He only started this new business in 2014 (hence no reviews), but he wanted to differentiate from the competition and so he asked hotels and clients what they were looking for…
Number (1) was people wanted good bikes (not beaten up older stock). So Thong bought 65 brand new high quality bikes. They are all either Cannondale or GT brand. He has 50 mountain bikes and 15 road bikes. I have a GT back home so chose a Cannondale just to try it. It was a higher end 27 speed mountain bike with front and rear disc brakes and a front shock absorber. It was serviced and tuned well.
(2) the other rental offices ask you to get yourself to their store locations .. which means you end up seeking a tuk tuk about 7:15 AM to get to them by the normal start times around 7:30AM (it’s cooler in the morning!!). The PP Bicycle Company picks you up at your hotel and, in my case, he arrived with a small truck and a selection of 5/6 bikes on the back. Helmets provided if you like them. As I was the only person riding today he left his truck at my hotel and we rode to and from the hotel itself. For groups he will drive around and collect people.
(3) a quick look at a rival web site and their 4 hour half day tour only goes about 25kms – PP Bikes take a longer route and see more – we did 45kms in about 3:45hrs and that included 3 small ferries and stops at a silk worm farm, various water breaks and an ice cream at the beach
As for the ride – I chose the Mekong Island tour and it starts similar to other outfits – first you need to get out of town … easier said than done in PP – the traffic is heavy and nobody follows any road rules … you need eyes front, side and rear of your head to take in the cars, motor bikes and tuk tuks. We rode to the nearest in town ferry crossing and took a ferry to the first island (these are large long islands up to about 7kms long). Once we first crossed the Mekong the traffic was gone and you’re in rural Cambodia .. tiny villages, farms, fruit plantations, pagodas, food and drink stalls etc. As your riding along parallel to the sides of the Mekong the ride is mostly flat. (I used only 3 of the 27 gears all day). The ride is about 40% on paved roads and 60% on unpaved roads and tracks. The tracks can get rutted and bumpy so I would recommend the mountain bikes rather than the road ones.
As to degree of difficulty ..at home I ride 10-15 miles a couple of days a week, but I hadn’t ridden prior to this trip for about a month. I’m mid 50’s in age and not a fitness freak. I found the ride just about right for me. The 25Kms ride would have been too little. Anyone with average fitness levels could easily do this 40-45 kms ride (distance depends on your hotel start point). The only concern you may have is the heat! I started under cloudy skies at about 80F / 27C. By the end of the morning the clouds had burned off and it was sunny and 95F / 35C. Keep taking fluids
The price was similar to other tour outfits and, like them, includes drinks, water, fruit etc
Overall it was a great half day and I would highly recommend it! They offer another half day trip to a local lake .. a little further ride but still done in 4 hours. I plan to try that one too!