Cycle the Barossa today with

Barossa Bike

Barossa’s No. 1 Bike Hire & Cycle Tour Specialists

Cycle the Barossa today with

Barossa Bike

Barossa’s No. 1 Bike Hire & Cycle Tour Specialists

Cycle the Barossa today with

Barossa Bike

Barossa’s No. 1 Bike Hire & Cycle Tour Specialists

Cycle the Barossa today with

Barossa Bike

Barossa’s No. 1 Bike Hire & Cycle Tour Specialists

Barossa’s No.1 Bike Hire and Cycle Tour Specialists

HIRE COMFORTABLE BIKES & E-BIKES

Barossa Bike has the largest fleet of quality, professionally maintained urban bikes, including a large number of E-bikes to really take your holiday fun to another level …. they are an excellent option if you are wanting to cycle further and out into the hillier sections of the Barossa, or just if you want to arrive fresh and relaxed at your chosen destinations

DELIVERED TO YOUR DOOR (AND PICKED-UP)

Within a 10 km radius from our main store in Nuriootpa, we are the only provider who offers bike delivery and pick-up service direct to your Barossa accommodation (excluding Saturdays)

GUIDED BAROSSA CYCLE TOURS

Join us on our ever popular PREMIUM guided cycle experience, the Barista, Brewer, Wine Cycle Tour  …. or try our latest product offering for two …. the self-guided Sunset & Sparkles Experience

TAKE OUR ADVICE… AND GO FOR A RIDE

Our experience local team will give you valuable tips on what to do while in the Barossa Valley including suggestions on great places to stay, wineries, cellar doors, and produce stores to visit, recommend family-friendly activities that are available and help you to make the very most of your visit to the Barossa.

Hire Bikes & E-Bikes

We are Bike Hire and Cycle Tour specialists. Hire a bike from us and we’ll show you the beautiful Barossa as you’ve never seen it before.

Book a Guided Cycle Tour

We are Bike Hire and Cycle Tour specialists. Book a cycle tour and we’ll show you the beautiful Barossa as you’ve never seen it before.

Shop for New Bikes

We can also assist with most types of bike repairs, service & accessories. Louis is an experienced and accredited Bike SA technician.

Joe Winston
Joe Winston
15/06/2023
I’m a little late on this review as we went in April this year. It was awesome! Such a highlight of our week long trip to the Barossa. Graydon was our tour guide and he was great. We felt like we got to see the ‘real Barossa’ the wineries we went to were all family owned vineyards. We were lucky enough to speak to the wine makers at each winery which was a real bonus! Very knowledgeable about the wines and also the area.
Megan
Megan
10/06/2023
We had the best time on our wine tour with Barossa Bike Tours. Grey was such an awesome guide, he knew so much about the local area. Would definitely recommend!
Alain Sauvage
Alain Sauvage
13/04/2023
Had bike trouble today (own bikes) - flat, misaligned brakes, sliding seat post, etc - and Louis went over and beyond to help us out. Problems fixed and done with a cheerful disposition, determined diagnosing and excellent knowledge base. We could continue on to enjoy amazing locality. We so appreciated your help - many thanks!
Grace Vidovic
Grace Vidovic
14/03/2023
Excellent service replacing tubes on our e-bike. Very friendly & knowledgeable. Don't trust google as will take you to back lane, stay on south Terrace, easy to find!
Alex Walendy
Alex Walendy
10/02/2023
Amazing service, top notch 👌 This fella deserves every 5 star review he's got!
Marie-Louise Verbis
Marie-Louise Verbis
04/01/2023
Excellent service! We had a great day riding through the Barossa. Totally recommend for your next Barossa trip!
J OT
J OT
20/12/2022
Exceptional service and knowledge.. Highly recommend Louis at Barossa Bikes. My first choice in looking for a new bike!
Laurens D
Laurens D
26/11/2022
Hired bikes on our visit all the way from Belgium. Great equipment, friendly owner and overall great service. Would recommend to anyone biking in the area! Gives good tips as well on where you can bike.
Jeff Brown
Jeff Brown
17/11/2022
Walk up hired two eBikes today. We are really happy. Friendly and great tips for a ride and food, tastings etc. Be careful google sends you to the street behind for some weird reason. Just look for the street number on South Terrace using your eyes 🤣

Why Choose Barossa Bike Hire?

