This section covers Renting Bikes, Finding Your Way Around, Parking Your Bike and Repairs.
Bike hire is becoming ever easier, with new providers and new Nextbike (Ovo) stations popping up all over Cardiff.
Which bike hire?
Are you confident with using your phone to hire, and (for visitors) mostly want to do short hops? Try NextBike (Ovo Bike). Prices start at £1 for 20 min: https://www.nextbike.co.uk/en/cardiff/prices/
Are you combining bikes and public transport, or like the convenience of folding your bike away? Try Brompton folding bikes: https://bromptonhire.com/ (also needs phone confidence) Only three stations right now, but increasing.
Do you want a real person to help you, or a special kind of bike/e-bike for your needs? Try Pedalpower (and then you are also helping this wonderful charity). It is a 20 min walk from Cardiff railway station, along the river through the park…. Or in Cardiff Bay. https://www.cardiffpedalpower.org/locations-and-opening-times
More details on hire options
https://www.nextbike.co.uk/en/cardiff/information/ You need to register online, including a credit card. Then pick a bike using a QR code up from one of the 90+ hire stations across the city. Latest prices: : Pay-as-you-ride starts at £1, monthly membership is £10 and annual membership is £60 (for standard bikes).
Unfortunately, people sometimes dump OVO/Next bikes. If you see an abandoned OVO bike, please report it here. https://www.nextbike.co.uk/en/cardiff/report-a-bike/
Brompton Bike Hire
Brompton folding bikes has opened three docking stations at Cardiff Central Rail Station, Cathays Station and Whitchurch village. Great for those who want to combine a bike with a train or bus trip. The bikes are available for hire through the Brompton Bike Hire app currently for £5 per day (including insurance) and can be kept for 24 hours, a week, or longer. Students can also subscribe to the service for a fixed fee of £30 per month or for an academic year at a rolling fee of £45 per month.
Located just north of Sophia Gardens on the edge of Bute Park, 20 minutes walk from Cardiff Central Station (and in summertime on Cardiff Bay near the Norwegian Church), this wonderful charity provides hire and sales of all kinds of bikes and modified bikes and e-bikes, to enable people with any ability or disability to cycle. They also do adult and child cycle training, run cycling groups for all abilities, women’s rides, bike checks and repairs, and take donated bikes and second-hand bike sales. There’s even a great cafe to indulge yourself and support their good work!
See the Pedal Power website at cardiffpedalpower.org or phone 02920390713.
Finding your way around
Google Maps is your friend! These days they have a “Bicycling” option to give directions. This isn’t foolproof, but it’s worth cross checking with Google’s Satellite and Street View options to spot quiet roads, cut-throughs and shared use paths. You can also report any problems to google maps to improve things in future.
Main traffic free arteries of Cardiff.
Traffic-free routes run up our main rivers – check out the Taff Trail (north-south) and Ely trail. And safe, segregated bike lanes are gradually increasing all across the city – this is our latest map (link below)
Parking your bike
Cardiff Cycle City is campaigning for better provision for safe bike storage all over Cardiff. There is nothing worse than having your bike stolen, or finding only a wheel left. And we shouldn’t have to clutter up our home hallways with bikes that can’t be left safely outside. Watch this space, or volunteer to help campaign! Meanwhile…
Keeping your bike safe:
Some tips from Cardiff Police: https://keepingcardiffmoving.co.uk/cycle/bike-security/
Some advice on locks: https://cardiffbybike.wales/2022/05/07/bike-locks-tested-to-destruction/#more-6319
Nextbike/OVO anti-bike crime campaign: https://www.nextbike.co.uk/en/cardiff/crime-reduction/
The Bike Lock Café
In Central Cardiff, just north of Queen Street, the Bikelock Café now provides a safe space to store your bike or e-bike all day if you want, along with nice things to eat. And C=CC meets there too!
Does your bike need a fix, a safety check or a service?
Tip: Get your main servicing done out of season, as all the bike shops are busy in the summer.
Non-profits /social aims
Cardiff Cycle Workshop
An award-winning bike-recycling social enterprise and repair workshop. Based at Gabalfa, and part of Cycle Training Wales, the workshop aims to avoid potentially useful bikes from being scrapped, providing a cheap means to get people onto bicycles. Donate your old bikes here (or to Pedalpower).
Cycle Training Wales (and Doctor Bike) now merged with Cardiff Cycle Workshop.
Located just north of Sophia Gardens on the edge of Bute Park (and in summertime on the Bay near the Norwegian Church), this wonderful charity provides hire and sales of all kinds of bikes and modified bikes and e-bikes, to enable people with any ability or disability to cycle. They also do adult and child cycle training, run cycling groups for all abilities, women’s rides, bike checks and repairs, and take donated bikes and second-hand bike sales. There’s even a great cafe to indulge yourself and support their good work! See www.cardiffpedalpower.org. Donate your old bikes here (or to Cardiff Cycle Workshop).
Happy to fix it yourself? This handy video from British Cycling gives advice on carrying a spare inner tube and how to fit it if you get a flat tyre: www.britishcycling.org.uk/knowledge/bike-kit/maintenance/article/izn20160113-Ask-the-experts-How-to-fix-a-puncture-0.
The many types and sizes of tyres, inner tubes, and valves can seem a bit bewildering. And don’t assume that ageing pump in the garage will fit your bicycle tyres! Here’s a few useful links.
Punctures are relatively rare these days, especially if you fit tougher tyres, such as Schwalbe Marathon Plus or Continental Contact Plus, and keep them firmly inflated.