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Two starling bank bikes in Manchester

Learn more aboutStarling Bank Bikes

About the scheme

Greater Manchester’s first publicly operated, self service, 24/7 bike hire scheme is running in parts of Manchester, Trafford and Salford.

  • An affordable, convenient and quick way to get around for commuters, students and cross city journeys.

  • Managed and funded by TfGM on behalf of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority.

  • Operated by Beryl, an experienced bike share company which operates in London and other areas.

Thanks for your support in making it a success, with 1 million km of bikes miles travelled.

Read on to see how it works.

About the bikes

What size range do the bike suit?

The bikes adjust to suit people from 4ft11inches to 6ft5inches (149cm to 195cm). It may be suitable to users outside of this range depending on their inside leg length.

The saddle adjusts along the scale using the seat clamp. Don't forget, you have to be aged 16 years or above to hire the bike.

What are the bike’s safety features?

All of our bikes are fitted with a bell on the handlebars.

The bikes feature internal machine drum brakes for safe and reliable braking on all terrain, with separate levers for front and rear brakes.

The bikes are also fitted with the Beryl Laserlight, a patented safety laser projection technology that makes cyclists more visible to drivers and pedestrians, and the Beryl Burner Brake with enhanced braking detection.

What kinds of bikes are available?

Pedal bikes

The bikes are lightweight (under 20kg) yet sturdy.

The comfortable saddle on both bikes can be adjusted to suit a wide range of cyclist heights between 4’11” - 6’5” (149cm to 195cm).


The bike assists you as you pedal, making it easier and quicker to get around by bike.

When you start pedalling, the assist will start automatically.

The assist stops at 15.5mph. Once you reach this speed, the motor will no longer assist you; you can pedal as normal.

Please be aware that e-bikes are heavier than our pedal bikes.

What happens if my e-bike runs out of battery?

You can see the expected range of the e-bike in the app before hiring a bike. We recommend choosing a bike with a battery level suitable for the type of journey you're trying to make. Please note: as stated in our Terms of Service, it is your responsibility to ensure the battery level on the bike is sufficient to cover the trip you intend to take. If you park an e-bike outside a cycle hire station or out of the operating zone because the battery has run out, you will be charged accordingly, and this will not be considered grounds for a refund.


How much does it cost to hire a bike?

You can either pay as you ride or save money with minute bundles.

Pay as you ride

  • Pedal bike: It costs 50p to unlock and 5p per minute of cycling.

  • E-bike: It costs £1 to unlock and 10p per minute of cycling.

As soon as you unlock the bike, a ride fee will begin and ends when you lock the bike at the end of your journey. Pay for your ride by linking a credit, debit or pre-paid payment card to the Starling Bank Bikes app.

Minute bundles

Save money by buying minute bundles in the app.

  • Pedal bike: No unlock fee and 5p per minute to ride.

  • E-bike: £1 unlock fee and 5p per minute to ride.

If you’ve recently paid in advance for minute bundles, but your local station has been suspended. Please contact Beryl customer services.

Getting bike hire right and avoiding fees

It’s quick and simple to get your account set up and get out on your bike. There’s more information on this page below.

A few important things first. We don’t want you to have to pay a fee for using the scheme incorrectly. It’s really important to lock your bike and end your ride right.

If you just leave your bike anywhere, there can be a fee to cover the operational costs of returning the bike to a station for others to ride.

How do I end my ride?

All trips have to start and finish at a bike hire station. At the end of your ride, please make sure you lock your bike correctly in a bike hire stand. The bike will chime to let you know it is locked. Please check the Starling Bank Bikes app to make sure your ride has ended. If you forget to lock your bike and leave it unlocked, your journey will continue. If there is no available space at the bike hire station when you are returning a hire bike, then please leave it as close as possible to the station and ensure it is locked.

What fees could I be charged for incorrect use?

If you don’t use the scheme correctly we need to charge a fee to cover the cost of sending out the operations team to lock or recover your bike, and return it to a station for others to ride.

