Which Central Park Bike Tours Are Best?

In this post, we cover bike tours of Central Park, including our pay-what-you-like option, other companies, bike rentals as well as tips on how to explore Central Park on your own.

 

 
 Company  $ for 2-hour Rental  Reviews  Notes
 Central Park Sightseeing  $20  4.2 (522 Google reviews)  Our pick
 Unlimited Biking  $20  4.4 (256 Google reviews)  5 locations provides flexibility
 Blazing Saddles $28 (24 hours)  4.5 (51 Google reviews) FREE one-hour bike program on Governors Island, Mon-Fri, 10am-12pm. 

 


WHY TAKE A BIKE TOUR?

With over 26 million visitors a year (and larger than Monaco!), Central Park is the jewel of Manhattan. And containing over two centuries of history, there’s a lot to cover.

And at 843 acres (340 ha) though, it can be a lot to take on by foot! In fact, we offer 2 walking tours of the park, and combined, they still leave out the very northern 3rd of the park.

With a bike tour of Central Park, you can cover over six miles (10 km) of it without being too worn out. And not only is an experienced tour guide a wealth of knowledge, but he or she will show you the safest and most efficient way to the most famous landmarks.

Our pay-what-you-wish bike tour of Central Park operates on a limited schedule. Therefore, we have listed a few companies with daily schedules that we recommend. 

 


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THE PAY-WHAT-YOU-WISH OPTION

Let Free Tours by ‘Bike’ tell you the story behind Olmstead and Vaux’s masterpiece. You’ll see The Mall and Literary Walk majestically lined with towering elms, the 3,500-year-old Egyptian obelisk Cleopatra’s Needle and the architectural splendor of Bethesda Terrace.  

We’ll watch your bikes as we give you time to climb to the top of Belvedere Castle, where you’ll get a view of the Great Meadow, Shakespeare Garden, and Turtle Pond.  

You’ll see the Dakota Apartments where John Lennon was tragically assassinated and Strawberry Fields where we honor his memory today.

*Please note that this tour is for experienced bike riders.

Sites we cover on the Central Park Bike Tour:

Central Park Bike Tour

  • Columbus Circle
  • Tavern on the Green
  • Sheep Meadow
  • The Metropolitan Art Museum
  • Jackie Onassis Kennedy Reservoir
  • Delacorte Theater
  • Sweedish Cottage Marionette Theater
  • The North Woods
  • and much more….

Don’t forget, some hotels, guest houses and bed, and breakfasts offer free or inexpensive bike rentals. Also, if you have the New York Pass, bike rentals are included for free, though you may only rent them at certain locations included in the pass (not our partner shop).

Like our other tours, our expert, licensed guides work just for your appreciation. Most bike tour companies will charge you $45/person and up for a 2-hour bike tour.

With bike rentals as low as $16 for 2 hours, you could be paying $30/person and higher for a 2-hour bike tour (+tip!).  

Additionally, if you want to rent your bike by the day, you usually won’t get a discount on the tour.

Please note that by NYC law, we cannot allow children under one year of age on this tour. We ask children to be at least 12+ years old and really comfortable with riding their bikes. Tandem bikes and trailers are available.

To participate in our bike tours, you need to feel comfortable riding a bike and be in reasonably good physical condition to do so.

Tour information

Reservations: REQUIRED. Click here to reserve.Have your own bike? The $16 is to pay for bike rental, if you are bringing your own bike, you do not need to pay this reservation fee. Please use the code: byobike in the Discount section to avoid paying this. YOU WILL NOT HAVE A BIKE RENTED FOR YOU, YOU MUST BRING YOUR OWN!Where: Tour begins at the Bike Rental Shop at 56 West 56th Street (map) – Central Park Sightseeing – between 5th and 6th Avenue.Duration: 2 hours. We ride roughly 6 miles (10k). Tour lasts 2 hours, but we request you arrive at the rental shop at 9:30 am to get fitted for your bike and walk down to Central Park.When: Fridays @9:30 am through mid-October. View Our Full Tour Calendar.Cost: This tour is free to take, and you get to decide what, if anything, the tour was worth when it’s done. A name-your-own-price tour is a tour for every budget.

 


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CENTRAL PARK SIGHTSEEING (Our Choice) 

HOURS: Monday-Sunday 8AM-10PM

REVIEWS: This is one of the highest rated bike tour companies in NYC.

  • Comments stated that the bikes are really high quality, well maintained and gear changes flawlessly, with two types available for women and men. Guests also appreciated the affordable rates and the friendly customer service provided. 
  • The limited negative feedback commented on misunderstandings in price difference when booking online promotions, but the front desk associates tried to do what they could in-store to assist. Calling in advance 212-749-444 in regard to promotions may be best. 

OTHER NOTES:

  • They offer tours in 5 different languages.
  • If you can’t make one of our pay-what-you-like tours, our guests are entitled to 20% off on all of our partner shop’s Central Park bike tour and their Brooklyn Bridge bike tour. Just use promo code FTBF for this discount.

New York City Bike ToursPRICES:

  • $15 one hour
  • $20 for 2 hours
  • DayPASS: $40
  • $65 for a full day rental
  • Included for free with the purchase of the Explorer Pass or The New York Pass

 


UNLIMITED BIKING

HOURS:

 

  • April 1st – October 31st : 8am – 8pm
  • November 1st – March 31st : 9am – 5pm

Unlimited Biking offers bikes for everyone, including eBikes, Kids Bikes and Tandems. Additionally, they have baby seats and baby trailers available for families. They offer everything you need to make your exploration of New York City successful and memorable.

 

REVIEWS: 

Many customers have had positive experiences renting bikes through Unlimited Biking. Comments stated that it was a very smooth process to reserve and the insurance was well worth the few extra dollars for peace of mind.

