Renting a Bike
Need to rent a bicycle in Korea? You’re in the right place. What can I interest you in? What kind of ride are you heading on?
Just a short ride through a city park? No problem. Almost every park in Korea runs a little shop that’ll rent out a leisurely set of wheels for cheap.
Oh! You’re heading on an adventure? You want a sturdy frame for the Cross-Country Route? Say no more. You’ve got options on both ends of the bike path.
Short-Term Bike Rental
It’s Sunday. You head down to the river’s edge or a local park looking for a leisurely ride. But where can you find a bike?
You’re in luck. Bike rental stalls hang out in most of Korea’s parks. You can also find nearby shops that rent a smorgasbord of electrified scooter delights.
Check out our breakdown of short-term bicycle rental in South Korea.
Bicycles rent for ₩1,000 per hour. After the first two hours, the bikes charge ₩1,000 for every additional thirty minutes.
When finished, return your bike to any of the hundreds of bike racks around the city. The on-board computer will even tell you how far you rode and how many calories you burned.
How to Rent
To ride a Seoul Bike, you must deposit a refundable ₩50,000.
City & Country Park Rental
You’ll find bicycle rental booths in most city and country parks around Korea. By the hour, they rent a variety of bikes, from cruiser to hybrid to tandem bikes.
Note, while we list Seoul and Busan below, many regional parks throughout Korea offer similar short-term bike rental rates and conditions.
In Seoul, the Hangang Park stretches down the Han River. A network of eleven rental stations offers a great selection of bikes.
You can return your rental to other Hangang Park rental stations.
How To Rent
Renting a bike from a city or country park requires less tech than Seoul Bikes.
You’ll receive a helmet and kneepads for free.
Cruise down any bike path in Korea and you might notice yellow cruiser bikes parked. Say hello to Kakao T-Bikes.
Comparable to Uber, the app lets users call taxis, carpool, and rent electric bikes.
How to Rent
Renting a Kakao T Bike involves the most tech. But once you’re locked into the system, renting and paying is a breeze.
Once you open the app, tap the ‘Bike’ icon.
After you read the app’s instructions, a map will pop up with bike icons marking every bike’s location. Tap an icon to see the bike number and a battery charge remaining.
Now, find the bike in the world. On the back, find a QR code. Take a pic with the app. It’ll bring up instructions on how to unlock and ride the bike.
Kakao T Bikes don’t have docking stations. They have designated service areas. This is so service workers can find, charge, and relocate the e-bikes.
You may venture outside the service area. But you must return it to the designated region when ending your ride or they’ll levy a ₩20,000 fine.
Try to avoid parking it on a bike path, in the road, or at the bottom of a river.
Long-Term Bike Rental
Looking for adventure? Hate lazy Sundays? You’re going to need a better bike. And a more flexible rental period.
Like short-term rental bikes, options abound in the long-term rental market. From bike shops to an Airbnb-style bike rental app, we’ll explore how to get a sturdy set of wheels for a few days or longer.
Bike Nara (Seoul)
The shop offers a wide range of bikes. Road. Touring. Hybrid. Mountain.
Entry level bikes include lower tier group sets with aluminum frames. Performance bikes offer carbon frames, top shelf components, and disc brakes.
Bike Nara sets rental periods for daily and weekly (7-day) use.
All rentals include a helmet. Weekly rentals throw in a rear rack, lock, toolkit, and a spare tube. They’ll even keep your luggage at their store until you return from conquering Korea’s paths.
Bike Nara’s bikes are a step-up from your usual short-term offering. Grab a set of high-quality wheels, then zoom around the Han River bike paths until sundown.
Calibur Bike (Busan)
Contact them to ask about price and rental terms. Their friendly staff speaks English.
Bike Trip (Jeju Island)
Bike Trip lends two tiers of mountain, road, and e-bikes.
Rentals include a helmet, lock, lights, top tube bag, puncture kit, and mini pump.
Bike Trip will store your luggage in their shop during your ride.
For an additional ￦20,000 (￦25,000 peak season), they’ll deliver your bike to your hotel, or drop you on, or scoop you off the path.
Don’t worry about transportation, though. Bike Trip sits about 750 meters (half a mile) from Jeju International Airport. Hop off the plane. Take a taxi or endure the 12-minute walk.
The East Coast Road tour (￦34,000) starts at either Gimnyeong Seonsegi Beach (김녕성세기해변 인증센터) checkpoint or Woljeongri Beach (월정리해수욕장) at 10:30 AM. Travel along a twenty-eight kilometer section on Jeju’s east coast and end at Seongsan Ilchulbong (성산일출봉) at 3 PM.
Included in the tour price, you’ll receive an intermediate MTB. Extra fees apply if you rent another bike or add equipment.
For ￦10,000, Bike Trip will pick you up from their store and drive you to the start. Tours don’t include a follow car.
Sometimes it can be a hassle to travel with your bike. That’s why Bike Trip offers a service to deliver your bike from the peninsula to their store on Jeju Island.
