How to Start Cycling for Free: Bike Share and Bike Subscriptions

Any form of commitment involves the decision to pay the price. And this goes for bike ownership: the investment can seem steep if you’re still on the fence about it. Whether you want something for the short-term or the long run, there are ways to take things slow (yes, we’re still talking about bikes). 


Thinking of giving cycling a spin but don’t want to pay for a brand new bike? We’re here to help break down the most economical options for your trial ride. 


In this post, we cover two alternative options for purchasing your first bike: the BC bike share system and bike subscriptions or memberships. We’ll also be tackling the pros and cons of each so make sure to read until the end!





Bike Share System: A No Strings Attached Arrangement


What it is 

Bike-sharing companies such as Mobi Bikes allow their users to access public bicycles from designated stations available in certain cities, making it an ideal option for one-way or short trips. 


Who it’s for

The bike-share system is perfect for commuters or casual riders. Whether you’re running errands or visiting some friends, it’s great for people who usually take short, one-way trips. It’s also perfect if you worry about bike theft. 


How it works

Bike share systems normally offer two kinds of memberships:

  1. Passes: These are
    recommended for short-term, occasional, or out-of-town users. They usually
    come in 30 or 60-minute rides. 
  2. Fixed-rate memberships:
    These memberships are best for longer-term users who need to use a bike

Pros of Bike Sharing:

  • Cost-efficient alternative to car rentals and other
    transit options
  • A healthy way to get around the city and stay fit
  • Ideal for occasional bikers, visitors, casual riders
  • A safe option if you don’t want to worry about bike
  • Flexible plans for both short- and long-term users
  • Eliminates the cost and maintenance of owning your own

Cons of Bike Sharing:

  • Certain providers may offer bulky bike-share frames
  • May not be available year-round
  • Possible shortages for docks in stations
  • Long-distance travel may be costly (if you’re not
    familiar with the designated stations) 

Bike Subscriptions: For The More Consistent

What it is 

Bike subscriptions allow you to keep a bike at home without having
to own it. For most providers such as Zygg rental programs typically span from a week up to a month.


Who it’s for

Ideal for delivery and personal riders as well as enterprise and hotel
customers who want the benefits of having a bike at their disposal, without
owning one.


How it works

Most providers usually work with the following steps: 


  1. Select your bike:
    Some offer E-bikes and regular bikes
  2. Subscribe to a plan:
    Choose between a weekly or monthly plan. Zygg offers
    options starting at $49/week and $99/month.
  3. Enjoy the services included: Subscriptions usually come with free home delivery,
    next-day repairs, or 24-hour bike swaps, some may even come with damage
    and theft protection.

Pros of Bike Subscriptions:

  • Various bike models to choose from 
  • Flexible rental plans (weeks, months, some even offer
    annual plans)
  • Usually comes with instant repair or replacement
  • Certain providers offer damage and theft protection
  • Eliminates the need for owning your own bike
  • A great option for frequent riders 

Cons of Bike Subscriptions:

  • Some subscriptions may not come with damage and theft

An option for everyone

Whether you’re looking to dip your feet into the realm of cycling or simply looking for a convenient way to go from point A to point B… Bike sharing and bike subscriptions make stellar alternatives to becoming a bike owner. The best option ultimately depends on your needs. 


Should you decide to purchase a bike share pass or subscription, make sure you’re covered for accidents, damages, and theft. Feel free to consult with us at Bicycle Broker so we can help you make sure you’re safe on and off the road. 

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