The Best San Francisco Bike Tours

This post reviews and compares the best bike tours and bike rental companies in San Francisco. We also include information on combo packages and discounts and deals. 

 

 


GUIDED CITY BIKE TOURS 

Despite its many hills, San Francisco is a great city to see via bike. Biking in San Francisco is so popular that there are several companies offering bike tours. 

Guided tours of San Francisco will typically include riding through such neighborhoods as:

  • Haight-Ashbury
  • Golden Gate Park
  • the Presidio
  • the Marina
  • Embarcadero
  • SoMa
  • South Beach
  • Mission Bay
  • and more.

Below is information about some of the best bike tour companies along with a summary of reviews.


Streets of San Francisco

This highly rated company has a few different tour options. One of their most popular tours is their Classic San Francisco Bike Tour.

 

 

TIP: If you take on of their tours, you can get a 50% discount off bike rentals from CityRide Bike Rentals.

Reviews

Streets of San Francisco Bike Tours has a 5 out of 5 stars rating on TripAdvisor. Guests report being extremely impressed with the quality of the guides and the bikes themselves.

Reviews praise the guides as being knowledgeable, fun and interesting.  Many guests state that this tour is one of the best ways to see San Francisco. 


Dylan’s Tours

Dylan’s Tours offers popular electric bike tours of the city. Using an e-bike allows you to see more of the city in a shorter amount of time and with somewhat less difficulty! 

A short lunch break is included, though the cost of food is not. The Intro to San Francisco Tour is a nice alternative for those who can’t commit to a long bike ride but are still interested in seeing places like Fisherman’s Wharf and Golden Gate Bridge.

Note: Advance reservations are recommended as group sizes are limited to 7 and the minimum age is 16+. 

Reviews

With a 5 out of 5 stars rating on TripAdvisor, you can’t go wrong with one of Dylan’s e-Bike tours. Guests state that the bikes are well maintained and easy to ride and that the guides are very fun and knowledgeable. Read reviews here.


Bay City Bike Tours

Among their many tour offerings, their San Francisco Urban Bike Tour is one of the most popular.

It covers the most well-known neighborhoods in the city, including Fisherman’s Wharf, Mission District, the Castro, North Beach, the Haight, and many others.

This four-hour tour includes a current-year-model electric bike, helmet and lock, front handlebar bag and rear gear rack.

An extra perk is that you get a free bonus bike rental for a few more hours once the guided tour is finished.

  • San Francisco Urban Bike Tour (4 hours)
    • See sites such as the Transamerica Pyramid, Aquatic Park, in addition to all the neighborhoods listed above
    • Departs daily at 11 am 
    • From $75 per person
    • Note: Guests must be 13 or older to ride an electric bike
    • Purchase or learn more.

Reviews

With over 2,000 reviews, this company rates a 4.5 out of 5 stars rating on TripAdvisor. You will see over and over again throughout the reviews words like “fantastic”, “excellent”, and “awesome”. 

 


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GUIDED TOURS OUTSIDE THE CITY

If you’re hoping to get a bit outside the city, you can take a tour that goes beyond San Francisco, some as far as Wine Country!

Tours will likely include crossing either the Bay Bridge or the Golden Gate Bridge. Usually, tours end in the charming small city of Sausalito.

A nice feature of some tours is that you may be allowed to use the bike for the rest of the day once the guided tour has ended. 


Blazing Saddles Bike Tours

On their Golden Gate to Sausalito Guided Tour, you start off from Fisherman’s Wharf. You then ride through Fort Mason, the Marina, and the Presidio. 

The tour then crosses the Golden Gate Bridge to Sausalito where the guided portion of your tour ends.

 

 

Since the cost of the tour includes a 24-hour rental, you can keep your bike and continue exploring or you can return the e-bike at the conclusion of the tour. 

Reviews

This tour has a 4.5 star out of 5 stars rating on TripAdvisor. Most people seem very happy with the guided tour, saying that it was very fun and informative.

Guides are praised as being “exceptional” “helpful” and “excellent”. The accolades go on and on.

Some negative comments were about external factors out of the company’s control such as the large number of people on the Golden Gate Bridge or the fog blocking the views. However, these issues occur for all bike companies.

Note that some reviewers recommend going with the electric bike rental to help with some of the hilly terrain covered.


Bay City Bike and Tours

This company also offers a Golden Gate Bridge to Sausalito tour. Similar to the Blazing Saddles tour above, this tour goes past sites such as Aquatic Park Cove, Alcatraz Island and then across the Golden Gate Bridge.

You are then invited to explore Sausalito on your own and return the bikes back at your leisure at the end of the day.

To return to San Francisco, you can choose to either take the ferry or ride back across the bridge — both options of which are explained thoroughly by your guide. 

 

 

  • Golden Gate Bridge to Sausalito
    • All bike rentals include helmets, front camera bags, bells, maps & map holders, water bottle holders, puncture repair kits, locks, and detailed map assistance.
    • Departs daily at 10 am or 1 pm from Fisherman’s Wharf
    • From $55 per person
    • Purchase or learn more.

