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“Avoid renting bikes from Bactrax” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Snowtips-Bactrax

225 Bear Street, Banff, Banff National Park, Alberta T1L 1B5, Canada
(403) 762-8177
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Ranked #26 of 29 Outdoor Activities in Banff
Attraction details
Richmond Hill, ON
Top Contributor
60 reviews 60 reviews
26 attraction reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
“Avoid renting bikes from Bactrax”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 11, 2013

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.

Visited August 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
snowtips, Manager at Snowtips-Bactrax, responded to this review, September 10, 2013
As I understand Mike your rental on August 6, 2013 at Bactrax has turned into a very unforunate situation. We apologize for the muddy bikes as we do wash them off and oil the chains at the start of each day - just sometimes during the day we get to busy to complete this task between rentals. I must also mention our bikes are regularly inspected and tuned by our 4 capable mechanics.

Our response has taken some time as we were away. After interviewing the staff involved here are our account of the situation.

We understand we had a call from you that your chain came off the bike and could we come fix it. Our staff member went with the proper equipment on a Moped to fix the chain and when he got there found there was more wrong with the bike. The derailleur hanger was broken because the rear derailleur had gone into the spokes which caused the chain to come off. Our staff member explained this - then you left on your friend's bike leaving him with the Moped and the broken bike. He then called another staff member to pick up the broken bike (which he left at the Banff Springs Golf Club house for safe keeping) and rode the Moped back to the shop to continue work.

By the time you came back in the shop he had left work for the day and another staff member had to deal with the situation. He did not know all the details of the rental, but when the rear derailleur & hanger are broken on a bike it is beacause the rider has been in the big front and big rear rings which causes the derailleur to go into the spokes and causes damage to the derailleur and hanger.

Considering you were only out 30 minutes for your rental you should not have been charged an hour rental - I was told you were out 45 minutes - either way if you call our shop (403) 762-8177 we will arrange a refund. Sorry for the inconvenience.
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21 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Excellent rental service”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2013

Decided last minute to go skiing and did not have a jacket. Went here in the morning, was able to quickly rent what we needed and had great service, very accommodating staff.

Visited March 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane, Australia
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Great service, awesome selection and renting conditions”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 1, 2013

Great experience...especially from Pat and Dave! They ask the right questions and get you on the right skis.

I took the high performance package and can't fault them on the well tuned equipment. They thoroughly checked the skis for damage on return...can't blame them: its the Rocky Mountains out there!! I would get the Insurance just in case.

They had a great range of skis from fats to carvers across a few different brands and they let me swap twice during the week because of new snow at no extra cost. Also , the wife and I had a rest day and didn't pay for it - they just pushed our rental period back a day.

Thanks Fellas.

Visited April 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Top Contributor
162 reviews 162 reviews
54 attraction reviews
Reviews in 84 cities Reviews in 84 cities
129 helpful votes 129 helpful votes
“Road bike rental”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 29, 2012

We rented a pair of road bikes from Snowtips-bactrax for cycling the Bow Valley Parkway to/from Lake Louise. The bikes were clearly a few years old and had done significant distances but even after our thorough inspection, we couldn't fault them. Gears, brakes and steering were all adjusted perfectly and the tyres had been replaced from originals and were better quality more puncture-resilient versions with plenty of safe miles left. We'd brought our own but helmets, repair kits (spare tube, tyre levers and inflator/canister) and bike locks were included. They were significantly cheaper than the other shop renting road bikes.

Visited June 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Great equipment and advice. highly recommended.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2012

Hired some high performance skis for a week or so. Skis were always well tuned and waxed, with edges nice and sharp. The staff were great with recommending different skis to try out depending on the current snow conditions. It was free to switch out skis so I tried 5 or so different pairs, which I found was great to do if you are thinking about buying your own skis. Another bonus is that you don't need to pay if you take a day off - like soul ski shop down the street - just leave the gear in the shop for the day and they'll credit an extra day of hire. Great, friendly service, and very good quality equipment with marker bindings on all the skis!!

Visited March 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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