Fun

Where to hire electric bikes and bicycles in the best cycling towns and cities in the UK

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Over the last 10 years or so the UK has seen a huge number of cycle hire schemes come and go, which can be really frustrating for locals and visitors who want to hire a bike to get around. It's especially frustrating if you're living in or visiting a cycle-friendly town or city, which the UK has plenty of.

Luckily, there are still lots of fantastic ways to hire bikes in bike-friendly towns and cities across the UK. We'll be updating this guide with more options throughout 2024. Let's get into the guide:

Hiring bicycles and electric bikes in Oxford

University students can often be seen cycling around Oxford, and the town is great for cycling. A number of cycling schemes based in Oxford have come and gone over the years, such as the popular Cycle Land bike-sharing scheme. Luckily, there are still lots of options you can try if you're looking to hire a push bike or an electric bike in Oxford, here are some of the top options:

  • Bainton Bikes/Donkey Republic - you can hire a Bainton Bike in Oxford via the Donkey Republic app. Choose from either a push bike or an electric bike, prices start at £12 per day (students get a discount)
  • Brompton Bikes - there's a docking hub at the station where you can hire one of these bikes, prices are very low at around £5 per day
  • BYKE - this is similar to what Cycle Land was, in that you can rent bikes from other people living in Oxford. The great thing about using BYKE is the variety of bikes you can choose from. Prices can vary a lot depending on what type of bike you choose
  • Visit Oxford Tours - you can hire a bicycle from the Visit Oxford Tours for £20 for 24 hours, and £50 for a week
  • Rides on Air - this place is actually based in Wallingford which is about 10 miles from Oxford, but if you're hiring a bike for a week then you could make a trip. Rides on Air has an excellent selection of push bikes and e-bikes, and prices start from £70 per week

Hiring bicycles and electric bikes in Cambridge

Cambridge is often described as the cycling capital of the UK, just for the sheer amount of cyclists you'll see and all the excellent cycle lanes. If you're looking to hire a bicycle or electric bike in Cambridge, you've got lots of options. Here are some to try:

  • City Cycle Hire - based at Lammas Land Carpark, prices start from £20 per day
  • Primo Cycles - you can hire either a town bike for leisurely cycling or a road bike for more intense cycling, prices start from £20 per day
  • Grounds Cycle Centre - based at Milton Country Park, a great range of bikes including e-bikes, prices start from £15 for 2 hours
  • Kingsway Cycles - a lovely independent cycle shop in the centre of Cambridge, hire starts from around £15 per day depending on the type of bike you choose (e-bikes available)
  • Outspoken Cycles - another great independent place, see in-store for specific hire prices

Hiring bicycles and electric bikes in Buxton

Buxton is famous for being England's highest market town and there are some really dramatic cycle routes that you can follow in and around the town. These include the Monsal Trail, the Tissington Trail, and the High Peak Trail. Buxton itself is also a good town for cycling. If you want to hire a bicycle or e-bike during your time in the town, here are some options:

  • Peak Ascent Cycles - you can hire an e-bike from this shop based on The Colonnade for just £50 per day, these are great for zipping around town or if you want to explore the Peak District
  • Blackwell Mill - Blackwell Mill is around 4 miles to the East of Buxton and is an excellent place to hire bikes from if you want to tackle the Monsal trail or you simply want a bike for exploring Buxton. Prices start from £21 per day for a push bike
  • Monsal Trail Cycle Hire Centre - if you are hoping to tackle the Monsal Trail during your time in Buxton then a great place to hire a bike from is the Monsal Trail Cycle Hire Centre, which is approximately 12 miles to the East of Buxton. Prices start from £25 per day for a push bike and £37 per day for an e-bike. You can add additional hire days if you wish to take the bike to Buxton with you
  • Parsley Hay Bike Hire - this hire centre is about 9 miles to the South East of Buxton and has some great hire options, you can hire a bicycle from here for just £19 per day

Hiring bicycles and electric bikes in Edinburgh

We outlined a number of these options in our Edinburgh guide.

Hiring a bike is a great way to explore Edinburgh, as the city has good cycle lanes (all the way down Leith Walk and elsewhere too) and cyclists are generally respected. Until recently, there was a 'Just Eat' cycle scheme which made hiring bikes very easy, but since that has been discontinued it's a little harder to hire a bicycle. Luckily, a number of companies and organisations within the city will let you hire a bicycle for a reasonable fee, here are some options you can try:

  • Cycle Scotland - based on Blackfriars St, prices start from £30 per day

 

  • Biketrax - based at Fountainbridge, prices start from £46 per hour, some great high end bikes for people who want something a little more advanced

 

  • Leith Cycle Co. - if you're based in the Leith area of Edinburgh then you could hire from Leith Cycle Co. - they've got a great range of bicycles you can hire, including bicycles with trailers for kids and even tandems!  You can also hire electric bikes from here with prices starting at just £40 per day, which is very reasonable.