 

Bike & E-Bike Hire

Be adventurous and explore the Barossa Valley up close and personal by hiring a standard bike or electric bike with Barossa Bike.

Guided Bike Tours

Join us on one of our very popular guided cycle tours where we’ll take you to visit some of the hidden gems of the Barossa where you’ll get to see, taste and experience the true Barossa right on the valley floor.

Delivery Available

We can deliver and pick up your bikes (within a 10km radius) to and from your Barossa accommodation or pre-arranged locations. This service is not available on Saturdays.

Insiders Knowledge

Because we’re locally owned, we can recommend the most popular places to visit, from our famous iconic cellar doors and wineries to the latest restaurants and accommodation available.

Support Team

Our friendly local support team are only a phone call away and can assist you with all your cycle tour emergencies …. not that we anticipate any !!

Passionate

We love what we do and we love bikes, we know bikes and we sell, build and repair bikes!

Find us on Facebook



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Study Finds that K-Mart Bikes Cost More Than IBD Bikes
By Phil Latz | 29th February 2024 | 0 64
Bike in a bicycle mechanic's workshop
Quality bicycles cost more to buy initially, but this recent study showed that their total cost of ownership is lower than that of K-mart bikes, due to a huge difference in the amount of workshop repairs and parts replacement required. Photo Credit: Pexels
Sydney, NSW

Year after year, independent bicycle dealers (IBD’s) miss out on sales of entry level bikes because the customer thinks it’s cheaper to buy a bike from K-Mart or another mass merchant.

All of us in the bike industry know that most mass merchant bikes are rubbish! But it’s hard to get a sale over the line if your base model bike is two or three times dearer to purchase.

Thanks to a new report by Australia’s most trusted consumer organisation, dealers now have some independent evidence that they can share with future potential customers.

Sixty five years ago the Australian Consumers’ Association (ACA) was founded as a not for profit consumer advocacy organisation. Shortly afterwards they founded Choice magazine which soon gained a huge subscription base and continues to this day. According to Wikipedia, the ACA had over 80 staff as of 2019.

Choice does not accept any advertising from any of the companies whose products it tests, so that it can be free from commercial influence. It also anonymously purchases the products it tests, paying the market price. Over the past six decades it has built a highly respected reputation for conducting thorough and objective comparative evaluations of consumer products.

Occasionally over past years, bicycles have come under their microscope. Recently, Choice partnered with another Sydney based social enterprise, Revolve Recycling, to conduct a long term comparison between two K-Mart bikes and two IBD (independent bicycle dealer) bikes.

The information below is taken from the summary article, already published by Choice. We’d also like to thank Guido Verbist, General Manager of Revolve Recycling for alerting us to this study and sourcing both the text and photos. You can read the full Choice evaluation here. The more detailed information at the bottom of the following article, regarding the specific bike assessments including dollar value of repairs, came from a media release published by Revolve Recycling.

Four Bikes, Thousands of Kilometres of Testing & Evalutation
Choice purchased these four bikes:

K-mart Esplanade Cruiser ($187)
K-mart Copenhagen ($197)
Merida Speeder 10 ($535)
Norco Yorkville 2018 ($543)
Four cyclists each rode one bike for around for six months, using it for commuting and casual recreation. Time on the bikes ranged from 40 hours to over 70 hours, and distance travelled ranged from 600km to over 1,400km.

Trained mechanics at Revolve Recycling checked every bike at monthly intervals and serviced the bikes as required, noting the cost involved.

K-mart Bikes Get Off to a Bad Start
The models from a bike store were put together mostly satisfactorily, but the K-mart bikes were not. The Revolve Recycling mechanic had to make a lot of corrections to the K-mart bicycles before giving them to the trial riders.

The Bottom Line
Both of the bike store bicycles had issues that were dealt with by servicing regularly (once every six months), including wear and tear you’d expect with the amount of riding that was done.

By the end of the test, the two bike shop samples were in good condition overall and fit for continued commuting, with some notes on replacement recommendations in the coming months.

“The second K-mart sample, the Esplanade, had started to rust from the first couple weeks of use.”
The K-mart Copenhagen had a front brake that completely failed and needed to be replaced. In the second assessment, the rear brake was noted as about to fail so also had to be replaced.

