Bicycle delivery - Is it feasable to attempt???

Is anyone doing pizza delivery using bicycles? I was playing with lthe idea and wondered what problems others have encountered? I was hoping that those who use or have used this method would respond with their experience using bike delivery methods.

Was wondering about - inclimate weather (rain, snow, cold)… How did you deal with it?

Also, what about the summer heat? Do the delivery guys get soaked with sweat and deliver the product that way? How did you deal with it?

Any feedback would be appreciated!


btw… I’m in Texas and the summers here are BRUTAL!

I was a bike messenger in Chicago for several years and bikes were the best for deliveries in a 1 to 2 mile radius. More than 3 miles, time and fatigue start adding up.

We carried everything in messenger bags, which work well and a biker could balance some weight on your back, not good for pizza though.
A correct setup with and insulated box would be needed. Loaded, you can mak a mile in 5 to 7 minutes.
I am considering bike delivery also. Moreso, a small motorbike with a good box on it would give some extra range.
Worksman bikes in NY has a pizza delivery bike. … bikes.html
at bottum of that page,

I consider tricycles, biggest negative is the slowness factor.



But what about the weather? The HEAT, the RAIN? Is it acceptable to send a sweaty employee to drop off the food?

oh yes - customer love getting their food delivered by someone who is sweaty and smells. It portrays a very professional image of the shop and kitchen environment. I’m sure you’d enjoy a meal from a restaurant where the staff smell.

what do you think?

I see your sarcasm, and I do not like poor hygeine in a car driver or other staff either, descretion is always advised,

I got lots of deliveries from bike messengers is Chicago, most were professional, well kept, and a pleasure to do business with.
there are always some “bad apples”

In a densely populated area, I think I would appreciate the speed and efficiency of a bike delivery.
in the suburds, it would be absurd.

are you delivering now ?

The sarcastic remark was not me… lol

Anyway, I am thinking about opening a downtown location. I took to the streets today and talked with three seperate bicycle delivery guys in the downtown area. The first guy was a courier. He was wearing what all the other bicycle couriers were wearing and looked comfortable. It is only may though and the heat isn’t a factor yet. The other two were bicycle delivery guys who worked for a downtown deli. Again, they looked comfortable but the heat is still yet around the corner. They all said that summer kicks 'em pretty hard but doesn’t keep them from delivering in the heat. I just can’t help but think that they would be prespiring beyond beleif and would make an unappetizing impression on the customer.

The sarcastic remark from “jerk” was about body odor. I guess he doesn’t understand that deodorant will keep the emplyee from eminating any body odor. THAT WAS NOT THE QUESTION AT HAND. The topic was whether or not the prespiration factor would be so bad that it “turned off” customers.

I was hoping to hear from soneone who has attemted bike delivery in real heat who had some feedback to offer.

Thanks Otis

I used to work in downtown Dallas. You didn’t say where you’re from in Texas, but here goes.

Dominos near the “west end” delivers by bike. In a downtown setting where you have “quick” cops, it may be the only way. Dallas cops are great about ticketing… very fast, very good at it. Parking a vehicle illegally even for a few minutes will get you a ticket. Traffic can snarl up and a bike on a sidewalk is a quick solution to that problem.

The downside (aside from rain) is the customer base. They all work in office buildings and all have security guards. You have to get to the building and have the guard call them down and then they take their precious time.

In a large downtown section of a metropolitan area, bikes are a very good choice. Once you figure that you can’t park legally easily, and the cost of parking tickets, bikes really stand out.

yes, I knew it was from an unregistered guest, many times they are not even in the pizza business or even interested, usually just want to listen to themselves talk, and be destructive as opposed to constructive.
BTW, “noshfrog”, where are you located ?

In Chicago, I think I can collectively say we loved to see the “sweat off the bike” messenger because usually involved an big sum of money, and time was of essence.
Believe me, having a good pizza delivered the fastest way is worth more than a big sum of money, especially if it was out going. Most times the receptionist would handle that at the front desk, they see messengers all day long. The car drivers seemed to be swaeating more than the cyclists. Mainly because they usually had to walk further from there parking space, while they would get hotter and the pizza colder

As for downtown Chicago, I was not aware of bicycle delvered pizza.
It is common to have runnners delivering food in their building and nearby buildings .
The further from the densely populated downtown where bike are faster, there are deminishing returns for bike delivery.
I know they have the Worksman bikes with a the side opening pizza box on the front made for pizza delivery, I do not know how much is used there.

Any decent bike messenger does it for more than the money. They enjoy riding being less encumbered.

I plan to have bike delivery in Quartzsite, AZ, within 1 mile of the pizzeria. It’s a small town so the rest can be done on motorbike, and the weather in the winter there is mild.
I am sure I will still have some delivery staff that will drive there car 200 yards and would do so without thinking.

Let me know whenever any progress on this line is made.
I am looking for an appropriate box to attach to the bicycle or motorbike rack.

