With the high season slowly coming to an end, our StudentBikeMaastricht staff can take a step back and reflect on the most common pointers and clarifications we had to give to our customers.
At StudentBikeMaastricht our primary product and service is complete customer satisfaction, not just selling second-hand bicycles or doing repairs.
In order to provide that excellent experience, we have found that we need to educate every single customer in how to keep their bikes both safe and functioning for a long time.
So here comes a small bicycle manual for the average rider out there:
We mostly deal with city bikes – around 90% of the bikes we sell are city bicycles – and there are two very important notes when it comes to those.
First and foremost, do not ride other people on the back rack. You exponentially increase the likelihood of your back wheel breaking. Once that happens, you are looking at anywhere between €70 and €100 to replace it.
As second, try not to ride/jump on or off sidewalks/curbs for the same reason as the one above. The wheels on city bikes were not designed to withstand those kinds of impact forces. Be gentle with your bike, treat it right, and it will serve you for a very long time.
A lot of people coming to Maastricht have to adjust to the Dutch biking culture, which is only normal, since we are so centered around those two wheels. It is therefore important not to neglect ones safety when riding a bike. As soon as it gets dark, do not forget to put on your front and back light. It makes you visible in traffic, decreasing the chance of an accident, and at the same time you avoid getting fined by the police. An easy win-win if you ask us.
For your own safety, but also to avoid an unnecessary fine (in the amount of €100), do not ride your bike while holding your cell phone in one hand. If you find the need to use your cell phone while riding, we recommend you buy and install a holder. This way you will avoid trouble with the authorities while also having a safer bike trip.
Last but not least, we want to cover a major concern that quite a few customers express –
bicycle theft and everything revolving around it.
Unfortunately, bicycles do get stolen in Netherlands. Some cities have higher bike thefts per year, some have lower. Luckily for us, Maastricht is not in the top 10 cities when it comes to this. It is quite natural that people might be reluctant to buy a proper bike that might cost around €200,-.
Rest assured, if you head the following advice, the chance of your bike landing in the hands of a thief are very, very small.
Always (and we do mean always!) use a good chain lock. The proper way of securing your bike with a chain lock involves putting the chain through the frame of the bike, and preferably through or around an immovable/fixed object, for example a bicycle rack, a pole, etc.)
Back wheel locks (also called ring locks) are good enough for quick grocery stops and the convenience they offer, but if you are leaving your bike for a prolonged period of time (more than a couple of hours, overnight and similar), always use your chain as well! We know that it is an extra minute or two to chain the bike properly, but you will have a peace of mind knowing that you have done your best in securing your bike against theft.
Please note that areas or spots in town where either the municipality or the residents/business owners do not allow the parking of bikes. If you leave your bicycle in such a place, you risk the municipality sending one of it’s trucks to collect the bike. To you it might seem like your bike got stolen, while it was actually a completely legal actions by the city. The city depot keeps the bikes for three months, all you got to do is pay them a visit and bring the key of your lock as proof of ownership.
That’s basically it folks, and thank you for making it this far!
We have covered all the major pointers, advice and clarifications we give to our customers on a daily basis.
Hope to see you soon in our store!