Boris has just launched the London hire bikes

dellzeqq

pre-talced and mighty
Location
SW2
blimey - an ordinary hybrid probably comes in at 26 pounds! (And Mrs D's little marvel comes in at under 15 pounds)
 

marinyork

Resting in suspended Animation
Location
Logopolis
They don't look as nice as they did during all the talking up, they look quite a bit uglier. As for the weight a bit on the heavy side but I know people with 45 pound bikes and they get on all right. London's so flat I'm sure it'll not be a serious problem if the tyres/tyre widths aren't too bad.
 

blog

Guest
If they really wanted to make the scheme attractive, they would have used (pedal assist) E-bikes as the ones fit enough to use a cycle (because they already do on the regular basis as a chosen method of transport) would usually provide their own in the form of a regular one or a folder if they want to brave the traffic in London, and so it follows that those who are just occasional or not very occasional users would find an E-bike to be less of a daunting prospect. I would be interested to see a study into how popular a regular bike would shape up against an E-bike in rental if they were offered side by side. The purpose built racks could double up as charging points, and if they were made so the locking mechanism were designed to be the charging cable, it would discourage people from wanting to hang onto them beyond whatever distance/charge is decided as optimum for any given reason.

If you are going to want to encourage people out of cars, it is no good asking them to cycle a half marathon when they have not swung a leg over a bike for 20 years!
 

Davidc

Guru
Location
Somerset UK
The vélib bikes in Paris and their twins in Brussels aren't pretty or light either but they've been successful, at least as long as they're adequately maintained.

Experience there suggests that blog (above) is wrong. Brussels is full of seriously steep hills and they get on fine without e bikes. The biggest problem in both of those cities is finding a working bike available for hire when and where you want one. (There was one less last time I was in Brussels courtesy of the tram lines :biggrin:). That's not just my experience, it's been a hot issue in the media in both places.
 

Mad Doug Biker

Bikeoholics Anonymous
Location
Craggy Island
Oh good, I should be in London on the 1st of July, so I'll go along and see what they are like!!

Edit: just read it again and it says they will start on the 30th of July. Oops!
 

blog

Guest
Davidc said:
The vélib bikes in Paris and their twins in Brussels aren't pretty or light either but they've been successful, at least as long as they're adequately maintained.

Experience there suggests that blog (above) is wrong. Brussels is full of seriously steep hills and they get on fine without e bikes. The biggest problem in both of those cities is finding a working bike available for hire when and where you want one. (There was one less last time I was in Brussels courtesy of the tram lines :biggrin:). That's not just my experience, it's been a hot issue in the media in both places.
I'd not be so keen to hold up the vélib system as the best example. the vandalism and theft record on this scheme means that every bike on it has been replaced at least once in a very short period of time.

If they engineered the E-bike so they could conk out after a few hours, then it would encourage people to return them to the docking points in a short space of time. I guess it could well become a victim of its own success though as I'd hazard a guess many/most car drivers/people would be happier riding a 25kg pedelec with assist than a 25kg pedal cycle without - especially if they don't have showers at the other end of their journey.
 

Mad Doug Biker

Bikeoholics Anonymous
Location
Craggy Island
Personally I can't wait to see these new Routemasters of his as they certainly do look pretty good, and the comparison between them and the old ones will be interesting to see!

Heck, what am I saying, they are B*SES!!
 
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