Here is everything you need to know about renting a bike in North America’s most cycle-friendly city.
A quick and comprehensive guide to the best bike rental shops and bike share systems in Montreal.
It’s summer in Montreal. That means put the fun between your legs! We’ve organized this list of Montreal’s best bike rental shops by order of neighbourhood. Read on to discover what kind of bikes you can find, where to find them, and how much they cost.
We will also discuss Montreal’s bike share systems by providing some tips on how to use them, when to use them, and when not to.
Lastly, we offer some essential tips and rules of the road that you need to be aware of before you go integrate yourself into the waves of locals riding all over Montreal.
Plateau: Fitz Montreal Bike Tours
Situated in the heart of the trendy Plateau district, Fitz Montreal Bike Rental boasts an impressive fleet of stylish Norco Scene city cruisers.
Not only do they look good, but they’re super lightweight and extremely comfortable to ride! You’ll be happy about this if you plan on biking up hill from Old Montreal to the Plateau or even up to the top of Mount-Royal (totally worth the ride).
Fitz can also have your bike equipped with a front basket for your expedition to the Jean-Talon farmer’s market (a must-do!). Alternatively you can pick up sandwiches, salads, and patisserie from the on-site café Le Petit Club and find yourself a nice picnic spot.
Fitz also has some cargo bikes, kid bikes, child seats, and bike trailers for family expeditions.
As Fitz Montreal they’ll be more than happy to provide you with maps and give you local advice and recommendations! They also offer amazing Montreal Bike Tours like the Hidden Gems Bike Tour – Plateau, Mile-End & Jean-Talon Market or the Old Montreal, Downtown district & Waterfront tour
$45 + tax / day
All rentals include a helmet (optional), a sturdy Abus Bordo lock, and a FitzMontreal map to help you navigate around the city.
Address: 1251 rue Rachel Est, Plateau
Call to reserve or more info: (438) 792-6480
Reserve by email: [email protected]
Old Montreal / Griffintown: Allo Vélo
Tucked away on a side street adjacent to Old Montreal and the Old Port, Allo Vélo is a stylish shop with a highly curated selection of bicycle goodies and an on-site café.
Allo Vélo specializes in European-style city bikes and cargo bikes. Their rental fleet includes Creme city bikes, Fuji hybrids, Evo e-bikes, and a revolving selection of high-end cargo bikes.
Their location is a great starting point to ride to the Lachine Canal or checkout more of Montreal’s Southwest neighbourhoods of St. Henri, Pointe-St-Charles, and Verdun.
City / Hybrid / Cargo bikes:
From $30 to $45 + tax / day
From $75 + tax / day
All rentals include helmet (optional) and lock.
Address: 141 rue Shannon
St Henri / Atwater Market: Ma Bicyclette
Ma Bicyclette operates a seasonal bike rental and repair business right on the Lachine Canal bike path, across the canal bridge from the Atwater Market. They now also operate a cafe for both eating in and taking away for a canal-side picnic.
We often refer folks to this spot if they are looking for a zippy road bike or gravel bike for a longer ride (the shop features Cannondale aluminum frame bikes). Ma Bicyclette also rents some cruiser style city bikes (Electra) if you want to just stroll around locally, and new this year e-bikes (also Cannondale) for tackling a little more distance or some hills.
City / Performance Bikes:
From $35 to $45 + tax / day
$80 + tax / day
All rentals include helmet, lock, and map.
Address: 2727 rue St. Patrick, #101
Everywhere in Montreal: Bixi Bike Share
The Bixi (Bicycle + Taxi) public bike system is a local success story. It was launched in 2009, the first of its kind in North America. Bixi is operated by the City of Montreal and has now grown to offer over 7,500 bikes and 600 stations spread around the city.
Their bikes and docking systems are actually used in many cities around the world including New York, London, and Toronto.
Bixi is a perfect way of getting from point A to point B. Think about it as replacing a short trip when you would normally walk, take transit, or ride in a taxi/ride hailing vehicle. It will often be faster and and much less expensive than using a car service.
Bixi’s, like most micromobility share systems, are not destined for any leisure bike expeditions. The bikes are slightly heavy, have limited gearing, and have a very narrow front rack to hold a bag or other cargo.
The bikes also must be returned to any dock within 30 minutes (45 minutes with a monthly or annual pass), or you will pay overage charges which can add up very quickly.
Local tip: Do not try to ride a Bixi to the top of Mont-Royal. Due to the heavy weight of the bikes, the ride up will be difficult, and there are no docks in order to check-your bike back in. Rent a regular bike instead.