 

  • Pedal Forth - this shop is now based on Leith Walk as of late 2023, so it's another great place to hire from if you're in the Leith area. It's usually £20 per day from here which is very reasonable.

Hiring bicycles and electric bikes in Glasgow

In many ways, Glasgow might actually be a better city to cycle in than Edinburgh. It's much flatter and currently there are more than 301km of cycle lanes throughout the city. If you want to hire a bike during your time in Glasgow, here are some options you can try:

  • OVO Bikes - you'll see OVO bikes throughout the city, these bikes are great for getting from A to B but nothing too intense. Prices are very low and start at £1 for 20 minutes
  • Gear Bikes - this shop based in the West End is a great place to hire bikes from, prices start at just £20 per day for a road touring bike
  • Dales Cycles - choose from an electric hybrid bike or just a push bike, rates start from just £20 per day

Hiring bicycles and electric bikes in Leicester

The cycling infrastructure in Leicester is really impressive - there are wide cycle lanes along roads such as Newarke St and Welford Rd, and what's especially unusual is that cycling through the centre of Leicester is very easy. There is a huge pedestrianised area where considerate cycling is not only allowed but actively encouraged. If you're looking to hire a bike during your time in Leicester then here are some options you can try:

  • Rutland Cycling - this hire centre is based at Everards Meadows, right across from Fosse Shopping Park. You can hire a good range of bikes from here, with everything from standard mountain bikes to electric bikes. Prices start from £30 per day for a mountain bike and £40 per day for an e-bike
  • E-bike Centres - as the name suggests, you can hire a variety of e-bikes from this business based on Granby St, and you can also hire standard bicycles. Prices start from just £20 per day for an e-bike hire, and £15 per day for a normal bicycle
  • Fat Llama - this is a very useful website which works a bit like Gumtree. You can hire bikes from locals living in Leicester, and you'll find a good mix of both bicycles and e-bikes available to hire via this platform. Prices are as low as £10 per day for a bicycle
  • Cycling UK loan - since the Santander Cycles scheme came to an end, Cycling UK decided to set up a scheme where residents can hire an e-bike for 1 month to learn how to use it. This requires a bit more commitment than the above options, but is great if you want to bike around Leicester for a month. Most of the e-bikes that you can hire are from the Evans Cycles shop, so they're great quality. And it's totally free!

Hiring bicycles and electric bikes in Reading

There are 3 national cycling routes that go through Reading, and the town is generally a very pleasant place for cyclists to travel around. You'll find lots of wide cycle lanes and ample cycle parking too. If you're looking to hire a bicycle or e-bike in Reading then here are some options you can try:

  • Green Park Cycle Hire - you can hire bikes from the Green Park Business Centre for using to get around the park but also for getting into town via along the Foudry Brook or via the A33
  • Uni Bikes - Uni Bikes is an on-campus bike hire scheme, run by Reading Students' Union, which allows students to hire a bike for just £80 per academic year.
  • Fat Llama - this website works by allowing you to rent bikes from locals. There are some good options in Reading, with prices starting from around £15 per day
  • Winnersh Triangle - you can hire a bike via the Donkey Republic app at Winnersh Triangle for up to 72 hours, which is ideal if you're staying in Reading for a weekend and you want to cycle around the town during your stay. Prices start from as little as £10 per day, so it's very affordable

Hiring bicycles and electric bikes in Cardiff

Cardiff has easy gradients and plenty of green space, which make it an ideal city for exploring by bike. There are also lots of excellent cycling routes that you can follow in and around Cardiff, including the Taff Trail and the Cardiff Bay Trail. Sadly the Nextbike scheme has now stopped, but if you still want to hire a bike during your time in Cardiff then here are some other options you can try:

  • Pedal Power - based at the Cardiff Caravan and Camping Park, you can hire both standard and e-bikes from Pedal Power all year round. You'll find a really impressive selection of bikes to choose from. Prices start from £24 per day
  • Fat Llama - this is a great website which works a bit like Gumtree. You can hire a bike from someone living locally in Cardiff, either for a day or a few days. There are some great bikes listed in the Cardiff area currently, including e-bikes
  • Cardiff Cargo Bikes - if you're looking for a bike with storage space, then you can hire an e-cargo bike Cardiff Cargo Bikes. Based on Adeline St, this company can provide you with a powerful e-cargo bike which can be used for transporting goods or simply for biking around town. Prices start from £70 per week, which seems very reasonable to us
  • Brompton Bikes - there are a couple of Brompton Bike docks scattered around Cardiff, including one at Central station. These are great for getting from A to B, and they're very cheap at just £5 per day, but don't expect to get anywhere very quickly on one of these!

