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London Cycle hire is here

GreggyrGreggyr Posts: 1,075
edited August 2010 in Commuting general
Just had my first ride, and a pleasant experience it was !! I hope it is a success, I plan to use it often.
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Posts

  • WesternWayWesternWay Posts: 564
    Greggyr wrote:
    Just had my first ride, and a pleaseant experience it was !! I hope it is a success, I plan to use it often.
    +1
  • gaz545gaz545 Posts: 493
    i'm going to try and take one for a speed run this afternoon.
  • zrazzlezrazzle Posts: 79
    Has anyone been scalped by one yet?
  • prj45prj45 Posts: 2,208
    zrazzle wrote:
    Has anyone been scalped by one yet?

    If I were on one I would bother trying to go round a scalp, just ride straight over it!
  • zrazzlezrazzle Posts: 79
    haha, I think you should introduce some sort of mega point deduction in case of it happening!
  • Big WibBig Wib Posts: 363
    Could we possibly have a proper report rather than the biaised ones that will filter out through the press over the next few days?

    i.e. how easy was it to use, is the basket big enough to put anything in (it looks a bit small of the pictures) & will it stay it, can you squash anything that gets in the way?

    I'm so tempted to arrange a meeting in London next week just so I can use one :D
  • prj45prj45 Posts: 2,208
    Big Wib wrote:
    I'm so tempted to arrange a meeting in London next week just so I can use one :D

    Make sure you register first, they're not open for general use for another month or so.
  • el_presidenteel_presidente Posts: 1,963
    I had a close look at one this morning, I have registered but my fob hasn't come through yet so I didn't ride it.

    they look pretty good to me. Details on the spec:

    - Nexus 3-speed hub gear with twist gip shifting
    - hub brakes front & rear
    - Wheels are 26" i think. Tyres are unbranded but look suspiciously like Schwalbe Marathons - with the reflective sidewall and some tread. Looked like 26 *1.5". Schrader valve so you could top them off at a garage if you need to.
    - Front basket has no sides but does have bungees. It's not massive but prob big enough given that it's on the front.
    - Seatpost is QR adjusted and possibly a theft risk. Saddle very wide & squashy
    - Handlebars don't seem to be adjustable and are very upright.
    - Barclays branding is hideous but the sticker was already starting to peel off. This is one of the worst aspects imho, I expect Frank Pick, Harry Beck and the other design gurus from London Transport's history are spinning in their graves.
    <a>road</a>
  • HeadhuunterHeadhuunter Posts: 6,494
    zrazzle wrote:
    Has anyone been scalped by one yet?

    No but I scalped 2 or 3 people on them this morning as I rode along Tooley St at about 8.20am
    Do not write below this line. Office use only.
  • prj45prj45 Posts: 2,208
    - Seatpost is QR adjusted and possibly a theft risk.

    If you the seatpost it right up it doesn't come out (although it might not be hard to work out how to get it out). I supposed the skewer could go though.
    - Barclays branding is hideous but the sticker was already starting to peel off. This is one of the worst aspects imho, I expect Frank Pick, Harry Beck and the other design gurus from London Transport's history are spinning in their graves.

    Yup, placement of the Barclay's name near the roundel breaks all the design rules apparently.

    Also, this has started already:

    http://twitpic.com/29tf1o
  • MynameisdannMynameisdann Posts: 665
    hah, how much are they just out of interest?
  • jongingejonginge Posts: 5,945
    http://londonist.com/2010/07/first_ride ... scheme.php

    Passed several full docking stations today that weren't even there at the start of the week :D
    FCN 2-4 "Shut up legs", Jens Voigt
    Planet-x Scott
    Rides
  • Big WibBig Wib Posts: 363
    prj45 wrote:
    Big Wib wrote:
    I'm so tempted to arrange a meeting in London next week just so I can use one :D

    Make sure you register first, they're not open for general use for another month or so.

    Good point, looking at the costs it's probably not worth registering but then I think, can I really be a*sed to faff around with a credit card each time I want to use them. Plus as you say I would have to wait a month
  • zrazzlezrazzle Posts: 79
    I was gonna link to a similar pic!

