Nice Ride Minnesota: The Best Bike Share System

Share   |  Posted May. 18, 2010 by Bill Dossett

While Minneapolis enjoyed the first hot week-end of the summer season, twelve semi-trailers rolled into Minneapolis. Those trucks are filled with bikes and self-service bike share kiosks manufactured by Montreal Public Bike System Company—the same folks who designed and built Bixi–the 5,000 bike (and growing) system launched in Montreal in May 2009.

We think Montreal's Bixi is the best bike share equipment in the world right now. Many other cities agree. London and Melbourne have also purchased the system. Boston and Toronto have announced that they will soon. What we like about it:

  • A great bike: Built from the ground-up for short trips in the City, the bike has lights that are always on, full-fenders, and a versatile cargo carrier. The step-through frame and upright riding position is perfect for the urban explorer.
  • Simplicity: The system is designed for our goal—to make it easy to use a bike for short trips in the city.
  • Durability: The system is rugged and tested.
  • Flexibility: Each self-service kiosk is self-contained and solar-powered with wireless communication. This gives us flexibility to put kiosks in the best locations and the ability to move them into storage during winter months.

Seven hundred bikes are now being assembled by Freewheel Bike mechanics in a warehouse above the Freewheel Midtown Bike Center (where Nice Ride is headquartered). Nice Ride has hired Freewheel for major repairs on bike share bikes throughout the season. One of the largest and most respected bike shops in Minnesota, Freewheel has been fixing bikes since 1974 and is consistently named by City Pages as "Twin Cities Best Bike Shop". The bike share kiosks will be assembled and installed by Sieco Construction at the Siewert Cabinet and Fixture facility in the Longfellow Neighborhood. With over 30 years of commercial construction experience in Minneapolis and the heavy equipment needed to move the portable bike share kiosks into position, Sieco is a perfect partner for Nice Ride.

1 Previous comment:

(1) On June 16, 2010, One-Eyed-Jacks () said:
Who's financing this, is it private business, the city, some combination or something else?

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From the FAQ

Am I required to wear a helmet?

While it's not required, Nice Ride recommends that everyone wear a helmet. Keep a helmet at work or in your locker. Freewheel Bike offers 20% off Trek helmets to all Nice Ride Subscribers (bring your Nice Ride key or a receipt from any Nice Ride station). Pick-up a helmet at Freewheel's West Bank store or the Freewheel Midtown Bike Center