Hover over the bike and see different tips on how to use the Velib bikes... (and avoid bad bikes)
Steps to rent:
1. Find a bike that is not broken and note it's terminal number (on the top of the bike post). Now that the Velib system has been around for a while, bikes are not always in the best shape. JCDecaux has basically abandoned the system and most bikes are now quite dangerous to ride if they can be ridden... Things to look for:
- Chains: loose, missing, or broken
- Brakes: check the tension by squeezing both brake handles
- Tires: feel the tire making sure it's got enough air (note that the bike in the picture has a bad tire)
- Seat: verify that the adjustable seat is able to be adjusted
- Gear Shift: just look for broken handles, components
- Lift up the back wheel and turn the pedal to make sure the mechanics are in order
NOTE: It's become common practice now to place the seat in the reverse direction when the bike is found to be in need of repair. So, if the seat is facing the other way just skip it (regardless of the green light status)
If there's a line you should pick out a few bikes. It's nice to have another person to ride with (one to stand in line, the other to pick out bikes).
2. Go through the complicated process on the two screens to rent a bike. It's annoying so if you're in Paris alot then just get a 1 year abonnement and link it to your navigo metro pass. Then you can just grab a bike very quickly by placing the metro pass over the card reader found on the terminal.