If you don’t know already, let me tell you: to have a bike (and to know how to ride it) is a absolutely must in Linköping. Not only you can mostly bike to all important places in the city, but this is the most important type of transportation chosen by students, I believe. Soon in your first weeks, if you don’t own I bike, you’ll start to feel as an outsider, someone on the margins of society. I am obviously exaggerating, but the truth is new students can get a little anxious in their search for a bike, so here are some tips i can give you for this that might be one of the first challenges you’ll face in your new town and way of life:
1.Don’t get anxious
As I said, axially can start to rise if you see the days goes by and you having to walk to the university while everyone cuts you off on their bike, it can look like you are the only one without wheels. That type of feeling can drive you to buy the first thing you find, so hold you feelings, it is best if do it with time and wisdom. Yes, it is good to have a bike and you definitely need it to have you stuff done around the city, but you will see a week or two won’t make that much of a difference once you got yours, what will make a difference is the quality of your choice. Here i can give you another tip, after the two first weeks when everyone who was desperate to buy a bike has bought one, I felt offers were better and more abundant. So take your time.
2.Give preference to second hand bikes
You will see you have many options where to buy a bike, including from new ones to used ones. Second hand bikes offers a better deal price-wise and are less prone to be stolen, and yes, bikes are stolen all the time in Linköping. If you will be in the city for just a year it can be even more interesting to not invest in an expensive bike. it is possible to buy a second hand bike directly from students or in second hand shops. The price for a used bike usually ranges between 500 to 1500kr, depending on the characteristics and conditions of the bike. Here are some shops you can look for one:
Hanaa Valla Cykelservice, Ulvåsavägen 10, tel. 013-13 06 40
Vide cykelservice, Videgatan 1, mob. 0707-72 92 96
Cykelmästaren, Götgatan 17, tel. 013- 14 22 60
Amir Cykelaffär, Hertig Karlsgatan 14B, tel. 013- 12 81 12
Andreas Nyckel- och cykelservice, St. Larsgatan 15, mob.: 0707678144
Ryds Sko- och Nyckelservice, Ryds Centrum, tel. 013 – 17 66 90
Nellborgs Cykel, Stationsgatan 18, tel. 013 – 14 10 03
Besides those, you can use the facebook group of the student association ESN Linköping or ISA Linköping, there was where i got mine and i think usually is where it is possible to find the best deals.
3.Set your needs beforehand
You will need some basic and essential things in your bike, such as front and back lights (they are mandatory) and a functioning bell. Besides that, you have to chose if you want gears or not, if you need a basket, and which type of locker you will use. For what a learn, three gears are the minimal and ideal for Linköping, many don’t have gears, but I think it can help you a lot in your riding. The locker is also a important aspect, since you need to protect you new property, so it might be useful to invest in a good one, sometimes students selling their bikes already include this items and if you buy in a second hand store you might try to negotiate, just be smart.
4.Try before you buy and be aware of scams
Always ask to see and try the bike out before you commit to buy. On the facebook group it is very common you arrange some time to meet the buyer to look at the bike and see if it fits your needs and check it condition, sometimes pictures can be misleading of the real situation of the bike. So try the bike out having some rounds around the block, it is not because it’s a good bike that it is good for you. Also, just know that scams happens, someone might try to sell a stolen bike to you or something that does not matches the asked price.
One last advice I could give is to buy a helmet, most students don’t use one, what doesn’t mean biking (especially in winter time) is not dangerous. You should also get winter tires around November, although they clean the bike lanes everyday, I discovered ice can sets itself pretty fast.
Just know you will make it in the end and soon will be biking everywhere. This is one of my favorite things about Linköping, I hope you will enjoy as well.