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How to Rent Lyft Bikes: Steps, Pricing, and More

Key Takeaways

  • Types of Bikes: Lyft offers classic bicycles and electric bikes, suitable for various fitness levels and commuting needs.
  • Renting Process: Use the Lyft app to find and reserve nearby bikes, with options for immediate or advance booking.
  • Pricing: Costs vary by city, with options for single rides, day passes, and monthly memberships.
  • Availability: Limited to select U.S. cities, each with its specific bike-sharing provider and coverage area.

Do you want to try renting a Lyft bike to travel around the city but don’t know how and if it’s worth it?

Whether you’re going to work or school, taking a leisurely trip, or using bikes for food delivery and other gigs, a bike share system like Lyft bikes offers riders a convenient, portable, eco-friendly, and affordable way to travel.

If you want to learn more about renting a Lyft bike and using its app, this guide covers a quick overview of the platform, how it works, its prices, and more.

What Is a Lyft Bike?

Lyft provides a rideshare platform similar to apps like Uber. Besides cars, it offers other modes of micro-mobile transport, such as Lyft scooters and bikes.

To establish Lyft bikes, the company partnered with different bike-sharing companies across the U.S., like Bay Wheels, Citi Bike, and Divvy.

These partnerships helped provide the service efficiently and grow its presence in the country.

Types of Lyft Bikes

The company offers two types of bikes.

  • Classic Bicycle: This refers to traditional, non-powered bikes. It’s perfect for those who want to get extra physical activity in their daily commutes or trips.
  • Electric Bike: e-bikes use a motor to give a rider an extra push while riding. Their pedal-assist feature makes riding bikes easier for people of any fitness level. Plus, many Lyft bikes include seat-height options and long batteries, helping you go longer distances comfortably.

Note that most cities, such as Chicago, San Francisco, and New York City, offer more e-bikes than classic bikes.

You can spot Lyft bikes thanks to their distinct design, retroreflective paint, and bright LED front lights.

How to Rent a Lyft Bike

Start by downloading the Lyft app or your city’s respective bike app, like Citi Bike or Divvy.

Then, create an account and input the necessary details to complete your account setup. If you have the regular Lyft app, it already contains the Lyft Bike feature, and there’s no need to create a separate account.

Once you’re set, you can start booking a Lyft bike.

Reserving a Lyft Bike

To reserve a bicycle, follow the steps below:

  1. Open the Lyft app and tap the bike option. If this feature isn’t available in your app, then it’s not available in your city. Scroll down to see the cities and areas where Lyft operates.
  2. After tapping this option, the app will show you a nearby bike or dock. You may choose to reserve a bike in advance or book one immediately. Note that some cities don’t allow you to reserve bikes beforehand.
  3. Tap the option you prefer and follow the prompts to book a bike for 30 minutes, an hour, or two hours.
  4. You need to confirm your booking. Then, you’ll be directed to your reserved ride.

Unlocking a Lyft Bike

When you find your reserved bike, you need to unlock it to use it. Here’s how to unlock your ride:

  1. On your app, click the ‘Unlock a bike’ option.
  2. Scan the QR code on your bike’s rear tire. Some cities require you to unlock the bike through a numerical code. You’ll need to enter the chainstay number if you’re using an e-bike or enter the five-digit code into the dock if you’re using a classic bicycle.
  3. When you unlock the ride, you may take it out of the dock.

If you’re having trouble unlocking the ride, you may get assistance through the app.

Returning a Lyft Bike

After completing your trip, you should return your bike to your nearest docking station. However, the steps can vary depending on your location.

For example, in Metro DC, you only need to slide the bike into Lyft’s docking station until the indicator light turns green. This means it’s safely secured, and your ride ended.

Meanwhile, in Denver, you can return the bike to public bike racks or Lyft stations within Lyft’s service area. To end and secure your ride, you must:

  • Remove the cable lock from the holder.
  • Wrap the cable around the rack.
  • Insert the pin into the lock until you hear a beep and until the light turns green.

