2008-05-21

Leave Your Bike at Home (捷安特自行車租賃計畫)

Flexible Multi-Day Cycle Rental Program Offered by Giant

Giant Bicycles Corporation (捷安特), Taiwan's largest bicycle designer, builder and retailer, offers a highly attractive rental program (自行車租賃) to encourage more Taiwanese to take multi-day cycling trips across the island. The program lets you choose from two mid-range (NT$20,000 / US$650) bicycles [Great Journey 1 and CRX-2] and comes with a saddle bag and support kit that includes basic cycle accoutrements (air pump, tool kit, flashlight, lock, etc.).


The program allows rentals and returns at any of Giant's 30 some wholly-owned distributors (contact details for around 15 of them are posted in Chinese here). For our most recent cycling journey from Kaohsiung to Taitung, we rented bikes from Giant's Zuoying (Tsoying) outlet (捷安特左營店, tel: 07-348-0975), a 10 minute walk from the Zuoying High Speed Rail (HSR) station, and returned them at Giant's Taitung City outlet (捷安特台東店, tel: 08-934-7416).



The rental program is exceptionally cost effective, with rentals billed at NT$1,000 (US$35) total for the first three days and NT$200 (US$7) for each day thereafter. While bikes seem to be kept in good condition, make sure to give them a thorough once over before setting out. You probably will also want to consider packing a spare inner tube and/or tire repair kit as well.



The bicycle rental program is surprisingly under-advertised. Prior to our trip in March, I did a Chinese language search of the Internet and came up empty on any rental program details. The Giant website (also in Chinese) is quiet on the rental program as well ... the company apparently treating it as somewhat of a stealth operation. Giant may be concerned about over-subscriptions and thus prefers word of mouth promotion.



Program rules ask that you book reservations through your pick-up location (Giant outlet) at least one week in advance. English will likely prove too challenging for most of the store attendants taking phone-in reservations, so suggest that non-Chinese speakers book by e-mail. A partial listing of outlets with e-mail links follows:

Giant Taipei Hsinchuang (Sinjhuang / Xinzhuang)台北新莊店
Giant Bali (Shihsanhang) 十三行站
Giant Taipei Banqiao (Banciao) 台北板橋店
Giant Taipei Nanjing (Nanking East Road) 台北南京店
Giant Hsinchu Jiedeng 新竹捷登店
Giant Taichung City Hall 台中市政店
Giant Taichung Nantun 南屯店
Giant Taichung Beitun 太原站
Giant Fengyuan Circle 豐原圓環店
Giant Tainan City 台南店
Giant Kaohsiung Zuoying (HSR Station) 左營店
Giant Kaohsiung Qijin (Cijin) 旗津站
Giant Kaohsiung Ersheng 高雄二聖店
Giant Pingdong City (Pingtung) 屏東店
Giant Taidong City (Taitung) 台東店
Giant Hualien Liyutan 鯉魚潭站
Giant Hualien Qixingtan (Cisingtan) 七星潭站
Giant Yilan Zhongshan (Jhongshan) 宜蘭中山店


- JM

16 comments:

SQJTaipei said...

I've actually been meaning to ask you for more details about this rental program since I read your report of that trip around the southern tip... so I'm really thankful for this. Thank you! Do you follow the Tour de France at all?

una said...

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Bicyclesidewalk said...

Jeff,
Great info here. I am an avid cyclist and will be moving to Taipei in October. I ride a road bike and have been doing some research on cycling in and around Taipei - really looking forward to riding Mingshan -
nathan miller
www.bicycle-sidewalk.com

Pirola said...

Thanks for this info, Jeff.

Since the 6th of May Iberia and -it seems- most IATA companies are charging an additional 150 € (225 $) per leg for carrying your bicycles. Programmes like Giant's rental would definitelly be welcomed.

I'm going to mainland China (Shanghai, Guilin) in September. Do you know if this rental programme is applicable there as well?

Cheers
Roberto
pirola.sarne@gmail.com

Jeff Miller 米傑富 said...

Hi Pirola,

Sounds like a great trip. You are biking one way from Shanghai all the way to Guilin. Wonderful!

Public transport systems (of which many airlines should be included) should initiate programs to encourage people to take bicycles with them. Trains and inner-city light rail systems in Taiwan are only now taking tentative steps in this direction. Taiwan has one of the highest population densities in the world and should be able to make real & positive impacts (and score some international pr points for itself) by taking bold initiatives in the realm of low eco-impact transportation alternatives. Unfortunately, "bold" is an adjective rarely permitted to stain public policy on our beautiful island.

As for similar rental programs in China, I've no idea, but imagine that Giant Taiwan and Giant China are run as separate entities. Your best bet would be to e-mail some of the large maker/retailers and ask for referrals. In addition to Giant, Merida and Fuji seem to be doing a good business selling mid-range bikes (neither offer a rental program as far as I know). China surely has its own maker/retailers, who might offer multi-point rental programs.

sEga said...

Hey Jeff

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bryce maddock said...

That's pretty interesting. I would like to try it sometime .

Jas said...

I have been to Taipei too last March and cannot wait to go back again! I look forward to more of your post about Taiwan. HA, thanks for sharing!

Dr Kelvin Choo said...

Hi Jeff,

I am in process of planning a biking trip in Taiwan.
1. Where is the best route with good landscaping, and mountain view?
2. Cold weather and rain , not for me,when is the best time to to plan my trip?
3.I have a duration of 5-6 days (cycling days).

Bicyclesidewalk said...

I would say take your bike on the train to Hualien and do the ride down to Taitung.

Roger Smith said...

I've ridden Hualian to Taidong both on the coast and in the valley both by bicycle and bike. The valley was amazing in great weather. I've also flown a paraglider about 36kms up the valley starting at LuYeh. There is a not very noticeable downslope from Hualien for about 2/3 of the valley until ReiLi. There a are wide country roads with great vision and deep cement gutters. When the rice is ready for harvesting the valley floor is bathed in gold. There's also the train line which runs through the center to Taidong. If you get tired or the weather starts to overdevelop in the late afternoon, you can always throw your bike on a local diesel train. I highly recommend grabbing a 6 pack and sitting on the open vestibule of the last wooden carriage, windows all open, watching the track and the mountain ridges roll away.....

mark said...

Hi,
Does anyone know where i could find a decent map of provincial highway 11 to plan my cycling trip ?

Shirley said...

Hello,

I am planning to participate in the Beautiful Taitung Triathlon in October of 2010 and was wondering if anyone knows where I can rent a road bike for the race? It just seems troublesome and expensive to bring my bike there for the race. Thanks!

Shirley

Sarah said...

Hi Jeff,
I'm really glad I found your site! It's great! Can we speak more about a 5-6 day bike trip around Taiwan? I would love your input in planning this trip.
Thanks!

Sarah

Bill said...

HI Jeff,

I just found your website. Thanks for all the great information. I am planning a trip to Taiwan next week! (yes, sorry about the short lead time.) We would love to spend a few days cycling and have been trying to get hold of Giant about renting bikes. IS the program still in existence? Do you happen to know where we could rent/borrow either trail-a-bike attachments of kids or tandem bikes suitable for kids? We live in the Philippines so in the worst case situation we can bring our trail-a bikes, but want to make sure we can at least rent mountain bikes.

Also, ideas for a good cycling trip with kids? Probably cabin to cabin (or hotel) or are there good camp sites? Would we need to bring our tent? Any advice is greatly appreciated.

Bill
lizandbillf@yahoo.com

Celia said...

This is fantastic!