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Lake District Bikes - Reviews


I am a 67 grandmother, holidaying in the Lake District with my 2 sons and their families, and the “lads” treated me to a day out cycling with them, booking with John.  I am an electric bike fan, but the lads booked ordinary bikes for themselves.  John took an executive decision and issued the 3 of us with electrics - the lads were soon converted!  John has a shed full of bikes of all sorts - ours were fat tyre off roaders - all were in extremely good condition and clean - not always the case when I have rented elsewhere in the world!  I had asked for off-road riding, with as little on-road as possible, and John obliged - we had a wonderful day out, challenging for me - thrilling for my sons!  John was the best of guides - always watching how we were doing, keeping us challenged but safe, proactively explaining what the stretch ahead might contain, especially when on-road, stopping from time to time along the way to explain local points of interest.   I can thoroughly recommend John as a guide for cyclists of any age and ability.  You will not only enjoy your day of cycling but come away with a deeper understanding of the history and people of the Lake District.  Thank you John.

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I really enjoyed riding the Enigma, it seemed to cope with all those bumps on the roads much better than the carbon frames I'm used to. The gears were really great as well and I even liked the red bar tape. I honestly might have to investigate titanium a bit more.

I did quite a lot of miles in the end, 75 on Saturday, 70 yesterday and 45 today. I had forgotten how many hills there are here. Sunday I did quite a long walk taking advantage of the good weather.



We had a great experience with Lake District Bikes. The door to door service was much appreciated since we were staying in another town and were without a car. They provided two guides for us, one for me and one for my wife. John served as my guide for Britain’s Best Ride on a gorgeous day. He was a great cycling partner and a pleasure to be with. He not only kept me on course through the many beautiful country lanes we pedaled, but he shared his knowledge of the history and culture of the area, made sure we stopped at the scenic overlooks (which were spectacular), and even took photos of me so I could share my experience with others. My Enigma Esprit was a joy to ride. The ride was beyond expectations both in terms of the incredible landscape and the leg burning climbs. It was definitely one of my best days ever on a bike. My wife’s guide Margaret was equally delightful and they enjoyed a day cycling through gentler but no less picturesque terrain. Being able to shower on site after our ride was also appreciated. I definitely recommend Lake District Bikes for an unforgettable cycling experience.

Ed, Texas


I would highly recommend Lake District Bikes. John was very welcoming, he gave instructions on how to operate the bike which was very easy and was great fun, he also recommended a few routes to try. We had a great time cycling around Coniston, Hawkshead and through Grizdale Forest. I could not have done this without the hire of one of John’s electric bikes, I hired one of his Trek Powerfly bikes and thoroughly enjoyed our day out,

Thanks for a great day John



I highly recommend both John and Lake District Bikes. The experience was wonderful, from start to finish.

I was coming from the USA to the Lake District, and wanted to get in a few days of riding. John helped with everything, from the bike to routes and more. He was friendly, he was quick to respond, and his equipment is in excellent condition.

This is a great service. I will definitely be using John again and recommend it to anyone who is considering hiring a bike.

Ben, USA


I would definitely recommend using Lake District Bikes.  They provided us with great value quality road bikes in fine working order.  Pick up and payment were easy and there's almost immediate and great access to the Lakes and passes on quiet roads from their base.  We had a variety of people in our group and there was no problem in sourcing the right kit.  We will definitely be using LDB again - fantastic service. Thanks.

Matt from Dorset

I hired the Trek Powerfly 5 electric bike from John. I had a great time cycling around Coniston waters and that put a big smile on my face. The electric bike was just marvelous in helping me pedal the bike with its four different levels of power - Eco,Tour,Sport and Turbo. I was able to go further than I could have ever achieved by simple mountain bike. I covered up to 35miles in just 2 hours - all uphill roads in Lake district which I would have never have been able to climb in regular bike. I liked the bike so much that I have already placed an order for trek powerfly 7 model.

John is friendly and very helpful with the cycling tips and knowledge local cycling area around the Coniston water lake. John and his electric bikes are highly recommended.


We had a wonderful day touring the Coniston and Rusland Valley areas. Thanks to John's expert advice we plotted a quiet route with just enough hilly terrain to make for an enjoyable ride. The bikes were superb, beautifully maintained and a joy to ride. We'd thoroughly recommend Lakes Bikes. Take a top of the range bike for a spin in the most glorious area of the country - you won't have a better day on two wheels!

Very best, William

It takes a truly engaging route that made for an enjoyable ride even in the conditions the Lakes decided to throw at me on my hire day. Fortunately John is a seasoned cyclist in the area and quickly pointed out the inadequacies of my kit and loaned me some leg warmers which proved indispensable. John also spent a good while explaining the route and providing a Garmin to guide me so relatively little time was spent stopped by the roadside getting cold.

