Cycling and where to buy bikes
Central Cambridge has narrow roads and restricted access for motor vehicles, so cycling is undoubtedly the fastest and most economical way to get around on a day to day basis. If you wish to keep a bike in College, you must register it with the porters via this online form:
After registering, you can pick up an ID number from the porters to stick on your bike and identify it. If you park bikes in College areas without numbers, they may be removed by the porters.
It is recommended to bring bikes with you if you can, as the high demand in Cambridge leads to higher prices even for second hand bikes than other parts of the country, especially at peak times like the start of the academic year. However, if you cannot bring one with you or wish to buy it in Cambridge, we have listed a few shops and websites that sell both used and new bikes below. This list is not exhaustive and a simple search online will show up a huge number of results, but these are the shops that students have used reliably in the past, some shops in Cambridge have a poor reputation for service and overcharge students.
Halfords – https://www.halfords.com/stores/cambridge
Evans Cycles – https://www.evanscycles.com/store/cambridge
Decathlon – http://www.graftoncentre.co.uk/stores/decathlon/
Rutland Cycling Grand Arcade – https://www.rutlandcycling.com/pages/rutland-cycling-grand-arcade.aspx
Be wary of buying second hand bikes directly from individuals or online adverts, as they may be stolen property. Always check the frame number against online databases of stolen bikes such as this one:
It is always a good idea to have a second hand bike serviced before you use it to make sure it is safe to ride. Every bike shop will do this for a modest fee, but we recommend either Decathlon or Halfords, as they have reasonable fixed price packages and are fast and professional.
Cycling accidents are some of the most common and avoidable injuries among Cambridge students. It is not legally required, but always recommended to wear a helmet while cycling. Make sure you buy a reliable brand with full head protection and foam padding, and replace it if it has any significant impacts, most sports and cycle shops sell reasonably priced helmets.
It is, of course, illegal and dangerous to ride a bicycle after dark without lights, to cycle on pedestrian pavements, and to ignore traffic lights. Doing any of these may lead to you being stopped by police. Additionally, think carefully about whether you are in a fit state to cycle if you have consumed any alcohol; it’s better to walk your bike home than end up with your face on the road!
For more information about ensuring your safety while cycling and the rules you must follow on UK roads, see this website:
The university also has a session where students can sign up for a a free 2 hour lesson: https://outspokentraining.co.uk/cambs-uni-cycle-skills/
The large number of bikes in Cambridge means that bike theft and vandalism is sadly very common. To ensure your bike is safe, we have a few easy recommendations:
– Always lock your bike to a parking frame or other secure solid object. Solid metal D-locks are more reliable than flexible chain locks, and make sure any quick release or easily removable parts are secured firmly to the bike, ideally with a metal chain attached to the D-lock. Kryptonite, OnGuard and Hiplok are a few manufacturers of high quality D-locks and are available at most bike shops and online.
– Try to park in secure areas as much as possible, such as departmental or college bike parks, and avoid streets. Park in areas with security cameras and good lighting, particularly overnight.
– Register your bike with Fitz and take a note of the frame number (usually engraved into the frame under the pedals). If your bike is stolen, report it to the police and state the number, this improves your chances of it being recovered, though it is always difficult. Additionally, if your bike is registered with College and you live in College accomodation, you are insured for a modest value against theft from College bike parks. See your room contract and insurance documents for more details.
– Consider taking out private insurance if your bike is particularly nice or valuable.