It’s easier than ever to explore San Francisco by bike, and the new Bike Share program is one of the many reasons why. While this is a great program for locals making short, point-to-point trips like from the train station to work, bike rentals are often the better option for visitors and those seeking to explore our beautiful city by bicycle.
If you’re visiting San Francisco and trying to decide whether to try out Bike Share or rent a bike from Blazing Saddles, read on to see how these options compare:
Signage at the Bike Share kiosks says that you can join for $9.95 a day. This fee is for membership alone, and membership comes with bike rides that last just 30 minutes in duration. If you don’t dock your bike at a Bike Share location within 30 minutes, you incur overtime penalties of $3 for each 15 minutes. These fees can add up quickly, and what you thought would be a $9.95 bike rental could end up costing you over $275 per day.
Blazing Saddles bike rentals start at $32 for the day, and the daily rate is good for a full 24 hours. There are no hidden overtime fees or surprise increases in your rental rates.
Beyond just the price you’ll pay is the value you receive, and Blazing Saddles is proud to offer unparalleled value to our renters, most notably with our in-person customer service. We’ll review popular cycling routes and send you off with a map. You will be fitted with a complimentary helmet, plus we’ll give you a brief bike orientation and coach you through a test ride. Our customer service does not stop when you leave the shop, though! If you need additional directions or assistance along the way, just give us a call. Our staff is happy to answer your questions, give you directions, or help with any mechanical issues you may encounter.
SF Bike Share locations are unstaffed, so nobody is physically present to help if you have problems with the dock or the bike. The Bike Share bikes do not include any route suggestions or maps, which can make the ride challenging for out-of-town visitors. Though the Bike Share program encourages people to wear helmets while using their bikes, there are no helmets provided. This means you must either bring your own helmet or go without.
Your Blazing Saddles bike rental includes a lock and key, allowing you to stop and sightsee whenever you want. Just lock up your bike if you want to check out a museum, get something to eat, do some shopping, or explore on foot.
There are no locks for Bike Share bikes. To secure the bike, you need to dock it at an available Bike Share dock. This requirement limits what you can see and do on your bike—rather than locking where you like, you have limited places to dock the bike.
Blazing Saddles has a full line of kids’ equipment with bikes appropriate for children of all sizes and abilities. With choices including baby seats, tag-a-long attachments, and kids’ bikes, our options give children as much independence as they’re ready for. In addition, our main location at 2715 Hyde Street features an indoor test ride, so we can make sure everyone is safe and comfortable before leaving the shop.
Conversely, children and minors are not eligible to use the Bay Area Bike Share program, as it is only available for riders age 18 and older. The bikes are uniform and heavy—at 42 pounds (19kg), they can be difficult for smaller riders to maneuver.
Blazing Saddles has the largest rental fleet in California, ensuring a perfectly sized bike for every rider. Our staff will select the proper size bike for you, then make sure your bike is comfortable and fits you well.
Conversely, there is only one model of bike share bike, and it comes in just one frame size. The only adjustment you can make is to the seat height, and there is nobody to assist you with this. These bikes are “one-size-fits-all,” but if you’ve ever ridden a bike before, you know that’s simply not true.
The Best Option for Visitors
Blazing Saddles is a one-stop shop focused on making your sightseeing adventure effortless and fun. Our customer service, unparalleled value, and wide variety of bike options let you focus on the ride, instead of worrying about details like how you’ll get a helmet and where you’ll be able to secure your bike.
Bike Share is great for locals who already know exactly where they’re going and the best bike route to get there. The program is suited for short trips and errands between two kiosk locations. For visitors and those looking to explore more of San Francisco by bicycle, though, a Blazing Saddles bike rental is probably a much better option!