Ken Livingstone has ordered a feasibility study into a scheme which would see travellers hiring and dropping off bikes from street corners.
The mayor has set aside £47m to make London a greener city
The Mayor of London has been inspired by a scheme that was introduced in Paris just weeks ago.
The French initiative offers 10,000 bikes at 750 hire points every 300m around Paris.
The bikes are available at any time of the day or night and cost just about 70p to hire for half an hour.
Theft is minimal because of the unique design of the bicycles, their highly secure parking facilities and because payment is via credit or debit card.
If a bicycle is not returned the hirer faces a penalty charge.
Mr Livingstone said: "Cycling is a clean, fast and cheap way to get around London and we have seen an 83% increase in cycling since I became Mayor.
"I have seen the Paris freedom bike scheme, and discussed it with the Mayor of Paris. It clearly works and is highly popular."
Transport for London officials will now conduct a feasibility study to see how a similar system could be made to work in London.