Paris bike tours

Hello, My husband and I are looking into taking a city bike tour while we're in Paris in June. We've looked into Fat Tire and Bike About tours. Wondering if anyone has done either or both and can give any words of wisdom and advice. Does anyone have other recommendations?
Thanks so much-

Posted by Ms. Jo
Frankfurt, Germany
4764 posts

Have you read all their reviews on Trip Advisor? There you will find the most up to date reviews.

Posted by Mari
Tucson, AZ
22 posts

Yes, I have checked Trip Advisor and they both have outstanding reviews. So I guess I'm really wondering about the tours themselves. It seems to me that the two tour companies do different types of tours through Paris. And of course, always looking for words of wisdom about Paris.

Posted by pat
victoria, Canada
7827 posts

Mari, I have not done the Bike About Tours, so can't speak to what they do, but I have ( over a period of many visits not just one!) done all the Fat Tire Tours in Paris and one in London. I was reluctant at first to consider a bike tour, at the time I was over 40, not particularily fit, and hadn't been on a bike in many decades.. I was also a bit nervous about the traffic issue. A friend begged me to join her on the Paris By Night tour , and even offered to pay, so I went. It was a hoot. Loved it so much we signed up for the Versailles one the very next day!
The bikes are nice a comfy, those "Fat Tires" do make a difference, felt they handled the bumps in the roads well. The guides were very young and enthusiastic and gave a humourous but basic lite tour of city.. little tidbits that made what you were seeing interesting, made you want to "go back there tomorrow and see that " sort of thing. We went down main streets and down side streets and little allys too.. they had a good route picked out. You generally would ride for 10 minutes or so, stop , guide would give a blurb about what you are seeing, then ride on, it would be a VERY unfit person who would find the ride the least bit tiring, it was actually exhirilrating.

Posted by pat
victoria, Canada
7827 posts

cont. We then stopped for ice cream. And the ride included a boat cruise, so that was a nice add on.. It ends a bit late , about 11 or so. The Versailles ride was fun and easy , but of all the ones I have done it would be the most taxing,, I did it easily but one lady a bit older then us noticed a slight long ongoing incline at one point and it made her work a bit, I actually managed it fine( and as I said, I am no jock) . I had been to Versailles many times so didn't mind that on the tour you don't get to all the time in the world to explore the whole grounds( it is huge place) but we did stop at a market, get picnic stuff, and had a great time. My friend who had never been to Versailles had no idea we missed a thing and loved it all. My favorite was the one to Monets Gardens( which was one of the last I did since I wasn't really into Monet) but it had the nicest ride along a river , it was a nice city break. The daytour is not the same as the night tour, you do cover a different route for sure, hit most of same highlights but its not the same tour done night and day. To be honest my least favorite tour was the one in London, it was well run also but perhaps London just isn't as "pretty" in some areas, not too sure, it was also rainy, but frankly it always seems to rain when I go to London, summer or not, lol

Posted by kim
raleigh, nc
14 posts

We took the Fat Tire tour in September. It was our first visit to Paris. We booked the 3:00 tour on the day we arrived. It was perfect - fun, great overview of the city, and helped us stay awake. The guide then gave us a recommendation for dinner that was wonderful and not touristy at all. Highly recommend.

