oBike - Dockless Cycle hire arrives in London

Discussion in 'transport' started by skyscraper101, Jul 14, 2017.

  1. skyscraper101

    skyscraper101 0891 50 50 50


    London's first dockless hire bike scheme launches


    Anybody seen any of these yet? I was reading about it yesterday - they're a rival to Santander cycles and from a Singaporean company. Then by chance I saw a bunch of these cycles along the Fulham Road on my way back from work yesterday. There's quite a few dotted around parts of central/East London too.

    Could be useful for places where there's no Santander cycles yet and it saves the hassle of locating a docking station? You just need to leave in a public bike parking area. It costs £0.50/30min so potentially cheaper too than Santander too (which comes with a minimum £2/day access fee). You do need to pay a refunable £49 deposit (reduced to £29 currently).

    The guardian reviewer said she preferred the Santander riding experience overall but perhaps it would still appeal to some as a more accessible/cheaper alternative to the Santander cycles?
    A380 and editor like this.
  2. wiskey

    wiskey Albatross Admirer

    I'm fairly sure this is how the yo-bike scheme in Bristol was supposed to work... They've introduced docks because loads got trashed
  3. FridgeMagnet

    FridgeMagnet Administrator

    There are a shitload of them around Shepherd's Bush. I've not seen anyone actually riding one though.
    A380 likes this.
  4. mauvais

    mauvais change has become unavoidable

    We've recently acquired a dockless bike scheme (Mobike) in Manchester. Perhaps Katie Melua can give us an assessment of how many bicycles there are in the Bridgewater Canal.

    Lots of fun side effects like confused local area Facebook posts trying to report 'abandoned' bikes and sometimes even their would-be users to the police.
    Saul Goodman likes this.
  5. skyscraper101

    skyscraper101 0891 50 50 50

    It would be a shame if this failed because of some idiots vandalising bikes or throwing them in the canal. I mean it is a good thing to have competition on cycle hire schemes and the no docking USP of this one is a massive advantage over TFL. Not to mention the lower cost for short time use and no corporate bank branding.
    A380 likes this.
  6. Crispy

    Crispy The following psytrance is baṉned: All

    Looks like a decent bike for £50. I'll take two :p
  7. Dogsauce

    Dogsauce Lord of the Dance Settee

    They should make them buoyant somehow, fill the frames with foam. Then all they have to do is scoop them all out at the lock on a Saturday/Sunday morning, polish them up and have them good to go for the Monday commute.
    moon and mauvais like this.
  8. iamwithnail

    iamwithnail Well-Known Member

    So can I get one of these and cycle it back to Peckham, as long as it's locked up somewhere public?
  9. salem

    salem Well-Known Member

    Just came across one of these by London Fields. Was on a side street in a parking space.

    Is there a GPS locator? Obviously a plus of the docking stations is you have somewhere to aim for! If there is a GPS unit with a mobile to phone home it's location how is it powered?

    I can see the cost benefits of this, the bikes themselves make up only a small part of the costs of the tfl scheme, however things like redistribution of bikes and maintenance are important I'd have thought?
  10. BigTom

    BigTom Well-Known Member

    GPS beacons don't need much power, I expect they have a dynamo to power up the batteries that keep it going.
    No idea about oBike but in Manchester, Mobike have 2 people/vans employed full time to drive around redistributing bikes.
    A380 likes this.
  11. skyscraper101

    skyscraper101 0891 50 50 50

    That's how I understand it yes.
  12. FridgeMagnet

    FridgeMagnet Administrator

    The council aren't happy apparently: Dealing with a glut of yellow bicycles in H&F
    They were a bit obtrusive tbh.
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2017
    muscovyduck and skyscraper101 like this.
  13. skyscraper101

    skyscraper101 0891 50 50 50

    Cycle hire wars :cool:
  14. skyscraper101

    skyscraper101 0891 50 50 50

    I wonder what the law is on this. Presumably its legal and free to park bikes in bike parking areas but have they legislation to just get rid of dockless bikes if a company comes along and just places dozens of them in these areas?
    A380 likes this.
  15. iamwithnail

    iamwithnail Well-Known Member

    That's pretty neat if so. Was just having a look and there's one on Peckham Rye, I might go up and try it out just for shits and giggles.
    Badgers likes this.
  16. BigTom

    BigTom Well-Known Member

    afaik anything that "causes an obstruction" can be removed (bikes, street furniture, cars). Saw a tweet earlier with a pic from a council's "street scene" officers saying the bikes would be removed and stored for a certain number of days.
    I dunno how "obstruction" is defined though, but I think if they are blocking wheelchairs, mobility scooters or buggy/prams they would definitely be considered an obstruction, idk how difficult it would need to be for a pedestrian to pass for it to be considered an obstruction.
    muscovyduck likes this.
  17. Bungle73

