The other day I came across a road bike rental in Tuscany. I don’t normally endorse businesses in my blog, unless I see something I find so compelling that I almost consider it my duty to report about it.
Whenever I haul around my bike on my travels, I often wished I could rent a bike like that, especially if I’m at a particular location only for a short period of time.
Well, it turns out, that in Tuscany, you can. Specifically in the charming town with the even more charming sounding name Castiglion Fiorentino (shown above), which is close to Arezzo.
The store is called Steels Bike Center, and it’s on Via Madonna del Rivaio 18/B, on a steep, cobble-stone paved road that leads up to the main gate. You can easily walk (or bike) to the store from the gate by heading downhill.
I came across the store by pure coincidence, because I found out on my first test ride here in Italy that my tires were so worn out that they had started to show blisters and cracks, so when I rode by that store, I thought “why don’t I check whether they can put some new tires on my bike?”. Sure they could! The owner on his initiative even replaced a cable that had turned out to be corroded and didn’t charge me for it.
How to Find a Road Bike Rental in Tuscany
The store is a typical Italian bike store: Dude is passionate about riding, opens a small store and asks a friend to help him out. During their lunch breaks (which are looong in Italy!), they go on rides together. Opening hours are Italian-style: Monday – Saturday, 9.00 AM – 12.00 PM, 3.00 pm – 6:00 pm, but on Saturday I still saw them in the store until 1 pm.
When I think about bike rentals, I think about old-timer bikes, at the end of their life-cycle, making all kinds of funny sounds. They might be okay for a little stroll along the beach with your spouse, but you can’t take them on the kind of SERIOUS rides we’d like to go on. FORGET THAT HERE!
The bikes the Steels-guys can setup for you are new, state-of-the art road bikes with Shimano 105 components (105 is the components group right below the infamous Ultegra, not top notch, but does the job). One of the challenges when renting road bikes is that you have to have a bike that matches your body size, otherwise it will be very painful to ride. The Steels folks actually measure your body (height, length of legs,…) to determine which bike size is right for you. Don’t look for the rental bikes in the shop, they have them in the basement.
The rates for renting a road bike are very reasonable: 25 Euro / day.
Even if you’re in other areas Tuscany (or bordering Umbria) and you’re looking for a road bike rental in Tuscany, you can get your bike here by getting a multi-day lease.
Here is Castiglion Fiorentino (note that these maps are interactive: you can zoom-in, zoom-out, pan, do street view…):
Here is the location of the store: