Technically you are allowed to take a bike on the London underground Tube network at certain times of day and on certain lines. In reality turning up with a bike at a Tube station is going to cause a few problems.
For example you cannot take bikes on moving escalators at any underground station, which means you have to find one with a lift. You can’t travel at peak time either (07.30 – 09.30 and 16.00 – 19.00, Monday to Friday, except for public holidays).
Well to be honest if you have ever traveled at peak time on London Underground you really would not take a bike down there unless you wanted to end up wearing it.
As part of our product testing for our new duffbag Stealth bag we decided to see if we could take a bike in our bag through the London Underground network unhindered, possibly passing through sections where bikes were not allowed. Would we be arrested? Get thrown off the Tube network, end up on News at Ten? This is what happened…
OK with a ticket purchased covering all zones let’s enter the Tube network with our Stealth bag and see what happens…
The video below shows, that actually very little happened, we were able to travel around unhindered, using escalators and access turnstiles as usual, getting on and off the Tube was no problem although trying this at busy times with such an anti social piece of luggage may not have gone so well. As you can see our Stealth bag is designed to be as small and light as possible and requires a little dismantling of the bike, but as you can see, it really is not that big and obtrusive and certainly does not draw unwanted attention – Stealth by name Stealth by nature!
So to summarise, you can take a bike in a bag through the London Tube network, we won’t tell exacty which lines and stations we travelled through as we may or may not have been supposed to be there ;-) Let’s just say we had a ticket that covered zones 1-6 and had no problems anywhere.
For further reading the following is from the London Underground regulations saying which lines can and can’t be used by bikes:
Circle, District, East London, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan Lines
On these lines non-folding bicycles are permitted on all sections outside peak times.
Non-folding bicycles may be taken between Queen’s Park and Harrow & Wealdstone in the morning peak and vice versa in the evening peak, and in both directions outside peak times.
Non-folding bicycles may be taken outside peak times in either direction between: White City and West Ruislip/Ealing Broadway Leyton and Epping Newbury Park/Woodford and Hainault.
Non-folding bicycles are permitted outside peak times in either direction between: Finchley Road and Stanmore Canning Town and Stratford.
Non-folding bicycles may be taken outside peak times in either direction between: Edgware and Colindale Hendon Central and Golders Green East Finchley and High Barnet/Mill Hill East.
Non-folding bicycles are allowed outside peak times in either direction between: Barons Court and Hounslow West/Uxbridge Cockfosters and Oakwood.
Victoria Line and Waterloo & City Line
Non-folding bicycles must not be taken on the Victoria Line or the Waterloo & City Line.
Docklands Light Railway and Croydon Tramlink
Docklands Light Railway and Croydon Tramlink do not take bicycles.
You cannot take cycles on moving escalators at any underground station.