The next generation of Santander Cycles – kitted out with an all-new design and innovative smart technology - arrived in London on Monday (October 30).
The new bikes, which offer improved handling, have rolled onto the capital's streets, with thousands set to join Transport for London's cycle hire scheme over the next few years.
According to the Mayor of London , the new cycles offer riders improved safety and comfort, with a new gel saddle, lower frame, tyres with puncture prevention, improved Blaze lighting and Bluetooth.
Pashley Cycles built the new bikes, which have been designed to be easier to ride and maintain – meaning they will be available to hire more often at reduced maintenance costs.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: “It's great news that the first of our brand-new cycle hire bikes have arrived on London's streets.
“Tens of thousands of Londoners and tourists enjoy using the bikes to get around our city every day, so by making them more comfortable and manoeuvrable we're hoping they'll be even more popular.
“That's good for our health, our air quality and for tackling congestion.”
Last year was a record-breaking year for Santander Cycles, with an unprecedented 10.3 million hires – 4.4% up from 2015 hires.
This year there have been more than 8.7 million hires, with five of the nine months beating year-on-year records for the number of journeys being made.
Will Norman, London's walking and cycling commissioner, said the bikes are a “brilliant way for all abilities to experience cycling”.
He added: “The bikes have become a real icon of the capital's streets, appealing to commuters and visitors, so I'm really pleased that we can make them even easier to use.
“I have no doubt that these upgraded bikes are going to help us break more records and encourage even more people to take to two wheels.”
Serco will maintain the cycles, as well as distribute them around London ensuring that docking stations are full.
The new cycles have inbuilt Bluetooth and the capacity for GPS technology, which will allow Serco to record the performance of the bikes.
British start-up company Blaze has helped transform the lights on the new bikes, which include a new brighter brake light and greatly enhanced Blaze Laserlight at the front with 180° visibility.
Lucy Cooper, the partnerships manager at London Cycling Campaign, said: “The Santander Cycle Hire scheme has been a huge success.
“Cycling is an efficient and healthy way to move around London, especially on the new cycle highways, and Santander Cycles enable many more Londoners to enjoy the benefits.”
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