Cycling the Camino de Santiago on an EMTB e-bike
Did you know that the Camino de Santiago was traditionally travelled on foot or horseback? Today many people also cycle this ancient trail, and thanks to the joys of modern technology, you can even cycle the Camino on an e-bike!
So if you are travelling with us and cycling into Santiago, you can rent an e-bike for your Camino de Santiago adventure. Here are some frequently asked questions about e-bikes to help you plan your trip:
What is an e-bike?
An e-bike or an electric bike is essentially a bicycle with a motor. E-bikes use rechargeable batteries for power and assist the cyclist’s pedal power. This makes cycling much easier, especially on uphill climbs.
What sizes are available?
E-bikes are available from 1.61m (5 foot 28 inches) to 1.95m (6 foot 3 inches).
Please be aware that if you’re near the height limit, we recommend testing a bike of this size in a store before finalising your booking. This ensures that our bikes are a suitable fit for you.
What routes are the e-bikes available on?
You can rent an e-bike on any route that finishes in Santiago, whether it’s the last 100km or a longer section of one of our routes.
What is the minimum number of days that I can cycle the Camino on an e-bike?
The minimum number of days that an e-bike can be hired is five. The bike must be returned to the shop in Santiago de Compostela at the end of the journey. Please note that you cannot finish an e-bike tour anywhere other than Santiago, as the bikes must be returned to the shop there.
Cycling the Camino de Santiago: What’s included
Your Camino EMTB Standard Bike
- You will get an aluminium 12-gear e-bike with disc brakes and 29-inch wheels, as standard, from a local company. These bikes are specifically designed for the Camino de Santiago terrain.
- They will be adapted to your height (you must give the sales team your exact height at the time of booking, so you are provided with a suitable bike – particularly if you are cycling the Camino with children).
- The bike has a rack, bottle holder, lock, and reflectors.
- A bike repair kit will be included inside. (*If you don’t need it, just let us know in 2 months in advance). The repair kit includes a pump, set of tools, spare inner tube, patch kit and as well as a simple label showing you how to carry out essential bike maintenance. It also comes with a bike lock.
- Please note that the panniers are not waterproof, so bringing a dry bag with you for the trip is advisable.
- Helmet rental is also included as part of your package, but if you prefer to use your own, please inform our sales team.
- Remember, Spanish legislation mandates that all cyclists use officially sanctioned protective helmets when cycling in non-urban areas. Children under 16 must wear helmets at all times.
- Exceptions are made on extended, steep descents, for medical exemptions, or in extremely hot weather. Not adhering to these rules could lead to a traffic penalty.
If you are cycling the Camino with kids, let our sales team know in advance, as we also have various options. We will also give you suggestions for a children-friendly route/itinerary. We generally suggest covering approximately 25km per day with children.
** Please be aware that your bike does not come equipped with additional accessories such as lights, reflective gear, or phone holders. You are welcome to bring these items with you or acquire them along the route.
Information About Our Standard eBike:
- Frame: Aluminium Lite
- Fork: SR Suntour XCR 32 EL (travel 100mm, remote lockout)
- Front hub: Shimano FH-TX505
- Back hub: Shimano FH-TX505
- Tire: Schwalbe Rapid Rob (29″x2, 25)
- Rims: Kross Disc (Aluminium, double wall, 29″, 19mm)
- Front brake: Shimano Disc BR-M315 (disc, hydraulic)
- Rear derailleur: Shimano Deore SL-M6000 (10)
- Crank arm: Shimano Steps 38T, 175mm
- Chain: Shimano CN-HG54
- Engine: Shimano steps E-7000
- Battery: Shimano
- Charge: 80% up to 2.5 hours | 100% up to 5 hours
- Autonomy: ECO + Normal about 70-90km | Normal + Boost under 60km
Can I get my Compostela on an e-bike?
Yes, you can get your Compostela with an e-bike. To do this, you need to cover 200km to get your Compostela on an e-bike, just as you do with a regular bicycle.
When I receive the e-bike, do I need to put it together?
The e-bike will be delivered to your first accommodation, almost completely prepared. You will need to attach the pedals and make adjustments to the saddle and handlebars to suit your needs. Simple instructions and the necessary tools are included for both tasks.
Is it necessary to have prior experience with e-bikes?
