For those who do cycle abroad you will know just how much easier it is to hire a bike over there rather than taking over your own unless you are racing. Then maybe then you would want to take your own bike as you know the set up will be spot on.
If you are just heading out for some leisurely rides with a club then hiring a bike will be more than fine given most tend to be full carbon bikes with 105/Ultegra groupsets. You can even get the brand new Trek Madone 9 series in full Dura Ace so there’s plenty of choice depending on how much you want to spend.
It’s so much hassle bringing your own bike though, the extra cost is around £100, which is similar of a price you can hire a bike for. Then on top of that you need a bike box which can be £300+ and then the additional hassle of carrying the bike box to and from the airports and then having to set up your bike to get riding and dismantling it when putting it back away. Then there’s always the worry of it being damage in transition. Lastly, it also limits the option of hiring something new!
A lot of popular cycling destination are well set up with plenty of places to hire bikes and none more so than Mallorca. The choice is endless. If you want a bike which the pro’s ride, they have that covered. Want something just to spin around the town on? They have that too and also anything in between for the keen cyclists.
After going to Max Hurzeler last year, although I couldn’t fault their bike I thought I would try something else after seeing the Pinarello Experience when I was out there last so that’s what i decided to hire this time.
The bike i had hired was the Pinarello Marvel Ultegra and I was really looking forward to it, the shop said it was their mid range bike so by this you would naturally be expecting quite a bit, since they are the creators of the Dogma.
When we walked it in seemed a nice place and hit a bit of a boutique feel to as you would expect with Pinarello. We were greeted quite nicely and was asked “Just looking or are you hiring”, I’m guessing they have a lot of people who just for got a nose! We told them we have hired and they then proceeded to find our booking details to get set up.
I went to complete the booking with Brigitte and straight away they had my size wrong, I said I was 175cm tall and ride a 52cm frame but they had me down as a 172 and ride a 50cm frame. Not sure how but okay, they sized the bike up against me and said as long as the legs fit okay then can sort the reach out with a different stem, but if not they will see what else they had.
The height of the bike was fine i guess but the stem was too short so we changed for a longer stem which was then too big and was changed to something a bit smaller which then made the reach alright.
I had paid in cash just before getting the bike set up, it was €200 plus €15 insurance. Once the bike was set up I asked am I good to go now then? She replied that I still need to pay. I said that I have and she looked at me as though she really didn’t remember that I had paid so I was pretty helpless at this point. I had to remind her of the conversation we had during paying and at that point she did remember, it was a pretty uneasy experience especially if she didn’t remember then I’d be left without any money to hire a bike!
Once done, off I went to go and enjoy the week on this bike I was looking forward to riding.
After my first ride I was yet to be really impressed, I did find the saddle to be un-comfy but that’s more of a personal preference.
After doing a proper ride in it I thought the bike was average at best, there wasn’t anything which made me think “wow”, it had mediocre written all over it.
Although i didn’t rate it, I still looked after it as you can see.
I did ask prior to picking up my bike can they put a 32t cassette on the back as it states on their site they all come with a 28t on the back. They did swap it for me which was really good of them.
Upon riding I found that the gears were all over the place. Moving from the big and small ring was fine but going up and down on the back it was slow and clunky, and sometimes it wouldn’t shift, so you shift again and then it goes down 2 gears.
I can understand that the bikes probably do about 300 miles a week but it felt as though the bike had just been given to me without being checked over or tuned a bit so that it is running smoothly.
Considering the bike was completely covered in helicopter tape to keep the frame scratch free, it’s like they care more about how the bike looks than how it functions.
I guess I could have took it to the shop to get looked at but to be honest i don’t really have the time to, I’m out riding all day and finish when the shop is shut, so i would have to give up a day of riding to get it looked at.
I’m only having it for a week so I though I’d keep it as it is. It’s not that the bike was bad it just didn’t feel anything special as such, which I was expecting with it being a Pinarello. Maybe it was just a personal preference thing and that it’s not what I am used to riding, which of course isn’t their fault.
The owner (I think), or he certainly walked around like he owned the place, unsure of his name but he was a bit of a character. When I first walked into the shop to get my bike I heard him speaking to a customer quite rudely and then had a bit of a conflict with him when on a ride when he thought it was a clever idea to overlap my back wheel. It’s probably the thing which annoys me most about riding with others, it’s dangerous and plain stupid. Straight away I told him not to overlap my back wheel and he just went on a bit of a rant. He just proceeded to name drop all these people he had ridden with, not only have I never heard of these people he was going on about I really could not care less. I didn’t ask that, what I asked was stop overlapping my back wheel.
He then started to ride next to me which I’m fine with. Name drop as much as you like when next to me and I’ll pretend to care but don’t do it in a dangerous riding position.
He was alright once speaking to him, he did make some sort of an attempt of an apology. He offered me a free cycling hat which does advertise his business when I next go to the store. This actually turned out to be later in the evening, we were walking past the store and since the others hadn’t been in there they wanted to have a look. He was in the shop and he did give me the hat after making some unfunny patronising jokes.
I then went to return my bike the day before leaving and they asked how i found the bike. I hadn’t spoken to them really since picking it up and I just told them what i really thought of it which I mentioned above.
They seemed to be thrown back a little bit by my comments and said sorry it wasn’t what you were hoping for. This is by no means their fault and I did use the bike and it got me round for the week, if it was awful then I wouldn’t have used it. Anyway, off I went.
Later than evening I got a phone call from the shop, when I answered it was Brigitte again and I just instantly thought they may have found some damage to the bike and I was going to be charged for. Quite the opposite actually.
She said she just wanted to follow up on my comments about the bike because they hadn’t had a negative comment about their bikes. She wanted to see if I was interested in taking the Dogma for a couple of hours the next day, I was really thrilled by this to be honest.
The customer service hadn’t been anything to remember until this point but this really was great of them. Sadly I was going home the following day so I had to reluctantly turn down their offer but it did change my complete opinion of the place.
Until then I definitely wouldn’t have hired from the Pinarello Experience again. Now I probably would but it would only be if I was getting the Dogma, but at €100 a day there’s little chance i would be hiring that. It’s more than the holiday itself!
I’m sure the Pinarello Marvel I hired wasn’t actually a bad bike, it just wasn’t for me and that’s nothing they can do. I would recommend them to be honest if you are after a bike which is something a bit different, it’s not every day you can ride a Pinarello.
Just around the corner from the Pinarello Experience is the famous Tolos bar and restaurant. Hugely popular with the cyclists due to all their cycling memorabilia, mostly Bradley Wiggins.