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 ......
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
I wish I had better words to say what everyone else had already said- absolutely brilliant/ thank you. Great bikes- perfect for us, and top notch service. Goodness knows what Tony thought , when asked for training advice, and e bikes etc in the run up to our trip, never mind when we turned up and he was faced with the two pink blobs staggering off the ferry in tired bewilderment.. A fountain of information and patient assistance saw us happily from Castlebay to Stornaway on two lovely bikes. Someone who clearly knows and loves his stuff. I can very very highly recommend Barra Bike hire. 5/5
A brilliant way to see Barra, Tony & Kay provided 6 bikes for us. Great service at a reasonable price. Thanks 5/5
Jason Mark Taplin
I’ve just completed an absolutely fantastic week cycling the Hebridean Way using kit supplied by Tony and Barra Bikes. The bike and panniers were well serviced and perfect for the job, and looked nearly brand new. I can not speak highly enough of Tony’s personal, friendly and helpful service leading up to and throughout the trip. Tony went the extra mile to accommodate personal requests and supplying camping gas on arrival etc so that I’d be good to go on arrival. An information card was supplied at the start listing general information and support contacts up the islands, giving confidence for the duration of the trip from bottom to top! I can’t recommend the route/trip enough, and using Tony to make it as easy and enjoyable as possible! 5/5
Had a really lovely time, the bikes were great and the island is stunning. 5/5
Barra bikes are excellent. The bikes themselves are in really good condition and are perfect for the job. Tony is friendly, helpful and very knowledgeable. I can't recommend them highly enough. Thank you! See you next year. 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
Fantastic week and traveling self propelled on the very well maintained, friendly supplied, well priced and quality bikes of Tony and Kay's 'Barra bike hire' would be recommended to all 5/5
Tony was a brilliant help for our trip on the Hebridean way. He went out of his way to help us organise things and rented us 2 pristine bikes for the trip, and e-bikes for our final day zipping around Vatersay. Would recommend to anyone. 5/5
Dee Ni Bhanain
My Wife Amanda and I spent a fabulous week on Barra in October. Tony delivered two e-bikes to our door and showed us how to use them. We loved the bikes, they were so easy to use and took us everywhere. Tony is very easy going but really does know his stuff. You will not regret using Barra Bike Hire. Great bikes, well maintained and all the advice you could need. Thank you Tony. 5/5
Dave & Amanda Barrell (Yorkshire)