With 118 miles of on-street bikeways and 92 miles of off-street bikeways, Minneapolis has gained a reputation for being bicycle friendly. In the past few years both Bike Score and Bicycling Magazine have bestowed the title of “best biking city” on the City of Lakes. Minneapolis has also earned the Gold Level Bicycle Friendly Community Award from the League of American Bicyclists. Most recently, Copenhagenize crowned Minneapolis one of the most bike-friendly cities throughout the globe—the only U.S. metropolis to be included on the top 20 list.
It will then come as no surprise that bike rental options in the city are plentiful. While many denizens of Minneapolis have their own bicycles, others take advantage of the various rental options around town. From fat bikes, to road bikes, to cruisers, and mountain bikes, there’s something for everyone. So if you’re looking to commute to work, shred some singletrack, or simply burn a few calories on the bike-friendly byways of this great city, there’s no shortage of opportunities. We rounded up some of our favorite spots to rent bikes in Minneapolis to give you a head start on your next two-wheeled adventure.
This non-profit bike sharing system, which was the first of its kind in the U.S. when it launched in 2010, has revolutionized commuting and recreating by bike in the Twin Cities. With various options including day passes, 30-day passes, and yearly memberships, anyone can take advantage of the 190 stations throughout Minneapolis and St. Paul. Proving the popularity of this bike rental option, users of the Nice Ride bikes took upwards of 405,000 rides just last year.
Lake Harriet, Lake Calhoun, Lake Nokomis, Minnehaha Falls
Along with a variety of watercraft, Wheel Fun offers bike rentals at four locations around Minneapolis. Lake Harriet and Lake Calhoun have cruisers, mountain bikes, and kids bikes available. If you’re looking for something a little different, Lake Nokomis and Minnehaha Falls rent surreys, double surreys, deuce coupes, choppers, and quad sports. Located on some of the best recreational trails in the city, Wheel Fun is a great option for out-of-towners looking to tour the city by bike.
Erik’s Bike Shop in Dinkytown has a wide variety of bikes available, from fast and light road bikes, to hybrid rides, to fat bikes, and even tandems. Located near the University of Minnesota campus, you can easily access the U of M Transitway and head for the new Surly Brewing Beer Hall or the other direction towards downtown to catch a Twins game or connect with the Mississippi River and city lakes.
322 West 48 th Street
Charlie’s Bike Shop in the Tangletown neighborhood has rental bikes fit for leisurely riding, fast road workouts, and off-road adventures. With hourly, daily, and long-term rentals available, you can choose to go on a quick morning ride or an entire week-long journey. Bikes all come with a helmet, lock, bag and map, which means all you need to do is show up and get pedaling.
Located on the Midtown Greenway, the Midtown Bike Center offers one of the largest selections of bike rentals in the area. With a variety of sizes and styles, you can book your bike online, pick it up, and head right out on the trails which will take you in one direction towards the river and the other towards the lakes and the trails of the western suburbs. A full service bike transportation station, the bike center also offers bike storage, repair, classes, public restrooms, and a café.
6. Penn Cycle
710 West Lake Street
Penn Cycle in Uptown rents small, medium, large, and extra large bikes in a wide variety of models for cruising, training, and shredding. If you’re in the Uptown area, this is one of your most convenient options. Lake Calhoun will be your closest bike-only byway and connects in one direction to Lake Harriet and the Minnehaha Parkway and in the other direction to Lake of the Isles and the Midtown Greenway.
4208 28th Avenue South
If you're looking to rent a fat bike, you can't beat Angry Catfish. Not only can you get your hands on a Salsa Mukluk, you can also order a mean cup of coffee right in the shop. What's more, they are located right off of Lake Hiawatha, just a stone's throw from Lake Nokomis, the Minnehaha Parkway, and the Mississippi River.
117 Washington Avenue North
A nice alternative to the heavy duty Nice Ride bikes, One on One has a fleet of Bianchi Milanos available for rental. An ideal ride for touring the lakes, river, and city bike lanes, these three-speed machines are comfortable and sporty. They also offer helmets, locks, and maps for anyone renting a bike. If you’re looking for something a bit fancier, inquire about the demo mountain and road bikes they have in stock.
Written by Mackenzie Lobby Havey for RootsRated.