welcome riders of varying ages and backgrounds, aiming to create an enjoyable experience for all. Our tours have seen participants ranging from 25 to over 65 years old. We’ve accommodated both men and women, supporting them to reach peaks during our Bike Now Europe Tours. For the Tour de France Tour, we tailor rides to suit available time, terrain, and capabilities. Completing all bikeNOW Europe Tour Classic and Rouleur climbs demands a combination of experience, low gear, fitness, and determination.

How fit do I have to be?

Our tours involve strenuous exercise, so it’s advisable to consult your physician before undertaking such activities. A higher level of fitness enhances the ride experience, yet we accommodate riders of varying abilities and ensure no one feels pressured beyond their comfort level.

Average ride distance and challenges

It does sound easy, doesn’t it? There are three factors at play that make it more challenging than may at first appear: at least 20km each day is constantly uphill: 75km per day, for 7 to 13 days is more than most people usually ride; at the same time we travel across France. Each day there are shorter and longer options. It turns out to be a big challenge; doable, amazing and unforgettable.

Are bikeNOW Europe tours a race?

No, our tours are not competitive events. Participants ride at their own pace, often with a riding guide at the front and another following. Riders naturally form groups along the route and assemble periodically. Stops for cafes and photos also contribute to riders’ varying positions along the route.

Best climb on the bikeNOW Europe Tour

Each climb offers a unique and memorable experience. The winding ascent up Col de la Croix de Fer, especially when catching a glimpse of Mont Blanc, feels exceptional. Alpe-d’Huez and Mt Ventoux have an aura of epic adventure. Additionally, the descent from Col de Tourmalet is equally thrilling, offering everyone their unforgettable moments.

What sort of bike do I need?

Low gears are crucial, particularly for the persistently steep gradients encountered on our Alpes tour. We recommend bikes fitted with a cassette containing a large cog (27 teeth) and suggest a triple or compact crankset for optimal gearing. Lighter bikes can make climbing easier, providing an opportunity to invest in your dream bike with substantial discounts available at our showroom for tour participants.

Can I hire a bike?

While bringing your own bike offers familiarity and comfort, we have a small fleet for hire and can arrange bikes from local operators (excluding the Tour de France period).

What happens if I have mechanical issues with my bike?

Our experienced on-tour mechanics ensure any bike-related problems are promptly addressed. Replacing parts or performing repairs is always an option, and we provide information on nearby reputable retail stores. While basic repair skills are helpful, our team is readily available to assist.

What else do I need to bring?

We provide detailed monthly information covering tour preparations, including recommended items and what to exclude, ensuring you meet airline weight limits.

Assistance with bike unpacking/repacking?

Our on-tour mechanics gladly offer assistance. Pre-tour classes in our Melbourne showroom provide insights into bike packing for interested participants.

What training should I do?

Consistent cycling and gradually increasing ride durations are key. Detailed training information is provided monthly for registered participants.

What if I dislike riding downhill?

It’s common for riders to feel uneasy about downhill descents. We offer riding technique suggestions and adjustments to improve comfort. Riders are never pressured to exceed their comfort zones and typically gain confidence over time.

Options for non-riding days

While we encourage riding, non-riders can opt to stay with the support vehicle. However, this may limit access to certain locations along the route, especially during the Tour de France Tour.

Travel logistics

Our tours start and end near major cities with airports and high-speed train connections. Detailed information about meeting locations and times is provided well in advance.

Do I need to speak French or Italian?

Non! We’ve found that many people speak a little (or a lot of) English and that riding a bike, a smile, and a polite greeting is a good start to the easy dialogue. People, in general, are very friendly and supportive if you have a go, we are there to help too. In general, being able to say “Hello” really is all the French or Italian you need. Saying “Good Day” indicates you are polite, and our accents tell any person that we are not local. Anytime you feel like dropping a “Bonjour” or “Ciao” at a ticket office, going into a shop or dining room, in a restaurant, or as you pass people on the road, or just about anywhere, you’ll get a polite nod and reply. Don’t be scared to sing it out! When it comes to language, especially in France or Italy, they are impressed by foreigners who at least attempt to speak their language – it demonstrates to them that you are respecting their culture and trying your best to communicate.

Can non-riding partners join the tour?

