So, you want to hire a bike…?
Good on you!
Cycling is an environmentally responsible, inexpensive, and fast way to whiz around the University! Buying a good bike that will last for a while and keep you safe can be expensive, so hiring them from the Hub is a wallet-friendly option! When you hire the bike, we ask that you agree to a hire agreement, a sort of contract between you and the University, and we thought you may have questions about these agreement…
How does it work concretely?
- Pay for the bike: you can do that either in person (at the Bike Hub) or online (http://store.leeds.ac.uk/product-catalogue/sustainabilty/regular-bike-hire-student-staff/bike-hire-deposit & http://store.leeds.ac.uk/product-catalogue/sustainabilty/regular-bike-hire-student-staff/3-month-regular-bike-hire). The hire costs £22 and there is a £100 deposit.
- Collect the bike: please come to the Hub during opening hours and our staff and volunteers will sort out a bike for you. There will be a bit of paperwork required and we will explain how the bike, the locks, and the light work.
And that’s it!! Yes, really!
Why do I have to pay a deposit?
Well, it is mostly so that we can make sure that the bikes are returned to us, in clean and reasonable working order, so the next person hiring it can also enjoy a good cycling experience.
What’s that bit about the value of the bike?
The older the bike, the lesser the value. This helps us determine billing arrangements should an unfortunate event (accident, theft…) happen. When you hire the bike, we will tell you its value, so no surprise there.
How can I make sure that I get my deposit back?
It depends on the condition in which you return the bike. Of course, we do expect some normal wear and tear to happen (after all, we want you to use your bike). However, if you do something stupid with your bike, like leaving it outside all winter, you will not get your deposit back entirely. If your hired bike is crusty with orange rust, or if it is covered in mud, we are going to be annoyed, because neglect will have destroyed all the moving parts, which we will then have to change. Because the Hub’s resources are finite, we need everyone to help maintain our bikes in reasonable condition.
Other “popular” examples include: losing the lock key, dirty bike, and misplacing the front light. The latter is detachable, and for some reason, gets pinched easily, so make sure that you take it with you when you park your bike.
So…what do I need to do to make sure I get my deposit back? Simple: look after it, that is, clean it regularly, oil the chain, inflate your tyres (once every 2-3 weeks), and, if you have any doubt about a part or a funny noise, please come to the Hub and talk to staff and volunteers. Oh, and please return your bike on time.
Just to sum up: fair wear and tear is included in the hire fee, neglect is not. When in doubt, please talk to the Hub’s staff and volunteers.
I have enjoyed my bike for three months, but I would like to return it:
When your return date approaches, you will receive an email reminding you of your return date. You must then decide if you want to re-hire the bike for another 3 months or if you want to return it. If you want to return the bike, make sure it is clean and in good working order, and return it to the Hub on the date stipulated when you hired the bike. Please bring the bike complete with lock, keys, front and rear lights. When you come to the Hub, a member of staff will assess the state of your bike. As long as the bike and accessories are returned clean and in good working order, we will be able to return your full deposit to you.
I have loved cycling so much, I want to re-hire!
And why wouldn’t you? You can re-hire your bike twice! But we need to see every bike at least once a year to make sure that it is in good and safe working order. In any case, the hire will not extend beyond your student card expiry date. You must be a returning student, and staying in Leeds, to keep the bike over the summer. You can either re-hire the bike using the online store, or in person at the Bike Hub, which will give us a chance to have a look at your bike and make sure it is still in good nick.
How do I get my deposit back?
Deposits can only be returned in person with a refund in person onto a bank card. We are not able to give cash or to wire the money to your account directly. It is your responsibility to make alternative arrangements if you are not able to return the bike in person. If you foresee any issues with your return, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible so we can accommodate special/unavoidable circumstances.
Onto a painful topic: what if my hired bike gets stolen?
No sugarcoating here: we will have to keep your deposit of £100. We know you probably do not want to hear this, but at the end of the day, if one of our bikes gets pinched, we have to replace it, which costs money (£350 including the lock and lights). Now, we are not expecting you to pay for the replacement bike, but you will have to contribute to buying another bike, so that you and other students and members of staff can continue benefiting from the Bike Hub.
What if I need parts during my hire period?
Again, fair wear and tear is covered, which means that if some bike parts have failed due to old age, your hire fee will cover that. However, a case of winter neglect, pavement jumping, too much Deliveroo-ing, is not covered. Provided that you rode your bike normally and did not try to use it as a BMX, you will not have to pay for parts.