Reviews

Bay City Bikes is rated 4.5 out of 5 stars on TripAdvisor. Guests who are less physically active seem to especially love this tour, which is far less hilly than their San Francisco Urban Bike Tour.

Additionally, many reviews emphasize that this is the best way to see the Golden Gate Bridge as its easier than walking but still allows for much more intimacy than a regular bus tour.


Alcatraz Bikes and Tours

This company offers a three-hour guided bike tour that crosses the Golden Gate Bridge to Sausalito. Tours return to the city via ferry.

Like some other companies, you can keep the bike for the rest of the day once the tour is done. 

  • Guided Bike Tour Across the Golden Gate 
    • 3-hour tour across the Golden Gate Bridge, down to Sausalito, and cross the San Francisco Bay via ferry to return back to the city.
    • Departs daily at 10 am and 1 pm
    • From $55 per person (not including ferry ticket)

Reviews

This is a small company with an excellent reputation. They have a TripAdvisor rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars. The bikes are praised for being in excellent condition. The tour guides are complimented for their expert knowledge and approachable personalities. 

 


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COMBO PACKAGES

Some companies combine their bike tours with another popular activity or attraction. By combining two activities into a package price, you will save money on both. 

For example, you can also purchase a package that includes a bike tour and a ticket to Alcatraz. This is a great opportunity if you are unable to get Alcatraz tickets, as they can sell out weeks in advance. Read our full post on Alcatraz tours and tickets.

Also, you can take a hop-on, hop-off bus tour that includes a free bike rental as well as other activities. 

Not only will you save money with such a combo deal, but you will also enjoy multiple sights and activities.


Big Bus Tours 

This popular hop-on-hop-off bus tour company has combo packages that include a free hour bike rental when you buy one hour with Blazing Saddles.

Read more about Big Bus and their tour offerings from our post on San Francisco bus tours.

 

 

  • Premium Ticket 
    • 24 hours of hop-on, hop-off service in San Francisco
    • Sausalito Tour
    • Walking Tour of Chinatown
    • Bike rental – buy 1 hour, get 1 free with Blazing Saddles 
    • Prices (online): $58.50 Adult | $46.80 Child (5-15 years)
  • Deluxe Ticket
    • 48 hours of hop-on, hop-off service in San FranciscoSausalito Trolley Tour
    • Panoramic Open-Top Night Tour
    • Walking Tour of Chinatown
    • Bike rental – buy 1 hour, get 1 free with Blazing Saddles
    • Prices (online): $70.20 Adult | $55.80 Child (5-15 years)

Big Bus has a 4 out of 5 stars rating on TripAdvisor and guests report that their buses are safe and their guides are very knowledgeable.


Dylan’s Tours

This combination tour includes a bike rental and a reserved shuttle to Muir Woods.  After picking up your bike in San Francisco, you’ll ride across the bridge to Sausalito. 

There you will drop off your bike rental, and take the shuttle to Muir Woods. After an hour or so, you take the shuttle bus back to San Francisco.

Note that the $15 entrance fee to Muir Woods is not included.

This tour has a 5 out of 5 stars on TripAdvisor. It is described by guests as “awesome”, excellent” and “amazing”. Guests also comment that the bikes were in good condition and that staff was helpful. Read reviews here.


Bay City Bike Rentals and Tours 

This company offers two 2-day tour packages, that include a guided bike tour of San Francisco and an Alcatraz ticket. 

First, you select the date for your Alcatraz ticket. Your bike tour will then be reserved for the day before your Alcatraz trip.

An extra bonus is that on the day of your bike tour you can keep the bike until the end of the day.

Reviews

Both Alcatraz combo packages offered by Bay City Bike Rentals and Tours is rated 4.5 out of 5 stars on TripAdvisor. 

Many guests seem to have purchased the package primarily to have access to Alcatraz, which is often sold out weeks in advance. 

However, all who did this also commented on how pleasantly surprised they were by the quality of the bike tour, which often was each guest’s favorite part.


Gears and Grapes Getaways 

This company that specializes in wine and brewery bike tours also offers combo packages. With two of the below tours, you can add a ticket to Alcatraz.

The tours take place over 2 days, so you can maximize your self-guided tour of Alcatraz on the first or second day. 

  • Wine Country Bike Tour + Alcatraz Admission
    • From $201 per person
  • Wine Country Bike Tour and Picnic Lunch with Transport from San Francisco
    • From $148 per person

Reviews 

With a TripAdvisor rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars, it’s clear that people seem to love Gears and Grapes tours, particularly when combined with tickets to Alcatraz. 

As one visitor who bought this package for that reason says, “this ended up working in our favor as the bike tour was really fun.” 

To find out about tours of wine country via bus or car, see our post on Napa and Sonoma Wine Tours.

 


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BIKE RENTALS

Renting a bike is a great way to see the city while moving at your own pace. You can opt for a standard bicycle or if offered, an electric bike (you must be 13+ years of age).

Rentals typically come with a current year model of bike/e-bike as well as a map and route suggestions from staff.

