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Bicycle rental stations everywhere in Paris

Sydney
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Bicycle rental stations everywhere in Paris

When we were last in Paris (September 2008) we saw bicycle rental stations everywhere in Paris (we call them push bikes here in Oz). We are going back to Paris this September and wondered whether tourists can rent them and how to do it. These bicycles looked like they would be ideal for short jaunts through the city. It seemed that you could drop them off at other rental stations. Any advice re. how to use these would be greatly appreciated.

Also, are there maps of good (safe) bicycle routes or bicycle lanes through Paris? The banks of the Seine look ideal but we wondered about other routes as well.

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Eindhoven...
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1. Re: Bicycle rental stations everywhere in Paris

You'll find more information about the Velib' (including some in English, for tourists) on http://www.velib.paris.fr/

You can also search on this forum - there are a few reports (as far as I can tell mostly from people who didn't bother to read the fine print) about it being "a scam". One of the things to remember is that your credit card will be charged €150 as a guarantee, and it can take up to 2 weeks before you'll get it back.

Ottawa, Canada
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2. Re: Bicycle rental stations everywhere in Paris

The other important point is that your credit card needs to have a chip in order to work. If it has just a magnetic strip it won't.

I've read you can get a chip card in OZ so check into that if you want to try the system.

Rob

Sydney
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3. Re: Bicycle rental stations everywhere in Paris

Thanks to you both for your help. It sounds like a great idea and a security deposit is completely reasonable. I wish we had something like this in Sydney!

Maine, USA
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4. Re: Bicycle rental stations everywhere in Paris

This has been the topic of many posts here. For example: tripadvisor.com/…17178908

You either need a card with a chip or an American Express card. Any old AMEX card will do.

Many roads have bike lanes, but many do not.

This site is also useful, but more useful if you read French. :^)

Maine, USA
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5. Re: Bicycle rental stations everywhere in Paris

Sorry. I meant to say THIS site is also useful: www.en.velib.paris.fr/comment_ca_marche

Paris, France
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6. Re: Bicycle rental stations everywhere in Paris

The system has also been extended to most of the near suburbs, which makes some of the hotels beyond the Paris city limits a lot more interesting for tourists than they used to be.

London Uk
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7. Re: Bicycle rental stations everywhere in Paris

I would never use these because of the hassle of the big deposit.

What happens if your bike gets stolen?

End up under a truck?

Who pays?

Also you will be taking on an unfamiliar bike mechanically and if there is the slightest mechanical breakdown how are you going to fix it 8 miles out in a beetroot field as dusk falls,its starts raining,and you are 9 miles from the nearest bike shop/metro/village?

Here are some things that can commonly go wrong with bikes that have heavy use by multiple users:

Puncture,

Blown tyre

Chain slips off

Lights fail,

Lock siezes up,

frame breaks

Brake cable snaps

Saddle slips

handlebars slip,

Wheel nuts fall off

Pedal(s)fall off

Crank breaks up

Wheel bearings break up

Anyone of these can make the bike unrideable and illegal!

Cobblestones on the Continent also unshake nuts.

If you are carrying a full tool kit,spares(2 tubes cables tyres) and or a high pressure guaged stirrup pump you might be able to deal with some of these if you have the know how otherwise youll be stumped.

Renting a bike in my view is some airy fairy dream of armchair newspaper reading old Aunties who fondly imagine theyve "helped you"with a sensible suggestion.

They probbaly drive cars.

You could be letting yourself in for a lot of misery!

You can buy a brand new bike in Go Sport for about 100 Euros!

Use it for 2 weeks chuck it away or sell it at a market when you leave!

Eindhoven...
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8. Re: Bicycle rental stations everywhere in Paris

Have you been to Paris since they introduced the Velib' scheme, "lazenlondonuk"?

First of all, there are no "beetroot fields" in Paris. But there are literally hundreds of Velib' stations, so you're never more than a few hundred meters away from them. The idea is that you use the bikes to go for short rides from one station to another, not into the countryside.

The bikes are custom-built and sturdier (also heavier) than any of the 'made-in-China' stuff you can buy for €100-200. But it's true that they're often broken - mostly because of abuse. There seems to be a lot of theft, too. However, a repair team of 200 persons in 8 workshops repairs 1500 Velib bikes in Paris every day.

Paris, France
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9. Re: Bicycle rental stations everywhere in Paris

What a dreary vision of the world.

I suppose you won't come to Paris because the tunnel might fill with water.

VABeach
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10. Re: Bicycle rental stations everywhere in Paris

Rain-swept beetroot fields at dusk get no respect.

Prior to getting a CC w/ a chip for Velib use, i had been looking into renting bikes for the week and keeping them at the apt to avoid the need to return 'em within an allotted time, but it sounds like pricey overkill.