My wife and I hired bikes from http://www.brittanybordersbicycling.com/cycle-hire.html
in 2010 to do a cycle tour in Brittany, our plan was to stay in B & Bs, ended up buying a small tent and sleeping bags and camping out. Ate a breakfast at the B & B or patisserie, a big lunch at a cafe or pub, dinner was self made platter of local produce, cheese, crackers, olives, sundried tomato and beer and wine.
The owners, John and Veronica are English ex-pats living in France, easy to communicate with and very helpful.
We followed pretty much their 'Coastal Classique' tour. We hired touring bikes, with a set of panniers, bar bag and map.
Don't recall if the bikes were steel, or ali framed.
Also got a lot of helpful info from Cycling France, a Lonely Planet guide book, second edition from 2009 was current when we went.
Great trip, only difficulty was trying to buy bag of ice [le sac glasson] to cool the beer and champange each afternoon. Frogs must drink hot beer like the poms.
When you speak with people, French, let them know you are Aussie, not poms, French love Australians and hate the poms.