Below is a list of some of the better bike rental companies along with rates and a summary of reviews. 

We also include information on how to use San Francisco’s Bike Share Program, though this isn’t the best choice for those who plan on exploring the city for several hours.


Bay City Bike Rentals and Tours

This well-reviewed company offers one-day rentals with a complimentary self-guided tour.

You can choose between a standard bike rental or an electric bike for rental. E-bikes are rented only to individuals 13 years of age and older.

Though e-bikes are generally twice the price of a manual bike, an electric bike can often be preferable given the city’s hills. 

Rentals include a current year model of your bike/e-bike, helmet, bike lock, handlebar bag, rear gear rack, map and map holder.

When you go to pick up your rental, staff can help you customize a route for you based on your interests.

*Prices may be lower in the winter months.

Reviews

This company is generally well-rated on TripAdvisor with a rating of 4.5 out of 5 starsGuests say that the bikes are in excellent condition. The staff also receive plenty of compliments for being well organized and friendly.

The rare complaint typically comes from guests who were unfamiliar with the large number of hills in San Francisco and therefore found biking around the city to be more challenging than expected.


Blazing Saddles Bike Tours

Their one-day bike rental comes with route customization from staff based on your interest.

Conveniently, they have two locations from which you can rent and return bikes, Fisherman’s Wharf and Union Square.

 

 

Rental Information

24-hour bike rental 

  • maps and route recommendations
  • safety orientation
  • personalized bike fitting
  • helmet, bike lock 
  • handlebar bag for camera and small items

Reviews

Blazing Saddles Bike Tours receive excellent reviews on TripAdvisor where they have a 4 out of 5 stars rating.

Many people praise the company’s bikes for being so well maintained. Renters also appreciate the staff for mapping out the different routes and clearly explaining each one’s difficulty. 

Some were disappointed that their bike seat was properly fitted for them, so be sure to insist this happens before you depart.


City Sightseeing

When you rent from this company, you can add a ferry ride ticket to the price of the rental for a discounted rate, or opt to rent an electric bike. All rentals come with a helmet and can be returned to many different shops around the city.  

Reviews

Most of the reviewers rented a bike along with another City Sightseeing tour and seemed very happy with the overall experience.

Guests seem very pleased with the quality of the bikes available for rental with City Sightseeing, hence the respectable rating of 3.5 out of 5 stars on TripAdvisor. 


Bay Area Bike Share Program

Though this is a service most often used by locals in the city, tourists can also benefit from this affordable option. 

The Bay Area Bike Share Program allows you to pay just $9 per day for a 24-hour rental. 

The catch is that you must check into a Bike Share Station every 30 minutes. There are several of these stations around the city, so it is fairly easy to do this. 

However, it can be a hassle for those hoping to explore the city more freely. 

You might want to consider a standard bike rental from one of the companies above.

 


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DEALS AND DISCOUNTS

This section covers some of the best ways to save money on bike tours in San Francisco. We include details about tourist passes, combo packages and more.


San Francisco Tourist Passes

If you’re planning to enjoy several activities while you’re in the Bay Area, a tourist discount pass can save you money on a variety of things to do – including bike tours.

Visitors who aren’t planning as much might find the build-your-own-pass option easiest, as it allows you to save 20% off 2 or more attractions and you don’t really have to do anything else to get the deal.

However, an all-inclusive pass includes admission to dozens of activities which you can visit for a specific amount of time (1, 2, 3, or 5 days). 

 

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You could save up to 50% off everything if you squeeze as many attractions as possible into just a few days, but this type of pass is best for people who want to go everywhere and see everything in San Francisco.

Alternatively, you could also use a flex pass to pay for only the tickets you want (3, 4, or 5 attractions) and pay one flat price for all of them. The best way to save money with this service is to use it for the most expensive activities available.

The following bike tours and rentals are currently offered by various San Francisco tourist passes:

  • Blazing Saddles Bike Rental
  • Blazing Saddles Electric Bike Rental
  • Blazing Saddles Golden Gate Bridge Bike Tour
  • Bay City Bike Golden Gate Bridge Bike Tour
  • Bay City Bike Rental

Most of these services also include skip-the-line access at several popular locations, making it easy to save both time and money.

No matter which pass you choose, you should be able to save at least 20% – 50% off general admission prices. 

For more details, please read our post about San Francisco tourist passes.


Discount Sites

If you’re not interested in using a tourist pass or taking advantage of a combo package, you can always check sites such as Groupon and LivingSocial for deals on bike tours and rentals.

In addition to whatever discount they may offer, to begin with, these sites frequently provide additional coupon codes for an extra 10% – 20% off local activities such as this.

Before making a purchase, make sure to check both the top and bottom of the page for any banners that may contain coupons you can use to save even more money!

 


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About the author

Manager | San Francisco

Britt is a San Francisco Bay Area native, and has spent 25 years in this magical city. He has traveled to over 30 countries, and has never found a place he loves as much as this one! If you come to San Francisco, you might join one of Britt's tours of the city.

A graduate of the University of Maryland and University of Southern California, he has been leading tours for Free Tours by Foot since 2015.