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Riding Tips

Whether you’ve been cycling for years or this is your first time on a bike since middle school, Madison BCycle electric-assist bikes make any terrain easy to conquer and enjoy! Following these few steps can make your e-bike trip even more seamless.

Inspect the Bike

  • Make sure to check brakes, tires, and the front/rear lights before riding.
  • Madison BCycle bike seats are easily adjustable. Just open the clamp on the seat post, lower or raise your seat, and close the clamp again.
  • Problems? Re-dock the bike and text or call us at 800-473-4743

Wear a helmet

  • We'll always recommend you wear a helmet when riding our e-bikes.

While riding

  • Unlike your typical bike experience, stop pedaling when you want to shift up or down, changing the level of pedal assist during your trip

Follow the rules of the road

  • Make sure to observe local traffic signs, signals, and laws at all times.
  • Ride your bike in the in bike lanes, on bike paths or on the street when needed. Never ride against traffic.
  • Signal your next move. If you are turning, point in the direction you are going. This helps cars and other cyclists understand your intentions.
  • Walk your bike on the sidewalk. It's called a sideWALK for a reason

Plan a route

  • Know where you’re headed – Download the BCycle mobile app for the most up-to-date station map. This will show available e-bikes and docks for ending your trip

Returning your bike

  • When returning your bike to a station, return your bike firmly into the dock. After 3 beeps and flashes from the green dock icon, you will also receive an email or app notification that your trip has ended.
  • Text or call us 800-473-4743 if you encounter any issues, we've got your back!


  • What is Madison BCycle?

    Madison BCycle is a great way to get around town or campus. Madison BCycle members can pick up a bike at any station and return it to that same station or any other station when they’re done. Using their BCards or the BCycle App, members can unlock a bike in seconds. Returning a bike is even easier. Just roll it into a dock and walk away.
  • Why Do we Need Madison BCycle?

    BCycle is there when you need it and gone when you don’t. No more hassles with locking, maintaining, fixing, or storing your getting-around-town bike. Let BCycle take care of all that!
    The network of BCycles located throughout Madison and allows people to economically and conveniently avoid road congestion and parking problems, and reduce pollution. That’s not all: biking also improves your health and puts a smile on your face!
  • Who Can use BCycle?

    Anybody 18 years or older! The bikes easily adjust to just about any adult’s size. Just sign up for a membership and you’re ready to ride.
  • How much does a BCycle pass cost?

    Check out the range of Madison BCycle pass types here!
  • How do I adjust the seat?

    There is a lever where the seat post meets the frame of the bicycle. Open this lever to freely move the seat post up or down to your desired height. Firmly push the lever back into the closed position before beginning your ride. 
  • Do the bikes fit everyone?

    Madison bicycles are designed to be easy to ride. They have: step-through frames, pedal-powered front and rear lights, baskets, three speeds, and comfortable, easily adjustable seats to fit heights 5′ to 6′ 5”.
  • How do the lights on the bike turn on and off?

    The front and rear facing lights are powered by the rotation of the wheels. Start pedaling and the lights will turn on automatically. They’ll turn off shortly after you stop riding.
  • What if a station is empty?

    If a station is empty when you arrive, go to the kiosk, click Start > More Options > Station Empty for a list of nearby stations with available bikes.
    To make sure bikes are available at a nearby station, download the BCycle app for iOS or Android for real-time station information and bike availability.
  • What if a station is full when I want to return my bike?

    If a station is full when you arrive, go to the kiosk, click Start > More Options > Station Full for a list of nearby stations with available docks, and to add a free extra 15 minutes to your trip.

    To make sure bikes are available at a nearby station, download the BCycle app for iOS or Android for real-time station information and bike availability.

  • What if I have a flat tire?

    If the bike has a flat tire or you’re experiencing another issue with it, please return the bike to the nearest station. Call our Customer Service at 800-473-4743
  • What if I'm involved in an accident?

    If anyone is injured, call 911 immediately. You should also call the police department in the jurisdiction the crash took place and file a report with an officer. This will help assure all important information is documented.
    Contact our Customer Service at 800-473-4743 at the earliest appropriate time to notify us of the facts of the crash.
  • What if my bike is lost or stolen?

    Immediately notify Customer Service by calling us at 800-473-4743. 
  • Why electric bikes?

    Electric bikes have taken the cycling industry by storm, and now they're doing the same for bike share. They take you farther, easier. Pedal assist makes a longer ride sweat free. They open up the possibility of biking to individuals who may not have considered riding before. And most of all--they're fun!

    During our pilot test in 6 cities (including Madison), we found that ridership more than doubled on e-bikes. Our goal is to change the world by getting more people on bikes, and e-bikes help us do that.
  • How does the e-bike work?

    BCycle e-bikes check in and out of the existing docks, just like the classic red bikes.

    When you check out an e-bike, turn on the power assist when you're ready via the display on the left side of the handlebars. You can turn the power off at any time during your ride when you don't want it.

    The power assist only works when you pedal. It gives you a boost as you pedal, so you feel like the wind is always at your back.
  • What will happen to the red bikes?

    We are working with several nonprofits to find a second home for the bikes that are in good condition.

    After 8+ years of service, some bikes have reached the end of their useful lives. We’ll use any parts that are can be salvaged and reused, and recycle the rest.

    You could also win a decommissioned classic red bike of your own! Enter to win here.

  • How will this affect my membership?

    Active memberships will continue, with no action needed by you. As a bonus, we're extending the included rental time for annual members from 30 minutes to 60 minutes!

    When it comes time for you to renew your membership, it will be under the new membership structure. Think: longer rental periods, still at a great value!

  • How fast does the e-bike go?

    The BCycle electric is a pedal assist bike that amplify your pedaling power and your ability to do and see more. It features a Bosch system that provides support up to 17 mph.

    Designed for comfort on commutes, daily cruises, and recreational rides. BCycle electric brings no-sweat bike share to your community; no hills, no sweat, all smiles.
  • How long will the battery last?

    The Madison BCycle team will take care of charging the e-bike batteries for you. They last about 30-40 miles per charge. You can check the battery life on any e-bike before checking it out by turning on the display on the left side of the handlebars.

    If your battery dies, you'll still be able to ride--the assist will just stop boosting your ride. The good news is that the new bike is about the same weight as the classic red bikes, so it is a great ride even without the pedal assist.

    You can always contact our customer service number if you run into any issues at 1-800-473-4743.
  • What if I just want to ride an old-fashioned BCycle?

    Great news—our pedal assist is optional. You can choose to leave it off, and you’ll still have an awesome ride. The bike itself is a sleeker ride, still has 3 speeds, and weighs about the same as the our previous red bikes.
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