The chain was of poor quality and was wearing out faster than the other bikes. The tyres were also of poor quality and the rear one had to be replaced as it started to crack. The brake pads were very soft as well, which meant they wore down quickly.

Overall, there were $140 of replacement part costs during the six-month test period. The rider also noticed they were getting “ghost” shifting, which means the gears would change for no apparent reason.

The second K-mart sample, the Esplanade, had started to rust from the first couple weeks of use. Each time it came in for service, the bottom bracket had come loose, which would make the chain come off. The rust on the brake cables made them difficult to operate properly.

Aside from not being able to replace the derailleur hanger, the front wheel developed a wobble that was causing the wheel to rub on the brake pads.

Detailed Assessments of Each Bike
Merida Speeder bicycle product shot
Merida Speeder
Bike 1: Merida Speeder (Bike Shop Bike)
The Merida Speeder bike is the most affordable option in the Merida hybrid range. It has a 3×7 Shimano Tourney drivetrain and V-brakes.

Total distance covered during test period: 661.46kms
Total riding time during the test: 43.7 hours
Purchase price: $535
Service and/or repair cost: $150 for a standard maintenance service with no repairs required
Mechanic’s Overview at Start
‘On purchase, the bike’s construction and set-up were mostly adequate and correct.’
‘Minor adjustments were made to the grips and brake lever position to improve the ergonomic fit. Minor adjustments were made to loosen the wheel bearings to ensure proper longevity.

Both wheels were ever so slightly out of true by 1-2mm. The gears required a very slight adjustment to ensure they changed under load. This was likely due to a small amount of cable stretch which is normal when a bike is new. This would have been rectified at the first free tune-up which is offered by 99 Bikes six weeks after the purchase of the bike. Otherwise, the bike was in good working order. The brakes were set up correctly and were stopping well.’

Mechanic’s Overview at Finish
‘Throughout the test period, the bike performed adequately. The bike displays normal wear and tear for six months of daily usage.’

‘The brake pads and chain are starting to show wear that is consistent with daily use. The components still have a fair bit of life left in them; I would recommend replacing the brake pads and chain after another three months of daily use. The bearings in the rear wheel and the headset bearings had developed a minor amount of play. This was corrected during one of the monthly service checks. All cables are still in good condition and are moving freely.’

‘The bike is in good overall condition and fit for continued usage and commuting.’

Selected Comments from Bike 1 Test Rider
‘Bike felt good’
‘Super enjoyable ride’
‘Noisy in wet conditions but ultimately effective brakes
‘Bike felt stable’
‘Picked up bike from mechanical check. Ride felt great. Brakes were firm. Gear changes smoothly. Good ride.’
Norco Yorkville bicycle product shot
Norco Yorkville
Bike 2: Norco Yorkville (Bike Shop Bike)
The Norco Yorkville bike is the most affordable option in the Norco hybrid range. It has a 3×7 Shimano Tourney drivetrain and V-brakes. There are a couple of component choices on this bike that are somewhat outside the norm. It has an old-style threaded headset instead of the modern “threadless” standard. It also uses a free-wheel cluster instead of a cassette on the rear wheel. While these are older standards, they are adequate for this type of bike. The bike has internal cable routing and continuous housing which is a good option for weatherproofing the gear and brake cables.

Total distance covered during test period: 1417.82kms
Total riding time during test period: 69.7hrs
Purchase price: $543
Service and/or repair cost: $150 for a standard maintenance service with no repairs required
Mechanic’s Overview at Start
‘The bike’s construction and set-up was mostly good.’

‘The wheel and headset bearings were correctly adjusted. All derailleur adjustments were correct and the gears were changing well. The only adjustment that was made was the position of the brake pads. They were positioned slightly below the braking surface on the wheel. While they stopped the bike adequately, the position of the pads would have led to an uneven wear pattern on the brake pads. The pads were positioned correctly before handing the bike over to the test rider.’

Mechanic’s Overview at Finish
‘Throughout the test period, the bike performed well. Out of the four test bikes, the Norco bike got the most amount of use by its test rider.’

‘The bike displays normal wear and tear for six months of daily commuting. The brake pads and chain are starting to show wear that is consistent with daily use. All cables are still in excellent condition due to the full cable housing. The test rider commented that it made a slight clicking noise when riding in the higher gears. I was unable to reproduce this noise when testing the bike. It changed gears well when the bike was brought in for its monthly check-up.’

