Where to Borrow a Bike in the Bay Area

January 30, 2020

Where to Borrow a Bike in the Bay

Almost everyone living in the Bay Area is familiar with bikeshare. You’ve likely seen the green Lime bikes scattered around your community. Ditto for Lyft and Jump Bikes. These wheels are great for short trips and around-town errands. But where do you go if you’d like to test a commuter bike and system for the commute? Read on for ideas!

Belmont: Borrow a Bike at the Library

The Belmont Library now has a fleet of bicycles available for free, same-day checkout, whether you need wheels to run an errand or want to go on a leisurely trail ride. The library has four bicycles available for you to borrow, and each comes equipped with a helmet, lock, and other accessories. All you need is your library card (and to sign an online waiver).

The bikes themselves sound like great starter commute bikes. They feature carbon drive belts, three-speed internal gear hubs, and flat-free tires - meaning your ride should be smooth and maintenance-free. Accessories include a helmet with a GoPro mount, a basket for cargo, bike light, bike lock, and first aid kit: Everything you’d need to test out the commute!

The one downside: bikes can’t be kept overnight. You’ll need to return the bike 30 minutes before the library closes — which means it may be tough to try an actual commute. Still if you’re looking to try out a bike for a day, this is a great no-cost option!

Stanford Campus Bike Shop Rentals

One of the best kept secrets is the Stanford Campus Bike Shop. You don’t have to be a student or staff to get quality bikes and gear at a discount. Plus, the shop has one of the most reasonable rental deals around: you can get a well-tuned commuter bike, plus a lock and helmet for three whole days for just 40 bucks!

While you’re there, check out the shop’s helmet selection. Most helmets are $25 and all are quality. Check out our Helmet Guide for more info.

Rent a Bike Like You’d Rent A Car: Online

Like apartments, taxis, loans, and lord knows what else, bikes are included in the sharing economy. So if you’re looking for a bike to rent that’s close to you, check out Spinlister, an online marketplace for bicycle rentals.

Spinlister is great because you search by rental location and duration, then complete the rental process and payment via the Tidy app. Spinlister even offers various protection options and delivery services to make the experience almost painless.

Ask Your Local Bike Shop

Many bike shops — especially chains, like Summit Bicycles — offer rentals. Just know that this is likely the most expensive option when it comes to borrowing a bike. For instance, a basic hybrid bike (the Trek FX 2) from Summit will run you $100 for a 3-day rental. Sports Basement also offers bike rentals, including e-bikes. Speaking of e-bikes, The New Wheel offers a rent-to-buy program that is worth looking into if you’re in the market for a bike with boost!

Anything we missed? We’re always looking for useful, weird, and/or wonderful bike resources. Drop us a line anytime at SRPGObikes@Stanford.edu.

Surendar Chandra: Bike Commuter Profile

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Renate Kempf - Bike Commuter Profile

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