Posted by John
Van Nuys, CA, USA
155 posts

copied from my Sept post: We were in Paris this summer and did the Fat Tire tour. Anyone can do the tour; Paris is pretty flat, and the bikes have big soft tires. That said, your enjoyment depends a lot on the guide you get IMHO. We went to the Eiffel tower meetup and there was a guide there named Johnny who was a riot! Tons of personality! Back at the office they split us up into 2 groups and we got a guide that was very outgoing but somehow it seemed forced and not genuine. Nor did she really give a lot of history as we cycled around, although she did have some good anecdotes when we were in front of Les Invalides. Let me add that the "4 hour tour", in our experience, is really perhaps 2 to 2.5 hours of biking around. The way it worked our day is they had 2 guides at the Eiffel tower and as soon as they got the 1st group of 20 they went over to the office. The 2nd guide waited with everyone else until 11:15, although they have more guides back at the office to get back down to the 20-or-under group size. The guide gave us a Eiffel tower story while we waited. So in one sense that's part of the tour, the history lesson, but in another way its not biking around Paris. My advice is to get there 10-15 minutes early so you're part of the 1st 20 and head right out. I looked at my watch and by the time we walked to the office, paid for the bikes, got a bike assigned and seat adjusted, etc. and we were ready to actually head out it was noon. And there is a scheduled stop for lunch that takes another 30-40 minutes. To sum up, I was a bit underwhelmed by it and would not do it again if it was with the guide we had. However a different guide may be better; I suspect we would have had a better time with Johnny. Also don't forget to bring your RS guidebook for a discount.

Posted by Mari
Tucson, AZ
22 posts

I appreciate all of you taking the time to respond to my query. Thanks for your responses.

Posted by Roy
Fredericksburg, VA, USA
405 posts

Hi, Mari: One hearty vote for Bike About Tours..please see my review on Tripadvisor from October 10, 2009 (reviewer: "Navyfan"). FYI, my wife and her girlfriend went back and did another Bike About tour last year, so that should tell you how much she enjoyed it. I would stress the small group size as a major plus. In any case, do a bike tour - it was the highlight of our visit!

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
17779 posts

Mari, You might also have a look at Paris Segway Tours. Their guided tours cover many of the important sites, and they're a lot of fun. Cheers!

Posted by Mari
Tucson, AZ
22 posts

Roy,
Thanks for your post. I was thinking we'd prefer a smaller group, which is what Bike About offers. Also, it sounds as if they take you through backstreets and neighborhoods more than Fat Tire. Was that your experience? Thanks again everyone for your suggestions.

Posted by Joseph
Derry, NH, United States
8 posts

My family did the Fat Tire tour of Versaille. It was definitely one of the highlights of the trip.Guide was fantastic and you get to see so much more than it than if on foot.I would assume a tour of Paris would be equally awesome. It's great having someone at the front of the tour group literally taking over the streets who knows english-our guide was from Texas and was great-good luck.

Posted by beth
seattle, WA, USA
1 posts

My family and I ended up choosing Bike About Tours when we were in Paris last summer only because we happened to be near Nortre Dame when it started. It ended up to be one of the highlights of our trip. I loved the rout our guide used...we saw lots of the old, old, old neighborhoods like Marais, Place Des Vosges and the area around the Pompedou where there's so much to see packed into a small area...perfect for biking. Our guide was great. He pointed out all kinds of little but fascinating things that you'd probably never notice. Anybody with a Rick Steve's book can read all about the big famous sights like the Louvre or the Eiffel tower which you will see on the tour of course, but it was the little details that I found most interesting. For example, he showed us a building with a cannon ball still stuck in the outside wall from the French Revolution...so cool. He also gave us a list of some of his and the other staff members favorite restaurants which turned out to be our go-to culinary guide. We were there in August when so many of the good restaurants that locals enjoy are closed.

Posted by Mari
Tucson, AZ
22 posts

Beth,
Thanks for your reply. We are going to take a Bike About tour of Paris and are also considering the Versailles tour as well. It sounds like from the responses that it's definitely a great way to see Paris.

Posted by Mary
Vancouver, WA
46 posts

Did Bike About Tour in 2010, a grandmother and granddaughter trip, and it was great. So booking it again this summer without hesitation for next granddaughter. The narrative and people mix had great appeal to a 15 year old. I was definitely the oldest, but had no problems.
Their trip to Versailles looks good and think we will do it as well. Bikes would help cover some of the very long walking distances. Wonder if anyone has any comment about the Versailles tour?