How to Use Bike Share and Rent a Bike in Vancouver

Everything you need to know for a perfect day of cyling in Vancouver BC

vancouver bike share

Vancouver bike rental couldn’t be easier. Here are all the details you need to use the Vancouver bike share program, to rent from a bike shop, or to rent a bike to ride the Stanley Park Seawall.

Vancouver is one of the world’s best cycling cities. Since we’ve bicycle toured through more than 20 countries so far, we feel pretty comfortable making that claim!

During the last few years, Vancouver’s cycling culture has leapt into the future, surpassing most cities we have visited. In response, the popularity of cycling in Vancouver has skyrocketed.

Vancouver has separated bike paths that will take you safely through the busy downtown core, dedicated bike lanes on many of the arterial streets radiating out from the city centre, and streets that are designated bikeways, on which bikes far outnumber cars.

visit vancouver, bike Vancouver, cycle Vancouver, Vancouver bike infrastructure

The Dunsmuir separated bikeway takes cyclists safely into the heart of Downtown Vancouver.

The main attractions of Vancouver are close enough together to be easily cyclable (even the airport is only 10km out of town), but if you want to head further afield, bikes are welcome on city transit, including the SkyTrain, the SeaBus, and all city buses, which have front-mounted bike racks.

That’s why, when we visit Vancouver, we bike almost everywhere: to the beach, out to dinner, to visit friends on the North Shore and even to concerts in Stanley Park.

Cycling is one of the best things to do when visiting Vancouver.

To make it easy on you, here’s…

A Quick Guide to Vancouver Bike Share and Vancouver Bike Rental

Psst, if you’re in Vancouver, you need these posts, too:

Grab our guide to 3 gorgeous Vancouver bike routes
Take our self-guided craft brewery bike tour
Discover our absolute fav things to do in Vancouver

What’s the Difference Between Bike Share and Bike Rental?

Vancouver Bike Share

You’ve probably seen bike share stands in cities around the world. They are long bike racks full of identical bikes that are scattered in key locations around many major cities.

Bike share bikes are conveient if you want to make your way quickly from one area in Vancouver to another and then want to easily ditch your bike so you can walk around, shop, or visit an attraction. If you keep your trips to 30 minutes or less, then bike share is probably the right choice.

(They’re also great for bicycle commuters. Ditch your car and bike share, Vancouver people!)

Vancouver Bike Rental

If you want to ride a bike in Vancouver as an activity in itself, maybe to ride the Vancouver seawall or try one of our recommended bike routes in Vancouver, then renting a bike from a bike shop is a better way to go.

For more help deciding between bike rental and bike share, check out this comparison chart by Mobi Bikes.

How to Use Vancouver Bike Share from Mobi

Great news for visitors to Vancouver! Vancouver now has a bike share program from Mobi, so it’s easier than ever to get on a bike while you’re visiting Vancouver.

There are plenty of docking stations in downtown Vancouver, near Stanley Park, and around False Creek, so it’s easy to find a bike when you want one. They aren’t any stations on the North Shore yet though.

The bikes also come with an attached helmet. Yay for safety (and also yay for abiding by BC’s bike helmet laws)! And, if you want to make a short stop-off somewhere — say to pop inside for a craft beer — there is also a cable lock on the bike.

craft breweries, Vancouver beer

Cycling is encouraged at Bomber Brewing. Almost as good as free beer.

We recommend using the Vancouver bike share program as a way to get between sights in Vancouver.

If you want to follow one of our longer Vancouver bike routes, you’ll get a better (and cheaper) ride from one of the traditional Vancouver bike hire shops (see the list below). The Mobi docking station map helpfully points out the location of bike rental shops in Vancouver, too.

Like most bike share programs, there are a few hoops you need to jump through before you can get on and ride.

Step 1: Join Mobi Vancouver Bike Share

To get started, you need to go online and register for Mobi. It’s a short process – they ask for name, phone number, address, and a 4-digit PIN code of your choice.

Step 2: Choose a Bike Share Plan

Mobi offers a variety of plans to suit different riders such as visitors to Vancouver, casual riders, and commuters.

24-Hour Pass

The Mobi 24-Hour Pass costs $9.75 and allows you unlimited rides of 30 minutes or less for 24 hours. You can rent multiple bikes on the day pass, but you must select that option online.

The major drawback is the overage charge, which is a pretty hefty $5 for each additional 30 minutes you have a bike away from a docking station.

So, the day plan is best if you want to make short hops between Vancouver’s major sights throughout the day.

90-Day Pass

If you’re in Vancouver for a few months (hello, our LA friends), then grab a 90-Day Pass for $75. You’ll still want to stick to 30-minute rides for the most part, but the overage charges are significantly smaller, too. If you ride for 30-60 minutes, you’ll be charged an extra $2. Each additional 30 minutes after that is $3.

365-Day Pass

Mobi also offers two year-long passes (perfect for commuters and TV stars). One allows you unlimited 30-minute rides, while the other allows unlimited 60-minute rides.

visit Vancouver, False Creek, Vancouver, science world vancouver, science center vancouver

The best way to see these gorgeous sights in Vancouver is by bicycle!

Weekly or 3-Day Pass

Unfortunately, there is no weekly pass or 3-day pass, but we think there should be! This is really the ideal amount of time for a visitor to Vancouver. So if you agree with us, email Mobi and let them know.

Step 3: Get Your 7-Digit Code

Once you’ve chosen a plan and paid online, you’ll be emailed a 7-digit code which you will use to access the bike. If you lose the code, you can always find it on your Mobi profile page. For monthly plan holders, you can also activate Mobi on any of your RFID cards (like credit or debit cards) which seems easier than messing around with a 7-digit access code all the time.

Step 4: Go Visit Vancouver by Bike!

Once you’ve jumped through the registration hoops, getting a bike and riding is easy.

Use Mobi’s docking station map to find a station – or just keep your eyes open as you move around Vancouver, you’ll see one. Then, just follow the instructions on the bike to ride!

Where to Go for Bike Rental in Vancouver

Vancouver bike hire near False Creek and English Bay

Cycle BC Rentals & Tours. This is the bike shop we recommend to rent a bike for our self-guided Vancouver bike routes, since it’s located right near the starting point we chose for all three. It’s also perfectly placed for our craft beer bike tour. Their city bikes go for $24 CAD for 3 hours or you can rent one for the whole day for $28 CAD. They also offer Vancouver bike tours and scooter and motorcycle rentals.

Reckless Bike Stores. Has locations near Granville Island, English Bay, and False Creek. Offers city bikes and tandems, with add-ons like baby seats and trailers available. You can also rent electric bikes and high quality road bikes at some locations. Prices start at $25 CAD for 3 hours.

Vancouver, visit Vancouver

If you’re brave enough, rent a bicycle to tackle the wonderful Lion’s Gate Bridge in Vancouver.

Vancouver Seawall Bike Rental

Spokes Bicycle Rentals. Perfectly placed at the entrance to Stanley Park, Spokes is a good choice if you just want to do the famous Vancouver seawall bike route. They have a range of bikes from 1-speed city cruisers, to mountain bikes, tandems, and kid’s bikes. Rates start at $23 for 3 hours.

English Bay Bicycles. This shop is also in a great location for bike hire to ride Vancouver’s seawall or around English Bay. They have the full range of bikes, from cruisers, to hybrids, to tandems and kids’ bikes. Bike rental prices start around $25 for 3 hours. If you go over the 3 hours, you get an additional 3 hours for free, so this place is perfect for half-day cycling adventures. You can also join them for guided Vancouver bike tours.

Now that you know where to hire a bike in Vancouver and how to use the Vancouver bike share program, take a look at our three favourite Vancouver bike routes. Then get out there and get cycling.

  Happy mindful adventures, Stephen & Jane

Other reasons why we love Vancouver:

Some of the best city cycling in the world. →

Here are 17 Reasons to Visit Vancouver!

And of course, the ability to do a Vancouver Craft Beer Bike Tour.

Some of the links in this post are our own personal affiliate links. If you use them to buy a product or book a tour, we’ll get a small fee and zero cost to you. It’s a nice way to say thanks for writing this blog post!

Vancouver bike rental couldn't be easier. Here are all the details you need to use the Vancouver bike share program, to rent from a bike shop, or to rent a bike to ride the Stanley Park Seawall.

Pin this for your trip to Vancouver!

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