£23.99 pm via
Cities around the world are full of rent a bike schemes such as the now infamously named Boris Bikes. Bikes have also been hard to source, the 2nd hand market is booming because of the demand but if you don't want the commitment and potential hassle of owning one, Buzzbike could be an option. A subscription service where you basically lease the bike and everything else is taken care of. You can even earn rewards such as coffees depending on your mileage. Our good pal Ali McQueen has been itching for a new bike so he gave Buzzbike a go on behalf of notinthepeloton...
Branded as the stunning 3 speed Buzzbike, made for city riding, yours 24/7. Expect heads to turn. Along came November 6th and the all-important knock at the door, my Buzzbike had arrived. We currently live in a world of convenience, having this bike delivered is no different. From a quick account set up through to arranging a date and time of my delivery that suits my needs allowed for a stress free beginning to this relationship. Now on this occasion I went with the standard bike and lock but Buzzbike offer a variety of extras for a little extra monthly subscription, such as lights and helmet. As a previous bike enthusiast, I already had that stashed under the bed ready to dust off and get going.
Don’t get me wrong I'm no fan of riding with pink splashed across my stash, let alone bike but this bike had a trendy and neutral feel about it. There were a few smirks and wows when family came round and they saw this Buzzbike parked outside the house but nothing I wasn’t proud to say I was currently riding. To be fair, it was some way different to the Pinarello I use to ride before moving into London. This bike is directed at city riding, no real need for huge speed and aerodynamic positioning. During my 6 week venture I can happily say speed was never an issue. A lovely integrated Shimano nexus 3 speed hub gives you enough choice to make your way through the city terrain. Some extra thought should go into the handlebars, the way the gears are situated eat into the right hand after a period of time, at times you could change position from seated to standing and knock the gears down a peg or two by mistake, just a little more room on the handlebars and this could be avoided.
This bike is great for short journeys. I completed around 30 journeys in the 6 weeks I had it and I must say, each journey was as pleasant as the last. The bike is smooth, steers very well and the set up never needed changing for the duration I had it. The Buzzbike mechanics do a fantastic job ensuring the bike turns up on your door in perfect condition to go straight out. The bike has stature and strength, an acceptable contender on any Mr Olympia stage. You won’t be winning any tour de France sprints but you will certainly have confidence in getting to work consistently every day. The bike comes with Schwalbe delta cruiser plus 35C puncture-proof tyres, just as the name of them suggest, puncture proof and reliable. I went over tarmac, gravel, riverside and finally made my way to the top of Richmond Hill (Lowest gear was fine!).
Buzzbike has produced an app to add a rewarding and exciting addition to the offering of a bike on monthly subscription. An app that can motivate and reward you but also provide the support you may need when riding with Buzzbike. The app didn’t make the best impressions for me. The app seems as if it’s a couple of years off from where the bike is. That’s no distraction from the app but more of a compliment to the bike. The app is basic in its offering. Click it open, press ride and your off.
Sadly for me, in my 40 minute outings I averaged about 0.5miles per outing, although some people would agree that’s about right for me, one would argue I could walk further in a tenth of the time. I tried a few times and the app never really got going for me. The support team were super responsive but offered no final solution other than delete and download again. A frustrating part of this overall, pleasant experience, I just wanted my points to the coffees! The rewards you earn could be seen as motivational factors to continue to get back out on the bike, furthermore, if you commuting and don’t get about the miles then this reward scheme is certainly a huge bonus, just for me, it never got going.
So my Buzzbike experience has come to an end and I reflect on the value for money. For me this was a whole new experience. I’ve had 4 bikes on finance over the last decade and I’m not allowed to count how many times I’ve taken out a Santander bike. Buzzbike have landed a serious and sustainable proposition and from my experience have produced a great urban bike and delivered the experience with great customer service. The on-demand service of mechanics, fantastic delivery and pick up experience and the extras you can add onto your subscription are a big plus.
The proposition is heavily weighted towards the app for retention and this for me is what let them down, this isn’t to say someone down the road hasn’t had a great experience with the app. As promoted on their website at £23.99 I can’t fault the value for money. At £287.88 a year I would be paying just over half of that to service my previous bikes within a year. A buzzing experience and one I’m sure wont be my last with BuzzBike!