Comments also shared that the pick-up location is very convenient to access Central Park. 

Only a couple of negative comments shared a dissatisfaction with the bikes due to equipment malfunction (seat falling down, basket breaking, and flat tires).  One particular user mentioned that due to items malfunctioning as they headed back, they went over the reservation time and got charged for an extra hour due to the delay.  While another user shared that he was late due a flat tire and Katie stayed open to collect the bike about half an hour past close. This user called ahead and was nor charged for being late with the bike and staff was understanding. Overall, guests have enjoyed renting through this company, and many would do so again in the future!

PRICES:

Prices vary based on the style of bicycle but their most popular bike (comfort) is:

  • 2 Hour Men or Lady Bike: $20
  • 4 Hour Men or Lady Bike: $30
  • DayPASS Men or Lady Bike: $40
  • 2 Hour Kid Bike: $17
  • Long Term Men or Lady Bike: Starting at $65 for 24 hours (up to one month)

Blazing Saddles

HOURS:

  • Pier 17 – South Street Seaport opens every day at 9:00 AM
  • Governors Island: Open from May 1 – Oct 31 Daily at 10:00 AM

Blazing Saddles offers regular and electric bikes to rent, and also tandems and equipment for kids on Manhattan Island. The company has two convenient locations in New York. The Manhattan location is at Pier 17 and opens daily at 9am. The Governors Island location is open from May 1 – October 31 and opens daily at 10am. 

Blazing Saddles offers a FREE one-hour bike program on Governors Island, Monday through Friday for one-hour, valid between 10 am and 12 noon.

Guests who reserved bikes with Blazing Saddles complimented their daily rate and multiple locations. Guests also commented that the bikes were in good working order and would recommend upgrading to the electric bike for a full day of riding.  Guests were also pleased with the saddle, bike lock, map, and zipped pouch in the front of the bike.

REVIEWS: 

While many reviews complimented the staff, a couple of guests had negative experiences. But overall, many guests had great experiences with different aspects of the company and would recommend it in New York.  

PRICES:
Vary based on the style of bicycle but their most popular bike (Performance Hybrid Bike) is:

 

  • 1 Hour: $15
  • Day Rental: $40

 

Included for free with a purchase of the NY PASS.

 


Bike and Roll NYC (TEMPORARILY CLOSED)

Their Central Park Loop is 2 hours long and offered daily at 10:30 am and 1:30 pm.

Pros: Two departure times daily. Best price for a family with young children under 12 years old. For example, a family of 4 with young kids would cost $130 in total.

Cons: Not the best price available for adults and teens. Other companies will cost less. 

This tour is included for free with the New York Sightseeing Pass


Additional Central Park Bike Tours

There are several additional bike tours you can take in Central Park. Some tours focus specifically on the park, but others will also take you into downtown or uptown Manhattan. Most services are about 2 hours long, but some can last up to 4 hours.

Alternatively, you can also rent a bike and go on your own personal tour with our GPS enabled audio tours.

 


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Discount Pass Options

Many New York tourist attraction discount passes provide discounts on some of the bike tour services we have listed above. This section will provide a breakdown of all the Central Park bike tours you can take with a discount pass.

Depending on which pass you choose, you could save up to 55% off of the retail prices of NYC most popular tours and attractions, in addition to the bike tours.

 

 

New York Pass

This pass includes either a bike tour or rental from Central Park Sightseeing. Alternatively, you can also get a free bike rental from Blazing Saddles. Since this is an All-Inclusive pass, you will receive these benefits as part of the flat price for the service.

New York Sightseeing Pass

Much like their competitors, you can also take a bike tour or enjoy a bike rental with this service. The New York Sightseeing Pass offers the Bike and Roll Central Park tour as one of their attractions. They also provide free bike rentals from Bike Rent NYC, allowing you to head through the park on your own if you wish.

This pass is available either as an All-Inclusive or a Flex Pass.

New York Explorer Pass

The main difference between this pass and other options is that they only offer either the Central Park Sightseeing bike tour or the bike rental from the same company. You can’t do both things with one pass, so you will need to make up your mind about which service to choose.

The Explorer Pass is like a flex pass, allowing you to pay one flat price for a set number of activities in New York City.

For more details about these opportunities, make sure to read our post about New York City Tourist Passes

 


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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT NEW YORK BIKE RENTALS


Can you pay with a credit card or is it cash only?

Every bike company listed here accepts credit cards, and in many cases, will require a deposit before renting.

 

What’s included with every rental?
Each rental comes with a helmet, basket or bike bag, bike lock and detailed map! Blazing Saddles also has a patch kit available upon request.

 

What do I have to bring with me?

Don’t forget a valid photo identification and your camera. Bikers under the age of 18 must be accompanied or have a release form signed by a parent or guardian.


What if I want to keep the bike out longer?
If you’re having too much fun out there and you don’t think you’ll make it back in time, it’s best to call the store. Blazing Saddles can be reached at (415) 202-8888.  Unlimited Biking extends your rental for an extra hour at $8.75 per bike and they can be reached at (212) 749-4444. 

 

Are tips included in the price?
No, but gratuities are greatly appreciated.

 

Are kids allowed? 

Yes! These bike rental companies listed do allow kids and offer kids bikes, child seats, wagons, and petal trailed.  We’d recommend finding a kid-friendly place to ride, like Central Park!

 


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About the author

Courtney is a lifelong New Yorker fascinated with the city’s history, culture and cuisine. She loves exploring the world, as well as sharing her travel expertise with others.

She joined the Free Tours by Foot team in 2011, first as a guide and then as a writer. She has a law degree, a teaching degree and a worn-out passport. Her motto is “Have backpack, will travel”.