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Shared bikes in China

Shared bikes in China

Old May 11, 2023, 6:28 pm
  #1  
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Shared bikes in China

I'm guessing that we have an existing thread on this topic, but it is stale.

So, here is my current take (based mostly on SH):
-the yellow bikes work nicely with WeChat but cost more than the others
-the blue bikes work on Alipay without the need to download their app
-I don't know of anybody who uses the green bikes
-get a monthly plan (only around 30)
-when selecting a bike at a subway station, just go for the most convenient option
-for longer trips, you presumably want a good bike, but newer isn't always better

Last edited by moondog; May 15, 2023 at 3:15 am
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Old May 12, 2023, 9:39 pm
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Based on my recent personal data points, it's occurred to me that bikes are often faster than subways or cars in Shanghai and other compact cities. For example, I often go to the Shed (Shanxi North Road) on Monday nights starting in Xuhui and heading up Wukang Road and Wulumuqi Road. Biking takes me about 20 minutes, cars and subways take 30 minutes (there aren't any stations especially close to the Shed.)

The thing is biking during rush hour is not for the faint of heart, even after you get used to the drill and the fact that other bikers and kuadis are an unpredictable lot (i.e. expect them to do really dangerous things).

The trails, by contrast, are quite nice if you avoid weekend days with nice weather. Furthermore, not all roads are insane, even during rush hour.

Last edited by moondog; May 15, 2023 at 3:17 am
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Old May 15, 2023, 1:43 am
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Even in a sprawl like Beijing, bikes are almost always faster or just as fast as the subway or a taxi, especially if you go at a speed that outperforms the overestimations of Baidu (read: any speed faster than a leisurely cruise).
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Old May 15, 2023, 9:07 pm
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Originally Posted by Cotton Candy Lobster
Even in a sprawl like Beijing, bikes are almost always faster or just as fast as the subway or a taxi...
Huh?
That statement needs a serious qualifier to make it even remotely true.
Beijing is huge, and bicycles are most definitely NOT faster to pretty much anywhere where I live.
In the city center and parts of Chaoyang/Shunyi you are likely correct though.
Beijing is much more than just those areas though!
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Old May 15, 2023, 10:00 pm
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Originally Posted by narvik
Huh?
That statement needs a serious qualifier to make it even remotely true.
Beijing is huge, and bicycles are most definitely NOT faster to pretty much anywhere where I live.
In the city center and parts of Chaoyang/Shunyi you are likely correct though.
Beijing is much more than just those areas though!
When I'm in Beijing, I rarely leave the NE quadrant + Shuangjing or go outside of 4th Ring, so my range there is comparable to central Shanghai.
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Last edited by moondog; May 16, 2023 at 1:12 am
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Old May 16, 2023, 9:30 am
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Originally Posted by moondog
When I'm in Beijing, I rarely leave the NE quadrant + Shuangjing or go outside of 4th Ring, so my range there is comparable to central Shanghai.

Yep, that's the required "qualifier" I was talking about. Then it makes perfect sense.

I am something like 10 miles outside of the 6th Ring Road!
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Old May 17, 2023, 12:17 pm
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Originally Posted by moondog
-I don't know of anybody who uses the green bikes
Do you mean the teal ones? Those are the ones from Didi and play nicely with WeChat and Didi’s own Greater China app. Scan the QR code via WeChat, or select “Ride” on the Didi app, then scan the QR code.

Price wise I think it’s similar to the blue ones by Alibaba — might be wrong.

Didi’s services are probably the best for travelers and expats alike with full English UIs and support for international credit card payments.

Last edited by tailorgiven; May 17, 2023 at 12:22 pm
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Old May 17, 2023, 12:27 pm
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Originally Posted by tailorgiven
Do you mean the teal ones? Those are the ones from Didi and play nicely with WeChat and Didis own Greater China app.
No. The green bikes here in Shanghai are more of a mint color. They're honestly a very distant third in terms of market share, and I wouldn't be surprised if they disappear.
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Old May 17, 2023, 12:31 pm
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Originally Posted by moondog
No. The green bikes here in Shanghai are more of a mint color. They're honestly a very distant third in terms of market share, and I wouldn't be surprised if they disappear.
Yeah, I’m pretty sure those are the Didi ones. Mint is just a lighter shade of teal.


Those ones correct?
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Old May 17, 2023, 12:58 pm
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Originally Posted by tailorgiven
Yeah, Im pretty sure those are the Didi ones. Mint is just a lighter shade of teal.


Those ones correct?
Yes, you're right (the thick spokes are their defining characteristic). But, those are in MUCH better shape than ours.
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Old May 17, 2023, 1:00 pm
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Originally Posted by moondog
Yes, you're right (the thick spokes are their defining characteristic). But, those are in MUCH better shape than ours.
Haha, that’s a press pic I found somewhere on Google. IRL those bikes don’t look that minty!
As for those not-so-mint bikes, tourists might find them the most convenient with full English app and credit card payments.
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Old May 17, 2023, 7:18 pm
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I probably should have tried the Didi ones. The rest didn't work...

Originally Posted by gudugan
Trying to use a bike on the street
  • DiDi bike needs my passport which I don’t have on me
  • Alipay bike has real name but needs a bank card. Neither Visa nor balance works here.
  • Meituan bike only supports shenfenzheng
  • Didi x Wechat bike didn’t even try because I don’t have wechat pay
​​​​​​​
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Old May 22, 2023, 1:29 am
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I finally did manage to register on the app with the yellow bikes using a passport but it took some digging through the settings. Not easy.

I do have a discounted monthly pass on the blue bikes that I've been renewing since the winter of 2021, when there was a nice discount on it.

In Beijing, bikes are the best way to travel 0-3 km, especially during rush hour. Last summer I used them to do a one-way daily commute from Olympic Park to Dongzhimen (about 13km) and it was around the same time (39-45 min) as by subway + bike (40-45 min door to door) and comparable to a taxi (30-60 min, depending on rush hour traffic). Then came the early sunsets, and back to the subway I went. Need to restart this again
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Old Jun 9, 2023, 2:16 am
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Here is a pic of Jiangsu Rd (Shanghai) during rush hour:


It's honestly somewhat civil, as long as you can peace out and ignore the kuaidi guys. Just don't think of it as a race or training exercise. While you probably could save 4 minutes if you pushed to the front of the line on every occasion, this causes unnecessary stress and increases the risk of a hospital visit.

On a semi-related note, if any of you guys are game for a ride on the nice bike path, let me know, and I will join
Huangpu River (Shanghai) pedestrian/bike trails
-we can adjust start/stop points accordingly (e.g. Houtan to Luijiazui is about half the distance of the total route)
-expect many other cyclists during weekends, some as young as 5; even if their moms are to blame, plowing through them is not a nice way to go
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Old Jun 9, 2023, 6:41 am
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Originally Posted by moondog

On a semi-related note, if any of you guys are game for a ride on the nice bike path, let me know, and I will join

Way cool! Would love to join, but alas, in Beijing.
Riding the bike in Shanghai was the one of the unforgettable highlights of the +7 quarantine back in 2021 of the loooong 14+7+7 'experience'.



Last edited by narvik; Jun 9, 2023 at 6:48 am
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