Drop your bike off at one of their affiliate bike shops on Korea’s mainland and they’ll ship it to their store on Jeju Island.
They will also ship your helmet, saddle bag, and top tube bag for free. And they insure every bike for damages incurred on their journey to the island.
None of these bike shops suit you? Don’t let this list stop you. Search, call, email, or message bike shops near you or your destination.
Bike stores may not usually rent out bikes. But dangle the right price. They’ll peek in the back. You just might find a model that’s the perfect fit.
Now entering a Korean language only zone. Side effects include the inability to read the text, loss of app functionality, and blind tapping syndrome.
However, take a detour around the language barrier by reading our short guide and translating using screenshots and a translation app, like Papago (Google Play; App Store) or Google Translate (Google Play; App Store).
One more warning. You need to verify your identity to rent a bike from Lycle. Like the Bike Passport app, that requires a phone number.
Fear not! We’ll explain a few workarounds.
Lycle connects bicycle renters and rentees. Renters include retail stores, renting shops, and individual people. They set rates based on bike type and the rental duration.
When you open the app, you’ll find four buttons.
Tap one of these buttons and you’ll find a list or a map.
Let’s tap the 자전거 (bicycle) button. A map opens with pinpoints representing bikes for rent. Zoom into any region in Korea and new pinpoints will populate the map.
On top of the screen sit two categories.
If you want to rent a bicycle for over a day, tap the second option. A fresh group of icons will fill the map. Tap one and a picture will pop up at the bottom of the screen.
If the shop or individual rents more than one bike, swipe right on the picture and to view them.
Let’s click a picture and check out the stats on your temporary wheels.
Welcome to the bike profile page. Here you can see key stats about the bike, contact info for the renter, and even their location on Naver Maps.
First, let’s translate the buttons below the bike’s profile pic.
Click the 연락하기 (contact) button under the bike’s profile picture. The app will direct your phone to call the renter.
If you tap 위치보기 (view location), Lycle will send you to the renter’s location on Naver Maps.
Lycle doesn’t provide you with much info about the renters on their app. You’ll get a pin of their location, their phone number, and some reviews.
Furthermore, Lycle links to empty pins on Naver Maps. What does that mean? The pin doesn’t include information other than the name of the shop or building. That’s good for individual renters who don’t want their info available to the public.
But some renters on Lycle are brick-and-mortar bike shops. They have profiles on Naver Maps, in which Lycle doesn’t link. The anonymous pins shield you from contacting the shops directly.
There’s a way around. More below!
Now let’s take a shallow dive into the basic stats listed on a Lycle bicycle profile. Power up the translation machine!
Here are some bike types you’ll find listed.
If you don’t have a domestic phone number, you’re heading into a brick wall. To reserve a bike on Lycle, you must register. To register, you must verify your identity. To verify your identity, you guessed it, you need a Korean number.
Oh! You have a phone number. Why didn’t you say?
First, create an account and log in (로그인). Choose your bike, then tap the 날짜 선택하기 (choose a date) button.
Now you can select your start date (시작일) and return date (반납일).
Under 필수 상품 (required product), you can select the number of bikes you need. The total price will appear below.
Lycle insures bike rentals for up to ₩200,000 in damages. The rentee must pay anything exceeding that amount.
Now tap 예약하기 to reserve.
Bypass the App
Lycle acts as a middleman between renters and rentees. If you can’t sign-up for the app, you can use the app as a directory to find the perfect bike.
Like mentioned before, the 연락하기 (contact) button will direct your phone to call the renter. If you have a domestic phone plan and speak Korean, you might arrange a rental directly from the bike shop.
However, you’ll find more use by tapping the location button (위치보기) next to the contact button. Lycle will send you to a pin of the renter on Naver Maps.
If the renter is a bicycle shop, Lycle will give you the name of the business. But they scrub other information from the Naver Maps listing. Don’t let that stop you!
Search the Map
If you find it difficult to read and type Korean, here’s the workaround.
- Take a screenshot of the Naver Maps listing.
- Open the Google Translate (Google Play; App Store) app.
- Tap the “Camera” button.
- Tap the “Import” button.
- Select the Naver Maps screenshot.
- Once Google Translate scans the image, highlight the bike shop’s Korean name with your finger.
- Copy and paste the Korean name back into the search bar on Naver Maps.
Ta-da! Naver Maps will give you the genuine listing for the bike shop. Use the listing to find the bicycle shop’s website, Facebook page, and more contact info.
(If you have Korean typing skills, you don’t need Google Translate. Install a Korean keyboard and just retype the bicycle shop’s name into Naver Maps.)
Copy and Paste
Here’s another method to find the renter listed on Lycle.
- Click one of the above links.
- It will send you to Kakao Maps populated with bicycle shops or rental shops.
- Zoom into the same area of the map as Lycle’s Naver Maps pin.
- Find the matching pin.
Contact the bike shop and arrange a rental.