You don’t need prior experience as e-bikes are very similar to regular bicycles, but we recommend you have some basic knowledge of bikes. You need to be able to pedal to make full use of the bike. Once you read the instructions and take care of the bike, you’ll enjoy cycling with ease!
Are e-bikes they difficult to use?
No, e-bikes are very simple and intuitive to use. You will become familiar with the machine very quickly, but you should start slowly and take your time. Slow and steady wins the race, but you’ll be flying after an hour or so.
The e-bike has various levels of assistance, from low to high, and you will be able to control the level you require depending on the difficulty of the terrain. In addition, the e-bike also has the usual gears so that you can change to a lower or higher gear depending on the terrain.
Do e-bikes come with instructions on how to use/charge them, etc.?
Yes, a basic manual comes with the bike. You should familiarise yourself with it before you begin cycling.
Should e-bikes be charged every night?
This depends on how much power was used during the previous day, but it is recommended to charge nightly. A full charge usually takes about 6 hours. It is important to check that it is charging correctly to avoid a surprise the following morning. However, even if you run out of battery, you will still be able to pedal as with a normal bike to finish your day. The battery and the monitor on the handlebar will display the amount of battery left.
Can I cover more distance than a normal bike by cycling the Camino on an EMTB e-bike?
That depends on the power usage throughout the day. The bike has four power settings, and the less power you use, the longer the battery will last. If you use your e-bike in Eco mode or with less power, you can cycle up to 70-90km on one charge.
However, if you use full power, you could run out of battery after cycling 40km. It is advisable to always carry the charger with you so if you do run out of battery; you can stop along the way and charge it. As the bikes weigh 25kg, cycling without any battery could be challenging.
Overall, the e-bikes are designed to make cycling a little easier, not to cover more distance. You will cycle the same distance as a pilgrim on a regular bike daily.
Does cycling the Camino on an e-bike work for all types of terrain?
We will provide an e-bike that is suitable for the terrain that you will face on your Camino. All e-bikes have adequate suspension, and tyres and are very comfortable to ride.
Should I clean the e-bike?
Yes, when cycling the Camino on an e-bike, you should clean your bicycle each day if it has gotten muddy after your cycle.
Are e-bikes available for children?
This will depend on the height of the child. Please see the previous question about bike sizes. Remember, it is mandatory for anyone under 16 years of age to wear a helmet in Spain. Of course, this is recommended for pilgrims of all ages. If you would like to take a family holiday on the Camino, visit our Camino for Families section.
Cycling the Camino: Support
We have carefully planned the distances you will cover by bike on the Camino, taking into account the nature of the terrain, type of track, and other circumstances, such as the fact that the trail is shared with walkers in most cases.
If you feel the distances for your Camino cycle are too short or long, talk to our sales team when planning your trip. There is probably a good reason behind the mileage chosen; just ask us!
The Camino de Santiago routes cover thousands of miles, so it is difficult to have someone on the ground at all times but relax. It runs smoothly all the time!
CaminoWays.com has a 24/7 assistance number should you need assistance and advice (this number is provided with your booking/travel documents); we also provide you with a support number from the bike provider. While we cannot send someone to repair your bike on the Camino trail, our trusted providers will give you as much support as possible.
Your bike has a kit for essential repairs such as flat tires and punctures. In the unlikely event that you have a second puncture, we can provide you with the contact details for the closest bike repair shop (you will be responsible for repair costs).
If you are in a remote area and don’t feel like walking, we can also get your contact details for local taxi drivers (a taxi transfer will be at your own cost).
Please make a note of surcharges that will be charged should any of the following occur:
- Theft or loss of an EMTB e-bike: €2,000
- Theft, damage or loss of panniers: €30
- Theft, damage or loss of helmet: €15
- Theft, damage or loss of tool kit: €15
- Theft, damage or loss of bicycle lock: €15
- Theft, damage or loss of handlebar bag: €15
- Theft, damage or loss of saddle gel cover: €15
- Theft, damage or loss of battery and charger: €300
- Theft, damage or loss of LCD screen: €300
- Theft, damage or loss of key: €200
- Damage or scratches of frame: €250
- Damage to wires: €200
- Late return fee of EMTB e-bikes: €50 per day that the customer exceeds the return date stated in the booking agreement.
- E-bike collection at a customer’s hotel in Santiago rather than a shop: €300