Saturday, May 08, 2010

First Bixi ride

Yes, we're always late to the party. But we get there eventually...

Yesterday was our first outdoor Bixi ride. As a lover of bikes, we can only suggest that our first impression that this is one big hunk of junk was again confirmed. But being a big hunk of junk (this is unkind, we mean a heavy duty non-sporty style of bike) is what keeps the Bixi fleet continuously rolling under the heavy use and poor-quality Montreal roads that is the Bixi ecosystem.


Being a one size fits all device, the Bixi fits no one well. And the seat does not go up high enough for tall people. For short people, the handle bars are too far away.

The seat is adequate

The handlebar has tapered grips, which force your hands into the sharp-edged plastic moldings of the handlebar apparatus.

The front rack doesn't work at all for smallish packages. (note that last year these racks were breaking at alarming rates) Is there some reason they build a bike basket without a bottom? Can you explain this to us please?

The bell installed on the handlebar is both amazingly hidden, and completely to different to use than any bicycle bell ever in human history.

The online map and available-bikes and available-bike-parking system is good.

The "system" of bixi + Bixi stand worked well, although there were bikes in the stand that just didn't work when we entered the bixi key.

Why no "nearby bixi parking" map on the bixi parking stand? What happens when the stand is full and you need this information?

Brakes? The Bixi we rode had crappy brakes with a very stiff pull on the brake levers to activate braking action. We did not think these were safe brakes. If this was our bike we'd take it to the shop and say "Fix-em."

Finally, did we like our Bixi experience? Absolutely. For the short urban trip it is ideal.

For some newly released Bixi statistics on its first year of operation, go here: Everything you've always wanted to know about the Bixi. From the Gazette's Andy Riga at his Metropolitan News blog.


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