Whether you are on holiday or just looking for a convenient way to get around the city, bike rentals are a fun, economical and unique way to explore a city.
Most cities have cycle hire docking stations. These are usually relatively cheap, well maintained and perfect for a short ride. You will need to pay an access fee usually around £2 (for 24 hours), then pay an additional £2 for every 30 minutes you use it (Top tip: in London, the Santander bikes are free for the first 30 minutes). Make sure you dock the bike back correctly, to avoid and extortionate charge on your bank statement!
More recently, companies such as Uber (Jump) and Lime offer more flexibility, as they are dockless. You just need to download the app, look at the map and find the nearest bike to you. These are increasingly popular as you are not restricted by where you have to leave them once your ride is over. In addition, many of them are e-bikes, offering you assistance while pedalling. Remember that the cost can add up quickly unless you keep the journey less than 20 minutes.
If you are looking for something more long term, you should check with your local bike shop to see if they offer rental options. Even bike manufacturers are starting to offer affordable bike rental schemes. The well known British folding bike manufacturer, Brompton, has recently launched a scheme aimed at commuters helping them get to and from the station. No deposit is required, and the subscription includes free maintenance. The annual subscription works out as less than £1 per day,
Bike rentals are a perfect way for you to explore a new city or country without having to worry about bringing your bike with you.