You’ve got to be kidding me. You’re collecting bike share bikes?
- That’s right. I come from a background of collecting vintage lightweight roadbikes and English 3-speeds (you can see them at TheHeadbadge.com). The 3-speeds gave me a great appreciation for the simplicity and practicality of the everyday city bike (not to mention city infrastructure to support it), and I feel that bike share bikes tend to personify this pragmatic beauty.
While traditional English roadster designs can still be had new from Raleigh of Denmark and Pashley, a certain charm exists in the chunky, bright nature of many bike share bikes. The visually catchy colors remind me of the popular use of primary colors for late 1980’s and early 1990’s kids venues, and these stylistic choices contribute to their appeal.
They may not be light or quick (with notable exception to the electric-assisted Lime-E and JUMP pedelecs!), but to get you from place to place, they’re – quite simply – brilliant.
This is awesome!
- Thank you!
But scooters are where it’s at, man!
- The Museum fully supports scooters as one of the many options to get around town (I’m pretty terrible at riding them though. Massive kudos to those who can ride them effortlessly).
Don’t forget that both bicycles and scooters benefit from barrier protected bike lanes. Super important for the future of our cities’ mobility options.
Isn’t it illegal to have a bike share bike?
- If acquired legally – as ours are – it is like any other bicycle.
All the bicycles in the Museum have been acquired through bike share companies directly, local government agencies managing abandoned/seized bicycles, or bike shops holding physical or digital documentation proving legal, private ownership of each bicycle.
Speaking of which, if you have one to donate, feel free to send us a message.
Won’t someone ride off with one?
- Not when the lock won’t unlock for them. The Museum’s bikes are no longer on GPS. We aren’t in the habit of parking them just anywhere either.
So are these bikes collectible and valuable now?
- Collectible? Doubt it.
We bought one of our ofos (the Tianjin Fuji-Ta model from Dallas) for $65. There were 450 others we could have bought; they’d been donated to a charity. Most of them were new in the box.
Fact is, these bikes are *less* valuable than most ordinary bicycles, A. Because they require proprietary tools to service them that most bike shops do not have (if you need to fix an ofo, read our article about just that), and B. Wherever one has been sold, you can bet there’s an entire fleet that it came from – and let’s face it: Moving hundreds of oddball bikes is a flipper’s nightmare.
That doesn’t detract from the fact that they are insanely practical and exceptional city bicycles – far better than anything you can buy at a big name retailer for the same price.
Our advice: Never pay over $85 (USD) for one. $50-75 is reasonable. Anyone on Craigslist, OfferUp, or LetGo asking $150-200 is out of their minds and gouging beyond belief.
Also try to buy from a reputable seller and know which services have donated their retired bicycles in your area. Do your research to avoid being sold a stolen bike.
What do I do if there’s one in front of my house and I don’t want it there?
- If a dockless vehicle shows up on your swale and you’d prefer to see it moved, send an email to the company listed on the bicycle (or scooter) if you prefer to see it redistributed. Thank you.
Bike share bikes are ugly.
- Yeah, well, you know, that’s just, like, your opinion, man.
You are promoting “bike litter.”
- If that’s how you feel, you better be advocating for the removal of the much more prevalent “car litter” that engulfs our cities.
I just kick them over.
- Just because you don’t like them doesn’t make you judge, jury, and executioner. But there’s no real point to be made when folks stoop to this.