Monthly Archives: September 2017

Nordic Biking – Stockholm

Part three of the Wheeled Thing review of Nordic bike share systems is Stockholm, also called City Bikes.  What came first, the innovative naming convention of the Helsinki or Stockholm bike share???  Really, who cares – I’m just happy they both cities offer bike share.

Unfortunately, Stockholm City Bikes is not that good, but to I’ve heard they put a an RFP for an updated system, so by the time you read this, there may be a better system in place.

On the good side:

  1. Each time you take out a bike you get three (3) hours.  Yes, you never really have to worry about an overage charge.
  2. They have an app for both iOS and Android which assists in finding the location of docks and how many bikes are available.
  3. There were plenty of bikes available
  4. The hotel I was staying at was selling the 3-Day Card.  Just tap the card at the kiosk “Card Reader” to take out a bike.

    Stockholm City Bike Kisok

    Tap Then Pedal

On the bad side

  1. It was hard to locate a dock – as both sides had huge advertisements.  When a truck parked in front of the dock, we missed it completely, even when using the app.

    Stockholm Bike Share Dock

    Docks Duck Between Signs

  2. The price was on the high side at $20.50 (SEK 165) per three day pass, but there are no overage charges.  It is a three strikes and you’re out policy.
  3. The docks were a bit difficult to work with – as you need to pick them up and line them up in the holes.

    Stockholm City Bikes

    Pick and Insert

  4. The bikes were in poor condition and did not work very well.  It was clear that this system was all about the advertising, and the bikes were an afterthought.
  5. There never seemed to be docks where we wanted them.  The geographic distribution was wide, but the docks were spaced too far apart.

Stockholm City Bikes is the 3rd best bike share of the Nordic Capitals.

Nordic Biking – Helsinki

Part two of the Wheeled Thing review of Nordic bike share systems is Helsinki, where they have named their system City Bikes.  I hope they did not shell out too much to the marketing firm for that one.

On the good side:

  1. It only costs $12 (10 €) for a week of riding, but if you go over that, it’s only $1.20 (1 €) for the next hour.
  2. You can sign up online, just click here. Once you register you get a UserID # and select a password.
  3. You can use a USA Phone number to sign up!
  4. To take out a bicycle, you don’t need to visit a kiosk – just select a bike and enter your ID/password combo on the handlebar computer to take out a bike.

    Helsinki City Bikes Handelbars

    The computer between the handlebars

  5. The bike has a lock cable which allows you to walk away from the bike.  The clock is still ticking on your rental, but its good to have the option.
  6. You never have to worry about finding reaching a dock that is full.  The same cable can be used to secure the bike within 20 meters of the dock to end your rental
City Bike Dock - Helsinki

When is a bike dock like horseshoes? When its in Helsinki.

On the bad side:

  1. It was sometimes challenging to find a bike – as the full docks were really, really full – and there were lots of empty docks.

    Lots of Bikes at the Dock in Helsinki

    Helsinki Bike Dock – Always room for one more!

  2. No app!  This makes it difficult to find docks.  You need to compare the station map to GoogleMaps and life.  It is hard enough to pronounce the names of these stations (MESSENIUKSENKATU, MEILAHDEN SAIRAALA or JÄTKÄSAARENLAITURI) let alone type them into your smart phone.

Helsinki City Bikes is the 2nd best bike share of the Nordic Capitals.

Nordic Biking – Oslo

Wheeled Thing just returned from a trip to five Nordic cities (Oslo, Gothenburg, Copenhagen, Helsinki and Stockholm).

All five cities have a bike share system – here is the first of a series of reviews

Oslo Bysykkel translates as City Bike, and their system is great.

All Lined Up

First of all, you can find info at oslobysykkel.no/en and they have a great app for both iOS and Android.

Here is why I loved Oslo Bysykkel

  1. It works and is focused around the app: You can both buy your 72 hour pass (NOK 99 [~$13] for 72 hrs) and can undock a bike on the app.
  2. You can sign up with an American phone number!
  3. A 72 Hour Pass includes 45 minutes with each borrowing along with minimal overage charges (NOK 5 [~$0.65] per 15 extra minutes)
  4. There is a smartphone holder built into the handlebars:

    Oslo Bike Share Dock

    Look Ma… A smartphone holder!

  5.  If you are about to go over on time, Bysykkel sends you a text message
  6. There were plenty of bikes available – when and where we wanted them.

Oslo Bysykkel is the best bike share of the Nordic Capitals.