Riding a bicycle around Taiwan may be the best way to enjoy the island. Taiwan is known as the bicycle kingdom not just because it is one of the top manufacturers of bicycles in the world, but also because the Island of Taiwan has many amazing world-class roads waiting for cyclists to discover such as hundreds of kilometers of coastline, mountains above 3000 meters, and the world's deepest marble gorge. If you are a fan of cycling, you definitely need to check out this amazing island.
Looking for bicycle rentals in Taiwan? You can search on KKday here.
Looking for a bike tour of Taiwn? Search KKday here to search for options.
Renting a Bicycle in Taiwan 在台灣租腳踏車:
As a foreigner in Taiwan visiting for a short time you may be wondering, where can I rent a bicycle in Taiwan? There are a few options:
How do I use a Youbike in Taiwan?
To use Youbike you will need to buy an Easy card (悠游卡) or iPass card (一卡通). These cards can be purchased at most MRT stations, and are usually $100 NT. Once you have a card, you will need to register it at a Youbike Station using a local cell phone number. If you do not have a cell phone number in Taiwan, you can go to a local cell provider such as Chuanghua Telecom or Taiwan Mobile and show your passport to buy a SIM card.
Alternatively, you can use a credit card to rent a Youbike (can only be used one time per card).
Fares are 10 NT for 30 minutes, or free for the first 30 minutes if your trip originates from New Taipei City.
After you have a card you should:
Buying a Bicycle in Taiwan 在台灣買腳踏車:
Buying a bike is easy. The main brands in Taiwan are Merida and Giant, and you can find their stores all over the island.
Fixing a Bicycle in Taiwan 在台灣修路腳踏車:
After riding a bike for a long time in Taiwan, you will certainly run into maintenance issues. To avoid problems, always make sure you have good tire pressure, your chain and flywheels are clean and oiled, and your brakes are tightened.
However, when a problem occurs, you will likely need to take it to a bike shop for repair. Besides Giant and Merida, there are other small "grandpa" bike shops everywhere. They usually do not charge much if anything for labor to fix your bike. You can try to point and gesture the problem with your bike, or you can learn some Chinese words:
Common bicycle vocabulary in Taiwan 常見腳踏車零件用語及詞彙:
English to Chinese translation of bicycle part names can be tricky, and chances are that Google Translate will be wrong. These words are highly specific and technical. Therefore we created this vocab list for your reference:
(English 英文/Pinyin 拼音/Chinese Characters 中文字)
Broken 壞掉 Huài diào
Fix 修理 xiūlǐ
Replace 換 huàn
How much money? 多少錢? duōshǎo qián?
How much money to fix this? 修理這個多少錢? Xiūlǐ zhège duōshǎo qián?
Can you fix this? 這個可以修理嗎? Zhège kěyǐ xiūlǐ ma?
Can you replace this? 你可以換這個嗎? Nǐ kěyǐ huàn zhège ma?
How much money to replace this? 換這個多少錢? Huàn zhège duōshǎo qián?
