All you need to know about Swapfiets

DSC_5309 kopia

I would prefer to be writing now another story about some far far away destination. Or end all these posts that I started once and have never finished. Some hidden places in my beloved Portugal or Budapest by which I’m enchanted… But well, since the most googled post at my blog happened to be the one about the bikes (while my absolutely favourite is this one and I swear I completely don’t get you guys!), I decided to develop the topic.

I already wrote all essential information about rentals, bike market or facebook group and you can find it here. And this time I’ll focus on the more precise thing that is one bike rental called …

Swapfiets!

In short terms, if somebody hasn’t heard about Swapfiets, they’re the rental bikes with a very characteristic front blue tire that you can see in most of the Dutch cities. Actually, The Netherlands is absolutely dominated by them…

Who is it for?

Well, basically for everybody. But mostly for people who just want to get a bike as fast as possible, use it and don’t be bothered about any maintenance. It’s also a perfect option for all Erasmus or exchange students who stay in The Netherlands only for a short period. If you don’t want to spend your time on looking for a perfect vehicle for a month and then discover that a chain is rusty (like mine) and falls very often (also mine…) then this option is for you.

How does it work?

Swapfiets is a bike rental and not a bike shop. It works really easy. You book your bike online and then pick it up in the indicated location. You pay a monthly fee for using it and you get for it a fully equipped bike! It’s long – term rental with a minimum period of 3 months (in most of the cases) so it’s not a place where you rent a bike for guest who is visiting you. In that case, you rather go for the Donkey Republic or any other. I wrote about it here. You can use your Swapfiets as long as you want and give it back when you don’t need it anymore.

Price & Bikes

All Swapfiets are fully equipped: with a bell, a double lock, front and backlights and a coaster brake. The price also includes repairs.

There are three types of bikes offered by Swapfiets and dependent on which you decide, it will be more or less expensive.

Once I heard from my friend that it is a lot to pay 13 euros per months. Well… Then think about all the repairs that you have to do when you have your own bike. Back in the days, I spent countless amount of money on it… Thus, for me the price is really fair and most important: I don’t have to worry about anything!

Original

The most classic Dutch-style bike. In my opinion, it has everything you need and that’s the one I’m using. It’s very simple but it’s a perfect city bike. It’s also enough for some weekend gateway trips under the condition, that you stay in the Dutch flat area… It has only one gear thus going uphill is a bit tough.

Price per month: 13,50 euro with student card / 16,50 without student discount

Minimum period: 3 months

Double lock: yes

Coaster brake: yes

Hand brake: no

Lights: yes

Number of gears: 1

Repairs included: yes

Deluxe 7

Deluxe 7 is not that popular among student but you can still spot it on the streets sometimes. In comparison to Classic, it has more gears and a hand brake. And a veeery nice design with a beige bike seat and more vintage look. It’s really pretty!

Price per month: 19,50 euro

Minimum period: 3 months

Double lock: yes

Coaster brake: yes

Hand brake: yes

Lights: yes

Number of gears: 7

Repairs included: yes

Power 7

This bike is a new thing and it’s not available everywhere. To be honest, I haven’t seen it yet on the streets of Rotterdam. The main difference is that it’s electric and well… the price is way higher. If you are very lazy, that can be an option, especially that it can survive quite long without charging. But for me, since it’s so easy to cycle in the Netherlands – because it’s flat and there are bike roads everywhere – I don’t find it necessary. I also treat biking as a daily exercise that just makes your life healthier!

Price per month: 75,50

Minimum period: 1 month

Double lock: yes

Coaster brake: yes

Hand brake: yes

Brakes: on both wheels

Lights: yes

Number of gears: 7

Repairs included: yes

Damages

My favourite thing about Swapfiets is service. When I had my own bike, I was constantly doing some repairs… Okay, let’s be honest: it was not me who was doing them. I was usually bringing it to the service and paying them to fix it. And I spent on it at least double the amount of the original price of my bike. With Swapfiets you have all the repairs included. Flat tire? No problem! Whenever something breaks, they will fix it for you for free. And if the damage is more serious, you will get another bike not to be … bikeless.

Safety 

All the bikes are equipped with two smart locks so it’s really safe. Additionally, Swapfiets are so recognizable that I doubt anybody would dare to steal it…

Changing subscription

The minimum rental period is 3 months. And if you want to give your Swapfiets back, you will have a month from the day you request the end of a subscription. But if you change your mind and for instance, you decide that you want to swap Classic forDeluxe 7, it is possible!

Design

I find it really pretty! Additionally, when you get a bike, it’s always in the perfect condition. No risk that you get some crap. It’s not brand new but it absolutely looks like brand new!

The bikes are usually in three colours and it can be a combination of blue, black, grey, red and orange. These colours really go together well! All Swapfiets have a representative blue front tire. On the beginning, you might get confused why there are so many bikes who look similar. That’s Swapfiets!

You can only get confused sometimes when you leave at the campus between plenty of other bikes that look the same!

Where can you get a Swapfiets?

Basically, in all major Dutch cities but even in some towns! Here is the list:

The Netherlands: Amsterdam, Arnhem, Breda, Delft, Den Bosch, Den Haag, Ede, Eindhoven, Enschede, Groningen, Haarlem, Hengelo, Leeuwarden, Leiden, Maastricht, Nijmegen, Rotterdam, Tilburg, Utrecht, Wageningen, Zwolle

Swapfiets are also available in few other countries.

Denmark: Aarhus, Copenhagen, Odense

Belgium: Antwerpen, Brussel, Gent, Leuven

Germany: Aachen, Berlin, Braunschweig, Bremen, Dresden, Dusseldorf, Frankurt, Freiburg, Gottingen, Halle, Hamburg, Hannover, Heidelberg, Karlsruhe, Keulen, Kiel, Leipzig, Mannheim, Munich, Munster, Oldenburg

Do I recommend?

YES! If you are looking for an effortless option, this is it! You don’t have to worry about any repairs and the bike is already fully equipped! You can give it back whenever you want. You know what you get. And it’s pretty! …o one of the most important factors for me:) But most important: it’s cheap and it works!

I hope I managed to answer all your questions! But if you’re missing info, just let me know in the comments and I’ll try to figure out something!

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