Frequently Asked Questions
1. Do I need a reservation?
Unless you need a unique bike in limited supply like a Fat Bike, E bike, or fancy road bike, or you are going on a multi-day trip, or participating in a special event like a triathlon, no reservation is needed. Even people who reserve bikes often switch to a different bike after they arrive. A Coastal Trail ride on a hybrid bike never requires a reservation. Our summer rental fleet consists of more than 150 bikes so we never run out. On rare occasions when a walk-in's frame size in the price range of their choice are all rented, we simply upgrade them to a more expensive bike that fits for no extra charge.
To make a reservation preview the choices by hovering on "Rental Bikes" in the menu then choose by bike type in the drop-down menu. If you want to reserve a specific bike, instead of calling, please contact us and include your height and weight along with your bike choice and we will confirm availability and provide a written confirmation. There is no deposit to reserve a bike and you can cancel. When you arrive if you see a bike you prefer more than the one reserved, you can switch.
Also, big groups (ten or more people) should send an email so we can be prepared with additional staff and/or by pre-positioning bikes outside in front of the store.
2. What is the difference between a Fat bike and a Plus bike
On average, Fat bike tires are 26" x 4" wide, Plus bike tires are 27-5" x 3" wide. Regular mountain bikes during summer are about 2" wide. A Plus bike is an all season bike. It is in between a regular mountain bike and a Fat bike. During winter, when the trails are packed down a Plus bike is faster than a Fat bike.
3. Who pays if the bike gets stolen or damaged, or if I get hurt or hurt someone else when riding a rental bike?
Renter assumes the same risk and responsibility they have when they ride their own bike back home. Renters must sign a Bike Rental Agreement/Liability Waiver/Contract. So that we have recourse in case the bike is stolen or damaged, a credit card (not a debit card) is required. A business that rents bikes is trusting not only an unknown person, but that person's unknown judgment. Everyone, even honest people, have had their bicycle stolen. By requiring renters to take responsibility for the equipment we rent them, renters are far less likely to become complacent. In contrast, if we didn't have this policy, it would cost a fortune to rent a bike, or we wouldn't have any bikes to rent at all.
Bike theft in Anchorage is rampant. We have stories of thieves who cut locks in broad daylight and refuse to stop unless confronted by superior force. If you lock up a rental bike, lock it where you can see it. If you can't see it you will need to borrow a U-Lock. Also remove the seat and take it indoors with you. If renting overnight, keep the bike in your hotel room or it will definitely get stolen. Treat your rental bike the same as the one you own back home and everything will be fine.
4. Where can I park downtown?
Catty-corner from is the "Easy Park" orange-trimmed five-story parking garage. It takes up an entire city block between 4th and 5th Avenue and B and C Street. The first hour is free and it costs $1.25 per hour thereafter. There are great views in all directions from the top floor of the garage. It's the largest parking garage in the state.
If paying any amount to park goes against your constitution, on weekdays, you can park for free on the eastern edge of downtown which requires a four to six block walk. Parking is free on 4th Avenue east of Cordova Street. East of A Street the first letter of each name of the street corresponds with the sequence in the alphabet: Barrow, Cordova, Denali, Eagle, Fairbanks . . . etc. . .
If you want to first check out our bikes before parking, or if you want to load bikes onto your vehicle and take them somewhere else, there are metered spaces in front of our store Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. It costs .25 cents for nine minutes. There is a two hour time limit even if the meter is paid; enforcement "chalks" the tires. A citation is $20. On weekdays there is almost always an available space. Give the meter a quarter then come in an check out our bikes.
On Saturday, on-street downtown parking at a meter is free but there is a two-hour limit (chalking) and available spaces are rare because the outdoor Weekend Market is just one block away. Best to park in front of a street meter east of A Street where it is both free and there is no time limit. We suggest you park on the north side of 4th Avenue between A and Barrow across the street from the fire station because the fire chief's office looks down on the street and they would certainly do something if a thief tried to break into a car. The fire station is only two blocks from our store.
On Sunday park in front of any downtown street meter because it is free and there is no time limit (chalking).
5. Can I exchange the bike I rented for a different type later in the day/week?
Yes. Exchange one type of bike for another type at any time. If you want to go mountain biking in the morning and road biking in the afternoon, no problem. This policy sometimes tips the balance between renting for two weeks, buying a bike in Anchorage, or bringing your own bike from home.
6. Can I bring my own pedals and shoes?
For a rental of one day or less, if you bring your own pedals there is a $4 charge for the pedal swap. In other words, to take our pedals off, put your pedals on, take your pedals off, and then put our pedals back on again, we charge $1 per swap. If when installing your pedal it "fights" the threads on the bike you've selected we won't be able to install your pedals.
If you want to clip-in we have a full range of clip in shoe sizes for rent. We use Shimano SPD. If renting for one day or less the cost is $4. If you rent a bike for more than one day use of our clip-in pedals and shoes is free.
If renting for one day or less and you want to bring your own SPD shoe and clip into our SPD pedal, the cost is $2.
