Whistler has more bike shops than you can shake a stick at. If it’s your first time visiting Whistler and attempting to tackle our notorious biking playground, it can be a little overwhelming deciding what bike to get. Finding the perfect bike requires a little research, an understanding of what terrain you’ll be riding, and most importantly a thirst and drive for biking! Here’s everything you should know about renting in Whistler, so you can choose the right bike for you.
First you are going to need to decide on the type of mountain bike you will need. Here’s a brief breakdown of the most popular:
These guys probably have the most in common with their road bike cousins. They’re the lightest of the bunch, but still retain enough strength to handle a fair bit of rough terrain. As these are designed for long distance, they’re great for easy peddling, but harder to control on steeper descents.
These are what most people think of when they hear mountain bike. They’re the best all-rounders and are great climbers, but are also capable of an easy descent. If you can picture yourself on an epic adventure through Whistler’s backcountry, but also fancy a gentle scenic tour along the valley floor, then these are your best bet.
Otherwise known as Enduro bikes, these are meant for technical terrain. Both nifty and versatile, they’re great for pedalling uphill, and hitting the downhills hard. However, their sturdier frame and bigger suspension makes them heavier than cross-country bikes.
Similar to downhill bikes, if you’re a daredevil or a downhill enthusiast then these are for you. These are designed to survive the roughest terrain, so take them for a ride on all your big jumps and steep declines! Cruise down the various trails and routes, and then help yourself (and your bike) out by getting the lift back to the top.
Once you’ve chosen the right bike the hard part is over, but you’re not done yet. Here’s the final things you’ll need to consider to make sure you have the perfect ride:
When you end up with the wrong bike size, it can be pretty uncomfortable. Even the best rider will be troubled with poor balance, slow speed and even possible falls. Luckily, the assistants at most Whistler bike shops have such an extensive knowledge and passion for biking that they could almost find your optimum frame size, wheel size, handlebar height and pedal position blindfolded.
Seeing as BC have made helmets on all public roads and trails a legal requirement, bike shops offer full face helmets with your bike free of charge. However, if you want to be as safe as possible (which we strongly advise) it’s probably worth budgeting for a few essentials. Try renting some body pads and a biking backpack so you’re fully kitted out, and even a few basic repair items so you can perform quick fixes for if your bike starts to struggle when you’re halfway up the mountain.
If you’re unsure, try before you buy! Most Whistler shops let you go on a short test ride, so you can focus on how your bike handles and how comfortable it is, and you can also book bike storage through Whistler Blackcomb. Once you’re satisfied, you’re all set to improve your shred on over 80km of trail.
We hope you have a happy bike hunt. No matter what bike you are on, riding through Whistler’s alpine meadows and mountain peaks is always a pleasure. If you need somewhere to stay while you’re fulfilling all your biking dreams, we can help. Whiski Jack Resorts offers Condominium and Townhome options within meters of valley trails and the forest edge. You can take a look at all of our properties, and book your dream one, here online.