Bycicle 腳踏車/自行車/單車 Jiǎotàchē/zìxíngchē/dānchē
(Bicycle) part 零件 língjiàn
Road Bike 公路車 Gōnglù chē
Mountain Bike 山車 Shānchē
Freewheel/cassette 飛輪 fēilún
Seat Stay 後上叉 hòu shàng chā
Brake Block 煞車皮 shāchē pí
Brakes 煞車 shāchē
Brake Cable 煞車線 shāchē xiàn
Caliper Brake 煞車夾器 shāchē jiā qì
Brake Cable 煞車線 shāchē xiàn
Seat Post Clamp 座管束 zuò guǎnshù
Saddle 坐墊 zuòdiàn
Seat Post 座管 zuò guǎn
Top Tube 上管 shàng guǎn
Head Parts 車頭碗組 chētóu wǎn zǔ
Stem Cap 上蓋 shànggài
Stem 龍頭 lóngtóu
Handlebar 車手把 chē shǒu bà
Tape 手把帶 shǒu bà dài
Brake/Shift Level 煞車/換檔級別 shāchē/huàn dǎng jíbié
Shocks 避震器 bì zhèn qì
Fork 前叉 qián chā
Wheel 車輪 chēlún
Spoke 輻條 fútiáo
Hub 花鼓 huāgǔ
Tire 輪胎 lúntāi
Tread 紋路 wénlù
Rim 輪框 lún kuāng
Dropout 勾爪 gōu zhǎo
Nipple 銅頭 tóng tóu
Vavle 氣嘴 qì zuǐ
Crank 曲柄 qūbǐng
Gears 齒輪 chǐlún
Chainring/chainwheel 大盤 dàpán
Bottom Bracket 五通/中軸/BB wǔ tōng/zhōngzhóu/BB
Front Derailleur 前變速器 qián biànsùqì
Pedal 踏板 tàbǎn
Chain 鏈條 liàntiáo
Chain Stay 後下叉 hòu xià chā
Rear Derailleur 後變速器 hòu biànsùqì
Derailleur Cable 變速線 biànsù xiàn
Riding a bicycle safely in Taiwan 在台灣騎自行車安全須知:
First I would like to share my experiences with all of you. I have been riding a bicycle in Taipei for over six years now, and I have seen my fair share of accidents. I have collided with people opening their car doors, I have collided with other cyclists, had near misses with busses, and I have collided with bushes, the road, and pedestrians.
A few weeks ago, I collided with a woman as we were both trying to cross the street during the green light for a pedestrian crosswalk. She walked out from behind a bus and I did not have enough time to react. My shoulder caught her arm, and she spun around and fell to the ground, while I continued forward. We both were at fault. I crossed the street from the main road, and she was not walking on the crosswalk. In the end, the police came, made a police report, and she was taken to the hospital for a fractured elbow. I tried to offer money for her medical costs, but she refused. She could have sued me for more money but she didn't because she is a nice person. But things could have gone much, much worse. From this experience, I have some basic advice for foreigners riding in Taiwan, especially if you plan on riding in Taiwan long term:
Words of advice:
What are the regulations for riding a bike in Taiwan? (臺灣自行車規則-英文版)
In a previous blog we have provided our personal experience, a summary of Taiwan bicycle laws, as well as an appendix of the fully translated Taipei/Taiwan bicycle laws. Check out the full blog post here.
Other Frequently Asked Questions 其他常見問題:
Q: What are some popular cycling routes in Taiwan?
A: Popular cycling routes in Taiwan include the Sun Moon Lake Bike Trail, the Taipei Riverside Bikeway, and the East Coast Scenic Area.
For longer more grand bike routes, I recommend going around the entire coast of Taiwan, the southern cross-island highway, central cross-island highway, and northern cross-island highway.
Q: Are there any cycling events in Taiwan?
A: Yes, there are many cycling events in Taiwan, including theTaiwan KOM Challenge and the Taiwan Cyclist Federation's annual cycling festival.
Q: Are there any cycling tours available in Taiwan?
A: Yes, there are many cycling tours available in Taiwan, including guided tours and self-guided tours.
Looking for a bike tour of Taiwn? Click here to search for options.
Q: Is it possible to cycle around the entire island of Taiwan?
A: Yes, it is possible to cycle around the entire island of Taiwan. The route is approximately 900 miles and takes about 10-14 days. The stretch between Hualien and Yilan is often skipped though due to the treacherous mountain terrain, and the fact that the only highway often has large busses and trucks that drive along it.
Q: Are there mountain biking trails in Taiwan?
A: Yes, there are mountain biking trails in Taiwan, however some trails are not meant for mountain biking and ban bicycles. Make sure to check beforehand.
Q: Is riding a bicycle a popular mode of transportation in Taiwan?
