Uber Eats bike delivery is probably my favorite way to earn extra income. I’ve been doing it for a long time – over 5 years at this point. And the entire time I’ve delivered with Uber Eats, I’ve always done it using a bike.
When I started, I did all of my deliveries using a regular bike. It worked out well – I got exercise, was able to enjoy some time outdoors, and got to ride around and explore my city. In recent years, I’ve transitioned over to electric bikes and scooters. It’s dramatically increased my efficiency and I’m having more fun than ever doing deliveries.
The delivery income has added up too. I’ve always done Uber Eats as a side hustle and over the years, I’ve been able to earn tens of thousands of dollars. Last year, I made around $10,000 just doing deliveries on my bike in my spare time.
If you need to earn extra income, want to improve your health, and live in a city where biking makes sense, Uber Eats bike delivery is something you should consider doing.
In this post, I want to go over the benefits of doing Uber Eats on a bike, explain how it works, and discuss some of the strategies I use to maximize my earnings.
Why Do Uber Eats Bike Delivery?
Over the many years that I’ve delivered with Uber Eats, I’ve run into a lot of delivery people. With all the people I’ve seen, I’ve rarely seen anyone using a bike. Indeed, in my city, I’m one of the only bike delivery people I’ve ever seen, even though I live in a city that’s well designed for bikes.
To me, a bike is the best vehicle to use when doing deliveries, especially if you live in a city. Ebikes (and electric scooters) are even better for Uber Eats. Here’s why:
The Pros Of Uber Eats Bike Delivery
Improved Health. A major negative aspect of driving is that it’s not good for your health. This is especially true if you’re delivering for extended periods.
By contrast, doing deliveries on a bike improves your health. Even an ebike – which wouldn’t seem like it requires a lot of energy – still comes with health benefits for riders.
Getting paid while getting exercise (even if it’s only a little bit of exercise) is something that you can’t beat. If you factor in the value of the health benefits, you’re earning more than just the money you’re making.
Low Operating Costs. One of the major benefits of doing Uber Eats bike delivery is that it keeps your operating costs low. Bike maintenance primarily consists of fixing flat tires, adjusting brakes, etc. Each year, I also get a tuneup at my local bike shop, which costs around $150 to $200. In general, a bike costs a few hundred dollars per year to maintain. This is in contrast to a car, where repairs and maintenance are costly, not to mention the gas that you have to use to power your car.
The only major cost you have to deal with when using a bike is the upfront cost of the bike (assuming, you don’t already have one). Even then, the cost of a bike is far less than a car. Indeed, even if you spend $1,000 to $1,500 on an ebike, you can easily earn the money back from doing deliveries. Indeed, a bike could easily be worth $1 million or more if you’re consistent you give yourself enough time (see: Becoming A Millionaire With The $30 A Day Retirement Strategy).
You Don’t Have To Deal With Parking Or Traffic. One of the more frustrating things about using a car to do deliveries is having to deal with parking or traffic. When you think about it, using a car is a terrible way to do deliveries. Most restaurants are located in dense areas where parking and traffic are likely going to be a problem. At the same time, some of the best places to do deliveries are dense downtown areas where there are a lot of people ordering Uber Eats.
When I’m on a bike, I never have to think about parking or traffic. I can easily pull up in front of the restaurant and walk right inside. When delivering to dense downtown apartments, I’m also able to easily pull up to the door and not have to think about parking.
When it comes to speed, most people think that bikes move slower than cars, but when you’re in a city, you can often travel faster than cars that have to get through traffic. I’m convinced that I do most of my deliveries faster than I could in a car.
Reduces Pollution By Removing A Car From The Road. While not a direct benefit for you as an Uber Eats delivery person, doing Uber Eats bike delivery is a benefit for everyone because it removes a car from the road. When someone orders food with Uber Eats, that order is getting delivered by someone. If you’re delivering it, it’s getting to the customer with a bike, which reduces pollution and puts less wear on the road.
The Cons Of Uber Eats Bike Delivery
There are of course some cons to think about when doing Uber Eats bike delivery. I think most of these aren’t a big deal, but I would like to mention them here in the interest of completeness:
Weather Can Be A Problem. One of the main issues with doing Uber Eats on a bike is that you have to deal with the weather. I live in Minnesota, which means for several months, I’m doing deliveries in below-freezing temperatures. Or if it’s raining and I’m doing Uber Eats, I’m getting soaked in the rain. Cars, on the other hand, don’t have to deal with weather issues as much.
