When you think of Uber, the first thought that comes to mind is ride-sharing cars. But you’d be surprised to know that Uber is doubling down on micro-mobility with a fleet of advanced bikes.
In February 2018, the company gave a glimpse of this project to the people of San Francisco by allowing them to rent Jump bikes using the Uber app. Two months later, Uber acquired Jump in a $200 million deal.
Today, Jump bikes are all over the states. They even expanded to Europe and Canada. The reason behind this success is the high-tech features that make each ride seemingly easy and comfortable. With a 250W motor and Shimano braking system, the bikes soon became the first choice of transportation for many people.
Do you want to find out more? In this article, we’ll tell you everything about Jump bikes and how to rent one.
What Are Jump Bikes?
Jump was an e-bike company formerly known as Social Bicycles. They had a vision to create efficient bikes you can count on.
And this vision, along with their fleet of high-tech bikes, grabbed Uber’s attention. After testing the bikes in San Francisco and acquiring Jump, Uber started producing even more advanced bikes.
These bikes aren’t like conventional ones. They use pedal assist, so you won’t be doing all the work. Here’s how:
When you pedal, the motor will start working, and it’ll be “assisting” you. However, if you stop pedaling, the bike will stop, just like a normal one.
That means you get to enjoy an effortless ride at your desired speed without breaking a sweat. As a result, these e-bikes are perfect for commuters. Alternatively, they aren’t suitable for pump tracks or trails.
The best part is that these bikes are green, as they run on lithium-ion batteries. Not only are they environmentally friendly, but they’re also cheaper than your traditional ride-share trip.
More importantly, they’re super easy to use. You open the Uber app, follow some simple directions, and you can find a nearby bike or reserve one.
Once you make it to the bike, scan the QR code, and you’re good to go! Sounds easy, right?
New Features of Jump Bikes
Recently, Uber has added many astounding features to their bike fleet to take the user experience to the next level.
1. Swappable Lithium-Ion Batteries
The new generation of Jump bikes comes with swappable lithium-ion batteries, and that’s a game changer! When a bike’s battery dies, you just swap it with a fully-charged one, and it’s back in service.
Previously, Uber needed to remove the bikes from the streets each night to charge them, but that’s no more. These batteries power the electric motor inside the bike and give you the push you feel when pedaling.
2. Retractable Smartphone Mounts
The new bikes come with retractable smartphone mounts. As simple as these mounts are, they can make your ride much more pleasant. You can easily keep an eye on your GPS while riding the bike.
In the first generation, Jump used a traditional U-lock for security. But the new fleet of bikes features a one-meter-long cable lock. That means users can easily lock their bike to a signpost or a rack after finishing their trip.
3. Built to Last
The bikes now have more resilient frames. Generally, these features mean fewer maintenance problems and less vandalism.
It’s safe to say that these bikes are built to last. Uber estimates the lifespan of a Jump bike to be anywhere between three to five years.
What’s more impressive is that users ride these bikes for an average of 10,000 miles a year. That’s approximately 10 times the duty of an average personal bike.
With new technologies, Uber’s main goal is to bring each bike in for maintenance only once per year.
The Benefits of Using Jump Bikes in the City
Jump bikes are on the rise for various reasons. First, riding an e-bike is a greener option that reduces your carbon footprint. The bikes run on batteries, so you won’t have to worry about the sky-high gas prices.
Second, if you regularly use ride-sharing, you’ll be saving a fortune with e-bikes. Third, you’ll get to enjoy the beauty of the city on a bike without breaking a sweat. It’s quite a pleasant experience!
With Uber expanding their fleet of bikes, it’s now easier than ever to find one near your location. That makes it perfect for running an errand, commuting, or any last-mile short-range urban trip.
At the end of each day, a van collects some bikes and redistributes them to areas where they could be needed the next morning. That includes metro stations, downtown, and busy areas in your city.
So, you won’t have to walk a long distance to get a bike after a long day at work. With up to 20 mph of speed, you can reach your destination in no time.
How to Access and Use Jump Bikes
To start using Jump, you need to download the Uber app and create an account. If you already have an account, you can proceed with the following steps:
- Start by opening your Uber app on your smartphone.
- Then, check for little red bikes near you on the GPS.
- After that, tap the bike, hit “Reserve,” and walk to the bike.
- When you reach the bike, go to the reservation screen on your phone and click on the scanner icon.
- You’ll find a QR code above the back tire. Scan the code with your phone or enter it manually through the app.
- Next, you’ll hear the bike unlocking itself. Guide the cord into its holder, and you’re good to go!
After reaching your destination, you can park the bike in a suitable location. To do so, pull the cord out and lock it in place. To end the trip, open the app on your smartphone and follow the on-screen instructions.
Essential Tips for Your First Ride
Here are some essential tips for first-time users:
- Need to run a quick errand and get back to your bike? Reserve it again after finishing the trip.
- Don’t skip out on wearing a helmet.
- Make sure your app is always up-to-date.
- Park the bike in an appropriate location and avoid blocking sidewalks.
- Double-check that the lock is secure before leaving the bike.
Jump Bikes and Urban Transportation
One of the reasons behind Uber’s acquisition of Jump bikes is the high demand for short-range urban transportation. People don’t want to spend hours in traffic and pay a huge sum of their hard-earned money on gas or rideshare trips.
These bikes are mobile, easy to use, and cheap. On top of that, most cities now have dedicated lanes for bikes, which means you can reach your destination faster. This, combined with public transit integration, allows people to reach any part of the city effortlessly.
Since their first test in San Francisco, Uber has believed that Jump bikes are the future of micro-mobility. They’ve launched a new generation of bikes with more advanced features, like swappable lithium batteries.
With the rising number of these e-bikes on the streets, it’s now quicker than ever to find one. You’ll also find them at busy locations, like metro stations.
And using these bikes is as easy as it gets. All you need to do is scan the code on the bike using the Uber app, and you’re good to go!