Dominoes in Dallas huh? I did not know that. I will make the drive and have a lookie-see. Thanks snowman. I wonder if they ease off the bike delivery in scorching months of Summer? Those guys have to be drenched in sweat by the time they get to the customer. I wonder if the customer “understands” that the delivery was delivered by pedal power and does not give much thought to the overheated delivery guy. Anyone else had to deal with phone calls or lost customers due to this problem? I think I’m gonna maybe invest in some bikes!

Ok, my delivery area is kind of spread out, but I do have several places within 1 mile of course that the bike could be used. I worry that people would get pissed with my bike on the road though. Not many side walks in my little city.

…thanks Snowman, that’s good to hear of the bicycle delivery in Dallas.
Did you see what kind of boxes they have attached to their bikes to carry the pizzas ?
When I was a bike messenger in Chicago, we all had messenger bags, which will work for sandwiches and some other food items, but not for pizza.
I recently saw in Thailand a red box that was bunged to the back rack on their motorbikes with a rear opening door, looked sorta like a small refrigerator. I wish I had a photo of it. A little heavy for a bicycle, I picked one up, about 15 pounds. Anyway, I wish I could find one, preferably lighter, to bungy to a bicycle or motorbike. They are easy to take off and put on another bicycle with a rack or motorbike.
As much as not in Thailand, a rider would sit on the back of the motorbike and carry the pizzas in a hot bag. That is really special delivery! Labor in Thailand is abundant and people there really like to work.
Did not see any bicycle delivery, there seem to be more small motorbikes there than people, and not so many bicycles.
I rented bth over there and preferred the motorbike for safety, moving with the flow of the traffic better.

As for the concern about the hot weather sweatiness, I never saw that to be a problem on a bike. In fact, if you watch bicycle racing, they do not appear to “sweat”, ie, the sweat is evaporating in the wind speed, to keep the biker cool, just like mother nature intended. Bikers sweat more after getting off the bike than on.
In fact, I did car messenger and sweated more getting in and out of a cary and loading and unloading it than being in the air on the bike. Always had to get a parking space further away in the car, sweating more on the walk to the building than rideing a bike.
I found the “sweat” factor to be comparable for a car driver or bike rider, maybe more favorable for a biker because of the use of technical bike clothing that wicks sweat better and exposure to more air.

The main catch is that you need and in-shape, on purpose kind of person to do it.  They have to enjoy  bicycle riding.  A motorbike, not as much.

From my experience with the messenger business in Chicago, a car driver cannot be converted to a biker, better to find a person that can handle a bike on the road in traffic, enjoys riding, and make sure they wear the spiffy technical bicycle clothing.

hope all this is worth reading, thanks for your input,

Bottum line, yes, I think it is feasable and worth pursuing.

Anybody delivering with a bicycle or motorbike ?

I am looking for an appropriate pizza carrying box that attach to a bicycle rack or motorbike.
Anyone know of one or can build one, please let me know.


I posted a question about bicycle delivery on the “Remember to Tip the Pizza Driver” web site and really got slammed !

interesting web site,


I posted the ‘sarcastic’ reply as a reality check to a pretty obvious question. I’m sorry but I really struggle with someone working in this industry who needs to ask if it will put customers off if someone soaked in sweat delivered their pizza. If noahfrog can’t see himself that a sweaty cycler/employee will smell (even using deodorant) then he really is naive and will find out the hard way.

An yes I do believe that you can use bicycles as delivery vehicles dependant on getting right people - but that wasn’t his question was it now!

As to your comments Otis - yes I’m in the industry, I have been in this industry for several years and on this site for the same period (about the same time as you actually) and yes I’m interested if weren’t I wouldn’t have posted the comment. There is no requirement to register on this site.

appreciate your thoughts, my apologies for alluding that you may be one of those unregistered guest “flamers” that we often get,

from my experience in the messenger business in Chicago, we did not have any more complants of hygeine by the bikers than than we did from the car drivers.

most of the downtown courier customers preferred the bikers because of the speed, efficiency, and cost. BTW, a good bike messenger made comparable money to a driver, after expenses, sometimes before expenses

if you have experienced otherwise, let me know

in a city environment it really can’t be beat, but you need good cyclists - to be honest if they are fit they won’t normally break a sweat. You need to be careful with the weight issue and also remembering that with a box on the back it makes the bike wider!

I THINK they just had a basket mounted on the front (handlebars) and the pizzas sat on or in the basket (upright, of course) in a hotbag. They used retro-styled bikes, kinda like mountain bikes but without the knobby tires. They were “upright” bikes, not where the rider is bent over like on a 10-speed.

yes you can get city bikes - they are like mountain bikes but the frames are lighter (as they don’t need to be as strong) and they have different gearing and tyres.

You’d really need to secure the hot bag through as bike suspension is still not great and you don;t want to spend all that effort to deliver a smashed up pizza.