The bicycle library

The bicycle library double decker bus

Inside a converted double decker bus in East London resides the Bicycle Library. From the bus you can borrow one of seven different types of bikes. These are:

  • Folding
  • MiniVelo
  • FixGearSingleSpeed (FGSS)
  • LadiesCoaster
  • MensCoaster
  • Cargo
  • Electric

You can then either test this bike out around the circuit or, with a deposit, ride it away for further testing to see if it suits you.

On hand at the scene is also a team of “librarians” that can advise you on your cycling needs. If you are satisfied with the bike then they can help you order it from the manufacturer.

The bus, a Leyland Olympian, was sourced from Milton Keynes. It was then converted into the bicycle library. Upstairs is a seating area with cycling books.

The borrow a bike and if you like it buy it concept isn’t particularly novel (companies such as Foffa Bikes do it) but I have to praise the ingenuity of setting up shop inside a double decker bus. Can’t wait to go check it out for myself!

Image source: Inhabitat | Lots more pictures on the Help my chain came off blog.

Join 10,221 fellow cyclists who are subscribed to the London Cyclist newsletter

Sign up for our free newsletter to get...

  • Advice on the best cycling gear
  • A Friday roundup of all the latest London cycling news
  • Exclusive content not available on the blog

Subscribe today, and get exclusive access forever! (It's free)

*No spam, ever!

As seen on The Guardian, BBC and The Independent.

10 Responses to The bicycle library

  1. Phil 08/08/2011 at 10:46 am #

    Hey, what a great idea! Please, Andreas, do not forget to tell us your impressions when you have visited The Bicycle Library.

  2. Adam Edwards 08/08/2011 at 12:52 pm #

    I’m begining to think I work in the wrong library. The only bike inside ours (Middlexsex University) is usually my Brompton folded up by my desk!



  3. JohnM 08/08/2011 at 4:43 pm #

    For anyone having a look at the weekend that hasn’t been down that neck of the woods before, be sure to pop around the corner to check out Broadway Market.

  4. Ed 12/08/2011 at 10:25 am #

    Another reason to go is that the Lucky Chip burger van is parked next to it. They do banging burgers.

  5. Denir 24/08/2011 at 7:32 pm #

    Here was the first place I read about this “bicycle library”. Your post inspired me and I wrote about it in my blog, translating your post and others into Portuguese.
    The Bicycle library is such a great idea! Congratulations for the guys behind it.
    And your blog’s always an amazing news source!

    from Brazil

    • Andreas 25/08/2011 at 9:15 am #

      I can’t claim that I was the first to discover it but I’m pleased to see the idea is spreading around the internet and I’m playing a small part in that 🙂

  6. John Podgorski 28/11/2011 at 7:14 pm #

    The bus is a MCW Metrobus, by the way – not a Leyland Olympian !

    • Andreas 28/11/2011 at 9:36 pm #

      Good knowledge John – thanks for correcting me!

  7. Dav 29/02/2012 at 2:11 pm #

    Hey! Does anyone know if the double decker is still around Hackney somewhere? I Saw it for a while parked at the end of Martello St, but disappeared short after.


  8. Dave 27/06/2013 at 7:47 pm #

    There’s a Bicycle Library in a double decker bus at The Doodle Bar, 33 Parkgate Road
    London SW11 4NP – near Battersea Park.

Leave a Reply