Nevertheless, if you need a hassle free mode of transport to get you where you want to go, Bixi is optimal. The stations are plentiful – in the core of the city you will find a station every 2 or 3 blocks. We recommend to download the app to see where the nearest one is to you. You can also pay by credit card directly at the docking stations.
Bixi has even added some e-bikes to their fleet. Keep an eye out for them – they are painted in blue!
$1.25 to unlock the bixi
0,15 cents per minute on a normal bike
0,30 cents per minute on a electric bike
*All electric Bixis are subject to an additional $1 fee per trip.
*Make sure to wear a helmet if you plan to take an electric bixi. Fines for not wearing a helmet on an electric bike are between 60$-100$.
Nowhere in Montreal: Electric Scooters
Jump, now owned by Uber, is the first privately operated bike share company to operate across Montreal. Both Lime and Bird electric scooters operated under a pilot program in Montreal in 2019, however the city has banned their use in 2020 until they can find a solution to better regulate the scooters that were often left in undesirable places, such as blocking sidewalks.
This is a common issue that many cities have struggled with soon after e-scooters launched in their respective cities. Due to the overwhelming demand and saturation of e-scooter systems in the United States and in Europe, we are sure they will be back on Montreal streets soon.
Stay tuned as more micromobility systems (bike or scooter share) will launch in Montreal in the near future.
Before you head out: Cycling Tips and Rules of the Road in Montreal
Montreal’s bike culture is flourishing. In the warmer months there are often bike traffic jams on the main cycling routes heading Downtown. In winter, more and more cyclists are braving the cold and investing in gear to keep riding all year-round.
In general, Montreal is a wonderful place to ride. Proper bike paths are plentiful, and most drivers quite respectful of cyclists. The police are usually lassez-faire, but do sometimes fine riders for breaking the rules.
Whether you are a fair-weather cyclist or a year-round warrior, there are some common unwritten rules and actual laws to observe while riding in Montreal.
- No headphones allowed. Not even just one of the earbuds. The police are known to ticket for this. Just bring a bluetooth speaker and attach it to your bike instead. Party time!
- Use lights at night. If you will be riding at all in the dark, you are obliged by law to have a front white light and a rear red light. At Fitz we offer lights to our customers included in the rental. If you rent from another shop, make sure to ask for some.
- Helmets are recommended but not obligatory in Quebec. Though we strongly recommend helmets for all our rentals and tours, the choice is up to you. Westmount, a neighbourhood adjacent to Downtown does however oblige all riders to wear helmets. This is only one pocket of the city that you may pass through, but keep it in mind.
- Beers & Bikes. They just go together so well. After a long ride a local craft beer sure is refreshing. But don’t over do it. The same laws that apply to driving a car, also apply to cycling. This means having 1 or 2 beers or glasses of wine with your lunch of dinner is ok, but don’t go partying all night and ride around intoxicated. You could receive a big fine.
* Local tip. It is legal to drink alcohol in Montreal’s city parks, but you must have some accompanying food to go along with it. Sharing a bottle of wine over a plentiful picnic with friends is ok, but finishing off a 6-pack with a bag of chips is not. We call it the ‘one beer one sandwich rule.’
- Stay on your side. Montreal has many bi-directional bike paths. Stay on your side of the path unless you need to pass. If you are riding in a group, just make sure not to hog the whole lane and instead ride single-file.
- Don’t ride on the sidewalks. If you do, you will probably be yelled at. If you need to lock up your bike at a bike rack on the sidewalk, just approach it slowly or walk your bike.
- Stop at Red lights, stop or roll slowly at Stop signs. Montreal is known as a city of jaywalkers, but leave that to the pedestrians. While riding do not run a red light. Montreal is working on a changing to the ‘Idaho Stop’ rule to allow cyclists to roll through stop signs on quieter streets when the intersection is clear. However, until the new ‘Idaho Stop’ is implemented just use your best judgement or stop.
- Give pedestrians the right of way. Just as cyclists expect car drivers to give them priority, cyclists should do the same for pedestrians. If a pedestrian is walking in the bike lane, a ring of the bell or a whistle should do. If you find yourself riding somewhere that bikes shouldn’t be (such as a busy festival area), don’t ring your bell at pedestrians since you are the one in the wrong!
So where should you rent your bike? It all depends what is most important to you: Location, price or style.
We hope this guide helped you make the right choice and hope to see you on our bike paths soon!
Check out the super local Montreal Bike Tours offered by the expert guides at Fitz Montreal for a more in depth experience of Montreal!