I had the wind and rain behind me for the first 8 or so miles skirting Coniston and made good progress. The climb up Hawkshead Hill was enough to steam my glasses up and I managed to resist the temptation to stop for a cuppa in the Drunken Duck. From there down to Langdale before taking a photo of the obligatory 30% warning side ahead of Wrynose Pass.

I'd ridden the pass before but without the 25mph headwind! It was treacherous at times but the lightweight and low gearing of the Trek Project One hire bike got me over the top. Time to admire the views - ok rain clouds - gulp a gel and then onwards through the valley floor.

On a dry day without a headwind this section would have been a real highlight, undulating and technical enough to keep your interest but still make good progress. From Broughton I took the alternative route John suggested and turned for Torver. I was expecting this to be flat, but flat in the Lake district is a relative term! Final turn back towards to Lowick and an extremely welcome warm shower and hot cup of tea.

It was a 45 mile ride by the Garmin but felt like twice that - a challenging day but one I'll be back to repeat, rain or shine.

D Pearce

Thanks John for delivering to and collecting from the two Trek road bikes to Hawkshead for our weeks cycling. Both my wife and I totally enjoyed the Trek Carbon road bikes which put our bikes at home, in London, to shame. As soon as I get home I'm going to get them fully serviced,as now we have ridden your excellent bikes we appreciate how bikes should be maintained and the benefit of riding such quality bikes.The maps of the local rides you supplied us with were a great help. We hope to be back.

M & J, London

Great thanks John had some lovely weather and managed Ravenglass to St Bees and back on route 72 over 2 days.


My wife and I hired carbon road bikes from John at Lake District Bikes in September. It hadn't been easy to find good quality road bikes for hire so it was great to find this service in the Southern Lakes. John clearly takes great pride in his bikes, which were maintained impeccably and his knowledge of the area was of great assistance in route planning. My wife and I both ride our road bikes at home in Australia and hiring here was a much better option than transporting them over.

In the end, we completed most of the "Best ride in the UK" loop, with a little extra past Hardknott pass thrown in thanks to John's local knowledge ( A great (and tough!) day on the bike and John kindly even offered us the use of his shower to freshen up before we continued our travels. Thanks for an awesome day John, we will be back!


Thanks to John for a very friendly & efficient bike hire. John has great selection of bikes well suited to the local terrain, and helpfully had the bike set up to my personal spec before I arrived. This really is wonderful cycling country, with something for everyone I did the Broughton Wheelers Lakes loop recommended by John, which was a joy from start to finish. I’ll certainly be back for more!


John was a life saver for my holiday in the lake district. Due to a an unfortunate bike rack incident my bike was left unrideable and I thought my planned trip over Wrynose pass would be left for another visit. Having tried a few bike shops I could not find a decent road bike to hire until I found John's website. He was really helpful and provided some great information especially when I told him of my route. He suggested I changed bikes to suit the route and wow what a difference. It was a beautiful ride and the Campag gears were a nice change from my Shimano. John even provided a map for me to use and gave me a few little pointers of where to stop and have a coffee. The Square Cafe in Broughton in Furness is certainly worth a stop.

I would certainly recommend Lake District Bikes and John's services, and I will not be bothering to take my bike next time. I will just use John's.


Just wanted to mail to say thank you for Saturday - Dad & I both had a fantastic day!! It was a great experience and thoroughly enjoyable. Thank you for helping me to give my dad a truly memorable Father's Day. We have said we would like to come back and do more routes with you & have both began recommending you to our friends and family. The knowledge you shared with us & extra things you do which where above & beyond really made the day perfect :-).

Thank you again for a great day & I look forward to seeing you again!


My son and I enjoyed a fantastic guided ride this week with John. We experience quiet roads that we would never have found on our own. We passed lakes mountains the seaside and a 12th century abbey all within the 54 mile round trip. John explained the history and the geography of all the sites we were enjoying, and the watering holes for morning coffee and lunch were great. We brought our own bikes that were put to shame against the wonderful selection of titanium and carbon road bikes that John offers for hire. We live in North Manchester so we can get to the Lake District in under two hours, so it is our intention to return as soon as possible to continue to explore the South Lakes with John's guidance.

