Quickly and easily book and pick up a bikeWith the help of the apps it is easy to find the bikes on the spot. It's important to note that rented bikes must be left after use at either a fixed station or a defined flex zone. In order for you to rent a bike, all you need to do is scan the QR code or simply enter the relevant number into the app.
The You can rent or hire bikes within a few minutes via the relevant apps. To do this, you simply go online to the website of a provider like Nextbike, register and download the app. Then you enter your location, find out where the nearest pick-up station for your bike is, and enter the bike number there. You can then use the four digit code you get sent to your smartphone to unlock the bike or enter the code into a bike computer. And you can start pedaling!
If you want to return the bike later, this is also done quickly and easily. You park the bike at one of the designated return stations, the docks, and secure it either with a lock or with Smartdocks (automatic security devices at the station that digitally secure the bike). If you have secured the bike with an analog lock, you have to confirm the return via the app, the bike computer, the provider's hotline or directly at the terminal.
If you want to return the bike to a station without docks, that's no problem either and works the same way: park the bike at the station, secure the lock, enter the combination lock code via app or into the bike computer and confirm. And everything is done.
Usually the bikes are located at various public places that are easily accessible and easy to find, such as train stations or large parking lots .
There are now bike sharing concepts in just about every major German city. Two of the most popular Bike sharing providers include Call a Bike from Deutsche Bahn and Nextbike.
Worldwide bike rental with Nextbike
Nextbike is the largest bike sharing provider in Germany. It exists already since 2004. You can rent the company's bikes at a large number of stations in more than 65 German cities and also in many places around the world.
The download of the app as well as the registration are completely free of charge. You then pay one euro for every 30 minutes or part thereof that you ride. Or you decide for the Nextbike annual subscription, for which there is only a one-time charge of 49 euros. By the way, students can pedal cheaper, because Nextbike, in cooperation with various German universities from Berlin to Dresden to Mannheim, offers discounts for all who are enrolled at one of the participating universities.
If you're not traveling alone, you can book up to four bikes via your account. If an excursion with a larger number of people is planned, then it is even possible to rent up to seven bikes on request to customer service.
Nextbike: advantages and disadvantages
Nextbike offers you some advantages: This includes, for example, numerous locations and low costs. But the fact that it is possible to book up to seven bikes through one account also speaks for the company. And you can also vary the bikes themselves, because Nextbike offers both analog bikes and electric bikes, if you want less physical exertion.
On the other hand, the disadvantage is that return the booked bikes always at fixed stations and only within one city can be found at. One of the few exceptions is the metropolradruhr region in the Ruhr area, where you can pick up your bike in Düsseldorf, for example, and return it in Lippstadt. In some regions there are so-called flex zones, where you can park your bike flexibly on any street (except private roads) within this area and do not have to return it at a certain station. Nextbike also offers a so-called hybrid system, where you can use the Flexzone for return in city centers and otherwise pick up the bike at a fixed location.
Call a Bike – The bicycle rental service of Deutsche Bahn
Call a Bike is often also known as DB Bike or DB Fahrrad. This is the bike rental service offered by Deutsche Bahn offered in almost all medium-sized and large cities within Germany.
In the Call a Bike App you will find all the places where it is possible to rent a bike. Here, too, as with the competitor Nextbike, it is a matter of fixed stations. This means that you have to return your rented bike after use. Otherwise, a return fee of five euros must be paid.
To borrow a bike, you can easily enter the relevant bike number directly in the app and your ride can start.
The download as well as the registration are completely free of charge with Call a Bike. Deutsche Bahn offers its customers Different rates an: The basic subscription, for example, costs three euros per year. If you drive, you have to calculate with one Euro per started half hour. It is practical that you can rent an additional bike for free in the basic tariff, if you are not traveling alone.
Advantages and disadvantages of Call a Bike
The advantage of Call a Bike is that you can rent a bike in more than 80 cities in Germany. The free partner bike is already included in the basic tariff.
Another aspect to consider, not only with Call a Bike, is the protection of your data. When you download the app to rent your bike, you activate your GPS tracking and allow the bike sharing provider to access your movement data in addition to the necessary information for registration. So the providers see where you are going, where you stop, etc., and it is possible that this data is then sold to third parties. So you should check beforehand whether your app forwards data.
Bike Sharing: Sustainable and Environmentally Conscious
Bike Sharing offers you a Environmentally conscious and sustainable way to get around. For example, you can take a train or bus to another city. Then rent a bike directly on the spot.
Thus you neither need your own bike nor do you have to use a car. In this way you can take the most different trips and still be flexible.
Bike sharing is a good alternative to the car for all those who want to avoid traffic jams, the annoying search for a parking space and the morning ride in overcrowded public transport. In addition, it keeps you fit and is also much cheaper than a car in terms of costs incurred. Also the time saving is not to be despised, finally you do not waste valuable time, like daily many drivers in the traffic jam.
You can also use bike sharing completely flexibly. If the weather is good and you want to ride your bike, just get one. If it's raining or cold, leave it alone. You missed your bus or it is late? No problem, grab a bike from the station and let's go.
In the meantime, some companies have also recognized the advantages of bike sharing. Your employees do not come to work already stressed by traffic jams and traffic, they are not bound to fixed schedules of bus or train and due to the movement they are fitter and less often ill. That's why some providers, including Nextbike, offer a so-called business bike concept, where companies can reserve and use bikes especially for their employees.