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Take a first look at the shiny new Santander Cycles

James Manning

After seven and a half years, TfL’s cycle hire scheme is finally getting an upgrade as a new generation of bikes hits the streets. Here’s what to look out for…

  • Good news for Londoners’ bums: the next-gen Boris Bike saddle contains gel pads for extra comfort. It’s much easier to raise and lower too.
  • The step-through frame on the new bike is lower than before, making things easier for smaller riders (and anyone wearing skinny jeans).
  • Partly made from Aramid, a fancy synthetic fibre, the new bike’s tyres are more resistant to punctures than ever before. The mudguards are sturdier too.
  • Brighter, better-positioned and with a Blaze Laserlight (the flashy green one) included as standard, the new bikes’ lights make cyclists easier to spot.
  • The new model’s wheels are a little smaller than the ones on the old bikes, making them quicker to accelerate when the lights go green.
  • The new-and-improved Shimano brakes may be Japanese, but these new bikes are being assembled closer to home, in Stratford-upon-Avon.

The first new Santander Cycles are available for hire across London this week.

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