One of the most common questions we are asked by international entrants who want to take part in the Cape Town Cycle Tour is, “should we take our own bikes, or should we rent a bike in Cape Town?”
It’s a good question, and we can completely understand why some people would be nervous about transporting their bike to South Africa for the event, especially since many of these bikes are worth over £5000, but it all depends on the individual, and what you want from the race.
Cycling the Cape Town Cycle Tour on your own Bike
If you are racing the Cape Town Cycle Tour competitively, against other members of your group, or simply against your own personal best, then you should definitely take your own bike to Cape Town. There are some fantastic rental bikes available, but they will never be to the same standard as your Pinarello Dogma F8, and with your own saddle, own handlebars and finely tuned gears, there is no reason why you shouldn’t take first place on the podium on March 6th!
All airlines allow you to transport your bike, either as part of your luggage allowance or for a fixed fee, so you need to shop around for the best deal. We particularly like British Airways and Emirates, and to date, we have never lost a bike (hope I’m not jinxing anyone here!), but delays can happen, so try to give yourself at least one or 2 days in Cape Town before the race to avoid the unthinkable…
A good quality bike box essential, as is bike insurance. Most airlines will not accept any responsibility if your bike gets scratched, so bear that in mind when you pack your trusty steed.
Renting a bike for the Cape Town Cycle Tour
If you are heading to South Africa on holiday, and would like to participate in the world’s largest timed cycle race for fun, then renting a bike is a good option. Most bicycle rental companies in Cape Town offer a good selection of road bikes, but you should bear in mind that the majority of these bikes are rented out throughout the year, and are therefore well used and not brand spanking new.
Due to the popularity of the Cape Town Cycle Tour, the demand for rental bikes is high, and this pushes the price up considerably. Most companies have a minimum rental period of 5 – 14 days, and to rent a decent road bike, you are looking at around ZAR 3,000 (approximately £160) per bike. Which is about the same price as transporting your bike with KLM or Air France.
Finding a good quality road bike for rent in Cape Town over the Argus weekend is like trying to find a needle in a haystack – it isn’t going to happen, so please don’t even try. If you are thinking about renting a bike for the Argus, you need to do it now. Once registration opens in September, all bikes will be rented out within just a couple of weeks, so don’t delay!