Like many island enterprises Barra Bike Hire is a small, family run business. We originally set up in 2013 / 2014 when we invested in half a dozen hire bikes to provide for guests staying in our self-catering apartment and the self-catering holiday let 'across the road'. In those days the availability of hire bikes on the island was patchy at best. Since then we have invested significantly in our fleet of bicycles and we now have a varied and diverse range of bikes to cater for most needs.
Our fleet of bikes consist of:
Local Hire Bikes: A range of hybrid, road and mountain bikes that are suitable for use on Barra .... and day and short duration trips to Eriskay and South Uist. Bikes come with a small emergency kit consisting a spare inner tube, puncture repair kit, multi tool & tyre levers and a pump. Most of this fleet of bikes have a basic pannier rack.
Pedal Assisted E-Bikes: These are definitely the 'business'!!!! An e-bike will give you the option of a significant power boost to your bike ride around the island. The guarantee is that once you have mastered the gears and the power settings - they are not complicated - you will easily be able to explore the whole island and you shouldn't have to get off and push up any of the hills. The e-bike mantra is "faster, further and for longer". The bikes we use are Cube Hybrid Touring Pro's. They have a range of up to 38 miles on 'Turbo' setting or 80+ miles on the lower 'Eco' setting.... and on the 'Off" setting you can peddle for as long as you like. The gearing and size of the cassette chainrings mean they are very efficient and easy to peddle even when they are switched off.
Hebridean Way Bikes: These are a fleet of specialist bikes that are set up and prepared for undertaking the Hebridean Way Challenge ride. From Vatersay in the South for 185 miles to the Butt of Lewis at the very northern tip of Lewis. Bikes are high spec hybrid road bikes. They are Giant Roam (mens frame) and Giant Liv Rove (womans frame). All bikes are prepared with sturdy pannier racks, optional front suspension, road tyres, mudguards, hydraulic disc brakes, puncture repair kit, innner tube, basic tools, pump, front & rear lights and come with a lock. Anything else you think you will need then please feel free to suggest.
Below you can read more about us as individuals, and scroll down for some testimonials from people who have enjoyed our hire bikes, or if you have hired a bike from us we would welcome your feedback via the form at the bottom of the page.
I first visited the Hedridean islands back in 1984 and became a regular visitor to the islands virtually every year since. For many of those years we travelled as a family up and down the islands in a VW campervan (with bikes on the back). My career, spanning 36 years, has been as a teacher / outdoor adventure activity instructor working in schools, outdoor centres, the Joint Services and running my own Outdoor Training & Activity Company. I have worked with people of all ages and abilities and been fortunate enough to have travelled and worked in many marvellous parts of the world. Between 2007 and 2016, before moving to Barra, I worked for Lancashire County Council and during the last five years of my time in their employ I was Head of Centre for two of their four Outdoor Education Centres.
“Having worked in the Outdoor Industry all my working life and having been involved in biking activities as a family passion throughout that career what better place to now live and work.”
Throughout my career to date bikes have featured prominently as a pass-time and a family passion. My two sons have grown up with bikes and have carried their love of biking and the outdoors into their full time employment. Both now in their late twenties they are both professional mountain bikers as sponsered bikers, film producers and biking skills coaches and guides having travelled to every continent to follow their passion and pursuit of adventure.
Testimonials & Feedback for Barra Bike Hire
Between the two of us we aim to provide you with the best possible service we can and to make our bike hire and wider cycling support services the most customer centred and customer focused possible. If you have any feedback / comments that you think will help us to improve this central aim them please do pass them on to us.
Feel free to use our feedback form below to pass on your comments.
Alternatively you can find us on Trip Advisor ......
Had a wonderful six days cycling to Stornoway through the beautiful Hebrides with the wind, rain, hail and glorious sunshine adding to the drama! Tony couldn't have been more helpful and the bike was excellent. Huge thank you to Barra bikes. Highly recommended. 5/5
Barra Bike hire are fantastic, Kay was so helpful and friendly and the bikes were great too! Would recommend to all! 5/5
Janet Ni Cathasaigh
Great bikes and lovely people. We had a wonderful afternoon cycling around Vatersay (in the sun!). Some of our group hadn't been on a bike for years and were converted. A great way to see quite a lot of the island in a short time and was such a nice change to cycle on roads where the bikes nearly outnumbered the cars. Everyone should do this (especially with one of those wine-carriers!) 5/5
With a broken dérailleur in Oban (on a Sunday), we thought our long awaited cycling trip was in jeopardy. That was until we contacted Tony at Barra Bike Hire. We explained our problem over the the phone, and Tony arranged to meet us at the ferry wharf. Arriving in picturesque Castlebay, Tony greeted us and soon my bike was on his portable mechanic stand. It didn't take long to realize we had found the right man for the job. Tony sacrificed his Sunday evening (with a planned dinner to attend) to graciously help us out. With a bit of luck, he had the exact part needed, and within an hour we were happily cycling south to Vatersay. You will not find better customers service in Scotland, or even in the entire United Kingdom. Thanks again Tony, we had a wonderful time cycling north to the Butt of Lewis and hope to return to Scotland soon. 5/5
Andrew and Lesley MacDougall
Can’t speak highly enough of Barra Bikes. Tony provides a first class service, and does his utmost to accommodate his customers’ requirements. His fleet of bikes are ideal for the cycling around the islands and are well maintained and equipped. A pleasure to deal with. Thanks 5/5
Just returned home from Barra, Weather was the weather!, I would just like to say that without Barra Bikes my holiday would have been incomplete. Tony was spot on in his thoughts on my needs and delivered on every meaning of the word. Kay even showed me to my seat on the plane home!, Now you don't get that on the mainland!. I should also compliment the top quality bike for getting me around the islands with ease. An excellent business that will support you if you support them. 5/5
Kay and Tony are complete legends. My own bike broke as soon as I arrived in Barra and They went out their way to help fix it and get a plan so I could start and finish my holiday to ullapool. 100% recommended. Great quality rental bikes too! 5/5
We were staying at the house across the road and my brand new bike broke completely on a hill and Tony came over with his tool kit and put it back together for me I thought I was going to have to take it back to Glasgow like that. The next time we were in barra we came in by the plane because it is quicker and we hired brilliant bikes from tony that fit the terrain of the isles I also tested out the electric assisted bikes which are great if you struggle with the biggish hill. I am looking forward to one day doing the hebridean way with Tony and Kays support. I cannot rate them highly enough and barra is such a friendly island. 5/5
Sarah Jane Stewart
Got off ferry and my wife damaged her bike = holiday plans in jeopardy. Went for a walk and passed a sign for Barra Bike Hire and thought we'd give them a call. Kay suggested we bring the bike for Tony to have a look at and we left it with them. Tony has just dropped the bike off with new parts fitted and we're well happy that our holiday is back on track. 5/5
A beautiful island to cycle on, Tony can give you great advice and support, he really knows his stuff. Highly recommended 5/5