Frequently Asked Questions

Curious about riding with The Town Bike? Here are answers to some of our most commonly asked questions:

What kinds of bikes do you rent?
Our bike fleet is comprised of Montari E bikes from Avanti. These electric bikes assist your pedaling to take you farther per day than a manual bike alone can. They’re designed for comfort and boast a soft seat for a day of touring.
Why use electric bikes?
Electric bikes use battery power to work with your peddling power to help you get farther per ride. This gives you the ability to see many more sites in a day’s journey than you could by using a normal pedal bicycle.

We want you to enjoy your journey and get the most out of your rental time, and feel that electric bikes give you the best opportunity to see the beauty of Oamaru and its surrounding area. Should you wish to enjoy the beauty of the countryside and the shore in one day, your electric bike rental will give you the kilometrage to accomplish your touring schedule.

How does the pedal power work?
The pedal power on the Montari E models is supported by electric assist that helps you to achieve 25 km/hr on any terrain. Conquer hills with ease or get a boost on long straightaways to help you get farther, faster.

A Shimano STEPS system is integrated into each bike to give you automatic pedal assist when activated to give you easy riding. It’s operated simply with a hand switch to accommodate four modes: high, normal, eco, and walk.

Why do I need a walk mode?
Walk mode is a unique feature that helps your bike to cruise along beside you, should you need to navigate it around tight corners or staircases. Bikes can get heavy when you’re not riding them, and the walk mode gives you a little boost to keep on moving without tiring.

One of our main hopes for your bike trip is that you’ll take the time to enjoy the beauty and awesome attractions that our area has to offer. Some of the places that you want to stop may not be accommodating to bike traffic and you’ll be glad to have the walk option to help you through these areas.

How long does the battery last?
With conservative use, your battery can last throughout your day’s journey. The integrated lithium ION battery works with your Shimano STEP system to keep your bike going.

Our bikes also charge super quickly: up to 80% in two hours. They reach a full charge within four hours.

Are there ways to get the battery to last longer?
Using the bike in high power mode will drain the battery the fastest. As you scale down toward eco mode (which uses the least power) you’ll get more distance from your charge.

And, of course, using the bike without battery assistance will keep you moving, should you run out of juice during your outing. It will take longer to pedal any distance, so bear this in mind as you journey out to ensure that you can safely cover the distance you need to make it back.

How far can I go on one charge?
In eco mode, you can get up to 120 km off of one charge. Eco mode involves more pedal power than battery power, but still gives you a boost when you’re on the move. Depending on how far your day’s journey will take you, you may want to consider using Eco mode more than one of the higher powered modes in order to get the most distance from your battery.
Are all of your bikes the same size?
No. We have three different sizes: small, medium and large to accommodate riders of different heights.

Small bikes are best for riders 155 – 165 cm (5’0” – 5’4”) tall

Medium bikes are best for riders 165 – 175 cm (5’4” – 5’8”) tall

Large bikes are best for riders 175 – 185 cm (5’8” – 6’1”) tall

You can let us know which size bike you need when you purchase your rental so that we can ensure that you have the most comfortable ride for your height category. Note: Subject to availability, we cannot guarantee your selected size will be available.

Are the electric bikes weatherproof?
Yes, our electric bikes are waterproof and are not in danger of braving the elements, should you encounter bad weather on your journey. It’s both water- and winter-proof so you can keep on going however long you’d like, as long as you are enjoying yourself.

The battery is designed to handle the rigors of the road, including getting wet during a passing rainstorm. Likewise, mechanical features, including the brakes and gears can handle a dousing without causing you operating issues.

What is braking like if I run into weather or weird terrain?
Highly responsive Tektro Auriga brake discs give you a smooth stop regardless of the elements or your terrain. Rain or shine, you can depend on these brakes to keep you safe when stopping in any situation.
How many gears does the bike have?
The Montari E is a nine-speed bike with 27 speed components to help you adjust to different inclines. The Shimano STEP system gives you a large range for all of the different ascents and declines you may come across in your travels.
Are the gears responsive when I need them to be?
The Shimano STEP gears and modes are very responsive to your adjustments. You can use hand controls to power up or down to suit your terrain and riding style.

Responsive gears are particularly helpful as you traverse the diverse terrain in the Oamaru area. You’ll enjoy the quick action of your bike as you conquer shore and mountains during your biking trek.

Do you have tandem models?
No. Our electric bikes do not come in tandem models. Riders must ride individually and cannot pair on a single electric bike.
Do you have children’s sized models?
No. Our electric bikes from this line do not come in sizes small enough for children to ride. These bikes are intended for operation by adults and should not be ridden by children.
Can children's equipment, like a trailer be attached to one of your bikes?
No. It is not safe for you to attach equipment for toting children on the back of your bike. Trailers are not recommended for use with electric bikes and we do not have them available for rental with your bike rental(s).
What should I wear to ride?
You will want to wear comfortable clothing for an athletic excursion. We recommend that you dress in light layers to suit varying temperatures and climates around the coastal area. You may wish to wear a breathable layer close to your body, followed by a thicker zippered fleece liner and then a windbreaker, for example.

Pants-wise, you’ll want something tight enough to stay out of the way of moving pedals but loose enough to give you a good range of motion when maneuvering the bike or exploring one of the many sites you’ll want to visit. Bike shorts are a great option, as are long pants designed for bike riding however, anything you feel comfortable riding in is a safe bet.

You will want to consider wearing low-profile sneakers for riding. They will give you protection as you pedal and are less likely to catch as you cycle. They can also be nice for walking around at a bike stop. Please do not wear open toed shoes, flip flops, or bare feet. These are not considered safe for bike riding.

Do I need to wear a helmet?
Yes. You absolutely must wear a helmet at all times during bike operation. New Zealand has very strict helmet laws for bicyclists of all ages and you must adhere to them at all times when riding a rental bike from The Town Bike.

Helmet laws are enforced much more strongly in New Zealand than they are in other parts of the world, a fact that tourists may be surprised to learn. Helmets are for your safety, as terrain and weather events can cause unforeseen dangers during your biking excursion.

Can I reserve a bike?
Yes. We recommend that you reserve your bike a day in advance of your rental. You can reserve your bike – or bikes for your whole group – online, using our convenient online shop. Simply show up the next day ready for your biking journey in the Oamaru area.

We will do our best to ensure that you have the bike that you want for your travels. Our online calendar can indicate whether our rentals are filling up for one day or another. If anything looks heavily booked or you’re unsure of the rental process, simply give us a call or stop by to take a look at what we have on hand.

How much do your rentals cost?
We offer three levels of bike rentals. The first is a trial run, which lasts for two hours and is $35 a rider. Our second tier is a four-hour half day that is $60 per person. And our full day eight hour tier is $80 per rider.
What happens if the bike is damaged, lost or stolen?
The excess for bikes damaged, lost or stolen is $2,500 or you can choose to buy down your excess to a more manageable $500 for $5 per person, per rental at the time of booking. When you hire the bike a credit card is required for a pre-authorisation and this is used to charge for your rental when you return, including any additional charges for lost, stolen or damaged bikes.