Road biking in Mallorca is so popular that it can be difficult to know which bike to hire if you aren't bringing your own. This article will give you some hints and tips on the best bike to climb the famous ascents of the Tramuntana mountain range, as well as the bikes to use to explore the Mallorcan. But before you hit the road, there are a few things you need to consider.
What type of riding will you be doing?
Are you going to Mallorca to experience the best climbs or are you looking to simply get active on an island well known for its resorts. Either way, you need to decide whether you want a road bike, and if so, what type of specification, or whether you need a touring bike. Touring involves longer rides with more stops along the way and for that, you can also decide on whether you want an e-bike (otherwise known as an electric bike).
Do you have any specific requirements?
If you are planning tough rides in the Tramuntana, taking in Mallorca's most famous routes, you of course need a road bike. However, which road bike should you choose for Mallorca? A full carbon road bike is a must but what type of groupset do you need, what wheels do you want, and do you want the brakes in the European configuration or the UK configuration. There's a lot to think about, but fortunately, we are the experts here.
Most road bikes in Mallorca some with Shimano although there are a few shops that provide SRAM (not we only know of one that can provide Campagnolo). The most basic groupset in the Shimano range is 105. It's great quality and we have plenty of bikes with Shimano 105. However, as standard, Love Velo provides bikes with Ultegra groupsets, the next rung up in Shimano's classification. Here's a little secret though. The weight differential is 175 grams. That's about the weight of 2 eggs. You should therefore consider whether you really need Ultegra. Is that weight differential important to you? If it is, go with Ultegra and if your budget is not too tight, we recommend Ultegra. However, if you are very tight on budget, think about 105 as an option.
The top groupset Shimano offers is Dura Ace. This is genuinely considered more appropriate for racing and it's a much more expensive product, and so hiring bikes with Dura Ace groupsets are more expensive.
The big decision here is whether to go for manual or electronic gearing. Shimano offers DI2 electronic shifting and SRAM offers e-Tap. The argument continues to range over manual or electronic shifters. Some think it solves a problem that didn't exist, but others love the smooth transition, especially when racing themselves or others, or constantly in the mountains.
Here at Love Velo, if you have the budget, we recommend the upgrade to electronic gearing when you hire your road bike in Mallorca. If you don't have that on your bike at home, it's a great feature to try, although make sure you have the charger from the bike shop when you get the bike. You don't want the shifters to run out of battery as otherwise you're in for a ride in whatever gear your bike was in when the battery ran out!
Disc brakes or Rim Brakes
There was a time when disc brakes were almost impossible to hire in Mallorca, now they are almost standard on most road bike hire Mallorca. Disc brakes allow you to stop almost instantly and we think that they're great for the Mallorcan roads and routes. They allow much greater control and where weather is concerned, the disc brake will provide a more consistent and stopping force. The sharper stopping power of disc brakes also means that you will be required to use less force on the lever. That is a huge advantage when it comes to long rides and descents as you will be less fatigued as you won't be required to be continuously pulling on the lever.
Hybrid & E-Bikes
If you’re planning a tour, you might need an e-hybrid bike. These are designed for comfort and speed, so they’re perfect for longer tours. They also offer good stability when climbing hills. Hybrid bikes are often equipped with disc brakes, making them easy to stop quickly.
E-bikes are incredibly popular in Mallorca. If you're in a group, they are a great leveller and the road e-bikes available from Giant and Pinarello, which Love Velo can provide, are truly breathtaking in engineering. They look sleek and the same as any other road bike except for a slightly larger down tube.
Will you be carrying luggage?
You should consider how much luggage you plan to carry while riding. A touring bike will usually come with panniers (also called saddlebags) that attach to the frame and hold your gear. This makes it easier to transport heavy items such as camping equipment. However, some people prefer to use a backpack instead of panniers because they feel more comfortable carrying less weight. If you do decide to carry luggage, make sure that the bags fit comfortably on your panniers. Also, check out the size of the handlebars and whether they are wide enough to accommodate your hands.
Choose A Road Bike That Fits You Well
Our advice here is to ignore your frame size of your bike at home, unless you plan on hiring the same bike. Frame sizes are different among manufacturers so instead, let Love Velo fit you to your bike in accordance with your height, and from there the bike can be customised by taking 3 important measurements from you.
Check The Brakes And Gears
You should check the brakes and gears of your hire bike. European bikes have their brakes on the opposite side to UK bikes. Love Velo are able to provide bikes that mirror the UK set up so definitely check that, as well as the gears, before you leave the bike shop.