Citi Bike for NYC Commute?

Live local, get around without breaking the bank
Smashter
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Joined: Sat Nov 12, 2016 8:05 am

Citi Bike for NYC Commute?

Post by Smashter » Tue Sep 05, 2017 10:19 am

Sending the bat signal out specifically for those who have spent time in NYC, but any input is welcome.

Has anyone used Citi Bike for their daily commute? I live in Brooklyn, about a 45 min ride from my job in Midtown.

I recently looked into the Citi Bike program and realized it's way cheaper than I thought, only $163 for a year. Compared to a $130 monthly metro card, that's a no brainer.

I could buy a used bike, but storage would be quite annoying. I share a tiny studio with my wife. I suppose I could pop off the front wheel and shove it in a closet every time I come home. My lazier side loves the idea of just docking a bike that I don't have to lock up or maintain.

enigmaT120
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Location: Falls City, OR

Re: Citi Bike for NYC Commute?

Post by enigmaT120 » Tue Sep 05, 2017 11:00 am

Have you ever ridden one of their bike? I agree the storage thing would be simpler. It seems crazy that the bike program costs more than a metro pass.

I would check availability of bikes for both directions of your commute, during busy time. It would suck to head out in the morning to work to find the bike station empty.

Campitor
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Joined: Thu Aug 20, 2015 11:49 am

Re: Citi Bike for NYC Commute?

Post by Campitor » Tue Sep 05, 2017 11:51 am

@enigmaT120

Citibike is $163/year ($13.58/month) versus Metro card which is 130/month ($1560/year)

@Smashter

I used to ride my bike to work daily - but rain and snow complicate things and potentially make for an uber-sweaty ride to work with all the layers/water protection. If you can shower at work then getting sweaty is no big deal. Citibikes are heavier than average and you have to contend with availability and/or using a docking station that may be an inconvenient distance from where you're headed; not a big deal if you factor that into your commute time.

I personally would purchase a folding bike if I lived in NYC and was biking to work consistently - or buy a boosted board which is uber portable.

Smashter
Posts: 303
Joined: Sat Nov 12, 2016 8:05 am

Re: Citi Bike for NYC Commute?

Post by Smashter » Tue Sep 05, 2017 3:56 pm

Ah, folding bike! Good call, don't know why I didn't think of that. Thanks! Time to research.

Chris
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Joined: Thu Jul 22, 2010 2:44 pm

Re: Citi Bike for NYC Commute?

Post by Chris » Tue Sep 05, 2017 8:33 pm

Smashter wrote:
Tue Sep 05, 2017 3:56 pm
Time to research.
Researching folding bikes: one of the deepest rabbit holes on the interwebs.


Prior forum topic:

https://forum.earlyretirementextreme.co ... =15&t=3430

Smashter
Posts: 303
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Re: Citi Bike for NYC Commute?

Post by Smashter » Wed Sep 06, 2017 1:41 pm

Oh man, you shouldn't have shown me that :D

Seppia
Posts: 1048
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Location: Italy

Re: Citi Bike for NYC Commute?

Post by Seppia » Wed Sep 06, 2017 4:30 pm

Citi bike is the best.
You don't have to worry about maintenance, storage and it leaves you a ton of flexibility (go to a friends house by bike, three hours later "oh shit it rains" come back with subway)
In NYC:
Storage/space is at a massive premium
Average salary is much higher
Prices are much higher

Considering the above, no brained for me, I've been an annual subscriber since year 1 (well, not any more since I moved back to Italy 1.5 years ago)

TopHatFox
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Location: FL; 25

Re: Citi Bike for NYC Commute?

Post by TopHatFox » Wed Sep 06, 2017 7:55 pm

Citibikes are clunky and often unavailable. Learning how to maintain and fix a bike is useful.

Folding bike + kick scooter. Get a rack and panniers for both. You can get a folding trailer too for groceries. Dahon Mariner D8 is pretty solid. Burley Travoy or Nomad trailer. Kickped scooter. Combine with subway, trains, bus system, and even citi bike as needed. Consider option for e-motor attachment as needed.

If you want to get fancy, an e-scooter goes 15 mph+ ( ;

Personally, I'm wanting a touring folding bike with drop bars and brifters these days :D

vexed87
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Location: Yorkshire, UK

Re: Citi Bike for NYC Commute?

Post by vexed87 » Thu Sep 07, 2017 4:04 am

There went my morning researching bromptons. Wish I needed one because they look awesome.
TopHatFox wrote:
Wed Sep 06, 2017 7:55 pm
Personally, I'm wanting a touring folding bike with drop bars and brifters these days :D
Does it exist? :)

TopHatFox
Posts: 1944
Joined: Thu Oct 17, 2013 10:07 pm
Location: FL; 25

Re: Citi Bike for NYC Commute?

Post by TopHatFox » Thu Sep 07, 2017 6:05 am

Yes! Sure does. Bike Friday has some good stuff.

vexed87
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Location: Yorkshire, UK

Re: Citi Bike for NYC Commute?

Post by vexed87 » Thu Sep 07, 2017 6:39 am

Hah, now that's something. I'm guessing brompton didn't corner that niche because the drops would mess with their folding technique. :roll:

This one looking a little clunkier:
https://www.bikefriday.com/folding-bike ... et-rocket/

Still cool though! 8-)

bklyn
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2017 8:36 pm

Re: Citi Bike for NYC Commute?

