How much does it cost to go to the Five Boro bike tour?

The Five Boro Bike Tour is an annual recreational bicycle ride through all five boroughs of New York City. With over 30,000 cyclists participating each year, it is one of the largest cycling events in the United States. If you’re considering participating in this iconic NYC event, one of the key details you’ll want to know is how much it costs to register and take part in the tour.

Registration Fee

The registration fee to participate in the Five Boro Bike Tour is $115 for adults over the age of 13. This fee allows you to register for the ride and secures your spot to participate. The registration fee goes towards the logistics and operations of orchestrating the massive event across NYC’s five boroughs.

There are discounted registration fees available for New York City bicycling club members ($105) and youth riders ages 13-17 ($55). Children 12 and under can participate for free when registered with a paying adult. The registration fee is non-refundable if you are unable to participate for any reason after you register.

Registration for the Five Boro Bike Tour opens in December for the ride in May of the following year. There is usually extremely high demand, so registration spots fill up quickly. Many riders aim to register in the first few days to secure a spot.

Bicycle Rental

If you don’t own a road or hybrid bicycle suitable for a 40+ mile recreational ride, you’ll need to factor in the cost of renting a bike for the Five Boro Bike Tour. There are several bike rental companies in NYC that offer bike rentals specifically for the event.

Typical bike rental costs range from $50-$150 for the day depending on the type of bike rented. Basic road or hybrid bike rentals tend to be around $50-75. Higher-end road bikes rent for $100-150. Rentals usually include a helmet, lock, and bag/basket if needed.

It’s recommended to reserve your rental bike well in advance, as inventory is limited. Some bike shops require bike rentals to be reserved up to 2-3 months in advance of the Five Boro Bike Tour to ensure availability.

Cycling Apparel & Equipment

To participate in the Five Boro Bike Tour safely and comfortably, you’ll need some essential cycling apparel and equipment beyond just a bike. This includes:

  • Cycling helmet – Required by event and law
  • Cycling shoes – Clipless pedals or stiff-soled athletic shoes recommended
  • Cycling shorts/bibs – Padded to make long rides more comfortable
  • Cycling jersey – Better aerodynamics and storage pockets
  • Cycling gloves – Increase grip and absorb vibration
  • Sunglasses – Protect eyes from sun, wind, debris
  • Cycling computer – Track mileage, speed, elevation
  • Spare tube, tools, pump/CO2 – For flats and breakdowns
  • Hydration – Water bottles, hydration pack
  • On-bike storage – Saddle bag, bento box, jersey pockets
  • Chamois cream – Prevent chafing and soreness

Most cyclists likely have some of this gear already. But if you’re a beginner and starting from scratch, investing in these cycling-specific apparel and accessories could cost $500+.

You may be able to find more budget-friendly options buying second-hand gear. And items like jerseys, shorts, and helmets don’t need to be top-of-the-line.


Since the Five Boro Bike Tour route spans 40+ miles and all five boroughs, you’ll need to factor in transportation costs getting to the start line and getting home from the finish area.

The start line is on the edge of Staten Island, so most cyclists coming from Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, or the Bronx will need to take additional transportation to get there in the morning. The Verrazano-Narrows Bridge closes to traffic early in the morning on the day of the event so cyclists can access the start line.

Taking the Staten Island Ferry from Manhattan or Brooklyn is a popular cheap option at $2.75 each way. Other options include buses, driving and parking near the start, or taking a taxi/Uber.

At the finish of the ride in Central Park, you’ll similarly need transportation to get you and your bike home if you’re not local to Manhattan. Bike rentals usually include delivery and pick-up directly from the start and finish areas to simplify logistics.

Charity Fundraising

The Five Boro Bike Tour is also a big fundraising event for bicycling-related charities and causes. If you take part through an official charity partner, there is a fundraising requirement to raise a minimum of $1,000 per rider.

Top charities associated with the event include Bike New York, the American Cancer Society, and the MS Society. Riding for a charity can provide helpful logistics support like transportation and aid stations.

While the minimum fundraising requirement is substantial, it does guarantee your registration spot. So it can be easier to get into the ride as a charity cyclist. You’ll need to weigh the benefit of guaranteed entry against asking friends and family to contribute to your $1,000 fundraising minimum.

Training Costs

Completing a 40+ mile bike ride through all five NYC boroughs with 15,000+ fellow cyclists requires significant training for beginners. If you’re not an avid cyclist already, you’ll need to budget time and potentially money to train properly beforehand.

Most training plans recommend you build up to logging at least several 50+ mile rides prior to the big event. You may need to invest in a gym membership, trainer, or cycling classes to properly train indoors if you don’t have safe roads or trails for long outdoor rides.

Apps like TrainerRoad and Zwift offer training programs and structured workouts. A basic subscription starts around $10-15/month. A personal cycling coach can provide training plans and accountability for around $150-200/month.

Travel & Accommodations

If you’ll be traveling to New York City from out of town to participate in the Five Boro Bike Tour, you’ll need to account for the added costs of transportation, hotels, and food. This can easily add hundreds or thousands of dollars onto the total trip expenses.

Airfare or rail tickets will make up the bulk of travel costs. Avoid coming into NYC just the day prior, as you’ll want extra time to explore the bike course route and familiarize yourself with the five boroughs.

Plan to stay 2-3 nights minimum, likely needing Friday to Monday to participate in the Sunday ride. NYC hotel rates average $250+ per night. Cheaper lodging options include hostels, AirBnb, Couchsurfing, or staying with local friends/family.

Be sure to also budget for food, entertainment, and getting around NYC while you’re in town. Count on spending at least $150-200 per day on top of lodging costs.

Spectator Tickets

If you want friends or family to come watch and cheer you on at the Five Boro Bike Tour, they’ll need spectator tickets. Tickets grant access to the start village on Staten Island as well as the finish festival in Central Park. Prices are:

  • Adults – $60
  • Seniors 65+ – $30
  • Children 12 & Under – Free

Spectator tickets can only be purchased by official tour participants. Each rider can buy up to 5 spectator tickets when they register for the ride.

Miscellaneous Costs

Here are a few other potential costs to keep in mind when budgeting for the Five Boro Bike Tour:

  • Bike tune-up & service – $75+ recommended before the ride
  • Car parking – $20+ if driving to start line and/or finish area
  • Food & drink – $20+ for nutrition and hydration during the ride
  • Souvenirs – $25+ for t-shirts, jerseys, photos, merch
  • Bike shipping – $100+ each way if flying with your bike
  • Massage/physio – $100+ to recover from 40+ mile effort


When all is said and done, be prepared to spend around $500-1,000+ per person to participate in the Five Boro Bike Tour when adding up the registration fee, equipment, transportation, training, travel, and other costs.

The registration fee itself is quite reasonable at $115 or less. The biggest costs come from having proper cycling gear, getting to/from NYC, accommodations if traveling, and fundraising if riding for charity.

With some diligent budgeting and preparation, checking the Five Boro Bike Tour off your cycling bucket list is an attainable goal for most riders. Just be sure to plan 6+ months in advance to register early, train properly, and fundraise if needed.