Hiring bicycles and electric bikes in Bristol

Bristol was actually the first UK city to be designated as a "cycling city" back in 2008, so as you can imagine it's an excellent place for cycling. Bristol has seen a number of cycle hire schemes come and go over the years, such as the Big Issue hire scheme, YoBikes, and even the Voi scheme. Luckily, there are still some excellent options for hiring bicycles and e-bikes in Bristol, with many independent bike shops offering this service. Here are some you can try:

  • Bristol Cycle Shack - one of the cheapest options for a proper mountain bike at just £18 per day, which is very reasonable. A good selection of bikes to choose from
  • Brompton Bikes - a pay as you go service which is good for getting from A to B and cheap at just £5 per day, the bikes are heavy and not very good for hills
  • Pedal Progression - some really good options for serious riders, both push bikes and e-bikes. Cost will be around £100 per day for hire
  • Mollie's - if you want something really fun and different then you can hire a vintage bicycle from Mollie's - prices vary but start at around £20 for half a day
  • EcoMove - a great place to head to for e-bike hire, EcoMove has a fantastic range of e-bikes to choose from. It's only £35 for a full day too, which is very reasonable
  • Blackboy Hill Cycles - great for hiring mountain bikes and bicycles, and well-priced for hire as you can get 7 days for just £50
  • Atmosphere Bikes - another good option for hiring e-bikes, you can hire an Oxygen E-Bike which has a range of around 70 miles

Hiring bicycles and electric bikes in Bath

As with Bristol, Bath has many traffic-free cycle routes and is generally an excellent place for cycling around. Because Bath is so close to Bristol, people will often choose to hire a bike from a hire company based in Bristol if they're staying in Bath for more than a few days. But there are some great bike hire options within Bath too, here are some you can try:

  • Bath eBike Hire - based on Miles St, you can hire Rad Power Radrunner e-bikes from this company, which aren't particularly fast but are comfortable and can travel for at least 30 miles on a full charge. Prices start from £25 for a half day hire. You can also rent a bicycle for £25 per day
  • Green Park Bike Station - you can hire either a Raleigh Bosch e-bike or a Raleigh Strada City hybrid from here, prices start at £45 per day for an e-bike and £25 per day for bicycle hire
  • BathBikeHire - operating from Sydney Wharf, you can hire a bicycle from here for just £20 per day. This is a great starting point for cycling along both the Bristol cycle path and the Two Tunnels route
  • Bath Boats & Cycles - based in Batheaston, you can hire both Giant and Dawes bicycles from here. Rental includes a helmet and the price is around £4 per hour
  • Julian House Bike Workshop - 100% of the profits from this business go to the charity Julian House, which is very admirable. You can hire an e-bike for £30 for half a day, or you can hire an e-bike for multiple days if you're planning to explore Bath for longer

Hiring bicycles and electric bikes in Brighton

Brighton is a great city for cycling as the council recently introduced Cycle contraflows which allow cyclists to travel both ways down the streets which are only one way for cars. The contraflows can be found on streets across Brighton such as Campbell Road, Hampden Road, and Trafalgar Street. If you want to explore Brighton on a bike but you don't have a bike with you, then there are plenty of places where you can hire either a push bike or an electric bike from. Here are some of the best options:

 

  • Cannonball Bikes - an excellent range of e-bikes to choose from, with options for people who want something simple or something more advanced. Prices start from £45 for a 4 hour rental
  • All Bikes Electric - really affordable rental and great for a standard no frills electric bike, hire prices start from £35 per day
  • Beryl Bikes - this scheme relaunched in early 2023 and seems to be sticking around unlike the previous scheme. Hiring a Beryl electric bike will cost you 15p per minute, which is quite handy if you're getting from A to B around the city. The bikes are rather clunky but still a good choice
  • Brighton Beach Bikes - a nice selection of push bikes and hybrid bikes, prices start from £6 per hour
  • Brighton Bike Tours - a great range of city bikes, mountain bikes, and hybrid bikes. Prices start from £20 for a full day which is very reasonable

Hiring bicycles and electric bikes in Liverpool

Liverpool might not typically be described as a "cycling city", but getting around the city on 2 wheels is becoming increasingly easier and more popular. You'll find a surprising number of cycle lanes throughout the city and there are plans for a new 8km cycle lane which will connect Childwall to the Lime Street corridor and the city’s waterfront. If you want to hire a bicycle or e-bike during your time in Liverpool, here are some options:

 