You Can’t Cover Long Distances. I believe doing shorter orders that pay less is better than doing long-distance orders that are offering a high payout. That being said, if you’re on a bike, you simply don’t have the option of completing long-distance orders. Someone in a car has the advantage here.
It Can Be More Difficult To Carry Orders. I use a delivery backpack to carry my orders. Other people might use a trailer or have some other way of carrying orders. For the most part, I can carry anything. But even with my delivery equipment, I still have a lot of trouble carrying coffee or pizza orders on a bike. If I were using a car, it’d be easier for me to take these delivery requests.
Signing Up To Do Uber Eats Bike Delivery
The good thing about Uber Eat bike delivery is that the requirements are fairly minimal. Since you aren’t using a car, you don’t need insurance (or a car, for that matter).
- At least 18 years old
- Have a US-issued driver’s license or state ID
- When signing up, be sure to choose ‘Delivery by bicycle or foot’ under transportation method.
The main thing you need for Uber Eats bike delivery is a valid ID. A driver’s license works fine. If you don’t have a driver’s license, you’ll need to use a state ID. You’ll also need to pass a background check, which typically takes 3-5 days to complete.
Once you’ve set up your account and passed your background check, you’ll be able to log into your Uber Eats driver account and start doing deliveries on your bike. To get started, log into your account, hit the Go button, then wait for orders to come your way.
Uber Eats Bike Delivery Distances
A question people often have about Uber Eats bike delivery is how far are the Uber Eats bike delivery distances? When you’re doing Uber Eats on a bike, distances are going to matter a lot more compared to doing Uber Eats with a car.
Uber Eats recognizes this and limits your delivery requests to shorter distances when you’re signed up on a bike. For the most part, orders will stay within a few miles of your location. I find that the vast majority of my orders are between 1 and 3 miles. I typically try to stick to orders that are within the 1-2 mile range, which I can typically cover in 6-12 minutes. So long as you’re working in a dense area, you shouldn’t have a problem getting these shorter orders.
On occasion, you will see orders that are far away. If you do get orders that are too far for you to handle on a bike, your best bet is to reject those orders. While you might be tempted by some high-paying orders that are traveling long distances, you’ll usually find that it’s better to wait for shorter-distance orders that pay less. I’ll go into more detail in the next section about why I think aiming for volume is an important strategy for Uber Eats.
Uber Eats Bike Delivery Tips And Strategies
If you want to make the most you can from Uber Eats bike delivery, you need to use the right strategies. Here are the important tips and strategies you can use to earn the most from Uber Eats.
Suggested Bike Delivery Equipment
You don’t need much equipment if you’re doing Uber Eats with a car, but if you’re doing deliveries with a bike, you need to use the right equipment. Here’s what I recommend:
- Food Delivery Backpack. This is a must-have piece of equipment if you’re doing deliveries with a bike. I use an Uber Eats delivery backpack that I bought from Uber Eats a few years ago when it was on sale. You can also find some good delivery backpack options on Amazon.
- Phone Mount. I highly recommend a good phone mount so you can keep your phone easily accessible while you’re riding. My favorite option is the Quad Lock, which is a special mount that twists on and off. It’s a bit more expensive and requires a special phone case to use it, but it’s without a doubt the best phone mount I’ve ever used.
- Portable Phone Charger. Uber Eats uses a lot of battery power since it’s tracking your location. If you’re going to be doing deliveries for an extended period, you should have a charger so you can get some extra juice when needed. In my experience, Anker makes excellent portable chargers.
- A Decent Bike Lock. I usually don’t need to lock my bike up, but you’ll still likely want to carry a bike lock so you can lock up your bike when needed. The only times I need to lock my bike up are if I’m going into a restaurant where I can’t see my bike from the inside or if I have to do a delivery to an apartment building that won’t let me bring my bike in. Since you’re going to be leaving your bike for only a few minutes, you don’t need a really good bike lock – just one that will deter someone from running off with your bike while you’re gone.
Using Ebikes and Scooters For Uber Eats Bike Delivery
The biggest change I’ve made to my Uber Eats bike delivery experience has been using ebikes and scooters to do deliveries. An ebike is the best thing I’ve ever bought. It’s a complete game-changer when it comes to what you can do with a bike.
