Get a bike in Berlin

It might come as a surprise for such a spread-out city, but riding a bike in Berlin is often the best & fastest solution to reach your destination. The flat topography of the city, the extended network of bike lanes & the numerous bike repair shops offer a fantastic environment to cruise your way around the different neighborhoods. This is true for the tourist & the daily commuter alike !

bike in berlin

Based on a very-biased study entirely coming from my experience; depending on your speed, any trip under 6-8 km is faster by bike in Berlin. Walking is often out of the question, public transportation is efficient but slow & you have to walk to the station/change lines, a car is often stuck in traffic and needs to be parked. A bike is on average the best solution here. And it’s excellent exercise.

With summer approaching, a bicycle in Berlin is definitely a commodity you should consider. There are only a few feelings matching the hot summer breeze cooling you down on your way to the next open-air !

Behold this guide to buying and maintaining your bike in Berlin.

Where to buy a bike in Berlin

New bikes

There are of course plenty of shops with brand-new bikes, shining behind the front window. If you have the means and you are using your bike everyday, it’s definitely worth investing 400+€ for the vehicle that will have all the safety features to take through the traffic every day of the wear. A good bike is your best protection against an accident (with the helmet of course). A new bike also comes with a guarantee and several months of free maintenance at the shop.

Hands down, the best shop to compare models, with a huge selection to try on the spot in Berlin, that is Stadler. The spot in Prenzlauer Berg is especially nice, close to Storkowerstr. Sbahn. Nice knowledgeable staff, not pushy. Stadler in Charlottenburg & Prenzlauer Berg.

Other options include

However, we don’t always have that kind of cash lying around, so we must turn to the second-hand market to buy a bike in Berlin. The good news is that there are plenty of options to find the gem.

Second-hand bike in Berlin

The first reflex is to turn to classifieds such as Ebay Kleinanzeigen & Craigslist which both have a wealth of offers, from the cheap good-for-a-summer bike all the way to the vintage options.  A lot of choice but it’s often hard to judge the quality on pictures and you will have to go places to have a look at it. The specialized website Dealmywheel is also classifieds but for bikes only. Fietsenbörse is a platform organizing flee markets for bikes every month or so with the added bonus of independent assessment of bicycles’ quality on site!

Of course, you can turn to flea-markets around the city to find your gem, but the relatively high-prices often don’t match the low(er) quality.

Some shops are also selling second-hand bikes in Berlin :

  • Each year, this bike rental company Fahrradstation is selling the bikes they used during last season. The quality is top notch, used only one year and at reasonable prices. More info there.
  • The company Berlin on Bikes is also doing exactly that via their repair shop Re Cycles.
  • The shop Bikeopia is buying old bikes in bulk, fixing them and reselling at a fair price.
  • The shop Fietswinkel is renting & selling second-hands bikes too.
  • The shop CultureRoad is offering bikes from 60€.
  • Fahrrad Recycling – Cheap road-worthy bikes.
  • Bike A-way is on a mission to give bikes a second life and sell them at a fair price.
  • BikePark  is specialized in second-hand bikes in Berlin
  • BikeMobil as well
  • Gefa Berlin too

The AFDC has a listed a few more options on their website as well.

Last little-known option: auctions ! The Police & the BVG sell part of the bikes they have found but that were not reclaimed. They hold auctions to get rid of those. Prices can be as low as 5€ or 15€ for really good bikes ! More info here & here.

What about online?

The internetz have a wealth of options if you want the best price around. Raddiscount.de has a special category of last year’s products with discounts up to 50% on new bikes. KCP Bikes also have season sales.

Insurance & stuff

The clear advantage of buying it in a store is that you have a proof of purchase that allows you to register your bike, which you can’t do buying from flea-markets or from Ebay. Registering your bike in Berlin allows you to prove the ownership of the bike and help you if it gets stolen. You can register your bike with the police by following this link and picking the next possible time slot.

Insurance-wise you can get you bike covered by your “Hausratversicherung“. If you haven’t subscribed to one, you should really do. It covers all the things you own in your flat & your bike in that case. Websites like Preisvergleich can help you find the best rates.

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Where to fix a bike in Berlin

You’ve already found your precious gem but now it needs some love and a new spare part or two? Before you leave your bike a repair shop, why don’t you give a self-service workshop first? It’s a great way to train your mechanics’ skills while saving some precious euros. You usually need to pay a fixed fee for using the tools & additional expenses occur when you need new spare parts. If you feel lost, there are people to give you a hand or explain you how to do it. That’s my favorite way to fix a bike in Berlin. 🙂

Here are some good spots :

bike in Berlin
Regenbogenfabrik (courtesy of their website)

Sometimes you don’t need to fix your bike but simply a little more air in the tubes of your tires. On the website Pumps of Berlin, you can find all the freely accessible pumps around the city. It is indeed a custom that shops have an electric pump outside their store for people in need.

Drive safe ! 🙂

Tip 1: If you need a bike in Berlin for a few days only but don’t want to spend 12€ a day renting one, you can also bike surf ! If you know couch surfing, this will be familiar to you. Using the website Bikesurf.org, you can rent a bike from the community at very low rates such as 0,50€ or 1€ a day.

