Zhi Min Soh, 23, was riding through the city centre when she fell and was struck by a mini bus.
The Malaysian national was rushed to the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh following the accident at Princes Street’s junction with Lothian Road last week, but she died a short time later.
Trams came to a halt and commuters stopped on their way to work to participate in a minute’s silence to commemorate her life. A piper then played a lament.
Cyclists called for the council to take action to make the Capital safer for cyclists and to avoid a similar tragedy taking place.
City chiefs have already vowed to put fresh measures in place to protect those on two wheels.
Bill and Sarah Dorman, from Bruntsfield, were among the crowds with their children.
Mrs Dorman said: “We are here because this could easily have been any of us.
“We want to allow our children to cycle around the city without feeling like they are taking their lives in their own hands. When the city is making plans it is vital that cyclists and pedestrians are taken into account. Not everyone wants to drive, but many might feel forced to if it is not safe to cycle.”
Megan McHaney, 29, said she felt sick when she learned about the accident.
She said: “The same thing happened to me 18 months ago about two metres away from where the student died. My bike got stuck in the tram track and I fell over and broke my foot.
“Last week’s tragedy brought it all back to me and I’m feeling really anxious again. I felt physically ill when I found out. The tramlines are just so dangerous.”
Dozens of people have laid flower tributes beside a metal railing outside the Waldorf Astoria Caley Hotel.
One of the tributes read: “Together we will build a safe cycling city in Edinburgh in your memory.”
Former university worker Gordon Drummond, 73, said: “I’m here today because I’ve cycled all my life and I’ve been in several accidents myself.
“As I worked at the medical school, I feel strongly for our students and I’m saddened to hear of this.”
Green MSP Alison Johnstone and several of the party’s councillors gathered to pay tribute.
Councillor Chas Booth said: “The council must always be absolutely clear that it has a duty to keep vulnerable road users safe, and that means, first and foremost, providing safe, high quality and segregated cycle infrastructure.
“In the short term there are steps that cycle groups have long been calling for, such as an advance cycle phase on certain traffic lights, which will give cyclists additional time to cross tricky junctions, and could potentially mean the difference between a fall resulting in a few bruises and a damaged ego, and a fatality.”