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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm getting to visit Hawaii for the first time due to my better half having a conference there. I think it is at the Hilton near Kona. I looked at bringing my bike but it is just too much too deal with. I've found a place called Bike Works Kona, and Kona Bike Rentals. I'm wondering if anyone knows either of these place and can comment/recommend one or the other, or knows of another place.

What I'm looking for is something at the level of my bike, a Scott Solace Di2 Ultegra. The Di2 is a nice to have, but not a requirement. Neither is the Solace part or even the Scott part. It does kind of give an idea of what I'm looking for - something to spend most of the day on the bike without feeling battered. Lightweight is more important than aero.

Any help or recommendations for rides are also welcome.

Aloha!
 

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I'm getting to visit Hawaii for the first time due to my better half having a conference there. I think it is at the Hilton near Kona. I looked at bringing my bike but it is just too much too deal with. I've found a place called Bike Works Kona, and Kona Bike Rentals. I'm wondering if anyone knows either of these place and can comment/recommend one or the other, or knows of another place.

What I'm looking for is something at the level of my bike, a Scott Solace Di2 Ultegra. The Di2 is a nice to have, but not a requirement. Neither is the Solace part or even the Scott part. It does kind of give an idea of what I'm looking for - something to spend most of the day on the bike without feeling battered. Lightweight is more important than aero.

Any help or recommendations for rides are also welcome.

Aloha!
you're going to the Waikoloa village? wally world?
Been in the area quite a bit. the highway north of Kona is where the Ironman is run. Its nasty, hot, barren, and very windy. It can be a brutal ride lava rock. no shade. if you must go, start early. Couldn't help you with bike rentals, but after visiting its about the last place I would want to ride out of sheer boredom and highway traffic. Not my scene. There are better rides around Kona towards the south and up around Mauna Kea. rent a gravel bike and see if you can make the summit from the visitors center. (cerebral edema might stop you). or ride over at Volcano NP...quieter roads, better, scenery, slightly more shade...slightly. Roads around Pahoa might be nice now that the lava has stopped. Hilo...meh...sad little town.
 

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I'm from Hilo. Don't know much about Kona except it's not how it used to be back in the day. Lots of mainlanders there now. Have a good time.
 

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I've only driven these roads so I don't know how steep and treacherous they are on a bicycle, but it gets pretty nice south of Kona. Things get more green and lush. The crush of lobster-colored, Mai-Tai addled tourists thins remarkably. The roads become considerably less trafficked. Holualoa is a spectacularly located artists' village. Kona and the tourist ghetto can be glimpsed far below. Further south, the town of Captain Cook is a bit of old school, unreconstructed Hawaii. I don't know if the roads are paved, but South Point has a wild, untamed, edge-of-the-earth vibe.
 

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The sun is absolutely brutal and relentless. I didn't bike there, but we drove around a lot in a roach-infested Chevy Impala rental car with a CD player. We only had one CD so listened to Jerry Garcia and David Grissman's "Not for Kids Only" about 72 times. I haven't been able to listen since. The snorkeling is quite good. We could even see moorish idols from our hotel balcony. I did seem to spend a huge amount of time avoiding the sun, much more so than on our Kauai trips.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hey thanks all! I think I am going with Bike Works as my rental place. It is actually between them and Kona Bike rentals, but I think it is Bike Works. I've found good rides to do from various sites. I will update this thread when I'm back to let folks know how I made out.

I appreciate the brutal Sun aspect. I'm pretty Sun tolerant, being quite dark complected for a old white guy, and I've spent a fair bit of time in the tropics. We will see how I make out - it is a trade between being a night owl and knowing full well that wgscott speaks the truth earlier is better. (I've actually been in the middle of the Australian outback when solar noon meant zero shadow for a vertical pole.)

In any case, aloha!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'm back! What a simply fantastic trip, and really great, and tough series of rides.

Sun was pretty strong. Wind was pretty fierce at times. Those magma created "hills", known as mountains where I'm from, were amazing. I loved it.

The best rides of the week were of two kinds. First, I completed some climbs that far outstrip anything I've done before. Like 2500' in under 8 miles. Not that much you say? Heh, with a 20 mph head/cross wind, that was pretty tough.

The second kind of ride that was simply great were the ones that I took on the North side of the island. Kind of a rain forest on the edge of the ocean nirvana tour combined with any number of near vertical climbs by simply making a left or right turn up the mountain.

Although I saw plenty of Ironman training on the main road near my hotel, I tried to avoid that portion of the island except for the rides that I started from my home base. By starting from 30 - 60 minutes by car away, I basically saw no one on a bike (or car for that matter) for most of my cycling.

I just wanted to give a shout out to Bikeworks Kona where I rented the Tarmac Di2 mid-compact from. They set it up from my measurements, and tweaked the fit for me when I picked it up. Although a very different bike than my usual rides, I loved riding it. The only change I'd make in the future is to either try to get a compact or keep the mid-compact (which was a 50-36) and go for a 12-32. I've never gone up some of the grades I rode, and 10%+ for a mile or so was harder than I liked.
 
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