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“Reminds you that you are just a tourist”
Review of Bike Tours San Diego - CLOSED

Bike Tours San Diego
Attraction details
Reviewed 6 January 2009

If you are staying in or near the Gaslamp District while visiting sunny San Diego and looking to rent a bike, you may come across this conveniently-located shop. From all outward appearances, it looks like a relatively respectable place, and the owner is initially rather friendly.

Once you've invested the time and made the commitment to rent from him, that is where the pleasantries end. He clearly has no love/passion or even interest in biking. His bikes are marginally maintained, and are set up with only poorly-functioning bargain basement components. Ask him for a bike map, and he'll give you a barely legible photocopy, despite the fact that San Diego regional commute services provides comprehensive and free high-resolution, color maps- search for these online and print them out in advance if you plan to rent a bike from this place.

He rented me a bike that was too small for me, and I was foolish enough to trust him upfront by paying for multiple days in advance. I returned after the first day of riding with considerable neck pain asking if he could provide a larger model. He said simply, "No, and no refunds". The contract I signed didn't state this, we had no conversation to this effect in advance, and this very tourist-unfriendly policy was not posted in his shop. I wasn't asking for my money back for that day, only for future days since I wasn't going to be using the bike- it also would have provided him with the opportunity to rent it to someone else at the higher daily rate rather than the somewhat reduced multi-day rate. Ridiculously, the bike will now sit locked up at my hotel for the next several days, while I am forced to rent a bike that actually fits me from some other shop.

He was incredibly uncooperative and clearly didn't care about my business, since to him, I was "only a tourist". Very frustrating.

Please consider renting from a reputable local shop if you need a bike while visiting San Diego. It may seem like a little more work logistically, but it will leave you happy and satisfied.

18  Thank cascademark
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviews (6)
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3 - 6 of 6 reviews

Reviewed 20 April 2008

While staying in downtown San Diego, my boyfriend, friend, and I decided to rent some bikes and travel out to Coronado. The hostel we were staying at recommended Bike Tours San Diego and even had a special deal with the company of $10/day for bike, lock, helmet, and roadside assistance.

The guy in the store was nice enough when we first got there. He got us set up and we were on our way. At first ride the bike seemed a little rickety to myself and my boyfriend, both of us are avid cyclists, but we set out anyway. Everything was going great until my boyfriend got a flat tire half-way to the beach on Coronado. We called the store to see what we should do (we thought out rental included roadside assistance), and the guy told us there was a bike shop across from the Del hotel. After walking the bike 45 minutes in the heat, my boyfriend arrived at the shop and preceeded to fix it himself. When he took off the tire he found that the tube that was used was too big! The excess tubing had been folded over! This is not only completely unsafe but it's just asking for a flat tire. Frustration aside, he bought an appropriate tube, fixed it, and headed to the beach.

After riding back to the ferry terminal, my friends and I stopped for a quick bite to eat before heading back to the city. When I got back on my bike though I discovered that it too had a flat tire!!! We ended up having to walk the bikes from the ferry terminal in downtown San Diego back to the bike shop, another good 30-45 minute walk.

By this time we were livid. The tube, again, was too big for the tire. We had spent the afternoon on unsafe bikes and wasted close to 2 hours of our vacation dealing with these unacceptable issues. When we got back to the shop we told the guy about our problems. My boyfriend explained that the tube was too large for the tire and that it had been folded over which was just asking for a flat. The guy was completely accusatory. He argued that he had been fixing bikes for 12 years and that he just put a new tube in my boyfriend's bike that morning (which, by the way, we had the tube in our possession and it was far from new.) He then took out our paperwork and shoved it in our faces saying we take liability for what happens on the road. He followed up by saying we only paid $10, so he didn't understand what we were so upset about.

Yeah, we paid $10 and he gets a terrible review. Honestly, I would never recommend anyone to conduct business with this company. They are sending domestic and international travelers out on unsafe bikes. If you are interested in renting a bike in San Diego there are many other options. Don't stop here.

16  Thank exploradora07
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 February 2008

I had an awful customer service experience with this shop. I wanted to rent 2 bikes (one with a baby seat) I called and was told they have baby seats. They said yes but it could take 15 minutes (to assemble when I arrive) unless I made a prepaid reservation by credit card. Given uncertainty about the weather I just showed up.

The guy in the store had an unpleasant attitude and said he doesn't have any baby seats. (I told him I called yesterday and they said they do, I askedto speak to his bass - who was not in. Then I noticed and pointed to a baby carrier in the corner. He responded Oh!, and said it would take some time.) I went to park the car in the garage and came back with my wife and infant. He had not started working on it but was tinkering with another bike.

Once he started working on attaching the seat and then assembling a new one, he kept turning to new customers and filling thier requests while putting ours aside. We waited 55 minutes and then pointed out how long we had waited. He encouraged us to go elsewhere. (he seemed incompetant at assembling it, and obnoxious about giving us the discount we had from the "entertainment guide".) I tried to be polite telling him we' waited an hour and called in advance, and just asked him to try to help us with our request as soon as possible. After another 15 minutes of distracted work he gave up, unable to figure out how to assemble it (or acting as if he couldn't figure it out). He told us to "go somewhere else he can't do that for us".

I would aviod this place as a bike rental location. If you want to rent to bike on Coranodo which is lovely there is a nice place "Bikes and Beyond at Coronado Ferry Landing" ([--]) they were nice, friendly, good customer service, had many more bikes, they charge by the hour and are therefore cheaper for most short 1-3 hour rentals which turned out to be long enough for us) - they are located near where the ferry lands. They also provide a map and recommended routes. They wisely advised against the (Surreys side by side - bike which are hard to peddle if you want to bike several miles)

9  Thank dave613
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 January 2008

My wife and I took a bike tour of San Diego and Coronado Island in Oct 2007. We were in town for a convention. The shop handled everything for us. The shop is in the middle of the gas-lamp district and is easily walkable from any of that areas hotels. We were able to book a 4 hour ride which included the waterfront and a ride around Coronado island and the Hotel Del Coronado. It was an easy ride, the equipment was top notch and the itinerary flexible (we even took extra time to stop for fish tacos!!) It is a very good way to see this beautiful city and get some fresh air.

3  Thank tpenguin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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