12 Comments

  • Reply AG 22/07/2019 at 20:15

    Hi all,

    My girlfriend and I bought 2 bikes at Stadler 3 weeks ago, and we are very disappointed with the quality of the bikes/montage. I sent them a feedback which I have pasted further below.

    Honestly speaking, I am far from being a specialist (couldnt really make a difference between riding a 1000-euro bike or a 300 in the shop, to tell you the truth..) so I took a first price bike. I didnt expect it to fall appart after 2/3 weeks..

    Below the comment I sent them.
    Tchuss

    “Dear Sir or Madam,

    My girlfriend and I came to buy 2 bikes in Stadler Prenzlauer Berg 3 weeks ago. As a non-specialist in biking, I took a first-price bike (about 300 euros) and so did my girlfriend (about 350 euros for the bike).

    I would like to let you know that we are both very disappointed with our brand new bikes.

    For me:
    I paid an extra fee to have the Kryptonic locker fixed on the main bar of the frame. This little piece keeps on moving on vibrations (when biking on pavements), so my locker is moving and i have to constantly readjust it while biking.
    On the back wheel, after 1 week biking, one of the metal bar that holds the back wheel mud cover was stuck onto the wheel. I had to twist this piece of bar back so that it doesnt touch the wheel all the time, which was damaging the wheel and creating some noise.
    My saddle started to move 1,5 week ago (so 1,5 week after buying the bike) and was basically not fixed properly. It started to move a little, and then more and more. I had to unscrew the saddle, to discover that the screw was twisted. So tonight I went to a bike repair shop, I had to change the whole metal bar that holds the saddle (cost me 34 euros). Now the saddle is fixed.

    For my girfriend:
    1 week after buying the bike, a little screw that maintains the dynamo, the front wheel cover and the frame together went off. So the dynamo was hanging loose, the front cover was laying on the front wheel. She could not bike anymore. We had to buy a new screw and screw the whole thing back together.
    There is a half-way-screwed screw by the brake, we are unsure if we should screw it altogether or not.

    For both of us: the bells are basically ringing on their own whenever there is a slight bump on the street (and there are many). So our bikes are constantly unwillingly ringing in the streets.

    So it looks like our bikes do not take vibrations correctly (and we are reasonably biking, just taking a few paved streets here and there and generally taking care of our belongings). I am very disappointed to buy a bike – even if it is a first price bike – and see that it is falling apart only 2 weeks after purchase and I already have to take it to a bike shop/screw/unscrew things/buy pieces of metal/sound like sheep herd with my bell ringing all the time in the street, etc etc…

    The worse is that I think this is only the beginning and I am worried that my girlfriend or I have a more serious problem coming in later (another screw that gets loose for example), while biking, on a road, with traffic, cars and buses around. We are obviously going to get rid of our bikes in the coming days/weeks and get new ones – not at Stadler.

    For all of this, and because this is the first time I ever take my computer to complain online, I will not recommend Stadler and talk out loud how disappointed I am with the poor quality of the bikes we bought at yours.

    Sincerely,
    AG”

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 23/07/2019 at 20:39

      Thanks for the comment. Would you care to tell us which brand of bike that was?

  • Reply Yuri 08/05/2018 at 01:18

    Hi! My daughter who lives in Berlin since few month bought a used bile and last night, she parked apparently not legal parking spot and when she came out, the bike was confiscated by the police after she came out of the restraunt,
    Where is she suppose to go and what is she suppose to do??

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 08/05/2018 at 20:41

      Hi Yuri. Well, she should have received a note from the police, telling her what to do to get it back. She can also enter any police station to ask about the next steps.

    • Reply Eugenia 16/05/2018 at 22:37

      Super useful! THANKS very much!

  • Reply Flora 17/08/2017 at 11:53

    Hello,

    I’ve bought an used bike and just then found out about the bike registration, and it happens that mine has a code. 🙁
    Do you happen to know how do I find if the bike that I bought was stolen?

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 17/08/2017 at 14:44

      Hi Flora, you can go to the police and submit them the number.

  • Reply Karim 01/04/2017 at 13:55

    Really useful website. Thanks.

  • Reply Mari 29/03/2017 at 02:45

    also usable for renting a bike is upperbike.com

  • Reply Robert 14/03/2017 at 06:24

    This guideline will definitely help biker from berlin . Thank you for your great article .

  • Reply Guillermo Gutierrez de Velasco Schmidt 01/12/2016 at 02:53

    Hello, I am really enjoying the site, very clear and useful information! I am moving to Berlin next February, I currently live in Mexico City and here use a system called Ecobici for my transport. It is a system of bike-stations which you get access to by purchasing a card for an anual fee that you can swipe at the totem of the bike-station to gain access to one of the bikes which you can ride around for 45 minutes an leave at any other station with no additional cost. There is one of these stations practically every two blocks throughout all of the central areas of the city. I’m wondering and really really hoping there is something similar in Berlin, I never have to worry about maintenance or finding where to tie up the bike or even having to return on bike in case a friend gives me a ride after a get together.

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 01/12/2016 at 10:19

      Hello Guillermo. Good luck on your move to Berlin. There is a similar system here too operated by DeutscheBahn, it’s called “Call a Bike“. Stations are not as concentrated as other cities in Europe but the number is growing.

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