Hiring a bicycle in London
Buying and maintaining your own bike
Bicycle Equipments in London
Cycling Courses in London
London bicycle routes
Carrying a bicycle on Public transport Rules on buses, trains and subways.
How to hire a Santander bike in London
You can easily rent a Santander bike for you or for your whole family. There are over 750 docking stations in London where bikes can be rented, and over 11,500 bikes to choose from. You can download the Santander Cycles mobile app on your phone. Find your nearest docking station here: Cycle-hire map
The bike access fee for 24 hours is £2, payable by card at the docking station. Once you have paid, the first 30 minutes of your journey will be free. If you wish to cycle longer, it costs £2 for every 30 minutes. You can use your free 30 minutes every time you dock and retake a bike. For regular use, buy an annual access fee online for £90 and a key for £3.
How to rent a bike
- Find a docking station terminal with a touch screen.
- Choose the ‘Hire a Cycle’ option on the screen and follow the on screen instructions. There will be a printed release code. Make sure you take this, as you need it to unlock the bike.
- Choose what bike you want and enter the release code into the docking point’s keypad.
- When the green light appears, pull the bike out of the dock.
- Make sure to check the tyres, brakes, and bell before riding.
- You will now be set to start riding!
How to return your bike
- When you’re done with your bike, all you need to do is just firmly push the bike into any empty docking station.
- Wait until the green light appears. (This means the bike is securely docked). If the light doesn’t go green, then you’ll carry on getting charged for your journey. If the light doesn’t go green, call the contact centre on 0343 222 6666.
- If the docking station is full, don’t panic! Just choose the ‘No docking point free’ option on the screen at the terminal, and you’ll get an extra 15 minutes free.
- To find a free docking station, choose the ‘Status of nearest docking station’ on the screen and it will tell you where you can go.
- There is a £300 penalty if you don’t return the bike to a docking station in 24 hours.
Using your own bike in London
Buying a bike
Well known stores that sell new bikes, parts and equipment, include: Argos, Amazon, eBay, Sports Direct, Tesco, Decathlon, Halfords. Find bargain deals on Groupon, Hotukdeals, Wowcher, Quidco.
You can get a used bicycle for around £40 – £50. Look for one online on Gumtree, Amazon, eBay or in Halfords stores or local bike repair workshops. Locate your nearest one on google or in business directories e.g. yell.com
Bicycle Equipment in London
No equipment is required for cycling in London, but it is highly recommended that you wear a cycling helmet and a reflective waistcoat (HI-VI jacket, get it for £1 from your local One Pound shop, or order online from amazon).
Cycling Courses in London
With TFL, you can join a cycling course that is tailored to your individual abilities and goals. The course is funded by TFL, so it is free. Most London Borough teams will lend you a bicycle to take part in a cycle skills session. Visit Tfl cycle skills.
Sessions you can take part in include:
- Basic Cycle Skills
- Urban Cycle Skills
- Advanced Cycle Skills
- Family Cycle Skills
If you are looking for cycle routes, download Cycle route or Leisure routes maps to see different ways to get through Outer London to Central London. Order your free Cycle guides here. There are 14 different guides you can choose from, which have been recommended by experienced cyclists and will help you find your way around London on bicycle.
Bicycle tours in London
You can book a bicycle tour on www.londonbicycle.com website. Hiring bikes, helmets, locks, child seats and repair kits are also available.
Tours include: Classic Tour, Love London Tour, Old Town Tour and Night Tour.
Carrying a bicycle on public transport
On the tube
You can take a folding bicycle on all tube lines. You can not take a normal, non-folding bike onto a deep tunnel tube or train service at any time. Also you can not take your non-folding bike onto tube or train services during peak hours, from 06:30 to 09:30 and from 16:00 to 19:00. See where and when you can take your bike on the tube here Bicycle tube map.
Tip: If you disassemble your bicycle, taking both wheels off, it could be accepted as a package, but you must still have the approval of the station staff.
Docklands light railway/ DLR
You can take a folded bicycle onto the DLR trains at any time. You can also take a normal bicycle onto DLR trains but only at these times: Off-Peak Monday-Friday before 07:30, between 09:30- 16:00 and after 19:00. All day on weekends and on bank holidays.
Bikes aren’t allowed at Bank station for safety reasons.
You can take a folded bicycle onto buses but only with the bus driver’s approval. You cannot take a normal bicycle onto a bus.
Folded bikes are allowed on London Overground trains but you can’t carry a folded bike between 07:30-09:30 and 16:00- 19:00, Monday- Friday (Except on Public Holidays).
You can take a normal bike on London Overground trains that are:
Leaving Liverpool street station to go to Chingford, Enfield Town, or Cheshunt between 07:30 and 09:30
Arriving at Liverpool street station from Chingford, Enfield Town, or Cheshunt between 16:00 and 19:00
You can take a folded bicycle onto a tram.
You should ask the company you’re booked with to see if you’re allowed a bicycle.
Most boat services will allow you to bring a bike on board, but ask the boat operator beforehand.
Emirates Air Line
You can take your bike on at any time.
Normal bicycles can not be carried on a TFL Rail train that is:
Arriving at Stratford or Liverpool Street Station between 07:45-09:45
Leaving Liverpool Street or Stratford Station between 16:30 – 18:30 Monday Friday (except on public holidays)
Folded bicycles can be taken on TFL Rail trains at all times.