What makes an ebike so good is that you get all the advantages of a bike and, in a lot of ways, you still get the same speed as a car. On my ebike or scooter, I’m able to travel 18-20mph. If you’re working in a dense downtown area, that’s probably faster than the average speed you can move in a car. You then get all the benefits of lower operating and maintenance costs, not having to deal with parking, and no negative environmental externalities.
I like to also think of ebikes and scooters as an investment if you’re getting one to do Uber Eats with. A decent ebike or scooter will cost $1,000 to $1,500, and while that’s not cheap, it’s also not so much that you can’t earn your money back quickly.
For example, if you spend $1,000 on an ebike and make $250 per week from Uber Eats (which is not difficult to do), you’ll pay back your ebike costs in a month. And that’s only from making about $33 per day.
Volume Matters More When You’re On A Bike
There’s an ongoing debate in the delivery world about whether to go for higher-paying orders that take longer to complete or look for shorter orders paying less than you can complete faster. I opt to go for shorter orders that pay less. When you’re on a bike, most of your delivery requests will be fairly short. And you’ll find that, with experience, it’s better to aim for volume – i.e. completing as many orders as you can in a short time, rather than looking for a few longer-distance, higher-paying orders that take you longer to complete.
Multi-App To Avoid Slow Periods
The absolute most important thing to do when doing Uber Eats bike delivery (or any sort of food delivery) is to multi-app. This is when you work for multiple food delivery apps at the same time.
Anytime I do Uber Eats, I also turn on DoorDash and Grubhub. I then try to accept multiple orders all going in similar directions. By doing this, I’m able to complete more deliveries and earn more money.
It takes practice to learn how to multi-app well, but with practice, you will get better at figuring out which orders to accept and which to decline.
Frequently Asked Questions About Uber Eats Bike Delivery
Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about Uber Eats bike delivery.
1. How long does it take to get approved for Uber Eats bike delivery?
You can start doing deliveries once you pass your background check. This generally takes 3-5 business days to complete. If it takes longer than a week, get in touch with Uber support to find out what is happening.
2. How to change Uber Eats from car to bike?
One annoying thing with Uber Eats is that it’s not that easy to switch from car to bike or vice versa (this is in contrast to DoorDash, which lets you change your delivery mode immediately in the app).
If you want to switch from car to bike – or vice-versa – you’ll need to contact Uber support to have them switch your vehicle type. Uber Eats says it typically takes two business days to make the switch. You can find the support form here.
Another option that I’ve heard some people do is to make a separate account for cars and one for bikes. That way, you can switch between the two accounts. I haven’t done that before, but I’ve heard you can do that.
3. Why do some drivers say they are on a bike when they are actually in a car?
If you’re a customer ordering Uber Eats, you’ll sometimes see Uber Eats drivers that say they’re on a bike, when in reality they’re in a car. The reason this happens is that your driver probably couldn’t sign up to do Uber Eats with a car. Maybe they don’t have a valid driver’s license or they have something in their background check that prohibits them from using a car.
Despite this, many Uber Eats drivers will still sign up as a biker, then do their deliveries in a car. They aren’t supposed to do this, but if people need to make money, that’s what they’ll do.
If you’re a driver, I don’t recommend signing up as a biker, then delivering via a car. That’s because Uber Eats tracks your speed and if it sees you going faster than a bike can possibly go, you can get deactivated. If you get a disgruntled customer, they could also potentially rat you out to Uber Eats support.
4. How to block bike deliveries on Uber Eats?
Customers can’t block bike deliveries on Uber Eats. If you do have a problem with your order (like you think it took too long to get to you), contact Uber Eats support and they’ll likely give you a refund or some Uber Eats credit to compensate you. I will say that in my experience, I can get food to people on my ebike or scooter faster than most cars can.
Food delivery has always been my favorite side hustle, especially when done on a bike. I love biking, so the fact that I can get paid to do it is a bonus.
For me, doing Uber Eats bike delivery also turns my life into a game of sorts. I get to explore the world and when I get an order, it’s like I have a little mission to complete.
With the right strategies, Uber Eats bike delivery can be very profitable – even more profitable than doing it with a car since I can still get the same number of orders and avoid all the costs that come with using a car.
If you found this info helpful and are looking for more info, I’ve written some in-depth posts about Uber Eats, DoorDash, and Grubhub that are worth checking out. You can find links to those posts below:
I hope this info about Uber Eats bike delivery was helpful. Feel free to leave any questions or comments below.