Many mountain bikers have found themselves in a similar dilemma: Your bike was in the shop and you wanted to ride. Or, your friend came to visit from out of town and either didn't have a bike or couldn't bring it on the trip.
Or maybe you're interested in the sport but don't want to make a huge investment before you've tried it.
Whatever the reason, it leads to the same question: Can you rent a mountain bike?
The short answer is yes. But finding a high-quality bike to shred down Raccoon Mountain or through Enterprise South can be a chore. Where can you rent? Are you getting a good deal? What kind of bike are you getting?
We're here to help answer those questions.
Most local bike shops offer rentals, and you can be sure the bike you're borrowing has been maintained. Plus, you'll be supporting your locally owned bike shop. The following shops rent mountain bikes in the area.
Location: 516 E. Main St.
Hours: Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The Bikes: Specialized full suspension
The Rate: $60 for 24 hours. If rented on Saturday, bikes don't have to be brought back until Monday.
Scott's Bicycle Centre
Location: 2544 Georgetown Road NW, Cleveland
Hours: Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; Sunday 1-4 p.m.
The Bikes: Hardtail and full suspension
The Rate: Hardtail, $45/day; Full suspension, $65/day
Suck Creek Cycle
Location: 321 Cherokee Blvd
Hours: Monday- Thursday 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Friday 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Saturday 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m.
The Bikes: Carbon premium bikes, aluminum full suspension and aluminum hardtal.
The Rate: Carbon premium bikes, $100/day; Aluminum full suspension, $75/day; Aluminum hardtail $55/day
Good to Know: Suck Creek Cycle offers mtb guide services.
Trek Bicycle Store of Chattanooga
Location: 2 Northshore
Hours: Monday-Friday, 10 a.m to 6:30 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday noon to 4 p.m.
The Bikes: Trek full suspension
The Rate: $80/day
Location: 2871 Lafayette Road, Fort Oglethorpe, Ga.
Hours: Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The Bikes: Fuji Wendigo 26
The Rate: $15/hour with 2-hour minimum, or rent for the whole day for $35. Rent two days and get the third day free.
A few local mountain biking destinations also offer rentals to help visitors gain access to all the park has to offer.
Rock/Creek runs a seasonal mountain bike rental booth at Enterprise South Nature Park. The station is currently closed for the winter but is expected to reopen for weekends beginning in early April.
Hardtail bikes are $25 for an hour and $15 for each additional hour. Full-suspension bikes are available with an advance booking. They cost an additional $10 total. The 10 miles of dedicated singletrack trails are great for beginners and intermediate-level riders. Those looking for something more extreme can hit up the dirt jump course.
Good to know: The bikes can be taken to other mountain bike locations, but renters must have a car rack or carrier that is approved by Rock/Creek at the time of the rental.
Cloudland Canyon State Park
The park offers Marin Bobcat Trail mountain bikes for $35 for a half day and $55 for a full day. Payment is made at the park visitor center, and bikes can be picked up at the park's interpretive center.
The rentals allow visitors to take the 14-mile Cloudland Connector Trail to the Five Points Recreation Area for more than 23 miles of additional trails, and with the recent completion of the Chattanooga Connector Trail, renters can also access the new Moonshine Trails and dozens more miles of connected trail.
This article was updated March 17, 2018 to include rentals available from Suck Creek Cycle, which had mistakenly been omitted.