Video: BikeShare.com Checks in on Bike Nation Anaheim

The team at BikeShare.com took a trip to Anaheim last week to look at the work completed on the first installment of Bike Nation’s Anaheim system. The above video goes into the pros and cons of Bike Nation’s design and of bicycling in Anaheim, but overall the review is pretty positive. As Matt Christensen writes on BikeShare.com:

Our journey taught us two things: First, Anaheim is not bike-friendly and, second, Bike Nation Anaheim is in its beta stage. Despite the nascence of the program and its auto-centric setting, we found the system’s components to be relatively easy to use and comfortable.

Which is not to say the review was universally positive. For example, many of the bicycles they tried were stuck in second gear and the kiosks weren’t large enough to fit all of the bicycles at their destination. But overall, they found the system easy to use and the bicycles comfortable to ride.

For more, check out the video above. Bike Nation is working on expanding the bike share system in Anaheim from 3 to 10 locations and creating systems in Tustin, Long Beach and Los Angeles.

  • James

  • Ubrayj02

     The 3-speed shifters on those bike are Sturmey-Archer twist shifters. I love S/A hubs and I rebuild them on a weekly basis. They are great – but they are not the typical choice for bike share bikes. Why didn’t they go with a Nexus Inter3 hub setup from Shimano? My only guess is that the S/A stuff was cheaper. The shifting on an S/A hub is noticeably clunkier and they do require a tiny bit more maintenance.

    Well, the purchasing decision has obviously been made. I wish them all the best – and if they need some internal hub parts to rebuild the hubs (or those stupid plastic covers that are on the drive side protecting the indicator chain) I have plenty on hand.

  • Ubrayj02

    Having watched the videos now I can say this: the S/A hubs were a bad choice.

    Sturmey-Archer cables are not pre-streched and do not come lined with a chemical to help them move inside their housing. These two issues make them prone to crap shifting after a few days or weeks of heavy use. They need to be minutely adjust after the steel shift cables have settled in. This shifting problem noted in the video will keep happening.  Shimano Nexus Inter3 hubs can use a standard shift cable and so can use some of the higher end inner gear cables not available on Sturmey-Archer hubs. They saved a few bucks at the factory but are going to spend it in maintenance time and customer complaints.

    Also, the Sturmey-Archer hubs are not designed to be pedaled hard and shifted at the same time (the way you would do on an externally geared bike). This dude’s assessment of the bikes shifting is going to be typical of user experiences, sadly.

    Also – tall guy with knees almost hitting the bars? Get over it, brah. Upright bikes do that.

    One more thing: I am disappointed that the reviewer did not test the bunny hopping or wheelie capability of these bikes. They are rental bikes, man. You are supposed to abuse the trust the system owners have placed in you. This is the way of the rental bike.

  • Dennis Hindman

    Ubrayj02, your experience with the different internal hubs is great insight. I would also like to add that having the cables exposed to vandalism and being able to readily take parts off like the brake handles or shifter will prove to be a headache for Bike Nation. There is a reason why Velib and Bixi bikes were designed with and exposed bolts are removed with custom tools and the cables, brake and gear shift bolts are covered to keep the vandalism down. Here’s some pictures of the Bixi bikes that help illustrate that:

    http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-jBA0riXWX80/TdpTtbolx0I/AAAAAAAACxs/ufQPbh8Y5vg/s1600/bixi%252Bbikes.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.thegreenmarketoracle.com/2011/05/bixi-bike-rental-system.html&h=612&w=792&sz=64&tbnid=fDkHJvkNtqs1uM:&tbnh=97&tbnw=126&zoom=1&usg=__dPcM_Pv9sHBPYEGsQeD7tGs7mvs=&docid=Eo-8qfs7SHwcYM&hl=en&sa=X&ei=erQ_UYjWCoqLywGPx4DACQ&sqi=2&ved=0CFMQ9QEwBA&dur=672

    Bike Nation is using a off-the-shelf bike design that was meant to be used as a industrial product on private property by employees. I would expect to see a lot of stripped bikes if they put them in a downtown area in a large city of a city as Los Angeles.

  • Ubrayj02

     Dennis, some of that can be prevented by swapping all available bolts with metric threaded equivalents with Torx heads (or some other rare tool style). These bolts are pretty easy to get through mainstream hardware suppliers but the tools are a bit rarer in mainstream society.

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