Last Updated on 2024-01-05

How To DoorDash Using a Bike Instead of a Car in 2024

We worked with these active, experienced gig-workers to write this article and bring you first-hand knowledge.

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Tadas Antanavicius

Experienced writer/researcher in the gig industry working alongside our gig-workers

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Michael Vaness

6 years of experience working across DoorDash, Instacart, and Spark

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Christian Lombardi

Two years of experience working across DoorDash and Uber Eats

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Ricardo Cervantes

5 years of experience working across DoorDash and Postmates

DoorDash only allows you to use a bike to perform deliveries in certain cities. This is for good reason: it only makes sense to bike from order to order if distances between the average restaurant and customer are short and bike-able.

But in those cities, biking is often far and away the best option to Dash. Zoom in and out of traffic, no gas expenses, minimal wear and tear on your “vehicle,” easier parking, and a free day of exercise to boot.

What cities allow Dashing on a bike?

Some examples of cities that usually allow Dashing on a bike include:

  • New York
  • Los Angeles
  • Chicago
  • Seattle
  • Miami
  • San Francisco
  • Philadelphia
  • Washington, D.C.
  • Austin
  • Boston
  • Providence

The cities are subject to change and expand as DoorDash adds more customers and more restaurants. You can figure out whether your specific market allows Dashing by doing the following:

  1. Sign up to be a Dasher if you haven’t already
    1. When signing up, indicate you would like to use a bike
  2. If you didn’t indicate that you were going to use a bike when signing up, then contact Support to get them to add it for you
  3. In the Dasher app:
    1. Tap on the Dash Icon on the bottom of the Dash Tab
    2. Select “bike” as your Dash Type
  4. Only bike-able markets will show up in red and allow for scheduling

Keep in mind specific requirements regarding bike Dashing

If biking is allowed in your market, that’s great! Keep in mind some additional requirements you’ll need to meet in order to start taking orders.

Certain bike types may require you to have a driver’s license

DoorDash does not require you to have a driver’s license if you are planning to drive a regular bike or e-bike. But if your “bike” or scooter has some sort of motor, DoorDash will likely require you to present a driver’s license.

This is likely to be the case even if it is legal for you to ride your bike without a license in your state. This is because DoorDash needs a Motor Vehicle Report (MVR) for any non-bikes, and getting an MVR requires a driver’s license.

You must be at least 18 years old to Dash on a bike

Just like being a Dasher in general, the minimum age to be a bike Dasher is 18 years old.

The obvious: you need a bike!

If you don’t already have your own, further down we’ve listed some cheap traditional bike options, and e-bike options below for you to consider.

Don’t forget to buy a good bag or a basket

To take orders on your bike around town, you’ll need some sort of container.

Some bike Dashers get away with just using a large backpack.

To make life easy on yourself, you can buy the DoorDash-branded bike bag - or shop around for similar bags, usually referred to as a “bike pannier”.

You can even consider buying a front handlebar basket from Walmart, or go truly budget and zip tie a milk crate from home onto your bike.

Beware: depending on the type of bag you get, you may find it difficult to perform pizza deliveries. Ricardo Cervantes, a Dasher who has been doing gig work for over four years, has observed: “pizzas are usually way too big to fit into a handbasket for a bike. I have also seen some bike/moped dashers wearing big square bags made specifically for holding pizzas, although I have come across pizza shops that make pizzas that are bigger than traditional sizes.”

How Dashing is different with a bike vs. a car

The delivery “radius” on a bike is limited to 2-6 miles

Because it would be impractical for bicycles to take deliveries that require long highway drives, DoorDash limits the delivery radius of Dashers on bikes.

“Radius” refers to the distance you would need to travel to get to the restaurant, and then again the same distance limit applies to the ensuing drop-off.

Depending on your local market, this imposed radius may be anywhere from two to six miles.

Save money on gas, wear and tear, and maybe even work faster

Without a car, you don’t have to pay for gas. And your bike’s “wear and tear” is certainly going to cost you less than logging miles on your car.

If you’re in a particularly dense city, parking a bike is probably a lot easier than parking a vehicle. And that’s after you have the ability to weave in and out of standstill traffic to move much faster than a car would have.

If you’re trying to stay active, being on a bike all day - and getting paid to do it! - is a great way to get your exercise in.

Minor dents and scrapes (such as while parked) become a much smaller risk for you on a bike - worry less about having to deal with insurance claims.

But there are also some drawbacks to using a bike

Although dents and scrapes become less of an issue, bigger accidents become a more major safety risk for yourself. A car accident leads to insurance claims, but getting hit by a car while on a bike is more likely to end in a hospital visit.

Theft of your bike might be more of an issue than theft of a car. You can lock your car anywhere you park it - whereas you might find it more difficult to find a proper bike rack to lock your bike to every time you are popping in to pick up an order.

Lastly, weather can be more of a hassle - nobody wants to be out biking in the pouring rain.

How to switch Dash Types in the Dasher app

After you are signed up and working as a Dasher, you can switch between using some vehicle, walking, and using your bike.

Switch to bike mode

In the Dasher app:

  1. Tap on the Dash Icon on the bottom of the Dash Tab
  2. Select “bike” as your Dash Type

What if there is no “bike” option?

If you didn’t sign up as a Dasher indicating that you would use your bike initially, you need to contact Support to get them to add it for you.

Switch to car mode (if you are already on bike mode)

In the Dasher app:

  1. Tap on the Dash Icon on the bottom of the Dash Tab
  2. Select “car” as your Dash Type

Where to get the best bike for Dashing

Best (cheapest) traditional bikes for DoorDash

The best way for you to get a cheap option is to buy secondhand. Check out Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, and any other local reselling platform to find a bike to buy on a budget.

If you want to buy new, your cheapest option is to go to a store like Walmart and get a reliable hybrid or mountain bike for $100-300.

Best electric bikes for DoorDash

If you’re willing to invest the capital, buying an e-bike for about $2,000 is an excellent option. You’ll be able to complete orders faster and earn more money per day than you would otherwise. And you can always re-sell the bike to recoup most of your investment later on.

DoorDash partners with Dirwin to sell e-bikes to Dashers, and you can get financing so it costs you as little as $100-200/month.

DoorDash also partners with e-bike rental company Zoomo if you want to rent instead of buy, at about $199/mo.

How to sign up for DoorDash with a bike

When you’re ready to get started DoorDashing with your bike, follow these steps:

  1. Sign up to be a Dasher
    1. Make sure to indicate that you will be using a bike in the signup process
    2. If the option is not there, contact support - they may tell you to select walking and they’ll change it after
  2. In your Dasher app, select “bike” as your Dash Type before you start working
  3. Start delivering (pending your approval as a Dasher and local availability)!

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