Downtown Bicycle Rental, Inc.

333 W.4th Avenue, Anchorage, AK 99501
4th Avenue between C and D

Also home of
Anchorage, Alaska Flattop Shuttle

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Do I need a reservation?

Because it is difficult to know in advance which of our 100+ bikes is the one you will most prefer, reservations are rarely necessary. When you get here we collaborate on which bike you will most like and then you test it. Some people test two or three bikes before making their choice.
  
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.

If you need a very unique bike in very limited supply (carbon fiber road bike), or if you are going on a multi-day trip, then a reservation is a good idea.  When you get here, if you prefer a different bike you can switch. 

If you're participating in a race or special event like a triathlon, then advance reservations are a good idea because other people participating in the event will also be renting bikes for it.

To make a reservation, preview our selection by hovering on "Rental Bikes" in the menu then choose by type of bike in the drop-down menu.  There are photos and specs for each bike.  If you see something you might like, email your choice to [email protected] along with your height and weight and the owner will reply.

There is no deposit to reserve a bike but please let us know if your plans change. Also, when you get here and start testing choices, it's not a problem to switch from the bike you reserved to a different one.

2. Where can I park downtown?

It costs only $1.25 per hour to park in the six story (orange trimmed) garage across the street from our store. It takes up the entire block between B & C and 4th and 5th. Access off of B St between 4th and 5th Avenue. (Great 360 view from top floor of garage.)

Monday-Friday, downtown on street metered parking costs $1.25 per hour with a two hour limit. It is zealously enforced from 9 am to 6 pm. Citations are $20.

On-street parking is free from 6 pm to 9am but beware of signs posting notice of early am street cleaning or you will be ticketed and/or towed.

Free on-street parking in front of meters on weekends if you can find a spot.

If you want to park for free on weekdays and you don't mind walking four or five blocks there are no meters on 4th Avenue east of Cordova or on sidestreets east of Cordova off of 4th.

NOTE: The first letter of each name of the street east of A St corresponds with the sequence in the alphabet. So, east of A, Barrow, Cordova, Denali, Eagle, Fairbanks, Gambell, Hydra, Ingra etc. The furthest you'd have to drive east on 4th Avenue to find a free parking spot should be Eagle St. So turn left on Eagle and park between 3rd and 4th Avenue.

3. 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.

4. Can I bring my own pedals and shoes?

For a rental of one day or less, if you must use your own pedals and shoes, there is a $4 charge.  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.  We feel this is a reasonable charge for two reasons.  First, because if everyone wanted there own pedals put on a bike for an hourly ride, we would be constantly swapping pedals.  Second, the more we swap pedals the faster the threads on the cranks wear out.  No matter how careful we are avoiding cross-threading, over the years, there have been a number of times when someone else's pedals have "fought" the threads on a crank stripping it; sometimes after they've pedaled miles away from the store.  Long story short, we think you will be happy with the pedals we have on our bikes.  The platform pedal we use is the spiked and very grabby Primo Super Tenderizer pedal: 

The clip in pedal we use is Shimano SPD.  We have a full range of shoe sizes that you can rent to clip in to our spd pedals.  If renting for one day or less, we charge $4.

If you want to bring your own SPD shoe and clip into our SPD pedal, there is a $2 charge.

Finally, if you rent a bike for more than one day, you can use our clip-in pedals and shoes for free.

5. Do you sell bikes?

Yes. We sell Fuji bikes. Click on the link to see what they have and if you want one send us an email and we will quote you a price. There is no sales tax in Anchorage. Shipping from Fuji to Anchorage takes about one week.

6. 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.

7. 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. Route 7 (click here for map) travels between the airport's south terminal and the downtown transit center located at 6th Avenue and G Street. Click here for the daily #7 schedule.

Another faster option is to take a cab. The fare between the airport and downtown is about $20.

8. How long does it take to ride the 11-mile long Coastal Trail?

It takes most people two and a half hours to bike out and back on the 11 mile Coastal Trail. 22 miles round-trip. 1.5 hours to bike out; one hour to bike back. Riders return faster because outbound there are two hills to tackle; the biggest is at the very end. 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.

Renters who want to bike the whole trail but are doubtful about tackling 22 miles should consider taking the outbound people mover number 7 bus (fare is $2) with their bike to the intersection of Raspberry and Jewel Lake Road. From there bike on the shoulder of the road about two miles to Kincaid Park and another two miles through the park to the end of the Coastal Trail. From Kincaid Park you'll have a favorable 11-mile-long incline to downtown on the trail.

10. 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.

11. How far is the beginning of the Coastal Trail from your store?

5 blocks. Right on E, left on 2nd. The speed limit for cars downtown is 25 mph. If you're still concerned, simply walk the bike around the corner to the beginning of the trail.

12. 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.

Potential remedies:

  1. Wait to receive repair kit from an outgoing renter and fix flat
  2. If there are enough employees working at the store, wait for one of us to race out on a bike and fix it
  3. Ask for help from a good samaritan with a repair kit
  4. Walk bike to bus stop and take bus back downtown
  5. Call cab. (DBR not responsible for cab fare.)

13. 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.

14. Who is responsible if bike gets stolen or damaged?

Renter is responsible if bike is stolen or damaged by impact or operator error. Locks are free. Choose a lock that is appropriate for where you want to go.

For the Coastal Trail you'll be nearby the bike and able to see it so a simple coil lock will suffice. If you have to run an errand or go shopping outside of downtown, take one of our thicker locks. It's been many years since one of our bikes got stolen. Why? Because renters take responsibility for them and we tell them not to be complacent about how and where they're parked.

15. Who is responsible if I get hurt or hurt someone else in an accident?

Renters assumes the same risk and responsibility they have when they ride their own bike back home. Renters must sign a Liability Release Agreement acknowledging that riding a bicycle is an inherently dangerous activity. Before paying, renters test bikes to verify they are working as they should. Click here for our Bike Rental Agreement/Liability Waiver/Contract.

16. What should I wear?

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 tape them to mitigate the risk of grease stains from the chain.