Failure to lock bike: £30 fee

Unlocked and unattended bikes are at higher risk of being stolen or vandalised and will not appear as available on the app for other users.

Out of station parking: £10 fee

Leaving a bike outside of a station can obstruct others and make it harder for other users to ride. If do not end your ride in a cycle hire station a £10 fee will apply.

Out of zone fees: £25 and extra £80 after 24hrs

If you lock a bike outside the operating zone, a £25 fee will apply. If the bike is not brought back into the operating zone within 24 hours, an additional £80 fee will apply to cover the cost of recovering the bike.

You can always find your nearest bike hire station on the Starling Bank Bikes appIf you have any concerns about the hire bike you use – including a lock which doesn’t appear to work – please contact Beryl customer services.

Pause your ride

Run your errands without paying any parking or unlock fees. If you need to pop to the shops or swing by an ATM while using the bike, you can lock your bike and pause your ride multiple times for up to 15 minutes instead of ending the journey.

How do I pause my ride?

There are two different ways to pause your ride.

1) While on a ride, open the app and tap 'pause my ride', this will take you to another screen directing you to lock your bike. Once the bike is locked, it will automatically pause your current ride.

2) If you lock the bike before selecting 'pause my ride', you can still use the pause feature. The app will give you a one minute window where you can choose to pause your ride instead of ending it. If you decide not to pause your ride during this minute, the ride will end.

How much does it cost to pause?

Pausing your ride is charged at the same per minute cost as riding—5p per minute on bikes and 10p per minute on e-bikes.

How do I unlock my bike and resume my ride once paused?

If you have paused your ride, the app will enter a 'ride paused' state. Here you can unlock the bike by simply tapping 'unlock bike'.

How do I end my ride?

After locking the bike you will hear a bike. Open the app and tap 'end ride' in the bottom right. Please check your app to verify that your journey has ended correctly before leaving the bike. Be aware that parking charges may apply once the ride has ended.

Do I have to pay parking fees if I pause my ride?

No additional charges apply if you pause your ride outside a bike hire station or out of the operating zone. If you end your ride in the app, or the ride ends because the 15 minute period has passed, the standard out of station or out of zone charges apply.

Can someone else hire my bike while my ride is paused?

No. While you have paused your ride, your bike will not be available for another person to hire and will not appear on the app. If you end the ride in the app, or your pause period runs out, your journey will end, and at this point, someone else will be able to hire the bike.

Hiring a bike

What app do I download?

To hire a bike, you’ll need to download and register on the Starling Bank Bikes app.

For those still using the Beryl app, you will need to download and use the Starling Bank Bikes app by June 2024. From June 2024, the Beryl app will no longer work for hiring bikes in Greater Manchester.

You do not need to create a new account on the Starling Bank Bikes app if you have previously registered on the Beryl app. All you need to do is log in to the Starling Bank Bikes app with your details and all the data, including any minutes you’ve purchased, will automatically transfer over to the Starling Bank Bikes app.

How do I hire a bike in Greater Manchester?

Once logged in to the Starling Bank Bikes app, you’ll need to unlock a bike to hire it.

To unlock a bike you need to click the ‘Unlock Bike’ button which will direct you to scan your phone over the touchpad between the handlebars on the bike to unlock it. If scanning the bike does not work then you can enter the bike ID number on the handlebars (see 'Unlock Help').

Once the yellow handle on the stand has dropped and the rear lock has unlocked, you can pull the bike out of the cycle hire stand to start your ride.

If you decide to not unlock the bike you can press cancel and the app will direct you back to the home page.

Unlock Help

If your NFC (contactless) unlocking is not working, you can unlock a bike with the bike ID (which is written on the bike's frame). Key the bike ID into your app.

Unlock with bike ID. Find the 6-digit number on the unlock pad in the middle of the handlebar.

How do I log in to the Starling Bank Bikes app?

There are three ways to create an account in the Starling Bank Bikes app:

Option 1: Email address

Enter your email address when you sign into the app. Beryl will send an email to that address with a "Magic link". You should receive this email within a couple of minutes. All you need to do is click on the Magic link to sign into the app. We recommend that you click on the link in your email from your mobile device.

