I had expected the bike to weigh a ton and although it undoubtedly was heavy, I was rather surprised at how easy it was to ride. Mind you that was along the flat roads between sunny North Lambeth and Tower Hill stations. They weigh in at a hefty 23kg (50.7lbs), a far cry from the 19lb my bike weighs (and some would say that’s heavy). Apparently the idea is that makes them too heavy to run off with and throw in the river while making them light enough to actually ride.
Don’t expect to go great speeds either as the gearing is pretty abysmal and I didn’t need to change out of third the whole way (and there are only three gears). Apparently they are the Shimano Nexus 3 Speed Hub with the ratio at the front geared up to 38 and 23 at the rear.
So with the negatives out of the way, I did find it a fairly easy and comfortable ride. The saddle was quick and easy to adjust. And it was certainly far better than the usual crowded tube journey, fighting for a seat or having to stand in a crowded, hot and sweaty carriage. The journey time by bike was about 15 minutes door to door whereas the tube can take an average of 40 minutes, and that’s without delays. Using my key to remove the bike from its rack and return it could not have been simpler. Oh and using the bike everyday will save me around £800 a year. My journey time is less than 30 minutes so there is nothing to pay over and above my £45 a year membership fee.
For my short hop from station to office, it’s a Boris bike everyday from now on (apart from when it’s raining as I don’t relish the idea of having to drip-dry at work)