oBike Review -- Is it any Good?


That makes perfect sense. And saves the trouble of them having a bike with a GPS locator.


Is it time for me to reclaim my $900 new Taiwan Dollar deposit?!


Would be nice to know if you actually can get that back.


I’m thinking about it since there aren’t many bikes in new Taipei city anyway.


Meanwhile in London…


We Brits will complain about anything:


From the comments of that post: “A system that relies on people to be thoughtful, courteous and responsible is doomed to fail.” For me, this “system” can’t die soon enough.


From the article linked above discussing the oBike system in London, I noticed this point:

A council spokesman told the Evening Standard: “We have concerns about the way they had been placed on the streets, and protecting the health and safety of people in the borough.

“Most had been left at right angles to the kerb, partially obstructing the footpath, and creating a potential hazard for pedestrians – particularly the disabled.”

This is quite interesting to me as it foregrounds (in the context of London, of course) the rights of pedestrians, including the disabled.

Now, back in Taiwan, particularly in Xinbei, will such rights be the focus? According to Yingge District Jianguo Borough Warden Lin Ching-te, apparently not (check out the photo at the top of the story):

Yes, these elected officials in Xinbei are apparently opposed to oBikes being parked in public parking spaces:

[Xinbei] city councilors and borough wardens said they have received many complaints about oBikes parked inconveniently or occupying private bicycle and motorcycle parking spaces.

The New Taipei City Government has banned oBike parking in public parking spaces [!!!] in 11 densely populated districts and has towed more than 1,000 oBikes.

To be clear: I am not defending oBike or the ham-handed roll-out of their service, in Taiwan and elsewhere. But the striking differences in the priorities of elected officials–in the UK, and in the outskirts of Taipei–is striking.



Two cultures - totally different mindsets.

Park in a daft place in the UK (car/bike/scooter/whatever) and there’s a good chance that someone will call you out on it directly, or will complain to the authorities. Park in a daft place here, nobody gives a flying f…

Yes, I know. Horrible generalisation, and this is simple anecdotal evidence, but right outside where I live, there is a doctor’s surgery. It’s on the corner. There are traffic lights. There’s a zebra crossing. There’s a red line. There’s a fire hydrant. There’s a primary school directly opposite. There’s an English cram school next door. In spite of all the above, and the clear additional hazard caused, every single day patients visiting the surgery will park on the corner rather than park 50 metres away and walk. Nobody, not even the doctor or his staff, gives a shit. Back home, this would not be tolerated.

Every day, while out on my bike, I will have to negotiate someone parking/stopping/turning in the most ridiculous of places when there is a safe option just a few metres away. Here, this kind of thing just isn’t an issue in the collective psyche.



People care, but they’re not willing to say anything because of that all-pervasive “mei ban fa” mentality and because things have always been that way. Besides, being a muckraker here is dangerous; you’re likely to be branded publicly as a trouble-maker and lose face for trying to make this place better. The top ones get offed, like the director of Beauty from Above.


i think they just don’t have the driving education to know how dangerous the way they drive and park really is. they cross the road on a daily basis navigating herds of cars that don’t want to stop and walk along the roads walking around parked cars…that are forcing people to step out wide into the roads and they don’t die from it, so they feel its not a problem. and when someone does get hit its just thought of as an accident.


As a configuration option, oBike should use push notifications that will notify users that they are walking past an oBike that is parked in an invalid location. If the user relocates the bike to a valid location they get credit to future oBike rentals a, refund of the deposit or other benefits such as a prepaid easy card.


I hear, from a reputable source who works in the bike industry, a very very high percentage (or pretty much all of it) of oBike parts are…Made in China. Which kind of backs all your comments about how crappy it is. Apparently none of the Taiwan manufacturers wanted any say in helping this company.

My source also states that the market price for that bike, say if you were to buy it at Carrefour, is approximately 800-1000NT.

We also concluded that…they are NOT and will NOT be maintenanced since it seems like the cost to maintain them will outweigh the initial cost of the bike.

If I were you, I’d consider getting your deposit back…asap.


So basically ubike is much better since they actually do maintenance on them.


I think if they don’t do maintenance they will be in a whole world of legal trouble in no time. Just a matter of time until someone has an accident and puts the blame on the bike (failing brakes the most likely cause for the accident).


Yup. Youbike also has the government behind them. I believe, oBike doesn’t.

Yeah, I 1000% agree, which is also another good reason to not continue using their system. It really doesn’t seem like there’s a maintenance plan being implemented.


I wonder if the whole oBike thing was just cooked up by the metal scrapping industry to guarantee them a continuous supply of metal to junk. :joy:

(Please don’t kill me, metal industry mafiosos.)


Which is around the initial deposit. :doh:
Which means you could buy your own bike with it. :runaway:
Which makes me wonder… Is their business really renting bicycles? :ponder:


It’s well known that these companies real business model is based around collecting multiple deposits per bikes and then relying on people not to claim the deposit back.
They are a basically a giant pyramid scheme on wheels.


Both you guys hit the bulls eye.