Option 2: Google Single Sign On (SSO)

Choose the “Sign in with Google” option. You will have the option to choose a Google account from a list or to add another Google account. Once you confirm the account you would like to use; you can sign in to the app.

Option 3: Log in with Apple ID

Press the “Sign in with Apple” option. Run through the Apple flows to confirm the sign-in. Remember which sign-in option you have used as you will need always to use this option to access your account on the app.

Pre-authorisation charge

To verify that you have a valid payment card associated with your account, Beryl will run a pre-authorisation check on your payment card when you set up your account, and for every subsequent attempt you make to hire a bike. To pass this check, you must have funds of at least £1 available on the payment card associated with your account. We do not take any money during this check. We request a temporary hold of £1, and during that time, it will not be available for you to use.

Once the pre-authorisation check is complete, we will immediately cancel the request to hold the funds, which is released to you based on your bank’s procedure. We do not have control over and cannot accept responsibility for any delays in releasing the funds to you once we have cancelled the request.

If Beryl run the pre-authorisation check and cannot verify that you have sufficient funds available on your payment card, you will not be able to unlock a bike. This pre-authorisation check applies to all users.

Can I park my bike anywhere?

All trips have to start and finish at a bike hire station. When the scheme is live you will be able to find your nearest bike hire station via the app. Out of stand (£5) and out of zone (£10) charges will apply if you park your bike outside of a bike hire station. A zone is shown by the red line on your map of the area in the app.

What is the minimum age to hire a bike?

The minimum age for hiring and riding a bike is 16. Although we think cycling is great, however old you are, for safety and insurance purposes, we have a minimum age to hire and ride our bikes. Absolutely no one under 16 is permitted to ride a bike and someone 16 or over cannot unlock a bike for someone under the age of 16.

Can I hire more than one bike?

You can only hire one bike on your account at a time. To ride with friends or as part of a group, each user needs their own account. However, the same payment card can be added to multiple accounts.

Can I ride outside of the zone?

The bikes should operate and remain within a large, designated zone agreed with our partners in Manchester, Salford and Trafford. The red line shows the zone limits on the Starling Bank Bikes app, the bike hire webpage and Beryl’s website.

Hiring the bike within the zone and locking outside the zone

If you hire a bike within the zone, you can leave the zone with no penalties as long as you finish your ride and lock the bike back in a bike hire station within the zone. If you park a bike outside the operating zone, a £10 "Out of Zone" will apply. You'll still be able to unlock the bike and ride back into the zone, but be aware the "Out of Zone" fee is applied every time you lock the bike outside the zone. This charge applies even if you just lock the bike for a short time, eg. to nip into a shop. For this purpose, we recommend that you pause your ride. (See 'pause your ride').

Hiring the bike outside of the zone or station

You can hire a bike that is located outside a zone or station. If you ride it back into the zone or station and lock it within a bike hire station there, no extra charges will apply. If you don't take it back to a zone or station but instead lock it outside the zone, you'll be charged the standard "Out of Zone" fee. This applies even if you were not the user who originally took the bike outside the zone.

Returning a bike

How do I lock my bike?

Please follow these steps to properly end your journey and secure the bike:

  1. Push your bike back into an empty bike hire stand.

  2. Secure the bike to the standby pushing up the yellow handle on the left-hand side of the stand. Hold the handle in place for a few seconds to secure it. If you find the front lock does not work, please try another stand.

  3. Then push down on the lock lever on the back wheel to end your ride and lock the bike.

  4. Listen for the chime. When the bike is properly locked, you'll hear the bike chime and you'll get confirmation of the end of the ride in your app.

Do I need to lock the front lock as well as the back lock? 

Yes. If you return a bike to a station where there is an available stand you must park it in the stand and apply both the rear and front lock. 

By applying both locks the bike is more secure, reducing the potential for it to be stolen or damaged. 

Will I be fined if I don’t apply the front lock? 

From 29 November 2023, you will be fined if you park a bike at a station where there is a stand available, and don’t apply a front lock.

