Gates belt drive chosen to drive Chinese Baicycle share scheme

Gates has entered the Chinese bike share arena tying up with the Baicycle hire scheme.

To be presented on the Gates booth (4F-M0828) at Taipei Cycle (March 22nd to 26th), the firm is now inviting bike share representatives to visit with a view to adding a low maintenance option to their fleets.

Now live in tourist and business destination Xiamen city, the Baicycle is an app-based bike that represents the modern look and technology of next-generation fleet bicycles. Users locate, rent and unlock their Baicycles via a GPS enabled smartphone app that helps riders navigate their city and locate nearby landmarks. To ensure a comfortable riding experience Baicycle uses an ergonomic saddle and adjustable seat post. Next generation technology allows for kiosk or non-kiosk rentals and bike reservations, allowing users to leave their bikes throughout the city like car sharing schemes.

While Baicycle is the first bike share program in China for Gates Carbon Drive, the Gates system is used on other leading bike share fleets in the United States (the Gotcha Bike program on college campuses) and Europe (the GoBike electric bike share in Denmark and Norway).

“Baicycle is a fast-moving company that has a strong eye for design and a smart business model with a goal to succeed over the long term by offering a superior riding experience and bicycles with durable components that lower fleet maintenance costs,” says Todd Sellden, Director of Gates Carbon Drive Systems. “Gates Carbon Drive has become popular on urban bicycles in Europe due to its clean, simple and grease-free qualities, and now we are excited to bring these advantages to the Chinese bike share market. The Gates system lowers the manpower required for maintenance, eliminates rust and greasy lubrication, and it is also lighter and faster than the heavy and sluggish shaft drives used on some bike share bicycles.”

Baicycle is financially supported by Mi, a large consumer electronics company that is Baicycle’s primary investor. The goal of the companies is to build on the success of the Xiamen launch and expand to other cities in China, and worldwide.

The name Baicycle is a clever play on a historic Dutch free bike program, and the Chinese word for white, which is bai. In 1965, some Dutch citizens placed free bicycles painted white on the streets of Amsterdam, hoping to encourage people to ride. Some call it the first modern bike share program.

Also set for presentation in Taipei is a pairing with NuVinci and Mobia, again designed to lower fleet maintenance requirements.