Hands up everyone who thinks Vienna’s public rental bikes are rubbish?

So who thinks the city bikes are rubbish?

Is it still acceptable for a major city to have a public bike sharing scheme with rubbish bikes?

Do not despair’s message is that there is nothing that cannot be made better by a bike ride and that any bike is better than no bike. But come on folks, you want to be a world leading cycling city with these?Vienna City Bikes

To be fair the current pro-cycling administration in Vienna inherited the current fleet. But if they really want to make a good impression at the Velo-City conference in 2013 then this should be an easy victory.

The booking and hiring system works well enough, all hired by credit card. But the bikes them selves are really poor. In particular 80% of the fleet has no gears and is set to a stupidly high single gear ratio which leaves even a stronger rider labouring and novices wobbling away from stops. Hardly something to make the casual rider think cycling is easy and comfortable.

Add solid tyres, tired and rattling equipment and regular breakdowns – could do better.

I’m quite looking forward to one of London’s fat monsters, they may be heavy and slow but they are comfortable and reliable.