Bicycle instant rentals in Berlin: This summer, the offer visibly exploded: Mobike, Limebike, Byke are some of the new players. In this overview, the most popular instant bike renting services are compared: their bike types, their pricing, what area they serve – and there’s promo codes and coupons for free rides to get!
|Area served:||within S-Bahn ring + roughly 1km: Fennpfuhl, Rummelsburg, Treptower Park, Friedenau||within S-Bahn ring + stations outside the ring (read more below)||within S-Bahn ring + Rummelsburg, Sprengelkiez||small: Only central Mitte & north of Kreuzberg|
|Number of Bikes:||5000||5000||1000||?|
|Bike types:||pedal||pedal||pedal, electric||pedal|
|Pricing:||1 € / 20 mins||1 € / 30 mins, additional 30 mins: 1.50 € , max. 15 € / 24h|
return fee: 0€ at stations, 0.50€ outside stations
special deal: with a Deezer premium account: first 30 minutes free
|pedal: 1 € / 30 mins|
electric: 1 € to unlock + 0.15 € / min
|1 € / 20 mins|
|Passes:||9.90 € / month for unlimited 30min rides in Germany||passes to get the first 30mins free:|
3€/day, 15€/day, 50€/year
|–||various, e.g.: 10 € / month for 2x30min rides per day|
|Payment methods:||Debit/credit card, Klarna||Debit/credit card, Direct debit (Lastschrift), Paypal||Debit/credit card||Debit/credit card|
|Reservation:||possible 15 mins in advance||not possible||not possible||not possible|
|Coupon values:||1 € credit||1 free ride||1 free unlock||1 free ride (up to 5 €)|
|Coupon codes:||Menu ➡ Invite friends: rideberlin||Menu ➡ Account settings ➡ Redeem Voucher: 639363||Menu ➡ Wallet ➡ Promos view ➡ Redeem promo: RQQ5WYA||Menu ➡ My promotion: 5DBXDM6|
Comparison of Bike Sharing in Berlin
How to use a Bike share?
First, download their app and register with your phone number. Before any first ride, you also need to add a payment method (e.g. your Visa or Mastercard number) to get verified. If you don’t have one yet, check here free German credit card offers.
Start a rental
Then, the app shows you a map with available bikes around you. Find a bike you want to rent, go to it, and within the app scan the QR code on the bike.
The bike will unlock then and you can ride to your destination.
End a rental
Once arrived, manually close the lock at the rear wheel of the bike. The bike will lock then, you also should hear some beep sounds as a confirmation. Also within the app, the end of the rental should be visible.
You will be billed then for the trip, or if available, one of your loaded coupons / promo codes will be used.
The currently biggest player comes from China: With experience in over 200 cities, Mobike brought approximately 5000 bikes to Berlin. Caveat: The bikes are pretty small, at least the old types. I could them ride only for some 20 minutes before it really stopped being fun. However, the new ones with 26 inch wheels are in fact better.
Mobikes officially can only be used within the S-Bahn ring. Unlike at other companies, you can reserve a bike on the map 15 minutes in advance.
Get Mobike Promo code: rideberlin
Another big player is Nextbike and Deezer:
- Nextbike is a long-known player in the car rental market, and their fleet in Berlin with 5000 bikes is one of the biggest. Unlike the Mobikes, the Nextbikes are also a bit bigger, so they’re more comfortable to ride if you are taller.
- Deezer is a music streaming platform, like Spotify. If you know wonder: “What do both have in common to cooperate?” – here’s the deal.
There are two options to use Deezer/Nextbike:
- In the simple version, you only use Nextbike, and pay 1€ for every rental of 30 minutes
- Or you purchase a music streaming account at Deezer for 9.90 € / month, connect your account with Nextbike, and then get a special rate: The first 30 minutes of every ride a free.
Nextbike has also a special fee when returning your bike – unlike the others, they have stations:
- if you leave it outside a station within the flex zone (roughly the S-Bahn ring, you pay an additional returning fee of 0.50€.
- but If you leave it at a station, no fee is applied. And the good thing is: There are many stations outside the S-Bahn ring, so you can use Nextbike effectively also in the whole city area.
LimeBike is a US company from California. You will notice that oddly, some of their prices are listed in €, some in US dollars.
Different to Mobike, they offer electric bikes, too. So if you want to try those ones out – this is your chance.
(Spoiler: They are great at starting, you can actually feel how the battery is boosting your pedal power. However, when already going fast, not much of help is felt – at least for me.)
Get LimeBike Promo code: RQQ5WYA
Byke is a local company from Berlin. They cover the smallest area of all of them: only in central Mitte and north of Kreuzberg you may start and end your ride. But they are also the cheapest: Only 0.50 € need to be paid for a 30 minutes rental.
They offer various monthly passes, the cheapest starts at 10 € per month for 2 rides per day.
Get Byke Promo code: 5DBXDM6
General / Parking
There’s already some controversy around about these bikes because, as I said, there are a lot of them already out there. This is why properly parking them after your ride is important. Some of them even flagged whole zones as Non-parking areas, like the Tempelhofer Feld. So to avoid any hassle and bad mood: After your ride, try to park them in good spots, like bike racks or where they don’t disturb others.
Besides: Enjoy the free coupons! 🙂