‘The bike is in good overall condition and fit for continued usage and commuting.’

Selected Comments from Bike 2 Test Rider:
‘Good, fast ride home.’
‘Nice smooth ride. Still some chain noise in the high gears.’
‘Felt nice and fast. Still a slightly knocking sound in gears 5 and 7 but a lot better..’
K-Mart Copenhagen bicycle product shot
K-Mart Copenhagen
Bike 3: Copenhagen (K-mart Bike)
The Copenhagen is a stylish-looking urban bike from K-mart. It has a 6-speed drivetrain with a basic Shimano derailleur. Idiosyncratically, it is supplied with a disc brake on the front and a V-brake on the rear. The frame is aluminium, and the forks are steel. The components are of observable low quality, such as flimsy plastic brake levers, heavy steel cranks, solid axles (no quick-release levers), and steel handlebars, stem and seat post.

Total distance covered during test period: 1156.47kms
Total riding time during test period: 74.5hrs
Purchase price: $189 + $8 assembling fee = $197
Service and/or repair cost: $450 for three repair services + $140 for replacement parts = $590
Mechanic’s Overview at Start
‘The bike is normally sold in a box with “some assembly required”. We opted to have the bike assembled by K-mart’s bike assembler. There were numerous issues with the bike before it had been wheeled out of the workshop.’

‘The headset bearings were too tight. This would have led to premature wear in the headset. The derailleur was inadequately adjusted. The limit adjustment screws and the cable tension were incorrectly set. Both hub bearings required adjustment. The seat post required grease to prevent seizing. Both brakes were poorly adjusted and required tightening.’

Mechanic’s Overview at Finish
‘This bike was riddled with problems throughout the test period.’

‘The most concerning issue of all was that the front brake completely failed! The brake calliper broke and wasn’t stopping the bike at all. As this is a major safety concern, we replaced the front brake calliper with a good-quality Shimano brake calliper and a quality Tektro lever.

‘When the bike came in for its second monthly assessment, we noticed that the rear brake lever was about to fail. It had lost the nut on the back of the lever and it was about to come apart. The lever was replaced with another decent Tektro lever.’

‘The chain is poor quality and showed a faster rate of wear than the Norco and Merida
bikes.’

‘The tyres are also poor quality and the rear tyre required replacing as it had started to crack. This is potentially very dangerous as it could lead to a catastrophic blowout. ‘The brake pads wore out at a very accelerated rate. The pad compound is very soft and didn’t prove to be durable.

‘The cost of all the replacement parts is as follows:

Brake calliper – $40
Brake levers – $30
Brake pads – $20
Rear tyre – $50
TOTAL: $140

‘Throughout the test period, the test rider complained of constant “ghost shifting” in the lower gears. The bike would suddenly change gears for no apparent reason, usually at the most inopportune moment – when pedalling hard up a hill.

‘Each time the bike came back for a check-up, the derailleur cables would be readjusted. By the time it returned for the next check-up, the derailleur cable would lose its tension and require readjustment.’

Selected Comments from Bike 3 Test Rider:
‘Still figuring out gear alignment. Have to jiggle the lever to stop the gears making a ticking sound.
‘Chain jumped off again.’
‘Gears are jumping.’
‘Some ghost gear changes when riding up a hill. I only want to be in 1st but it’ll randomly decide 2nd is preferred even though I’m about to keel over. I was hoping the bike would feel lighter by now.’
‘My back wheel is so wonky now.’
K-Mart Esplanade bicycle product shot
K-Mart Esplanade
Bike 4: Esplanade (K-mart Bike)
The Esplanade is a classic-looking, step-through bicycle inspired by the sort of bicycle you would expect to ride in the Dutch countryside. It is a very heavy bike as it is almost entirely made of low-quality steel. On the front is a fake wicker basket which makes it useful for small shopping trips. It has a 6-speed drivetrain with a basic Shimano derailleur. It is also supplied with a rack on the back, a kickstand, mudguards on both wheels and an oversized saddle.