Locking your ride outside of the service area or to trees, signposts, and other structures will result in a fee. Ultimately, never leave your ride anywhere unsecured to avoid penalties.

Brett’s Take: Thoughts From an Expert

Always make sure to take a picture and/or video for proof of returning your Lyft bike after the rental.

I’ve heard stories of riders having been erroneously charged $500 for not returning a bike, even though they really did.

Luckily, they were able to get a refund after the issue was sorted out, but this goes to show that having proof could make finding a solution that much easier and save you a huge headache.

How Much Does it Cost to Rent a Lyft Bike?

How much does it cost to rent Lyft bikes? It varies depending on your city.

Here’s a quick pricing chart to help you see how the prices differ per city and per service.

LocationSingle RideDay PassMonth PassMembership
Bay Area$3.49 per 30 minutes$10 per day$29 per month$150 per year
Chicago$1 + $0.17 per minute$16.50 per dayN/A$10.91 per month
Columbus$2.25 per 30 minutes$8 per dayN/A$86 per year
Denver$1 + $0.39 per minuteN/AN/A$3 per month (for qualified riders)
Metro DC$1 + $0.05 per minute$8 per dayN/A$95 per year
New York City$4.49 per 30 minutes$19 per dayN/A$205 per year
Portland$1 + $0.30 per minuteN/AN/A$99 per year

If you’re a frequent Lyft rider, consider subscribing to Lyft Pink, its premium membership service.

Where to Rent a Lyft Bike

You can find Lyft bikes in various cities in the U.S. Learn more about each area below and its bike share service provider.

  • Bay Area: Bay Wheels covers San Francisco, San Jose, and the East Bay Area, such as the Golden Gate Park, The Wiggle, Guadalupe River Trail, Lake Merritt Loop, Bay Trail, and Ohlone Greenway.
  • Chicago: Divvy Bikes provides rides in Chicago and Evanston, including Logan Square to Wrigley Field and Millennium Park to Promontory Point.
  • Columbus: CoGo includes over 250 cycling routes in Columbus, such as the Scioto Trail, North Market, German Village, and Scioto Audubon Park.
  • Denver: Lyft e-bikes cover Denver, such as Denver Botanic Gardens, River North Art District, Athmar Park, Washington Park, Cherry Creek, and more.
  • Metro DC: Capital Bikeshare provides 6,000 bikes and over 700 stations in Washington, DC; Arlington, VA; Alexandria, VA; Montgomery, MD; Prince George’s County, MD; Fairfax County, VA; and the City of Falls Church, VA.
  • New York City: Citi Bike lets you explore and commute in New York City and New Jersey, including Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and Jersey City.
  • Portland: BIKETOWN offers efficient bike-share systems across Portland, including Tom McCall Waterfront Park, Eastbank Esplanade, Portland Saturday Market, Portland Art Museum, Sunday Parkways, and the Portland Aerial Tram.

The Pros and Cons of Getting a Lyft Bike

If you’re unsure whether to use Lyft bikes, consider the following perks and downsides of using the service.

Pros of Lyft Bikes

It offers both classic bicycles and e-bikes.

Bikes are equipped with adjustable seats and a front basket.

The platform offers various pricing options and services.

Cons of Lyft Bikes

It’s not widely available in the U.S.

Some people may find bike sharing unhygienic.

Wrapping Up

A Lyft bike provides easy, affordable, and portable transportation for first-time and seasoned riders, commuters, and travelers.

To reserve bikes, use the Lyft app and follow the prompts to find nearby classic or electric bikes. You also need the app to unlock your ride via a numerical or QR code and return it.

We want to remind all riders to wear a helmet, remain riding on a bike lane, observe your city’s traffic laws, and ride responsibly to keep you safe on the road.

Overall, riding Lyft’s bikes provides an eco-friendly and more active way to commute or travel, unlike a bus or car.

Hopefully, this guide helped you learn more about Lyft bikes and see if this transport option suits your lifestyle.

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