My wife and I rented mountain bikes from Bactrax on Aug 6, 2013. My bike failed 20 min later on a paved road - after I rode over a small pothole the rear gear assembly fall off. Apparently, Norco mountain bikes have thin metal bracket (approx 3 mm wide) holding the rear gear and it is designed to break to prevent damage to the frame. I don't believe the shock from riding a 2" pothole is sufficient to break this bracket, so my only explanation is that it was already cracked from the previous rentals - nobody at Bactrax checks or even cleans the bikes after rental return - the bike I rented had dirt all over, but this was the only one left so I had no choice...
I left my wife near Fairmont golf course (where my bike broke) and rode over to the store on my wife's bike to get help. When the guy from the store finally arrived he told us that this part "breaks all the time" and it is "better to replace $5 bracket than $200 frame". We went to the store in the evening to pickup the paperwork and were told that we owe them for 2 hours of rental (1 hour each). We obviously expected an apology for faulty bikes, instead we were charged for rental time that we didn't (and couldn't) use - I was back at the store 30 min after departure. The manager told us that "we should be happy they didn't charge us 100s of dollars for bike repairs". Yet, he offered "free" bike rental the next day - I told him that I don't want to do anything with his store and will rent elsewhere. We rented next day at Ultimate Ski and Bikes and were very happy with bikes and customer service.
There are many bike rentals in Banff, so I strongly advise you to stay away from Bactrax, if their bikes fail on a paved road, just imagine how they'll behave on a real MB trail.
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