Total distance covered during test period: 730.62kms
Total riding time during test period: 56.3hrs
Purchase price: $179 + $8 assembly fee= $187
Service and/or repair cost: $450 for three repair services
Mechanic’s Overview at Start
‘This bicycle was assembled by the K-mart bike assembler. There were numerous assembly errors. Bearings were either way too tight or way too loose. The headset was so tight that it didn’t freely spin. The rear hub bearing was so loose that it could be unscrewed by hand. The derailleur was so poorly adjusted that it hardly moved at all. There was almost no tension in the derailleur cable. There was no grease in the seatpost or the steering column. The brakes were extremely difficult to pull.’

Mechanic’s Overview at Finish
‘The Esplanade suffered from several significant issues throughout the test period.’

‘The bottom bracket had come loose every time it was in for a check-up. This was causing the cranks to wobble and would occasionally result in a dropped chain.’

‘The most disappointing problem with this bike is the poor quality of the materials. The entire bike is rusting within the test’s six-month duration. There is rust appearing on the frame, the handlebars, both wheel hubs, the spoke nipples, the cranks, and the brake callipers.’

‘The brake cables also suffered from rust which impeded the brakes from working properly. The test rider complained that the derailleur wasn’t changing gears properly. The derailleur cable had lost tension and was very finicky to adjust. I suspect that the derailleur hanger is slightly bent; however, it is not possible to repair as it is riveted directly onto the derailleur. This is unlike most bikes where the derailleur can be unscrewed from the hanger to allow for hanger adjustments.’

‘The front wheel had also developed a wobble that was causing the wheel to rub on the brake pads.’

Selected Comments from Bike 4 Test Rider:
‘Gears are very clunky. Heavy bike. Will take some time to get used to.’
‘Small inclines are harder on this bike.’
‘Fourth gear has some rattling sounds.’
‘Bolts are rusty from the rain.’
‘Bike is taking a long time to engage the gears – it takes about 7 rotations to engage, not quick enough when going up hills.’
‘I think if I hadn’t been getting the bike serviced regularly, I wouldn’t be able to ride it at this point. But how realistic is it to get a bike service every month?’
‘I’m not enjoying riding this bike – I am ready to end the experiment. It is not safe; it’s not a good bike for consistent use. If I hadn’t been getting monthly mechanic fixes, I wouldn’t be able to ride this for so long.’
NB: It was not easy to keep Bike 4 Test Rider continuing with the test due to their understandable concern with the multiple operational and safety issues of the test bike.

Overall Cost of Ownership for Six Months
When the true cost of the bikes is considered, they were as follows during the test:

Bike Retail Price Overall Cost, including assembly, services and replacement parts
Merida $535 $685 (1 standard service; no repairs or parts)
Norco $543 $693 (1 standard service; no repairs or parts)
K-mart Copenhagen $189 $787 (3 repair services and parts)
K-mart Esplanade $179 $637 (3 repair services)
The K-mart bikes – though ‘cheaper’ at the point of initial purchase – have true costs over even six months of their life-cycle that are comparable or even higher than the most affordable hybrid bikes of two major bike brands.

If the same trajectory continued over 12 months or more, the K-Mart bikes would both have a substantially higher total cost of ownership than the bike shop bikes.

Additionally, there are ‘hidden’ costs that are not represented but should be considered, by bike consumers including:

Lost opportunities and inconvenience to riders/consumers from having to take flat-box bikes in for additional services and repairs;
Negative cycling experience for new riders who are exploring the micro-mobility space
Safety risks resulting from operational failures by flat-box bikes.
Environmental impact of flat-box bikes essentially being ‘waste on wheels’.
In the last regard, it is highly doubtful that (outside a test context) most riders/consumers would persist with nearly bi-monthly repairs that end up exceeding the initial retail price of their bikes. It would make no financial or practical sense to keep trying to fix something that’s of such poor quality to begin with.

A slightly different version of this article was first published in our sister newsletter, the Micromobility Report.

Join the Conversation
What is your opinion on the quality of mass merchant bikes? Do you service them in your workshop? Do you think they help or harm the overall bike industry?
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The Barossa, such a tiny region, yet so much to celebrate. Experience Barossa Valley Estate today.
www.barossavalleyestate.com/visit
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No one bats an eye at $15.4bn for a 10km stretch of highway in a city of 1.2 million people. By comparison, the entire State Bicycle Fund is just 0.013% the Torrens to Darlington project budget.
If we want to reduce emissions, improve road safety and have more livable communities, It's time that cycling gets it's fair share.
Let's Boost the Bike Budget for better streets and communities.
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