Your Amsterdam Bike

You only need to be in Amsterdam a short time before realising how important cycling is in this city. One of the first things both new arrivals and visitors sort out is getting hold of a bike.

Swapfiets is a fairly new concept where you pay for long-term rental of a bike. If you have seen a bike with a blue front tyre then that is swapfiets. Subscribers in Amsterdam pay a monthly fee of either 16.50 or 19.50 for which they get use and free maintenance of a bike. There is a minimum subscription of 1 month but Swapfiets currently has so much demand in Amsterdam that there is a waiting list.

the blue wheels of swapfiets

If you only want to rent a bike for short but regular periods of time then OV-fiets could be an option. You pay a 1 cent fee to register your account on your public transport card. You can then collect the blue and yellow OV bikes from train stations and other locations across the Netherlands. The rental fee is EUR 3.85 per 24 hours but you incite extra costs if you keep the bike for more than 72 hours or return it to a different location from where you picked up. The bike is checked in and out using your public transport card and then OV debits your account and sends an invoice via email. These bikes come with foot break rather than hand-break and you get the one available at the pick up point which their system allocates to you.

If you are living here long- term then you probably want to buy a bike. There are several facebook groups and other sites where you can buy second– hand. My personal favourite shop for new and used bikes plus accessories is Amsterdamse Fietswinkel on the corner of Postjesweg and Hoofdweg.

Once you have a bike you then have to pay some costs to keep it running. Many shops offer a free check or maintenance within a set period of time after purchase. Otherwise you can either visit a shop to fix it or call a company like FlatTyre. They come to wherever your bike is and fix it for you there.

Whichever you choose don’t forget a good lock and to actually use the lock . Otherwise you will be looking for a replacement bike sooner than you might have hoped!

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