If you park it at a station that is full (ie. there are no empty stands) you will not be able to apply a front lock and you will not be fined. 

How much are the fines? 

Fines will be applied where users do not comply in the following way: 

  • Out of station fine = £10 

  • Out of service area fine = £25

  • Out of service area for 24h fine = £80

  • Failure to rear lock bike fine = £30

  • Failure to front lock bike fine (new fine) = £10

By applying both locks the bike is more secure, reducing the potential for it to be stolen or damaged. Meaning you'll be more likely to find a bike for your next ride. 

What happens if I forget or have an issue applying the front lock? 

Please contact the operator via the app and explain what has happened. They'll be happy to help. 

What happens if the cycle hire station is already full when I arrive?

If you arrive at the bike hire station and it's full, please park your bike neatly alongside the other bikes, as close to the stand as you can, so the bike isn't obstructing any access areas or pavement.

Then push down the lever on the back wheel to lock the bike and end the ride. When the bike is locked, you'll hear the bike chime; this confirms the end of the ride in your app.

Staying safe while cycling

Tips for riding in the city

We want you to enjoy using Starling Bank Bikes. There are some important things you can do to make sure your ride is safe and smooth.


In the UK, it's not compulsory for cyclists to wear a helmet but many choose to wear one for added protection. If you choose to wear a helmet, it should be snug fitting and secured tightly to your head. Starling Bank Bikes doesn't provide helmets to riders, but you can find a good quality helmet in any one of the city’s bike shops or online.


When cycling on the road, it's important to let other road users know where you're going and your intentions to change lanes, turn off or to slow down. Learn the correct hand signals for each of these manoeuvres and make sure you signal in advance to give other road users a chance to react. If it’s been a while since you’ve jumped on a bike, there are a number of free courses available to you. Find out more about courses.

Door zone and gutters

Take care when cycling past parked cars in case someone opens a door into your path. Cycle at least one door's width out from the line of parked cars so you won't need to swerve to dodge a door. You should also take care not to cycle too close to the gutter. There may be broken glass, rubbish or wet leaves accumulated there which can damage the bike or cause you to slip.

Traffic lights and signals

When cycling on the road, you should follow the rules of the road including: respecting traffic lights; giving pedestrians priority at zebra crossings with Belisha beacons; and respecting priority at roundabouts.

Cycling in Greater Manchester

You may come across tram tracks when you cycle around Greater Manchester. The trams run on rails that are installed in the road that can catch your wheel and can be slippery in wet conditions. So please be careful and try to avoid cycling on the rail.

Please be aware it's illegal to ride a bike on pavements, unless it is mixed use. If you need to use the pavement, please dismount and push your bike.

It's also against the law to ride our bikes under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Customer enquiries

We want to hear from you. Get in touch if you’ve got any questions about cycle hire, if your bike is damaged, or if you want to report an abandoned bike.

Who do I contact about my account or about a bike or journey?

If you need to contact someone about your cycle hire account or troubleshoot a bike or journey question, please contact operator Beryl.

If you find that the bike you have just unlocked is damaged, please return it to a cycle hire station and contact the Beryl Support Team.

Starling Bank Bikes app chat: Instant message in the top right of your screen

Beryl website: Chat function in the bottom right corner


Phone 0161 244 1000. The Beryl customer support team is available seven days a week from 7am to 9pm.

How do I report an abandoned bike, or suspected theft or vandalism?

If you find a bike that looks lost, please get in touch and our on-street team will collect the bike and take it home. Provide the postcode or What3Words location where you found the bike and if possible the bike ID number which is the six-digit number found on the frame near the rear wheel. 

You can get in touch by:

Think you’ve seen something criminal? Please report it. You can discreetly LiveChat Greater Manchester Police or call 101 to speak to someone anonymously.

Who do I contact with a general question or suggestion about the cycle hire scheme?

Contact the TfGM customer support team on 0161 244 1000. We’re available:

  • Monday to Friday: 7am-8pm

  • Weekends: 8am-8pm

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