Boris bikes - anyone else had a go?

Status
Not open for further replies.
Joined
2 May 2011
Messages
287
Location
Nowhere
Not sure if this has been done before, but I took my first ride on a Boris bike a couple of weeks ago. I've paid £45 for a years access enabling me to use them for 30 minutes each time free, as often as I want. Used several times since then and am pretty impressed, and reckon I will avoid a few bus delays. :o

Ignoring the obvious busy traffic, weather and route related planning, do we have any thoughts and guidance to share? My own initial impressions are:

- You soon get to know which docking stations often have bikes, and which can be relied upon the have space to return a bike to (I believe an app is available for this purpose too).

- Bells and rear reflectors are the pieces of kit most often missing!

- Comfort rather than speed is the order of the day.

- Boris bikes rank bottom of the pecking order at the lights, behind all other cyclists. I guess riders are seen as "amateurs", ie casual cyclists.

- 1st and 2nd gear seem rather pointless. I usually just stick to 3rd.

That's about it for now - anyone want to pass their own judgement?
 
Sponsor Post - registered members do not see these adverts; click here to register, or click here to log in
R

RailUK Forums

142094

Established Member
Joined
7 Nov 2009
Messages
8,789
Location
Newcastle
Used similar in Europe before, and most cities in the EU have had them for yonks. Not sure if I'd want to cycle in London, other EU cities seem to be much safer and bike-friendly compared to London.
 

Uzair

Member
Joined
15 Apr 2009
Messages
192
Location
London
I am impressed, however I wish the bikes could go a bit faster. I agree with what you say about first and second gears.

However I think it can sometimes be difficult to take the bikes out of docks after you have put in the code. You sometimes need a bit of strength to do it, and you may think it's about to be damaged, if you see what I mean?
 

snail

Established Member
Joined
16 Jun 2011
Messages
1,847
Location
t'North
Good for short journeys on 'quieter' routes where I would normally walk, e.g. St Pancras area to Tottenham Court Road. I find them heavy for longer distances, got as far as London Bridge one Sunday - and struggled to find a docking station. Generally, I think a good thing and reasonably priced for what you get.
 
Joined
2 May 2011
Messages
287
Location
Nowhere
Do you find many are damaged?

Most that I've hired have been in very good nick, but even so it's best to check the rear wheel spins properly (ie no pronounced "wobble") before you undock. I had one journey which was a little more exciting than I was anticipating as a result of not checking this first!
 

fgwrich

Established Member
Joined
15 Apr 2009
Messages
6,107
Location
Between Edinburgh and Exeter
Do you find many are damaged?

Most that I've hired have been in very good nick, but even so it's best to check the rear wheel spins properly (ie no pronounced "wobble") before you undock. I had one journey which was a little more exciting than I was anticipating as a result of not checking this first!

I know the feeling, as ive had a few rides across london on them. 1st Boris bike was ok, gears were fine, brakes were fine. The second ride from Kings Cross over to Paddington was a little more interesting, not least becuase id got lost trying to avoid the main roads and ended up going via Bloomsbury - This bike had slightly more lively gears...The 3rd - Now this was probably the most liveliest boris bike ive had so far, both journey and bike wise - London Bridge / London Fire Bridge / Union Street to Soho, with sod all brakes! :lol: I have to admit that in the end, after finnaly finding the nearest docking station thanks to the staff at The Ritz, the best way of stopping this thing was to just ride it into the docking station (at low speed) and report the brakes from there...Not the best way of doing things but it wasnt the easiest of rides!
 

stut

Established Member
Joined
25 Jun 2008
Messages
1,871
Surely the correct way to dock a Kenbike is to do a running dismount immediately before the docking station?

I do use them from time to time when I want to do one-way trips on London, and rather like them. The IT is improving, too (it was diabolical last year) but there needs to be more redistribution of bikes in the rush hour if they're to be a serious commuting option.

Also, the "keys" need to be much stronger!
 

142094

Established Member
Joined
7 Nov 2009
Messages
8,789
Location
Newcastle
Is that a requirement? There's a FreeCityBus round Bradford - I'm sure that's still public transport.

Depends on what the definition of public transport - some people say it is where you have to pay a fare to use it, but things such as free buses and community transport muddy the waters.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Top