A: Yes, cycling is very popular in Taiwan, especially for leisure and commuting purposes.
Q: Are there bike lanes in Taiwan?
A: Yes, there are some dedicated bike lanes in many areas of Taiwan, especially in urban areas like Taipei but they are not everywhere.
Q: Is it safe to ride a bicycle in Taiwan?
A: Generally, it is safe to ride a bicycle in Taiwan. However, you should always wear a helmet, obey traffic laws, and consider buying insurance to minimize the risk of accidents.
Q: What kind of bike should I ride in Taiwan?
A: A hybrid or mountain bike with wider tires is recommended for uneven terrain or city travel in Taiwan. For long-distance travel on paved roads, get a road bike.
Q: Are there rental bikes available in Taiwan?
A: Yes, there are many rental bike services available in Taiwan, such as through Merida and Giant stores or bike sharing like YouBike. See the section above for more details.
Q: How much does it cost to rent a bike in Taiwan?
A: The cost of renting a bike in Taiwan varies depending on the rental service and location. Youtube, a bike sharing company, charges 10 NT per half hour.
A road bike from a bike shop will cost about 1000 NT a day to rent.
Q: Can I ride a bike on the national freeways in Taiwan?
A: No, it is illegal to ride a bicycle on the national freeways in Taiwan. Stick to designated bike lanes and paths with fewer cars and traffic if possible.
Q: Do I need a license to ride a bicycle in Taiwan?
A: No, you do not need a license to ride a bicycle in Taiwan.
Q: Do I need to wear a helmet in Taiwan?
A: It is not required by law to wear helmets in Taiwan, but for your safety you should still wear one.
Q: Can I bring my own bicycle to Taiwan?
A: Yes, you can bring your own bicycle to Taiwan. However, you may need to pay an extra fee to transport it on public transportation. It is possible to transport your bike both on the MRT and TRA.
Q: Is it common to wear helmets when cycling in Taiwan?
A: No, most people do not wear helmets while cycling, especially while using shared bikes like Youbike. But you should still wear a helmet for your safety.
Q: Can I cycle on the sidewalks in Taiwan?
A: Yes, it is legal to cycle on the sidewalks in Taiwan, but you are required to yield to pedestrians.
Q: Can I park my bike anywhere in Taiwan?
A: No, technically you should only park your bike in designated bike parking areas. However this rule is almost never enforced.
Q: Is it easy to find bike parking in Taiwan?
A: Yes, there are many bike parking areas available in Taiwan, especially in urban areas.
Q: Is it safe to cycle at night in Taiwan?
A: Yes, it is safe to cycle at night in Taiwan, but you should use lights, reflectors, and bright clothing to increase your visibility.
Q: What is the best time of year to cycle in Taiwan?
A: The best time of year to cycle in Taiwan is from November to February when the weather is cooler.
Q: What should I bring with me on a cycling trip to Taiwan?
A: You should bring a helmet, comfortable cycling clothes, a repair kit, sunscreen, and plenty of water.
Q: Is it easy to find accommodations for cyclists in Taiwan?
A: Yes, there are many accommodations that cater to cyclists in Taiwan, such as bike-friendly hotels and homestays.
Looking for a hotel? Find out where to stay in our Taiwan hotels guide or search for the best hotels deals in Taiwan here.
Q: What should I do if I get lost while cycling in Taiwan?
You can use a map or a GPS device to navigate while cycling in Taiwan. If you get lost, you can ask for directions from locals or use a translation app to communicate.
For more information, check out our foreigner survival guide here.
You can find more tours of Taiwan on Klook here or KKday here.
Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more of our guides on Taiwan to come!
We are US Expats that have extensive experience living, working, and travelling in Taiwan. In our day, we had to learn many things about Taiwan the hard way. But we have come to learn that Taiwan is one of the best places in the world for Foreigners to live. Our blog does not represent the opinions of every foreigner in Taiwan. We are just trying to help others learn more about this beautiful country.