Getting a Bike

There are two options when you are considering starting to ride a bicycle: whether to buy a bike straightaway or loan one first.


If you want to see if cycling is for you before committing to buying a bike you might want to try loaning. Two options for Lewisham residents are borrowing from Lewisham Cyclists own pool of loan bikes or through Lewisham Councils hire bike scheme.

Lewisham Cyclists have a small pool of 5 bicycles for short-term loan for anyone who is either contemplating purchasing their first bike or existing riders whose own bicycle is currently unavailable for use.

There is no set charge for this service but we appreciate donations from those in work. Unless it’s for a single day ride with Lewisham Cyclists, we’ll normally need to ask you for a refundable deposit of £50 and two forms of ID, one of which should show your address.

The bikes come with front and rear lights, and a D-lock. If you want to wear a helmet you will need to bring your own.

For more information or to arrange a loan contact

Lewisham Council hire bike scheme

Lewisham Council run a Loan Bikes scheme at £10 for a month (inc helmet & lock) and more information can be found here


If you plan to buy a bike there is a lot of helpful advice and information on the subject. LCC’s pages on types of bike available and other useful advice for beginning to ride are highly recommended.

Bike shops in Lewisham (or fairly near): 

Pedal It used to be The Bike Shop but since early 2014 is under new management   They contacted us to tell us a bit about themselves.  The following is a quote from their email to us about the services they offer:

” We are keen to rebuild the reputation, loyalty and passion for all things cycling that the old Youngs shop once stood for.
We are not only a business, but strive to become a place for the community, in helping schools, the unemployed and those new to cycling along with those who are already cycling no matter the cycling level.
We also offer a range of second-hand/part-exchange bicycles, hire bicycles amongst the usual offerings a bicycle shop has including an alomost 24 hour workshop.
I believe we are also the only shop that offers all LCC members 15% off on all parts, accessories and 12% on all bicycles and workshop repairs (these offers are not to be used with other incentives).”

  • Compton Cycles, 25 Catford Hill, London, SE6 4NU. Tel:020 8690 0141
  • Herne Hill Bicycles,  Tel: 020 8671 6900
  • Ladywell Village Cycles, 257 Algernon Road, Ladywell, SE14. Tel: 020 8265 4791
  • Vaidas Bicycles, 74 Honor Oak Park, Forest Hill, SE23 1DY. Tel: 020 3417 0436
  • Decathalon, Surrey Quays Road, SE16. Sports megastore. Not top end stuff but many bargains to be had especially accessories. You can also take your bike into the store itself which facilitates checking for size & style and saves locking up outside.


Buying secondhand can be a good way to get an inexpensive bike when starting out. However, it is important to avoid buying a poor quality bike or a bike that is stolen. For more information on what to look out for (and what to avoid), LCC have a some good advice here.

  • Bikeworks, 138 Cambridge Heath Road, Bethnal Green, E1 5QJ. Tel: 020 898 1221. Although a little way away this social enterprise organisation sells recycled bikes at £60 and upwards with a one month guarantee
  • Lewisham Cyclists refurbish donated bikes at our workshops. We reserve these for people on low incomes, who really cannot afford to buy a new bike, or good quality second hand one. We don’t have many, but if you are very short of cash, do ask us. A donation of whatever you can afford is all we ask.
  • Squeaky Chains, 33 Rushworth Street, Soutswark, SE1 0RB. Tel: 020 7902 7974. A not-for-profit bicycle recycling project.
  • Individual sellers (or donors) of single bikes may be found at eBayGumtree , Freecycle, and Freegle.
  • Also worth considering but with limited or no guarantees or opportunities to examine or test are Police Auctions, the Cash Converters chain and other pawn-type shops. All of these options may require some work and we do caution about buying stolen items as per the LCC pages above.
  • We caution against street markets and Brick Lane in particular which has a reputation of selling both stolen bikes and parts of disassembled stolen bikes.