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Bike-share programme enters China

Baicycles are built with the Gates Carbon Drive rather than a chain for lower maintenance costs and greater longevity

Baicycle's white aesthetic represents the modern look of next-generation fleet bicycles
Baicycle's white aesthetic represents the modern look of next-generation fleet bicycles

Baicycle users locate, rent and unlock their bike via a GPS-enabled smartphone app

Baicycle aims to expand across China and Asia as well as Europe and the US

Gates Corporation has entered the rapidly expanding Chinese bike share market with the launch of the Baicycle bike share programme in the city of Xiamen on the southwestern coast of China.


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.


The name Baicycle is a play on a historic Dutch free bike programme, 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 programme.


From those humble beginnings, bike shares have exploded in popularity worldwide as a solution for urban congestion. This is especially true in China, where the bike share market is rapidly growing as entrepreneurs and the government launch initiatives to get people out of cars and onto bicycles to reduce pollution and cut traffic congestion.


Baicycle uses a Gates Carbon Drive belt instead of a chain or shaft drive due to the higher performance, lighter weight and low maintenance of the Gates system.


While Baicycle is the first bike share programme in China for Gates Carbon Drive, the Gates system is used on other leading bike share fleets in the United States (the Gotcha Bike programme 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.


He added: "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.


Gates Carbon Drive will display the Baicycle at its booth at the Taipei Cycle Show (March 22-26) and is inviting city bike share representatives to come view the bike and consider it for use in their communities.


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