SoBi Social Bicycles in Hoboken
SoBi Social Bicycles – are they useful in Hoboken, NJ?
Each month – I notice more and more people and companies getting swept up by this whole “carbon footprint” and “eco” movement. Trending more than ever is hourly bike rentals, such as this SoBi Social Bicycles operation that sprung up recently in Hoboken.
SoBi Social Bicycles has around half a dozen “docking” locations here in town, and the premise works as such – with a catch.
- You sign up with your credit card.
- Then you can pick a “plan.” As of press time, they only have one plan. $15 a month, 60 minutes of free riding per day, and $10 an hour thereafter. I recall they might offer an annual plan for around $100.
- To ride the bike you have to make a reservation online.
- Then go to your specified bike location, enter a pin number to unlock it.
Who exactly falls for programs like this?
Back in the day, you either owned a bike and used it when you felt like it – or you didn’t, and you either walked, took a cab, or drove your own car. Why get caught up in this complicated rental situation? Is it that difficult to own a bicycle?
Risk vs. Reward for SoBi Social Bicycles
For starters, by signing up, you have to fully accept their terms and conditions. And did you know that their limit of liability in case you get hurt riding their bike is only $100? What if faulty engineering was responsible for your injuries? You’re screwed!
Secondly – they have a condition that if the bike gets stolen or damaged – that you’re on the hook for a whopping $1000 dollars! Sound like this startup operation has unsuspecting riders completely by the balls! All in the name of “eco-friendly.” Seems more like you’re friendlier to the owner’s wallets than anything else!
More sensible alternatives to SoBi Social Bicycles
These clunky SoBi Social Bicycles look like they weigh a ton, and have the maneuverability of a circus elephant. With the ongoing costs, invasion of privacy and potential liability on the user’s end – you might want to consider alternatives.
One such alternative is buying a low-end single-gear bike over at Target.
Below is Magna White / Silver / Lime fixed gear bike. For just $99. Sure, it may be cheap and made in China – but so are $10,000 racing bikes.
One thing you may strongly want to consider is getting the bike assembled by a professional bike shop – like Flo on Wheels in Hoboken (1222 Washington St.) For just $40 they’ll assemble any fixed gear bike as good as it can possibly be ($60 for multi-gear bikes). Much safer than assembling it yourself, because you’ll certainly endanger your life otherwise.
Owning a cheap “throw-away” bike seems smarter, with a whole ton less liability and complication. This crap bike gets stolen? You’re out $100. Big F’in deal!