 

  • Liverpool Guild of Students - if you're a student in Liverpool then you can hire a bike from the Liverpool Guild of Students for the whole year at a very reasonable price. The scheme is run by Peloton and the bikes that you can hire are very good quality. Prices start from as little as £110 per year
  • Fat Llama - this is a great website where you can hire bikes from local people in Liverpool rather than from a specific company, you'll find a good selection of both e-bikes and bicycles on here. Prices can vary quite a bit but don't expect to pay more than £50 per day for hire
  • Voi - you'll mostly see electric scooters from Voi dotted around the city, but you can also hire e-bikes from Voi in certain locations. You pay around £1 to unlock the vehicle, then between £0.14 to £0.20 per minute, so it's very reasonable
  • Bikes and Boards - there aren't too many bike shops in Liverpool city centre but there are some great places to hire from in the Wirral area. You can hire both e-bikes and bicycles from Bikes and Boards, with prices for an e-bike starting from just £65 per day. If you hire a bike for a few days while you're staying in Liverpool then it gives you plenty of time to explore the city on 2 wheels

Hiring bicycles and electric bikes in Dundee

Dundee is a relatively flat city, and the promenade which stretches along the waterfront is perfect for cycling along. If you'd like to hire either a bicycle or an e-bike during your time in Dundee, here are some great options you can try:
  • Spokes Cycles - this is a shop on Annfield Road that you can hire from, prices start from £50 per day for an e-bike and £25 per day for a standard road bike
  • EBS Cycle Centre - this place is based at the City Quay, e-bike hire starts from £30 for 4 hours and you can also hire a standard bike (with a basket on the front) for £20 for half a day
  • Dundee Cycle Hub  - based next to the V&A building, you can hire bikes from the Dundee Cycle Hub for very little money, with prices starting from £10 for a full day hire. The bikes are simple but fine for cycling along the waterfront
  • GM Bike Hire - this is a company to hire from if you're looking to hire a mountain bike. It's a collection and delivery service, so they don't have a shop but will deliver to anywhere in Dundee. Prices start from £25 per day for a Trek Marlin bike
IMG_0226 (3)

Hiring bicycles and electric bikes in Colchester

Both Colchester town and much of the area surrounding the town are excellent for cycling, and you'll find a number of great routes to follow such as the Colchester Orbital. If you want to hire a bicycle or e-bike during your time in Colchester then here are some options you can try:

 

  • Colchester Sports Park - you can hire a bicycle from Colchester Sports Park for around £10 per hour, there's a good selection of road bikes and mountain bikes
  • Colchester eCargo Bike Library at Colchester Secure Bike Park - if you want an e-bike then you can hire a few different models from the Colchester eCargo Bike Library, a £50 deposit is needed but the cost is very reasonable at £10 per 4 hours
  • Fat LLama - you can use the Fat Llama online rental service to rent a bike from someone local, this is a really affordable option which can be as cheap as £10 per day
  • New Town Bike Hub - this is a new offering run by local volunteers which allows you to hire an e-bike, send a message through the contact form on the website if you're interested

Hiring bicycles and electric bikes in Exeter

Exeter is a great area for cycling, with lots of routes such as the Exe Estuary Trail. Here are some options for hiring bikes in this area:

  • Saddles & Paddles - starts from £24 for a full day hire of a push bike, and £50 per day for an electric bike hire, both very reasonable prices
  • Forest Cycle Hire - based in Haldon Forest, you can hire push bikes for £20 for a half day, and electric bikes for £40 for 3 hours
  • Darts Farm - an adult push bike is £22 per day, there are no electric bike options but you can get a tandem for £40 per day (lots of fun)
  • Route 2 Bikes - this place is closer to Topsham than Exeter, but it's such a great option for electric bike hire. You can hire an electric bike for just £35 per day, but if you really want to explore the area you can hire an electric bike for 7 days which will cost you £110
  • Fat Llama - many Exeter locals will hire out their push and electric bikes for visitors who want to borrow them to enjoy cycling during their stay. Fat Llama is a good website to check out, and we've seen electric bikes for hire on there for as little as £35 per day

 

Hiring bicycles and electric bikes in Lincoln

Lincolnshire and the Lincolnshire Wolds area is excellent for cycling, as we mentioned in our Caistor guide. If you'd like to hire a bike during your time in Lincoln then here are some companies you can try:
  • Doddington Hall - there's a Giant store at Doddington Hall where you can hire an e-bike for £40 per day or a normal bicycle for £23 per day
Let us know if there are any other towns or cities that you'd like us to include in this guide. We'll be updating it throughout 2024!

Finn is the editor of You Well and has been writing about travel, health, and more for over 10 years.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *