Get a Bike
Short-term and Rental Options
There are two low-cost options specifically for members of the NYU community:
- UNLIMITED BIKING has partnered with NYU to provide 50% discounts on bike rentals at all 8 Unlimited Biking rental locations in NYC. To access, use the code "NYU50" in the promo code section. They also have the Ride It Out program, which offers a discounted monthly rate that matches the cost of a monthly Metrocard ($127/month). Unlimited Biking offers high quality bikes that are carefully maintained and inspected before each ride to ensure you never have an issue. A regular adult bike rental for an entire day will cost around $20, giving you the freedom to explore the city however you like without worrying about a time limit or finding a docking location. Rentals include a helmet, basket/bike bag, lock, and map! You can drop the bike off at another location.
- CITI BIKE membership is available on a limited basis to low-income applicants through the NYU Federal Credit Union. Please check with the NYUFCU for information about eligibility and availability. The Citi Bike system encompasses 750 stations and 12,000 bikes in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and Jersey City. Members are eligible for unlimited 45-minute rides.
If you want to buy your own bike, NYC has great bike shops.
Near Washington Square:
Near Downtown Brooklyn:
Many of the retailers above have online stores. New York City cyclists have also had success finding bikes through Craigslist and sites like New York Bikes for Sale.
- Think about what kind of bike you want. If you're planning to pedal around Manhattan or to the subway, you'll probably be fine with a single speed, 3-speed, or cruiser bike. If you’ll be commuting on it for more than 30 minutes at a time or if your route involves hills or bridges then you may want a hybrid or road bike with 10 or more speeds. If you plan to head off-road on weekends you may want to look at a mountain bike or a hybrid. It’s a good idea to go to a bike shop to check out some new models to get a feel for what you like before deciding to purchase.
- Bike size matters! Riding a bike that is too big or too small will be inefficient, uncomfortable, can hurt your knees and back, and cause injury. The most important criteria is that you can comfortably stand over the frame and that you can set the seat to a height where your leg is almost fully extended at the bottom of the pedal rotation. Search for online resources to find the right size bike for your height.
- Meet in public. If you are buying second-hand from someone through Craigslist, it’s always a good idea to meet the seller in public.
- Beware of stolen goods. New York City is notorious for bike theft. If the person selling the bike cannot explain why they're getting rid of it or if something feels amiss, just walk away.
- You get what you pay for, up to a certain point. It’s a good idea to stick to reputable brands for bikes -- they usually will use longer-lasting components and be easier to repair.
- Get the bike checked out by a pro. After buying a used bike it's always a good idea to have it looked at by a professional mechanic. Many shops will give you a free estimate for a general tune up. This allows you to know any potential problems with your brand new used bike.