UniCycles is the University of Edinburgh’s student e-bike hire scheme
January 2024 Update
We have bikes available for residents at Pentland House for the new semester. Pollock Halls is now sold out. Read on below for more info on signing up for a UniCycles hire bike.
Students living at either Pollock Halls or Pentland House are invited to join UniCycles - the hassle-free and affordable way to start enjoying the convenience of cycling in Edinburgh.
UniCycles was initially funded by City of Edinburgh Council. We receive ongoing support from SP Energy Networks’ Green Economy Fund and Transport for Edinburgh.
We have only 70 electric bikes available to hire, so you will need sign up quickly if you want to secure yourself one.
How it works
- You pay a £100 deposit when you sign up. This deposit will be refunded when you return the bike.
- You pay a £30 hire charge. This is non-refundable, and goes towards the cost of administrating the scheme. (For people joining the scheme later in the semester, this fee is reduced).
- You get your own electric bike to use for the whole of Semester 1. You will be able renew for Semester 2 if you like, or return the bike if you are only here for one semester.
- There are charging points located in allocated bikes store at Pollock Halls and Pentland House where you can recharge the battery.
- If you have any mechanical problems, we have a maintenance provider who you can contact to get support.
- That's it! You can use the bike for commuting to classes, running errands, or for leisure - whatever you fancy.
The bikes are electric bikes made by British bicycle manufacturer Pashley. They have an electric motor system that provides assistance when you pedal. They were previously used in the Edinburgh City Cycle Hire scheme, and have undergone a comprehensive service.
Each bike has an adjustable seat post, and is suitable for a wide range of heights.
How to join
UniCycles is strictly for students living at Pollock Halls of Residence or Pentland House. We are sorry if this means you cannot take part.
With only 70 bikes available, you need to act quickly if you want to hire one of our fantastic bikes.
We strongly recommend you read the UniCycles Hire Agreement before you join. You will be asked to sign the Hire Agreement when you collect your bike.
We have a limited stock of the bikes. To secure a bike you should pay for a £100 refundable deposit and a £30 hire charge (or £20 if joining after the start of semester), using ePay (the University of Edinburgh's online shop). Add the deposit and hire charge to your basket, then check out.
There is a deposit for each of the sites where the scheme is running. Buy the relevant one for your halls, as well as the hire fee (same for everyone).
Please note you may only pay by credit or debit card. The following cards are accepted: Visa, Mastercard, Visa Debit, Visa Electron, Maestro and American Express.
Deposits will be refunded to the same card used to purchase it. Please use a card that you are sure you will still have when your hire ends.
Collecting your bike
Your bike will be available to collect from your Halls of Residence at specified collection times from the 15th of January onwards. You will also sign your hire agreement at the same time. We will email you with information on exactly when and where to collect your bike.
Please see below for links to the scheme user guides:
Please contact us with any questions or issues regarding this scheme at email@example.com.
Cycling is a really convenient option for travelling from Pollock Halls to the main University sites. Here are some journey times to compare for cycling, walking or taking the bus:
- To King’s Buildings: Cycling 10 minutes; walking 30 minutes; bus & walk 25 minutes
- To Central Area: cycling 6 minutes; walking 20 minutes; bus & walk 15 minutes
- To the Medical School, Little France: cycling 12 minutes; walking 45 minutes, Bus 20 minutes
Pollock Halls is also conveniently located for access to the National Cycle Network Route 1. An off-road path, just a minute from Pollock Halls that takes you on an exciting journey through a former railway tunnel underneath one of Edinburgh’s most famous landmarks, Arthurs Seat! You can follow the signposted path all the way to Edinburgh’s beach at Portobello, or keep going for an adventure into the surrounding beautiful countryside.
Route 1 also connects Pollock Halls with George Square via a sign posted on and off road route that takes in the beautiful park of the Edinburgh Meadows.
Cycling is a really convenient option for travelling from Pentland House to the main University sites. Here are some journey times to compare for cycling, walking or taking the bus:
- To King’s Buildings: Cycling 24 minutes; walking 75 minutes; bus 35 minutes
- To Central Area: Cycling 18 minutes; walking 60 minutes; bus 35 minutes
- To the Medical School, Little France: Cycling 35 minutes; walking 100 minutes; bus 50 minutes
Pentland House is located near to the Union Canal, which offers a traffic free route all the way to the city centre. If you follow it in the other direction, you eventually reach Glasgow! It is also close to the Water of Leith. This is a quiet riverside path which makes for lovely weekend leisure rides.