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/suburbanslice/4842735271/
  • el_presidenteel_presidente Posts: 1,963
    I had a close look at one this morning, I have registered but my fob hasn't come through yet so I didn't ride it.

    they look pretty good to me. Details on the spec:

    - Nexus 3-speed hub gear with twist gip shifting
    - hub brakes front & rear
    - Wheels are 26" i think. Tyres are unbranded but look suspiciously like Schwalbe Marathons - with the reflective sidewall and some tread. Looked like 26 *1.5". Schrader valve so you could top them off at a garage if you need to.
    - Front basket has no sides but does have bungees. It's not massive but prob big enough given that it's on the front.
    - Seatpost is QR adjusted and possibly a theft risk. Saddle very wide & squashy
    - Handlebars don't seem to be adjustable and are very upright.
    - Barclays branding is hideous but the sticker was already starting to peel off. This is one of the worst aspects imho, I expect Frank Pick, Harry Beck and the other design gurus from London Transport's history are spinning in their graves.

    Also there is a big sign in the middle of the bars saying "don't undertake large vehicles" and a graphic
    <a>road</a>
  • marcusjbmarcusjb Posts: 2,412
    Question for the taller users out there - just went out for coffee with my boss and we were chatting about the scheme - he's interested, but he's 6 foot 7 - will he fit on the bikes?
  • lost_in_thoughtlost_in_thought Posts: 10,563
    Tried to buy a key, was charged for 2 for some reason.

    Requested a refund and bought another key. Still no refund or key... :?
  • mrolimroli Posts: 3,622
    I'm at London Wall and saw loads (alright - 8) people riding them in about 10min whilst out on my foldie (rode up to the Rapha shop, saw the queue and rode back again). Look great I think.
  • OldSkoolKonaOldSkoolKona Posts: 655
    I saw them this morning on my ride in, really hope they are a success. Never thought I'd see the day when London would follow Paris's (correct grammar?) lead.

    How long though before the first Daily Mail "london hire bikes cause cancer" type article(s) :-(

    SCR london bike hire challenge anyone? Race around the city with a route to visit the furthest out stations? Which one is closest to the Morpeth?
    Can anyone recommend a good Android app with a cycle hire station app?
  • lardboylardboy Posts: 343
    Bike hire scheme: FAIL!

    Just tried to hire bikes from 2 seperate locations, using my annual key, activated just yesterday on the webiste. No luck. The lights turned the right colours, but wouldn;t unlock the bike, no matter what I or the assistants did. I was only planning to pop down to Borough Market for lunch, but no dice. I'm glad I wasn't relying on them to head to a meeting.
    Bike/Train commuter: Brompton S2L - "Machete"
    12mile each way commuter: '11 Boardman CX with guards and rack
    For fun: '11 Wilier La Triestina
    SS: '07 Kona Smoke with yellow bits
  • kelsenkelsen Posts: 2,003
    Regarding the damage charge, how is it determined if any damage to the bike occurred during your posession, and not after you docked it?
  • VerbalVerbal Posts: 100
    Sky News threw live to a reporter standing by one of the racks this morning. She did her spiel to camera explaining how the scheme worked blah blah blah, then inserted her key and hey presto! She couldn't unlock the bike - cue lots of embarassed laughter from her and the studio.

    Hope the scheme works though and they don't all end up nicked/in the Thames...
  • iPeteiPete Posts: 6,076
    I'm impressed, lots of interest and I've registered for a key. Mind, I'll use it as much as a snail does roller skates, plenty novelty factor though!
  • IrvinetIrvinet Posts: 117
    Had my own test ride today on "Barclay's London Cycle Hire" and I am very impressed! A few notes:

    First and most importantly it is very convenient.. it just worked really. The main "trick" is that even once the lights go green the bike still seems stuck in the rack. If you lift the real wheel a few inches it comes out ok... I think this will trip a lot of people up.

    The bikes are fine but you are not going to set any speed records, that is for sure. The gearing is OK but the sit-up-and-beg position combined with the worlds biggest saddle means you just can't lay down the power. I do wish the handle bars were a little narrower, but I guess they are not too keen to encourage hard-core filtering through traffic. The servicing on the bikes does seem to be a bit uneven as well. There was a helper at one of the hire points as she marked the first two bikes I took out as "in need of service" because the back wheel was quite tight, like the brake was jammed or the hub gear was in trouble.

    Most importantly, they are going to have to sort out distribution. All three stations I saw in The City were either totally full or had only one slot open, which I then filled. It would be very irritating if you had to ride round in circles searching for a place to drop off your bike, especially if you are close to the end of that magic 30min free window.

    My main criticism is the bloody stupid keys... I don't carry keys so this big thick plastic thing has to live in my wallet. Why, why, WHY did they not integrate into Oyster?? I can not believe they decided against this. Unforgivable stupidity.