David Samuels

I was looking for something a little more challenging than a leisurely guided tour. After a bit of Googling, I thought it would be a shame to visit this area and not take on either Wrynose or Hardknott pass. I emailed John and explained what I'd like to do and he was extremely helpful. I brought all my own gear, although John can supply bikes also, and met up with Graham for an early start. Graham is an experienced roadie so it was nice to be able to tip along at over 30kph on the flat. The route we took in was recently voted 'Britains best ride' and it didn't disappoint. The roads were almost traffic free and the scenery was as good as you could find anywhere. There were plenty of challenging hills but nothing could prepare you for the steepness of Wrynose. There were a good few cyclists out that morning with a lot of them walking up the final steeper section. Graham was a great guide, and always let you know what sort of road lay ahead such as a steep fast descent, or a dangerous corner. This experience and local knowledge was invaluable. I could never have completed this route on my own with just a printed map, or mapmyride guide, as I would either have gotten lost or thought I was lost.

Thanks again, Kev

Hiring bikes from John proved to be great decision for our family of four providing a fantastic way of exploring the beautiful countryside around the southern lakes. Whilst some rides take on a few climbs its not too strenuous so long as you plan a route with plenty of time and an obligatory pub stop for lunch. Our favourite ride took us north of the ferry crossing on the west side of Lake Windermere up to the bike boat at Wray Castle and over the lake to Brockhole. Children friendly and stunning views! Grizedale Forest was also a great day out but I would recommend that riders should be 10+ as the terrain is undulating and would be hard work for the younger ones.

Hiring the bikes from John was extremely easy and efficient. He picked us up, fitted us up with modern, well-maintained mountain bikes, gave us some tips on places to visit and picked the bikes up on our last day. It really was a great service and having the bikes made for a very memorable and special holiday. We look forward to revisiting the lakes again and we have no hesitation in recommending John for bike hire to anyone visiting this lovely part of the world.

The Randalls

Thanks for a terrific week. The sights were tremendous, the routes well chosen and the itinerary challenging but flexible. We especially appreciated your knowledge of the area, the history and the architecture. Experiencing a bit of farm life first hand was an added bonus.

Terry, USA

I found John on the web site for bike rental in the South Lakes. Delivery was an option but our vacation property was only 5 miles down the road so I collected from John's base. A very nice range of titanium road bikes on offer, and having discussed the various options I chose the new titanium Enigma Esprit. John made a few quick adjustments and I was on my way around Coniston Water.

I hired the bike for a week and rode mainly in the South Lakes. The riding is quite simply awe inspiring with the added benefit of quiet roads and plenty of beautiful rest stops for light refreshment. The bike was a revelation, and well geared to help me over the Lakes passes.
So if heading out to the Lakes go South you will not regret your decision.

Brian, USA

The ride with John was great, very happy with the ride of 60 miles. It's such a nice place to ride around and enjoy the scenery. Bike was great and I'm 6ft 4ins. Shame I did not have more time to do more rides.

Mike, Australia

My son and I hired bikes and wanted a days tour. John sorted us out, and rented my son his top of the range Titanium bike. This tour could be very expensive for me as my son loved the bike with top of the range Durace gears.

John was a great guide and regularly stopped to tell us about the place and its history which made it all so very worth while, and enjoyable. Lunch in the cafe overlooking Morecambe Bay was most welcome. A great day to remember.

John, Hants

We did not know what to expect on the "Lakes and Dales Tour" as we booked via email from the States. John met us at Oxenholme Station and took us to his home which was to be our base for 4 nights. The bikes were superb road bikes which John fitted to our size, one a titanium men's bike and the other a ladies carbon bike. Wow, after riding mountain bikes on the road these bikes are really fast and comfy on the road.

We had 3 days touring with John in the South Lake District before setting out for 3 days in the Yorkshire Dales, self guided from supplied instructions and maps. It rained, the sun shone, we went up hills and down Dales, what terrific scenery everywhere.

The itinerary John had planned was perfect - not too hard and not too easy for a couple of relatively unfit Americans. We had dinner on farms and ate their home grown lamb, we ate out in the local pubs, and our bags were transported from place to place. Finally John came to collect us and our bags and we had a final ride and a calm sunny afternoon, around Coniston Water. What a perfect way to end a splendid weeks cycling in the Lakes.

Mr & Mrs G, USA

We booked the accommodation well in advance at Coal Yeat, three lads from Essex. Two of us were relatively new to cycling but I had just completed the Tour de France Etappe, of over 100 miles. So John had a job on his hand taking us out for a day's tour with three totally different cyclists. Yet he did it, we all had great fun, arrived home "knackered" and a massive sense of achievement as for two of the guys the 60 miles ride was their longest ever.

We were on our own bikes, yet John tweeked a couple of seat posts to make the ride better. We even had a coffee stop in Broughton-in-Furness. The day was fantastic, bright blue skies with not a cloud to be seen and total calm, Coniston water was like a mirror! Just what we ordered.

But the Broughton Beck bastard, a 20% hill at the end of the ride did make our sense of achievement even greater, as we don't have hills like this in Essex. We are already planning our return for 2015.

The Trio, Essex

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