Post by bklyn » Thu Sep 07, 2017 6:49 pm

Of course it's a post about citi bike that gets me to create an account here after years of lurking. I commute from Brooklyn to midtown on my own bike, but I think Citi Bike is great and would probably be good for your situation.

Pros of Citi Bike: cheaper than buying a folding/other bike (and buying a lock/tools/dealing with flats/repairs/upgrades in the future). Don't have to worry about finding a place to lock it up, it getting stolen, dealing with any repairs/maintenance, or finding a place to store it in your apt. If you bike somewhere and don't want to bike back, or vice versa, you don't have to worry about leaving or transporting your bike. Folding bikes still take up a not insignificant amount of space. Citi Bike also regularly offers major discounts (often 50%) on the annual pass, through gyms or companies or random promotions.

Cons of Citi Bike: they're clunky (tho if your other option is a folding bike... may be better than that...), there need to be docks near where you're going, and you can only take a bike out for 45 min at a time for free with your subscription (after that there are additional small fees). You say you live about 45 min away from work. Get a Citi Bike day pass or week if they have that, and try your commute. See how long it is - morning and evening. If it's longer than 45 min, even by a few seconds, you can always find a docking station along your route, dock and immediately undock the same bike and continue for another 45 min free. May or may not be worth the hassle tho if that's the case.

TopHatFox
Posts: 1944
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Location: FL; 25

Re: Citi Bike for NYC Commute?

Post by TopHatFox » Thu Sep 07, 2017 6:51 pm

vexed87 wrote:
Thu Sep 07, 2017 6:39 am
Hah, now that's something. I'm guessing brompton didn't corner that niche because the drops would mess with their folding technique. :roll:

This one looking a little clunkier:
https://www.bikefriday.com/folding-bike ... et-rocket/

Still cool though! 8-)
I like this one: https://www.bikefriday.com/folding-bike ... d-tourist/

:D

enigmaT120
Posts: 1070
Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2015 2:14 pm
Location: Falls City, OR

Re: Citi Bike for NYC Commute?

Post by enigmaT120 » Fri Sep 08, 2017 9:03 pm

My folding bike only cost 120 bucks used, so cheaper than City Bike. But I'm embarrassed I confused the transit price per month with the City bike price per year, sorry about that.

I would love to try out a Bike Friday but I won't pay that much for one when I already have a Fargo and don't need a folder for daily use. I only bought it for when I work out of state and use mine to ride the trail out of Chehalis, WA when I'm working up there. Willipa Trail, lots of pictures on my Flikr account:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/128973819@N08/

Smashter
Posts: 303
Joined: Sat Nov 12, 2016 8:05 am

Re: Citi Bike for NYC Commute?

Post by Smashter » Wed Oct 25, 2017 8:13 pm

I finally got my citi bike membership a few days ago. I love it. Yes, the bikes are heavy, but I feel that just gives me a better workout. The convenience can't be beat.

My bike commute is longer than when I take the subway, but it's far cheaper, better exercise, and more fun. Plus I can use it on the weekends. We'll see if I use it at the same rate as the weather gets bad, but for now, it's great.

As bklyn noted above, sometimes I have to stop along my route and get a new bike to make sure I don't go over the 45-minute limit. There are so many stations on the routes I ride that I don't find this to be a big hassle. I wish they didn't have the "2 minutes between rides" policy, though. I don't see the point.

Going over the Manhattan bridge, feeling the wind in my face, and seeing a packed train car from the line I normally take slowly creaking along makes me wish I'd started biking the day I moved to the city.

Chris
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Joined: Thu Jul 22, 2010 2:44 pm

Re: Citi Bike for NYC Commute?

Post by Chris » Fri Oct 27, 2017 1:11 pm

Glad to hear you're enjoying your commute now.

I'm interested to hear how much you like it when it starts snowing (-:

Smashter
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Re: Citi Bike for NYC Commute?

Post by Smashter » Mon Oct 30, 2017 9:06 am

I took the subway this morning because of rain and high winds, so I'm not off to a great start in terms of toughing out inclement weather. I am determined to at least try to ride home, should things die down a bit :D

Smashter
Posts: 303
Joined: Sat Nov 12, 2016 8:05 am

Re: Citi Bike for NYC Commute?

Post by Smashter » Fri May 11, 2018 4:41 pm

Just thought I'd give an update, in case anyone else is considering a bike share. I know a lot of cities have them now.

Long answer short, I really like it. I've taken 118 trips, for a total of 63 hours, covering 461 miles. Only once has a bike broken down on me. Luckily, I was very close to a station where I could drop it off.

The bikes are heavy, but the weight plus the thick tires made winter riding easier.

I love not having to worry about locks or maintenance. I think I'd buy my own bike if I was going to be in the city long term, but for my needs it's perfect.

I used Nashville's B-Cycle service a couple weeks ago and it was nowhere near as good. Their biggest shortcoming is that they don't have enough stations, which is hopefully something they are working on.
Last edited by Smashter on Fri May 11, 2018 5:18 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Seppia
Posts: 1048
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Location: Italy

Re: Citi Bike for NYC Commute?

Post by Seppia » Fri May 11, 2018 5:12 pm

I was sure you were going to love it. Citi bike in NYC is the best: cheap, convenient, hassle free.
Complete win

mferson
Posts: 31
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2018 9:05 pm

Re: Citi Bike for NYC Commute?

Post by mferson » Mon Jun 18, 2018 3:01 am

Tried it when I was in NYC. Service was easy to use and the citibikes were all very comfortable.

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