How to find the best mountain bike hire in Cusco
The secret to mountain bike hire in Cusco is simple. If you want to hire a good bike, then you have to book a tour. The best mountain bikes hired in Cusco, are far too expensive to rent out to strangers, without supervision. Here in Cusco, there is a large chance that someone could steal it if you let it out of your sight for a moment. After all, mountain bikes are worth a lot of money.
Imagine what could go wrong if you only hire a mountain bike
Hiring a bike at your local bike park is one thing. Hiring a bike here in Peru is a different ball game.
Things to consider if you only hire a bike
- How are you going to get to the start of the ride?
- How will you know which trails to take (nothing is marked here)
- How much time are you going to lose waiting for public transport?
- What happens if someone steals the bike while it is under your care?
- What happens if the bike falls off the roof?
- Do you really want to be faced with a bill for an expensive new mountain bike?
- How safe is the bike? Are there invisible cracks in the frame because someone dropped it off a car?
- If your bike has an isssue, do you have the tools and parts to mend it?
- If you fall off and get hurt, is your Spanish good enough to get the help you need?
- Will your phone work to call for help?
- Will you even know where you are? Or where to go for help?
So what is the best way to go mountain biking in Cusco?
So, if you want to get the best mountain bike hire in Cusco- book a tour with one of the top mountain biking agencies. You are guaranteed a good bike, safe transport, and a local biking guide who knows the routes, can make any repairs necessary and solve any issues that may occur. You have the worry taken out of it for you.
Sure, it costs more, but the biking here is out of this world and if you want to guarantee you maximise your time, a tour is the way to go. Choose from our range of Mountain Biking tours in Cusco.
So why do some companies offer just mountain bike hire in Cusco?
Have you seen their bikes? They are usually poorly maintained, old and worn out. If you care for your safety when mountain biking in Cusco, do not use these companies.
How do I find the best mountain biking operator in Cusco
- Check they have a specific adventure licence to operate Mountain Biking. The licence will specifically state this. For more about the Peru Adventure Licensing Scheme, read this article.
- Ask to see their bikes. This way you can decide on the quality for yourself (if you know about mountain bikes).
- Beware of bikes that have a good brand name, but are fitted out with sub-quality replacement parts. Once upon a time, they may have been a safe, reliable bike, but is that still the case?
What Mountain Bikes do you use at Amazonas Explorer?
Here at Amazonas Explorer, we spend a lot of money on updating and maintaining our mountain bike fleet. We have the best mountain bike fleet in Peru. This is because we spend more money than anyone else on bikes and because we are the only mountain biking company in Peru with a full-time bike mechanic. We log every time our bikes go out and any issues that happened.
Biking is a big part of life at the company and a favourite spare-time activity for many of the staff. We know first hand the difference a good mountain bike makes, to your safety and enjoyment.
Paul Cripps, owner of Amazonas Explore explains more about our bikes
Paul Cripps is a mad keen mountain biker. We caught up with him after he went out for his usual dawn mountain bike ride, uphill to above Cusco on-road followed by a usually insane downhill.
This is what he had to say about our new Specialized Stumpjumpers:
As soon as I picked up the bike, I was impressed by its geometry, its components, and its generally high-quality feel.
The Matt black “Stealth look” is cool as – it feels like you are riding a prototype, not a bike with over 30 years of history. The Stumpjumper was one of Specialized first ever creations and in the brand new 2019 look, it is bang up to date and exactly what you’d expect of a bike with this pedigree.
How does the bike ascend?
So, off I went with Samuel, Javier, and Neo the dog in tow. Uphill to Cristo Blanco, we set a new record. I’m not going to say how long it took us but even the dog looked impressed. Neo is my dog and is as fit as the proverbial butcher´s dog. Let´s just say this bike goes uphill beautifully and effortlessly (well fairly effortlessly -we are 3km above sea level, where I was born).
We got to Zona X, our usual turn around point but I hadn’t even broken into a sweat. So on up we went. The Shimano SLX gears changed smoothly with a 1 x 11 gearing, meaning the steeper it got, I just clicked up another gear and carried on. Super easy with only one set of gears to worry about, wonderfully simple. Just before Puca Pucara at around 3800m, we carried over a stile and I was impressed how light and stiff the bike was.
How does the bike descend?
And then the downhill. I clicked open the full suspension and wasn´t expecting much – I usually ride a full-on Enduro monster with 160mm suspension. But boy was I surprised how good this Stump jumper was, what with just 130mm of suspension, front and rear, it punches way above its weight going downhill.
How are the tyres?
It had rained overnight, leaving slippery exposed rock and patches of thick Andean mud. The 2.3-inch Specialized Butcher (front) and Purgatory (rear) tyres on the new 27.5 wheels really kept their traction amazingly.
What are the pedals like?
The upgraded Wellgo DH pedals gripped to my feet like a grippy thing should and I was flying but “oh so in control”.
Are the brakes good for the steep slopes above Cusco?
The upgraded SRAM Level TL brakes were simple to swap over for a UK rider. Here in Peru brakes are set up US-style. But we always swap them for UK riders. The brakes are sweet and never once gave me a surprise. The silky-smooth ride really makes you want to push yourself. You feel so comfortable and stable. This was truly an amazing fun ride. I made it home in record time, with a huge smile on my face.
These are full suspension mountain bikes, correct?
Yes, The RockShox Fusion 130mm rear suspension virtually locks out with a simple click. As does the 130mm RockShox RECON Front suspension if you want.
Later, Miky our in house mechanic explained how the wider front forks geometry makes it so stable. The relaxed headset angle makes it good on both uphills and downhills. And the rigid rear triangle with Specialized “patent pending” rear suspension set up, makes it all work so well. Someone has seriously done their homework here and come up with an absolute corker of a mountain bike.
How much do these mountain bikes cost?
With all the upgrades plus importing them into Peru, they worked out at a cool $2000 per bike so it was a big investment. We bought 16 of them (including XS women´s sizes to XL men´s to accommodate just about every size of client we have).
We also have upgraded all our kids’ bikes. And we still have our fleet of Specialized Cambers which are still great cross country bikes. We even have a few good old Kona Stinky 6s for DH nutters. Brand new Bern helmets and new full finger gloves for everyone complements our kit nicely.
Are these mountain bikes suitable for beginners?
If it is your first time on a bike at altitude, we will probably take you cruising along a dirt road in the Sacred Valley. You’ll feel super confident on these wonderfully stable bikes and appreciate the grippy tyres, easy to use gears and wonderfully reassuring brakes. Plus you will love the plush full suspension ride.
And for experienced mountain bike riders?
If you are a mountain bike guru, looking to push your limits on some of the world’s best singletrack, you’ll be over the moon.
How do Amazonas Explorer’s mountain bikes compare to other places that hire bikes?
I just spent a month in Chile and in Bogota renting what I´d call various BROs (Bike Related Objects) which almost always were disappointing. Amazonas Explorer’s fleet of hire bikes put other hire fleets to shame and I am very proud of that.
Would you swap your Norco for the Stumpjumper?
I do not usually wax lyrical about bikes other than my own but I might just have spent the morning on the Specialized website, just having a look at the carbon versions of the Stumpjumper, just in case I felt the need to upgrade one day soon (My son Oliver is just 2 cms shorter than me so its only a matter of time, he’ll be eyeing up my Norco).
And what is next for you biking wise?
Tomorrow I´m thinking of trying out one of the new Haibike E-bikes that just arrived – we now have a fleet of 11 Electric bikes. I can’t wait.
Contact us to book your mountain biking tour in Cusco0