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 ......
Arrived off the ferry on a Friday evening at Castlebay with three mates to travel North on the Hebridean Way starting from Vatersay, the official start. whilst tackling a steep hill to Vatersay my rear mech just snapped in two. Bad start and it's about 8pm ! My mates managed to find Barra Bike Hire was just back round the corner and one of them, Brian, headed straight their with me rolling behind. Brian found and quickly explained to Joe (Tony's son) the problem. initially and unfortunately their business deals in mountain bikes and not old school road/touring bikes and any parts were for their mtbs but they managed to find a leftover Sora mech from a previous repair and proceeded to salvage the bits needed to get my bike running ! Tony and Joe virtually gave up their evening to help me out and I can't recommend and thank them enough for the time and trouble to get me back on the road again. I think it was almost 10 pm when I left and got to Vatersay Bay, tent up, ate and piled into my sleeping bag about midnight. The repair saw me up to the Butt of Lewis and back down to Tarbert and on to Skye. Thank you Tony and Joe, absolute rock solid Gentlemen ! 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
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
Huge thanks Tony for helping us get the most out of our short visit to Barra. The bikes were super and your support/help was second to none. Allowing us to drop the bikes at Barra Airport where you met us with our luggage was a real help. Thank you. 5/5
Thanks to Tony and Barra bike hire for the bikes and support on our challenge to cycle the Hebridean Way. In May 2019, 4 of us lads decided to cycle the route and flying in to Barra, with bikes already there, was by far the easiest and cheapest way to do it. Tony made it incredibly easy to hire 4 good bikes with panniers and kit, and helped us arrange a pick up from the Butt of Ness back to our last nights accommodation in Stornoway, with the bikes being returned to Barra by his Stornoway counterpart Alister. Top class support from start to finish. Thank you Tony and Alister. 5/5
Always a treat to have a chance to cylce around the island, when visiting Barra and especially provided by Tony with a bike, even door-to-door in 6/2018, 10/2018, 4/2019. Thank you so much. 5/5
Thank you Tony for making our holiday so complete! Best bikes we have ever rented, so well looked after. Thanks also for your wonderful helpfulness in delivering the bikes to our house. 5/5
Kirsti MacDonald Jareg
Contacted Tony very last minute and even then he couldn’t be more helpful. Tried the e-bikes and loved them, perfect way to explore the island without it being too taxing. High quality bikes and very good service. Couldn’t have asked for any more. 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