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||big: all of Berlin||small: Only central Mitte & north of Kreuzberg|
|Number of Bikes:||most: probably ~5000||1000||?|
|Bike types:||pedal||pedal, electric||pedal|
|Pricing:||old bikes: 0.50 EUR / 20 mins|
new bikes: 1 EUR / 20 mins
|pedal: 1 EUR / 30 mins|
electric: 1 EUR to unlock + 0.15 EUR / min
|0.50 EUR / 30 mins|
|Passes:||cheapest: 7.90 EUR / month for unlimited rides, for the first 2 hours of each ride||100 rides / month: 30 USD||various, e.g.: 10 EUR / month for 2x30min rides per day|
|Reservation:||possible 15 mins in advance||not possible||not possible|
|Coupon values:||5 x 1 EUR||5 x 1 USD||10 rides|
|Coupon codes:||(in the Download link)||RQQ5WYA||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.
They are one of the cheaper offers: 0.50 EUR / 20 mins for the old (small) bikes, 1 EUR for the new (bigger) types.
But what is really the cheapest: Their monthly pass for currently only 5.90 EUR. It can be applied for unlimited rides for 2 hours (after 2 hours, the usual pricing is applied).
LimeBike is a US company from California. You will notice that oddly, some of their prices are listed in EUR, some in US dollars.
As the only instant rental company, 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.)
The electric bikes are of course more expensive, pretty much actually: 1 EUR only for the unlocking, then 15 cents per minute of usage. So a 30 minute ride will cost you 5.50 EUR – compared to 1 EUR for the pedal type.
Also their monthly pass is rather expensive: 100 rides per month for 30 USD.
Different to all the others: You can use LimeBike within the whole city of Berlin, not just the S-Bahn ring.
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 EUR need to be paid for a 30 minutes rental.
They offer various monthly passes, the cheapest starts at 10 EUR 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! 🙂