Bicycles in Hawaii: Buying vs. Renting

Transportation in Hawaii

Our plan of attack for our two month trip to Hawaii continues to coalesce.  So far things are proceeding nicely and there aren’t too many things left to do. On island transportation is one of our final hurdles remaining.

We want to do a significant amount of walking, biking and hiking while we’re on the big island.  This will help us get some nice exercise as well as saving some big bucks on car rentals. I’m particularly excited by the idea of biking because we could cover some decent ground…

Photo source

Photo source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/shelleybrunt/382291079/

Renting a Bicycle vs. Buying a Bicycle

Bicycle rentals are available on the Big Island but they are EXPENSIVE. An average rate is $20 a day, with prices going down for longer durations.  However,  I just called Kona’s local local WalMart and they do sell men’s and women’s bicycles. So our bike plan will be to buy a couple bikes to use during our stay. Then when we’re ready to leave we’ll either leave the bikes for other people to use or we’ll donate them to charity.

Comparison:

Rent (2) bikes at approximately $9 a day (weekly rate) for two months:
2 x $9 x 60 = $1008

Buy (2) bikes at approximately $190:
2 x $190 = $360

What kind of bike?

Another question is: road bike, mountain bike, or something in between? I’m leaning towards something in between. I’d like to be able to travel significant distances on pavement comfortably but also get out to some of the more remote beaches (potentially over dirt/lava roads). I realize Walmart is going to have a limited selection and these won’t be award winning bikes, but my buddy rode trails with me for 20-40 miles on a Walmart special and it was no problem. I’m totally looking for a good bargain to get us by for a couple months.

How to carry gear

I need to figure out a good system to comfortably (and safely) carry gear while biking. I plan on doing a significant amount of photography work for NetRender. I want to make sure my cameras and lenses are protected, and that I’m not overloaded or unbalanced.

To be continued…

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