A Quick Guide to Renting Bikes in Chengdu

Authors: Helen Loaiza

2019-05-29

Here, we’ll provide a quick run-down of the bicycle-renting process in Chengdu.
Whether you prefer to lead an active lifestyle (or you're on a tight budget and prefer to have multiple public transport options), renting a bicycle from a provider might be the best option for you!
Here, we'll provide a quick run-down of the bicycle-renting process in Chengdu.
First of all, what do we mean by renting a bicycle?
Several companies have their bicycles scattered across Chengdu. These bicycles are available to use for those with subscriptions. You simply unlock the bicycle, use it to get to your destination, and then lock it and leave it once you arrive at your destination.
To rent one of the bicycles, you simply scan the QR code found on the bicycle with the WeChat app. The QR code should be located in two spots: one between the handlebars and another near the back wheel where the lock is. After scanning with WeChat (or Alipay, depending on the bicycle service), a page that corresponds to the bicycle company should pop up. After purchasing a subscription, you will scan the QR code again and the bicycle's lock will open.
It is important to note that you will be asked to submit information about your identity before being able to use any of the providers. Furthermore, the authentication period may last either several hours or several business days, so it may be wise to submit your information to two or three providers at once so that, if you were to have an issue with a provider, you would be able to switch quickly to another provider without having to wait for authentication. (You do not have to buy a subscription until after your information is reviewed.)
To authenticate your account, the bicycle companies may ask for a picture of your passport, a picture of you, and/or a picture of you holding your passport.
Below, we'll introduce some of the most common bicycle companies in Chengdu and compare their features.
Bicycle companies give you the option to buy a subscription (recommended) or pay each time you ride. You can search for bicycle companies and their specific subscription plans on WeChat and Alipay. Subscription plans are available for 30 days, 90 days, and even 180 days. These plans provide a rider with the option to have long-term savings when compared to paying per ride or per month. Prices for subscription plans vary among providers, so it might be wise to shop around before sticking to one provider.
By shopping around, you can also try the bicycles offered by each provider. Some riders may prefer a specific bicycle style to others. (For example, some of my friends prefer Didi's blue and white cruiser bicycle because of its pedal and seat shape). Additionally, some bicycles are easier to find in certain areas of Chengdu than others. The price and the availability of the bicycles are all factors that are important to consider when shopping around.
Mobike (摩拜单车)
Many riders enjoy using Mobike because it has an English app that is simple and easy to use. The bicycles for this company, as well as its app, are a bright orange and silver color. These bicycles can easily be found throughout Chengdu. The approval process is a bit slower than that for other bicycle providers.
Qing Ju Bicycle (青桔单车)
These bicycles are typically an aquamarine color. They come in two different styles: a fully aquamarine color and a white and aquamarine color. These bicycles can be found by scanning the QR code with WeChat. This bicycle provider is convenient because it can be accessed through WeChat and does not require an additional app installation to use. The identification approval process is also pretty quick!
Hello Bike (哈罗单车)
These bicycles are a royal blue and white color. The app for Hello Bike can be accessed through Alipay, where riders can purchase a subscription plan. Hello Bike also has a unique plan that allows you to pay a certain amount for either two or five rides. For those who do not need a long-term subscription, this would be a great option.
Most of the apps include a map that signals the location of nearby bicycles a rider can unlock. The apps also include a rundown of how long you rode the bike and how many kilometers you travelled, which can be useful for those using the bicycles for exercise. If the bicycle was damaged during your ride, will not unlock, or will not lock after being opened, there is also an option on the app to report the bicycle as damaged and end your session with that specific bicycle so you can use other bicycles.
I highly recommend that any long-term visitors to Chengdu try out a bicycle subscription. Bicycle subscriptions provide the opportunity to save money by cutting down on car-hailing costs while also leading a healthier lifestyle, taking in the scenery in Chengdu, and contributing to the protection of our environment.

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