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How to Rent, Buy and Transport a Bike in Moscow

Cycling is becoming more and more popular in Moscow. Here are some tips on how to get set up on two wheels. 

Velobike

For those who don't want to commit to owning a bike, the Velobike program, launched in 2013, now boasts more than 30 bike rental stations across Moscow. Cyclists can pick up a bike in one place, ride as far as they want then drop it off at another station.

Renting a bike is simple:

1. Register on the rental bike site, www.velobike.ru. The site will ask for your name, phone number, email and the details of the card you wish to link your account to (please note the card must be linked to the 3D Secure system for security's sake, so not all cards will work for this). You will then receive your own "velocard" number and a pin code via SMS that are unique to you.

2. Find your nearest bike station on the velobike.ru map and head over there to choose your bike. The site also notes how many bikes are currently available. When you arrive at the bike rental site, tap "OK" on the panel and log in, either using your registration details or your Moscow transport Troika card. Then enter the number of the bike you wish you rent, which is found on the bike stand. Tap the flashing button on the bike stand. You will then have 20 seconds to remove the bike from the stand.

3. Check that the bike is functioning properly (in the case of a malfunctioning bike, call +7 (495) 956-82-86). If you notice the bike is not working, you must immediately return it to the stand and take another bike. You will not be charged for both.

4. You are now ready to start your journey! The first 30 minutes will be free, starting from the moment when you pull the bike out, thanks to the magnetic buttons linking the bike to its stand.

5. When you want to return the bike, simply find a free spot in a bike rack, push the bike into the stand as far as it can go, press OK on the panel and wait for the signal that will beep once from the stand if everything is in order. You will also receive a text to confirm the end of your journey. If the stand beeps three times, try pulling the bike out and putting it in again as straight as possible.

Where to buy a bike

Velosite:Velosite features an enormous range of bikes, from mountain bikes to women's bikes, as well as folding bikes, cruiser bikes and even BMX. The Velosite salepeople can also offer advice on what kind of bike to buy, how to make sure it is the right size for you. The shop's accessories range is vast and includes items specifically for bikes such as saddles, tire repair kits, pumps and bags as well as clothing and gear for the cyclist. 

6 Volokolamskoye Shosse. Metro: Sokol. http://www.velosite.ru/

Velostrana: Velostrana offers numerous well-known cycling brands including Head, Bulls, Silverback and Specialised and sell mountain bikes, bikes for women and children, and "extreme" bikes in addition to regular road bikes. Velostrana salespeople are highly certified and also offer an official service centre in each of their shops for bike repairs and other support. Velostrana shops also feature a wide range of gear and accessories Ranging from high-end protection wear and streamlined cycling gear to bike grease and puncture kits, their accessories leave nothing to be desired.

16 Signalniy Proezd, bldg. 2. Metro. Vladykino; 22 Bratislavskaya Ulitsa. Metro: Marino; 99 Leninsky Prospekt. Metro Prospekt Vernadskogo. www.velostrana.ru

Avito.ru: For those looking to spend slightly less and perhaps give a new lease of life to someone else's bike, avito.ru offers a wide range of second-hand bikes. There are currently over 20,000 bikes and bike accessories for sale, from electro-bikes to saddle covers via wheel spokes and smart cycling clothing. The site has been functioning since 2009 and works like any other e-commerce site.

Click on an item to add it to your basket. Sellers can choose how they wish to be contacted and what delivery and payment options they will accept. Please pay close attention to the rules of the site before buying.

www.avito.ru/moskva/velosipedy

Practical advice

1. Only children's bikes and folding bikes can be taken on the metro, according to a 2008 law. Ordinary bikes can be carried on only in a bike case.
2. All bikes can be taken onto buses, trolleybuses and trams free of charge. They must be carried on through the middle door. Trolleybuses 35, 28 and 95 have external bike holders.
3. Commuter trains in the Moscow region do allow travelers to transport one bike per person for free between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. and 9 p.m. and 6 a.m., but it will cost you 40 rubles during rush hour. Make sure to get a ticket for your bike in order to get it through the gates at the train station.
4. Taking a bike on the Aeroexpress will cost you 50 rubles and it cannot block the baggage storage areas.

For more information, visit http://moslenta.ru/card/2015/05/13/velotransport/ 

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