    Bungle73 I was there, now I'm here Banned

    Aren't these things taking away spaces from legitimate cyclists? If you look at the image in the op, that's 3 spaces that are no longer available for people to park their own bikes. Its not like there is a glut of cycle parking spaces.
  18. Bahnhof Strasse

    Bahnhof Strasse In the AreA

    Are oBike riders not legitimate cyclists then?
    TopCat, Fez909, Badgers and 1 other person like this.
  19. skyscraper101

    skyscraper101 0891 50 50 50

    Not really, they don't need to be secured to the bike locking rail, so they can probably just be moved next to a regular cycle without taking up space I'd have thought.
    Badgers likes this.
  20. FridgeMagnet

    FridgeMagnet Administrator

    They're definitely in the way here. This was the most annoying one I saw - there was space to park them next to the bike poles but they're pushed out into the pavement, blocking a lot of it off. I was tempted to push them over.

    Bahnhof Strasse likes this.
  21. EastEnder

    EastEnder Brixton Barnacle

    They've just been moaning about them on BBC London news. I think it's one of the those ideas that sounds good on paper, would probably work well in some European city where there's a bit more space and fewer wankers. But in London? The canals will be clogged with them in no time.
    A380 and Badgers like this.
  22. Bungle73

    Bungle73 I was there, now I'm here Banned

    I'm not sure why the Santander bikes need competition anyway? They're a public service, not a commercial enterprise. Not only that, another set of hire bikes, with an entirely different set of rules, has the potential to cause confusion.
    muscovyduck and Badgers like this.
  23. FridgeMagnet

    FridgeMagnet Administrator

    The more I think about this, the more it seems like another bunch of "disruptive" arses exploiting public infrastructure for free advertising and business space. And parking like cunts and getting in everyone's way.
    TopCat, muscovyduck, peterkro and 2 others like this.
  24. A380

    A380 How do I change this 'custom title' thing then?

    They have had two competing schemes of dockless cycle hire in Chengdu for a few years. The bikes don't seem to get stolen or vandalised. I don't know if thats because the Chinese are by nature more honest than Brits or because you are likely to get locked up in some kind of glacier appreciation camp for a zillion years if you get caught stealing?
  25. BigTom

    BigTom Well-Known Member

    You have to pay a deposit to take one (£50 I think?) and there's no way you're going to sell that bike for more than that, there's probably not many/any people who'd want to buy one anyway, and if there was they could just "buy" one for £50 so why would they pay a thief more?
    A380 likes this.
  26. salem

    salem Well-Known Member

    They wouldn't need to 'buy' one for £50 in any case. They can just pick it up from the side of the road as these aren't locked to anything.

    There is some stuff on their website about 'credit' oBike, apparently good behaviour is rewarded with credits and bad behaviour takes them away - the website is very vague and doesn't give any details about how these are assigned - but it can vary the price you pay to hire the bike by 100x - their site quotes prices in Singapour dollars for some reason but between 0.5 and 50SGD per 30 mins depending on how many of these credits you have.

    It's an interesting idea and really the cost to get 400 bikes on the streets would be in the tens of thousands of pounds so it's pocket money to get running compared to the £140m or so the tfl scheme cost so I can understand why these guys are doing it and I don't see the harm in having it as another spoke in our public transport system.

    I saw a similar scheme run by DB in Frankfurt which seemed to be running OK so assuming people use their brain when parking I can't see these being any more obtrusive then any other bicycle when parked.
    kenny g likes this.
  27. BigTom

    BigTom Well-Known Member

    They have a lock through the back wheel. I don't know about the obike bikes but they look very similar to the mobike ones and you need special allen keys to take anything off the bike, you'd have to cut the lock off with an angle grinder.
    Badgers likes this.
  28. Bahnhof Strasse

    Bahnhof Strasse In the AreA

    They shouldn't be allowed to leave them on the pavements, nor should other bikes either. SpookyFrank has been very convincing on this; if you wish to leave your shit on public property you should pay for the privilege.
    muscovyduck, SpookyFrank and Badgers like this.
  29. teuchter

    teuchter je suis teuchter

    If they don't need stands or anything to lock them to, then I think a good solution would be to park them up in any unrestricted car parking spaces. You could easily get 6 in a standard bay.

    It's a shame that our bizarre car culture leaves us in a situation where we expect bicycles to be parked in the way of pedestrians instead of motorists.
    innit, alan_, ska invita and 5 others like this.
  30. cybershot

    cybershot Well-Known Member

    Just been on 5live about these in the Manchester area, the guy used the app to locate a bike, which was 5 mins away, he found it under a bush!

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