Bicing: Barcelona's Bike-Sharing System

Ashkan Ahmadi

Complete Guide to Barcelona’s Bicing

One of the best ways to get around Barcelona is riding a bicycle.. Barcelona is one of the most bike-friendly cities in Europe with dedicated bike paths and bike parkings. You get to go around the city, enjoy the warm weather and the beautiful views and one of the best ways to do this is by getting your Bicing card.

Bicing is Barcelona’s bike sharing system where the members have access to more than 6000 bicycles and more than 420 stations found in most neighborhoods.

As a member you can rent a bike from any station and return it to any other station. Continue reading to find out how to get your card and start Bicing.

Plans

Bicing offers two plans you can choose from: Tarifa Plana and Tarifa d’ús.

Tarifa Plana

With this plan, you will pay more in the beginning (50€) but you get to use the mechanical bicycles for free up to 30 minutes and pay 0.35€  for the electric bicycles instead 0.55€ compared to the Tarifa d’ús plan. This is the plan we recommend if you plan on using the bicycles regularly.

 

Tarifa d'ús

This is the right plan for you if you are rarely going to use Bicing. You will pay less in the beginning, 35€ instead of 50€, but you will pay slightly more later on when you use the bicycles.

With this place, there is no 30-minute free period. You will pay 0.35€ for the mechanical bicycles and 0.55€ for the electric ones for the first 30 minutes.

No matter which plan you would pick, you will be charged 0.70€ for the mechanical bicycles and 0.90€ for the electric bicycles after the first 30 minutes every 30 minutes up to 2 hours, and then 5€ every hour after that.

How to get your Bicing Card

Getting your Bicing card is pretty simple. All you need is to register on the official website of Bicing, receive your card and start using the bicycles.

Unfortunately, the official Bicing page is available only in Spanish and Catalan but we have made the process as easy as possible. First you need to go to the official Bicing page and select the right plan for you.

Then you need to provide the following personal details:

  • Nombre – First Name
  • Primer Apellido –Last name
  • DNI/NIE – Your NIE number
  • Contreseña – Password
  • Fecha de nacimiento – birthdate
  • Correo electronico – email address
  • Telefono de contacto – Telephone number
  • Dirección – Home address

Tick “DECLARO HABER LEIDO Y ACEPTAR LAS CONDICIONES DEL SERVICIO”  (I have read and accepted the terms and conditions of use) and click Siguente.

Next, enter your address, debit/credit card information and you are all set. Now you need to wait 7 to 10 days for your card to arrive at the address you provided. When your card arrives, you will need to activate it online before you can use.

While you are waiting for the card to arrive, download the Bicing app (available for iOS and Android) and read the official cycling laws and guidelines before riding anything bicycle in the city.

How to activate your card

Once your card has arrived, you have 30 days to activate it. Go to the Activate Your Card page and enter the number and voila. You can now rent a bicycle.

demo_tarjeta

Keep in mind that Bicing’s Terms and Conditions states that certain activities such as these ones are prohibited

  • taking the bicycle on any form of public transportation system (metro, bus)
  • using the Bicing bicycles for commercial purposes
  • riding the bicycles on unpaved surfaces
  • using your phone while riding
  • carry another person or an animal with you on the bicycle

How to use your card

First, locate a Bicing station (use the app) and swipe your card on the RFID part to be recognized. A number appears on the screen which is the number of the bicycle you can take out. If there is anything wrong with the bicycle, you will have three minutes to return it and take another one.

Once you are done, find an empty spot and put the bike back into the slot. Make sure the light stops blinking after a few seconds and the bike locks into place. If it doesn’t, try another slot. Once the bike locks into place, swipe your card and wait for the green tick to show up on the screen. That’s all.

How are the bikes

All the Bicing bicycles are made of aluminium but they are sturdy and heavy. If you are a small girl, it may be difficult for you to even lift the bike out of its docking station especially the electric bikes. This is something to keep in mind if you are planning to go uphill (unless you are using an electric bike, then it’s a piece of cake)

Overall, the quality is good especially compared to the annual fee which is very affordable. Almost all the bicycles are regularly maintained and come with a standing jack, mechanical disk brakes, mudguards, front and back lights, a bell (not always working properly), and a three-speed shifter to make your ride easier when pedaling uphill. You can easily adjust the seat height. The electric bikes don’t have any shifters.

Every time you get a bicycle, always test the brakes and see if the shifter functions properly. If something doesn’t feel right, return the bike and take a better one. You have a 3-minute window to change your bike if it doesn’t feel right.

The Bicing mobile app

You should definitely have the Bicing app. You can use the mobile app to find available bicycles and parking spots and take bicycles by scanning the QR code on the bicycles. The mobile app Bicing gives a real-time status of the number of bicycles and empty parking slots available at each station. It also gives you information about your rides like distance traveled, total time, CO2 saved, and more.

During rush hours, it can become very frustrating to find a bicycle near you so make sure you check the app to see where you can find one available.

The Bicing app is available for both Android and iOS.

Google Play Download Button

App Store Download Button

Final words

Enjoy your rides and be safe.

You can find a map of all the Bicing stations, dedicated bike lanes in Barcelona here.

Let us know in the comments below what you think about Bicing.

Image credits: Image by Pablo Valerio from Pixabay

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