London Commuting: On Your Bike!

Commuting in London is like being a fish in the ocean; the bigger you are, the safer. No-one messes with Planes, Trains and automobiles (kind of) with everything else battling around them. But times are rapidly changing for the Metropole, with more green options coming every year. You have boroughs like Hackney introducing non-car areas to encourage people to use public transport.

One area that has changed to meet the challenge of London commuting are bicycles. Rather than shrink in the face of transportation giants, they’ve multiplied significantly over the years. Here are some of the competitors battling it out for supremacy in London’s green revolution.

On your Bike! (Commuting in London)

Santander Bikes

Immediately the most widely recognised type of bike any Londoner (or not) will refer to when asked. The Santander Cycle scheme has been around since 2010 and is colourfully referred to (sometimes) as ‘Boris Bikes’. Currently, Santander Cycles dominate the London commuting bike scene with over 839 stations across the capital.

As experienced cyclists will know, however, these bikes are exceptionally heavy compared to other bikes. Weighing in at over 23kg, not including anything that you need to take to the office!

Ofo Bikes

Weighing in at 17kg, Ofo bikes have a distinct look and exciting feature compared to Santanders. Unlike their counterpart, there aren’t any docking stations for them, and users are able to pick them and ride. It works instead through a QR code scanned by the prospective rider through their app.

What one of the common issues riders have with Santander bikes is how unlike a bike it feels. Ofo, fortunately, is distinct in that it provides passengers with something that is space-saving, and feels like an ordinary bike.


Like the Ofo, Urbo allows users to avoid unwieldy docking stations by taking an in-app approach. Users use the app to find the bike nearest to them, scanning the QR code, unlocking and using the bike. Once you’ve reached your destination, users need to lock it anywhere they can (within reason).