Of course! In fact, we design some of our Tours with parallel and overlapping programs for riders and non-riders. It should, however, be understood that the Bike Now Europe Tours’ main focus is cycling, the support vehicle is available for non-riders, but does not necessarily follow the rider’s route, so travelling with the support vehicle misses some of the best parts. Contact us to find out more about being on one of our Tours as a non-riding participant.

Why Choose bikeNOW Europe Tours Over Cheaper Options?

While it’s undeniable that cheaper tours exist, none can match the comprehensive nature of our offerings in terms of duration, support, experience, and quality. Our Tours you are able to jump on or off on any arrival/departure date, offering not only convenience but also an exhilarating experience across multiple countries.

When considering the value proposition, it’s essential to account for additional travel and accommodation costs. Moreover, our tours distinguish themselves by providing professional on-tour mechanics and support vehicles—a rarity among most tour operators. We firmly believe that these inclusions ensure that bikeNOW Europe Tours offers exceptional value for money. Additionally, we often provide the flexibility for participants to join our tours later, opting for a reduced duration at a reduced fee, catering to individual preferences.

Does the tour price include airfares?

No, the tour price covers the cycling tour itself and doesn’t include airfare to or from Europe.

When is payment due for the tour?

A deposit upon booking and final payment about 10 weeks before the tour are required. Refunds are applicable based on cancellation policies. Travel insurance is recommended.

Are dinners included in the tour package?

While dinners are not always included, we take pride in curating and recommending exceptional dining spots. These recommendations are tailored to each location’s unique culinary offerings. However, you’re not bound by our suggestions; feel free to explore any restaurant or eatery that piques your interest. We encourage trying local delicacies and hidden gems to enhance your overall experience.

Absolutely! While we provide dinner recommendations, your dining preferences are paramount. If you have specific dietary needs or preferences, or if you’re eager to explore a different restaurant, you’re more than welcome to do so. Our team is happy to assist with suggestions, reservations, or any information you might need to make your dining experience memorable.

Is safety a concern during the tour?

France and Italy are generally safe countries with a low crime rate. Wandering around during the day or night is usually trouble-free. As with any major cities, pick-pocketing can occur, so it’s wise to conceal your cash and valuables, keeping them out of easy reach. Violent crimes against tourists are extremely rare and shouldn’t overly worry you. Adhering to standard security measures is recommended—avoid carrying large amounts of cash and utilise your hotel room safely.

What precautions should I take while traveling with my bike?

Consider using a lightweight cable lock to secure your bike while traveling. In Paris, it’s crucial not to let your bike out of sight, even for a brief moment, as bike theft is a significant issue in the city. While bike theft isn’t common in rural areas of France or during ‘Le Tour,’ it’s best to err on the side of caution. Carrying a light cable lock during your rides can offer peace of mind if you decide to make stops along the way. This added security measure can be valuable, especially during unexpected pauses.

Is it easy to travel with a bike?

Traveling with your bike can be hassle-free with proper preparation. Choosing the right bike bag is crucial for security and convenience. We highly recommend EVOC’s Bike Travel Bag for its exceptional design, providing secure storage for your bike and dedicated space for wheels.

If you prefer hard-shell cases, Scicon offers robust options, although they don’t fold for storage and can suffer more damage during handling. Surprisingly, soft cases, also available from Scicon, offer excellent protection and fold down compactly at your destination.

Contact our retail showroom for assistance and a special discount as a Bike Now Europe client

Should I travel with a cycling GPS?

Absolutely! Cycling-specific GPS units are incredibly useful, offering navigation, health monitoring, and training tools. The Garmin range is highly recommended for reliability and features.

I'm uncomfortable on my bike - Does it matter?

If discomfort persists, consider a professional bike fit for long-term comfort and power delivery. Our bikeNOW showroom in South Melbourne offers bike fitting services.

Are carbon wheels suitable for descents?

Carbon wheels are prized for their lightweight and aerodynamic benefits, especially for climbs. However, they can heat up on steep descents, impacting braking performance. Older models may suffer from heat accumulation affecting resin bonding and tire detachment. To mitigate this, cyclists should avoid constant braking on descents and use intermittent, gentle squeezes of the levers for cooling. Leading brands such as Zipp, Enve, and Mavic provide advanced carbon wheelsets, making it advisable to explore these options before cycling.

Are Disc Brake equipped road bikes a good idea for climbing?

Yes! Hydraulic disc brakes provide excellent control while descending steep climbs, offering a significant advantage for riders tackling challenging terrains.