    Finally, I want to go on record that the scheme should have been called Cyclon.... They can buy that off me for a couple of £mil if they like... they should too, "Barclay's London Cycle Hire" is lame beyond belief.
    Roberts Audax - Raleigh Fixie - Thorn Tandem
  • fnegronifnegroni Posts: 794
    Irvinet wrote:
    H
    Most importantly, they are going to have to sort out distribution. All three stations I saw in The City were either totally full or had only one slot open, which I then filled. It would be very irritating if you had to ride round in circles searching for a place to drop off your bike, especially if you are close to the end of that magic 30min free window.

    I read somewhere that if you find a station which is full, and press a button somewhere (probably where the card reader for occasional users is) then you get an extra 15 minutes free to find another station. Might be worth a try.
    My main criticism is the bloody stupid keys... I don't carry keys so this big thick plastic thing has to live in my wallet. Why, why, WHY did they not integrate into Oyster?? I can not believe they decided against this. Unforgivable stupidity.

    I guess they wanted to ensure if the scheme expanded to other towns without the Oyster system, that you could use the same key and the same membership to hire bikes elsewhere. In which case integration with the Oyster system is a nice to have but not essential.
    The current system does *not* prevent them to extend to Oyster too.
    Finally, I want to go on record that the scheme should have been called Cyclon.... They can buy that off me for a couple of £mil if they like... they should too, "Barclay's London Cycle Hire" is lame beyond belief.

    I thought of VeloCity... but most people on Twitter seem to have coined the term 'Boris bikes'...
  • IrvinetIrvinet Posts: 117
    fnegroni wrote:
    Irvinet wrote:
    H
    Most importantly, they are going to have to sort out distribution. All three stations I saw in The City were either totally full or had only one slot open, which I then filled. It would be very irritating if you had to ride round in circles searching for a place to drop off your bike, especially if you are close to the end of that magic 30min free window.
    I read somewhere that if you find a station which is full, and press a button somewhere (probably where the card reader for occasional users is) then you get an extra 15 minutes free to find another station. Might be worth a try.

    That is a good idea but a full rack should still be a rare event if they want people to get into the habit of using the bikes.
    My main criticism is the bloody stupid keys... I don't carry keys so this big thick plastic thing has to live in my wallet. Why, why, WHY did they not integrate into Oyster?? I can not believe they decided against this. Unforgivable stupidity.
    I guess they wanted to ensure if the scheme expanded to other towns without the Oyster system, that you could use the same key and the same membership to hire bikes elsewhere. In which case integration with the Oyster system is a nice to have but not essential.
    The current system does *not* prevent them to extend to Oyster too.

    Well... Let's just say I would be surprised if this came to be. As a resident I would still much prefer that my public transport was all covered under a single system than having to carry around a variety of access cards and keys for each. The benifit of being able to take my key to other cities is quite small to me personally.
    Roberts Audax - Raleigh Fixie - Thorn Tandem
  • rolf_frolf_f Posts: 16,011
    Irvinet wrote:
    Finally, I want to go on record that the scheme should have been called Cyclon.... They can buy that off me for a couple of £mil if they like... they should too, "Barclay's London Cycle Hire" is lame beyond belief.

    I think 'Barclay's London Cycle Hire', whilst a censored name, is probably still better than naming the scheme after the stuff the Nazis used in the gas chambers but feel free to ring Boris!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zyklon_B

    Oyster might be good if you are a resident but a pain if you aren't.
    Faster than a tent.......
  • OldSkoolKonaOldSkoolKona Posts: 655
    Cycled through London at lunchtime to see Mrs OSK (I do love my Brompton, but that's another story :-) ) I was impressed by the number and positioning of the stands (saw quite a few between Kensington and Spitalfields) and quite a few people taking them for a leisurely ride. Anything that increases the amount of casual non fluro nodders is a plus in my book. Actually surprised how pleasant London is to cycle through at lunchtime, got to see all the sites on my route
  • IrvinetIrvinet Posts: 117
    Rolf F wrote:
    Oyster might be good if you are a resident but a pain if you aren't.

    How would it be more of a pain than the key?

    I am not suggesting they remove the existing direct credit card option...
    Roberts Audax - Raleigh Fixie - Thorn Tandem
  • jongingejonginge Posts: 5,945
    I spied a docking station at the top end of Hatton Garden. Very handy for Condor, the Rapha cafe and a certain drinking establishment that I frequent :D
    FCN 2-4 "Shut up legs", Jens Voigt
    Planet-x Scott
    Rides
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