Reader Q&A: Cycling accommodation and bike hire in the Alps

Published by Lyn on 7 October 2013

Kevin asks about cycling accommodation in the French Alps, plus bike rental for a trip to take on the Galibier, Alpe d'Huez and the Madeleine. He also wants to know the best time to go. By Lynette Eyb.

The only way is down: on the summit of the Col de la Croix de Fer. Photo: Nick's_Pics

On the summit of the Col de la Croix de Fer. Photo: Nick's_Pics


I am interested in renting bikes for an Alps cycling adventure next summer and I have three very important questions for you about bike rental and your suggestions for making our trip successful.

1.  We’d like to rent higher end bikes (Trek Madone, for example) with good (don’t have to be great) components like Shimano 105 or Shimano Ultegra). Do you rent these and how much does does it cost for 5 days?

2.  What week are mountains like Col du Galibier, Alpe d'Huez, Col de l'Iseran, Col de la Madeleine, Col du Glandon, Col de la Croix de Fer historically open for cyclists? We’re thinking June, but don’t want to be too early.

3.  What is an ideal town to be located in if we want to ride these mountains? Our preference is to stay in one town as we will have a van to drive to mountains where necessary.

Thanks so much for your answers to these questions and any and all other suggestions.

I hope to hear from your soon,


Hi Kevin,

Many thanks for your email. is an independent information site – I don't actually rent bikes outs etc, but I can certainly point you in the right direction.

For bike hire, I suggest you see my Rhone-Alpes bike hire listings, which has lots of options for the cols you're after.

Possibly you want to decide where to stay first (see below) and then hire locally. Some accommodation providers will have a local rental outlet they work with and who can actually deliver to you. See our Alps bike hire page for contacts and links

For an overview of cycling the cols you mention, please see our main article on cycling the Maurienne Valley. The author of that article stayed at Hotel de l'Europe in St Jean de Maurienne.

We list a number of cycle-friendly B&Bs, hotels and self-catering chalets under Rhone-Alpes in our Where to stay section, and I'd recommend any or all of them. You can zoom in to browse them on the map below as well.

Consider Chalet Saskia, Le Château d’Oz, or Chalet Ribot on or near Alpe d'Huez, or Chalet Savoie Faire near the Madeleine. It really depends where you prefer to stay and the style of accommodation you're after. All of the above are great options as they are geared up for cyclists (tell them I said hi).

Regarding the best time to go, we cover this in our article about when to cycle in the Alps here. It has advice about the weather plus lots of local links and advice.

You might also be interested in our articles on the Col de la Croix de Fer and Alpe d'Huez.

I hope that all helps - if I can help any further, please drop me a line back.


See here for guided rides and organised tours in the French Alps

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