Review: London's Cycle Hire Bikes

By pfog Last edited 105 months ago
Review: London's Cycle Hire Bikes
Well, we may not have been the first to get our hands on the London cycle hire scheme bikes, but here's our in depth, complete with pictures, opinion on the Borocycle (we think it'll catch on!) after getting to test one out at the cycle show.

According to TfL spokespeople at the show, these are the bikes coming to London next year and the only thing to be finalised is the livery. Can you suggest an improvement on the current blue? And surely the bikes should sport a double roundel...
With a basket on the front, they get points for functionality (although we've seen women with handbags that wouldn't fit in there, and men with purses that would fall straight through). And with the antler handlebars, doesn't it look vaguely familiar from the front?
The bikes come with a 3-speed twist-grip shift, and given how heavy they are that's a good thing. Twist-grip shifts avoid having things sticking out that might break, but when they go wrong, maintenance could be a big issue.
With comprehensive chain and mud-guards the bikes should be suit-friendly.
Since the bikes will be available for hire around the clock (and likely to be navy blue!), it's a good thing they sport dynamo powered LED lights front and back, cleverly built in to the frame itself.
If the lights are a bit feeble, there's also a heap of reflective trim to boost visibility.
Our only sore point (and it's a very sore one) is the saddle. It's attached with a quick-release pull (good for adjusting height, but also prone to theft), but more importantly, it is quite literally a pain in the arse. Maybe our backsides aren't those expected by TfL, but it was a trial to do even one lap around the small test course and remain seated the whole way.

Last Updated 16 October 2009