BOSSES of Edinburgh’s first street cycle scheme have been forced into a hasty refit of their fleet after a safety flaw emerged.
Riders have been reporting saddle stems of the Just Eat cycles collapsing as they make their way around town.
Now Transport for Edinburgh chiefs have confirmed the seat clamps to all 200 existing bikes are being swapped to rectify the problem.
One exasperated rider posted on Twitter: “This evening a seat stem suddenly collapsed on me as I was halfway across the roundabout at the top of Leith Walk.
“That’s quite a serious safety risk. The bike I swapped it for at Shrubhill did the same thing on Leith Walk. This needs to be addressed ASAP.”
The rider went on to say four out of five bikes he hired in just two days had the same issue while he spotted other users struggling with the same problem.
Just Eat Cycles replied: “Sorry you have had a bad experience on our bikes. Thank you for bringing this to our attention.
“We are currently replacing all the seat clamps on the bikes. It is taking a bit of time to get round them all.”
Green councillor Mary Campbell expressed concerns at what could pose a safety risk on some of the Capital’s busier streets.
“The bike hire scheme has been a long time coming and has been popular so far in its early stages,” said Cllr Campbell.
“So I’m surprised and disappointed that an issue with seat clamps has come up, especially for bikes where the saddle heights need adjusted several times a day to suit different users.
“At best it is uncomfortable, at worst it could be very unsafe if it happened suddenly, say, going down Dundas Street, in heavy traffic.
“I’d expect the hire company to check all bikes thoroughly and to fit clamps that are easy to use and last through the wear and tear of frequent use.”
An initial 200 branded Just Eat Cycles were introduced from September 17 at sites across the city, increasing to 1,000 bikes by the end of the year and more to follow in 2019.
News of the belated refit was welcomed by the rider who flagged the issue on Twitter. The city worker said: “I’m just delighted it’s getting sorted but maybe fixing it before people took off would’ve been a good idea.”
Charles Graham, general manager at Just Eat Cycles, said he was grateful for customer feedback to improve the service.
He added: “A number of our customers have shared valuable feedback with us about the seat clamps fitted on our bikes.
“In response to this, we have been upgrading our fleet with more user-friendly seat clamps that have been designed with consistent readjustment in mind, as part of their ongoing maintenance. The safety and comfort of our customers and the ease of use of the bikes is very importance to us, which is why we have invested in a fleet of quality, British-made Pashley bikes.”