Without a doubt, the bicycle is one of the most convenient means of transportation in Barcelona. The climate in Barcelona allows this type of transport to be used all year round. For fans of bicycles, Barcelona has a complete infrastructure. This includes a well-developed system of bike paths and optimally planned bike tourist routes available at tourist offices. There are also cafes and restaurants dedicated to cycling and welcoming entry with bicycles. An interesting place is The Bike Club Barcelona: here during lunch you can have your bike repaired and even repainted, as well as rent a bike (the package includes a guide, a map of bike routes and a couple of bottles of water).
The Bicing network (available to locals only) is a public cycling service in the city of Barcelona, opened in early 2007. In the first year, it already reached 130,000 users, and the next year it exceeded 190,000 members.
The municipal company Barcelona de Serveis Municipals (B: SM) is the manager of the city’s bicycle service. As for the operating concession, it was managed by ClearChannel between 2007 and 2018, and after 2018, it was managed by Pedalem Barcelona, the Temporary Alliance of Companies formed by CESPA (Ferrovial Servicios) and PBSC.
The Bicing implementation area covers the entire territory of Barcelona, although it has been proposed on several occasions to expand it to neighboring cities such as Hospitalet de Llobregat or Badalona.
With the change of operator on January 8, 2019, the number of rental points increased to a total of 524 stations and 7,000 bicycles, including 1,000 electric bicycles with 8 km of battery life, fully rechargeable in 40 minutes.
The service for local residents operates on an annual subscription, although it was originally planned that there would be weekly subscriptions. To sign up for Bicing, you need a DNI or NIE, and anyone who has one of these two documents can access it, regardless of their nationality or place of residence.
Currently, the price of the annual pass is 50 or 35 euros, depending on the selected mode. For the first two years, the price was € 24, excluding the first four months (March 16 – July 6, 2007) of the first phase of the rollout, which cost € 6 thanks to an active promotion.
The new model came from the Canadian manufacturer PBSC, which is part of UTE Pedalem Barcelona, the current service manager.
The new bicycles have a stronger, more stable structure and are similar to other public bicycle services in London, New York or Montreal.
The bikes are numbered and have a special design to prevent theft. They are white and red, have three gears, and front and rear lights that turn on automatically thanks to an electric photo sensor. There is a metal structure on the handlebars that allows you to carry small luggage and fix it with an elastic band.
Where to rent a bike for a tourist?
If you’re on a tight budget, Mattia 46 (mattia46.com/en/bike-rental-in-barcelona/) is one of the best options for renting bicycles in Barcelona. Their extremely affordable prices – only € 5 per day! This price includes a bike lock and a city map so you can plan your route around the city.
You can reserve your bike in advance online and pick it up from the convenient central store between 9:30 am and 7:30 pm.
One of the most flexible bike rental services in Barcelona, Barcelona Rent a Bike (barcelonarentabike.com/en/) offers four locations throughout the city.
Rentals start at just € 6 and bikes are available in a variety of styles, The company also offers unique city bike tours in several languages.