Can I Put My Bike in a Lyft? Everything You Need to Know

Can I Put My Bike in a Lyft? Everything You Need to Know

Maybe you worked up a sweat on a long ride across town or wore yourself out shredding some trails, and now you’re faced with an exhausting trek home.

Or perhaps you just want a break from pedaling so you can enjoy the scenery.

Either way, calling a Lyft (or an Uber) can be a convenient way to cut your cycling trip short or avoid part of it altogether.

But can you actually put your bike in one of those vehicles?

I’ve certainly wondered the same thing many times.

So I decided to do some digging to find out once and for all: can I put my bike in a Lyft?

Are drivers required to accommodate bikes at all? Or will I need to find alternate transport for my two-wheeled baby?

After lots of research and trial-and-error testing, I’ve got the lowdown on bringing your bicycle along for the ride.

Here’s what cyclists like us need to know.

Can I Put My Bike in a Lyft?

The short answer is: sometimes yes, sometimes no.

Lyft doesn’t outright prohibit transporting bikes, but they don’t guarantee it either.

According to their policies, it’s up to the driver’s discretion whether or not they will permit a bike in their vehicle.

Some are totally cool with it, while others don’t want the hassle.

Lyft advises riders to notify drivers about the bike when requesting a ride through the app.

You can add a note like “Will have 1 bike to transport” so they know ahead of time.

If the driver has an issue with the bike, they’re supposed to cancel immediately so you can request another ride.

But occasionally they don’t notice until showing up or just tolerate the inconvenience.

Your best bet is to contact the driver ASAP after they accept your request.

A quick call or text explaining you have a bike prevents problems later.

Be extra nice about it, though, because they’re doing you a favor.

Assuming they’re still willing to give you a lift, load and unload the bike carefully to avoid damaging their vehicle.

Bottom line: bringing a bike isn’t guaranteed.

But drivers often will accommodate you if they have room and you ask politely.

Their willingness depends on the size of the vehicle and their mood that day.

Will Lyft Pick Me Up with a Bike?

Trying to bring your bike along for rides across town is one thing.

But what if you’re stranded somewhere with it and just need a lift home? Will Lyft drivers do pickups when you’re with a bicycle?

Again, it depends on the driver and the situation.

But requesting a pickup with a bike can be more difficult than transporting it during a ride.

Here are some tips to boost your chances:

  • Only request XL vehicles. The larger Lyft XL cars are much more likely to fit you and a bike comfortably.
    Avoid smaller vehicles, or the driver probably won’t be able to take you.
  • Message the driver ASAP. Once they accept your request, give them a heads-up that you have a bike so they can cancel if needed.
    Apologize for the inconvenience and say you understand if they can’t do the pickup.
  • Suggest putting the bike in the trunk. It takes up less space than trying to fit it inside with you.
    Reassure them you can load it without issue.
  • Offer an extra tip. Drivers are private contractors.
    If they go above and beyond by allowing your bike, throw in a few extra bucks to show your appreciation.
  • Be Flexible. The driver may ask you to wait for another larger vehicle if theirs can’t accommodate the bike.
    Accept this gracefully rather than demanding a ride.
  • Have a Backup Plan. Even with advance notice, some drivers just won’t be comfortable picking you up with a bike.
    Be prepared to call a friend or taxi if Lyft falls through.

While not guaranteed, many Lyft drivers are happy to provide cyclists with rides even when you have a bike in tow.

A little communication, patience, and generosity on your part can go a long way.

How Do I Add a Bike to Lyft?

Let’s say you manage to get a Lyft ride with your bike in tow.

Congrats!

Now…how the heck are you supposed to add it on there?

The Lyft app itself doesn’t have a designated feature for adding bikes before requesting rides.

But there are still a couple ways to note it in the system:

  • Add a pickup note. On the main ride request screen, tap “Add note” and type something like “Will have 1 bike to transport. Thanks!” This displays to the driver on the acceptance page.
  • Text the number provided. After requesting your Lyft, you’ll receive an SMS text from the driver’s temporary number.
    Reply to it with a message that you have a bike so they see it right away.
  • Call the driver. You can also manually dial the number they text you from.
    This gives you the chance to explain and ask if they’re willing to take the bike.
  • Send the in-app message. Tap the “Contact driver” button and send them a direct message noting your bike situation.
    They’ll see this before pickup.

Any of those options work to officially log the bike in Lyft’s system.

Even better is communicating directly via phone call or text to get verbal confirmation from the driver.

Remember to thank them for their willingness to accommodate you and your wheels!

How To Get a Lyft with a Bike Rack

Let’s say you don’t just have a single bike, but two, three, or even four bikes needing transport.

Or maybe you have a tandem bike for you and your partner.

In those cases, you’ll likely need an actual bike rack to load multiple bikes safely.

Here are some tips for getting a bike rack Lyft:

  • Request either a Lyft XL or Lyft Lux vehicle.
    These larger car classes are far more likely to have a rack installed.
  • Directly ask the driver about a rack when they accept your ride.
    Call and say something like “Hi, do you happen to have a bike rack to transport 2 bikes?”
  • Be prepared to wait longer. Vehicles with racks are less common, so you may have to request multiple rides before finding one.
  • Ask very nicely, acknowledge the inconvenience, and offer to tip the driver extra.
    They need incentive to go out of their way.
  • Know how to safely load bikes onto the rack yourself without issue.
    Drivers won’t be bike experts.
  • Have a backup transportation strategy in case you can’t find a bike rack Lyft.
    Some taxi companies do have larger vehicles with racks too.

While less convenient, transporting multiple bikes or large bikes does limit your Lyft possibilities due to space constraints.

With some perseverance and generosity though, you can usually find a driver willing to serve your bike rack needs.

Final Thoughts

As cyclists, having the ability to bring our bikes along for Lyft rides is hugely convenient.

But it does require some extra planning and consideration for drivers.

My best advice is to communicate clearly when you need to transport a bike, understand if a driver can’t accommodate it, and show appreciation when they go out of their way to help.

Oh, and be sure to roll down the windows so your post-ride sweaty self doesn’t stink up their car!

With a little patience and manners, most Lyft drivers are happy to give fellow cyclists like us an assist.

So go ahead and request that ride across town or shortcut home.

Just be prepared in case your bike isn’t welcome every single time.

And maybe offer the driver a fun story about the time you wiped out hardcore on a downhill.

We’ve all got a few of those!

Avatar photo
Joey B. Ramsey
Passionate cyclist, father, and blogger.
I've been riding bikes since childhood and enjoy sharing my knowledge with fellow cycling enthusiasts.
My diverse bike collection allows me to write reviews and advice based on personal experience with various bikes and accessories.
join me email cta
Join me
Join me for more cycling related content and deals.

Related Articles