A simple story of a woman's shortcomings as well as her struggle to survive, Der Fahrrad is about Suzanne (Heidemarie Schneider), a bored and unmarried young woman, with an 8-year-old daughter, who supports herself and the child by working on an assembly line. The dead-end job as well as a need to socialize drives Suzanne to spend her evenings at a local discotheque, while a friend baby-sits. Suzanne's life gets both better and worse at the same time: she quits her job and lies to a welfare officer in order to get money to pay her bills, and then she meets Thomas (Roman Kaminski), who not only is attracted to her but finds a job for her. Now Suzanne has to somehow face the lies she told the welfare officer because she is being summoned to court on just that little matter.
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