To minimize pedal swaps that over time wear out and invariably strip the threads on our cranks, almost all of our bikes are set up with a spiky pedal that provides plenty of surface area and traction; even on the upstroke..
7. I will be in Anchorage for a number of weeks so should I rent, buy a bike there, or bring my own bike?
If you need to rent for more than two weeks and you like the bike you currently own, then you should probably pay the extra baggage fee and bring it to Anchorage. Alaska Airlines charges only $75 (each way) so for $150 roundtrip that's the same price as renting one bike for one week. Most other airlines charge $150 each way ($300 roundtrip) so that's the same as a two week rental.
If you don't really like the bike you currently own and have been thinking of buying a new one then just buy a bike in Anchorage, use it while you're here, and pay the fee to get it home where you need it anyway.
If you already own one type of bike (ie road), but have been thinking of buying another type of bike (ie mountain) now is the time to supplement your bike inventory by buying that bike you've been thinking about here then flying home with it where you need it anyway. There are lots of bike shops in Anchorage and there is no sales tax so the price will likely be the same or less than what you would pay for a new bike back home. We sell Fuji, SE, Breezer, and Surly bikes. If you want to buy one of these brands and want to be sure it is here in the model, frame size, and color you want, email your choice and we will let you know whether or not it is in stock for us to order and have here waiting for you to buy when you arrive.
Another option is to buy a used bike in Anchorage, use it while your here, then either fly home with it or sell it before you leave. Check Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace.
If none of the above options sound appealing then we can rent you a bike long term. Our weekly rates are published here:
If you're still on the fence with one of the options outlined above then FAQ 4 might tip the balance and help you decide.
8. Can we store luggage, a jacket or other items we don't need on our bike ride at your store?
Yes. Everyone who stores something at our store during their ride gets there own private tote. Storing things separately keeps them safe.
9. We arrive at the airport and would like to rent a bike during a long layover. How much does it cost to travel between the airport and your store?
Anchorage's bus service is called the People Mover. It costs $2 each time you ride the bus. You can also buy a one day pass for $5. Every 15 minutes Route 40 travels between the airport outside of baggage claim to the downtown transit center which is located only six blocks from our store.
Cab fare between the airport and downtown is about $20.
10. How long does it take to ride the 11-mile long Coastal Trail?
On average it takes two and a half hours round-trip at a leisurely pace to cycle the Coastal Trail. It's 22 miles round-trip. About 1.5 hours to bike out and one hour to bike back. Riders return faster because outbound there are two hills to tackle. One is in the middle of the trail near Earthquake Park. It's not too steep but it's about one mile long. The second hill is short and steep and at the very end of the trail. People who turn around at the bottom of the second hill see almost the entire trail. If you decide to ride up the hill at the end, you have the option of returning on the Alternate Return Route. The Alternate Route adds 3 miles to the return trip.
11. Where is nearby mountain biking?
At the end of the Coastal Trail is 1,500 acre Kincaid Park. Kincaid has more than 30 miles of roller-coaster trails. Here's a map. Another place to mountain bike is by taking the Chester Creek Trail past UAA to 2,600 acre Far North Bicentennial Park.
Also, if you take our shuttle one way to Flattop, you can downhill on the Powerline Traill/Gasline Trail into Bicentennial Park. We call this the Hike/Bike Combo.
Check out the "Mountain Biking in Anchorage" video in the menu for a cool preview of the trails.
12. How far is the beginning of the Coastal Trail from your store?
5 blocks. Right on E, left on 2nd.
13. What happens if I don't borrow a repair kit and I get a flat?
Call us. Depending on where you are on the trail, we will figure out what is the most reasonable way to solve this problem. While flats are rare, they sometimes occur.
- Wait to receive repair kit from an outgoing renter and fix flat
- If there are enough employees working at the store, wait for one of us to race out on a bike and fix it
- Ask for help from a good samaritan with a repair kit
- Walk bike to bus stop and take bus back downtown
- Call cab. (DBR not responsible for cab fare.)
14. What happens if I have a mechanical issue that I can't or don't know how to fix with the free repair kit?
Call the bike rental and we'll figure out the best way to help.
Layers with a wind breaker or rain jacket. In summer be sure to wear or bring shorts. Even if the day starts out cool, it often gets hot (really) and so do cyclists when they ride. Sweatpants are better than pants or jeans. If you do wear pants, we will offer you a rubber band to mitigate the risk of grease stains from the chain.
16. Is there any way to get the bikes back to you without having to make the return trip?
No. However, if you're concerned a 22 mile round trip bike ride on the Coastal Trail is too long, consider renting the bike and putting it on the front of the number 40 People Mover bus for $2. On weekdays it leaves downtown every 15 minutes/30 minutes apart on weekends. Get off The bus at the intersection of International Airport Road and Spenard Road. Then, ride the bike four miles into Kincaid Park where the Coastal Trail ends. Ride its entire 11 mile distance back downtown.
The bus station is at 6th and G; only 5 blocks from our store. Click Here for the Number 40 Bus Route.