Tips on buying a bike
According to some statistics there are 1.3 bikes per person in the Netherlands. It is essential to everyday life here. Continue reading to find out which bike option suits you bets here in Maastricht!
#1 — Buying a bike at a bike shop
The first option is to visit one of the numerous bike shops in Maastricht, which offer bikes for all budgets. Great examples are Aon de Stasie (Central Station), StudentBike Maastricht (Hoogbrugstraat), Courtens Bike Parts(Calvariestraat), and Chris Cruts Rijwielen (Orleansstraat).
#2 — Buying a bike via Facebook
The second option, which is very common nowadays, is searching for a bike on Facebook. The Facebook group “Buy/sell a bike in Maastricht” or the Facebook marketplace are great to check out. Although most sellers are honest, always be cautious. You usually don’t know the person you are going to buy the bike from. As such, you need to make sure that it is not stolen, as buying a stolen bike is illegal and could result in a hefty fine.
When making the exchange you should always try to meet in a public place and bring a friend or two for support just in case. Be smart if a situation feels off then maybe go with a different option.
TIP: You can check the bike serial number in the bike theft database of the RDW.
TIP: Ask the seller to write and sign a document stating he is the rightful owner of the bike. These documents should state the serial number, the date, the location, and the price you bought the bike for.
#3 — Buying a bike through Marktplaats
Another way to find a bike is via Marktplaats, which is an advertising site that brings together buyers and sellers (thus more or less similar to Facebook Marketplace). Again, keep the same precaution as buying a bike via Facebook.
#4 — Renting a bike through Swapfiets (long-term)
At Swapfiets, you can rent a bike for a fixed price per month. You can recognize Swapfiets bikes by their blue front tire. Swapfiets is a bike rental service that makes sure your bike is always on point and ready to go. If you are facing any issue with your bike they will directly help you by either fixing the bike or changing it for a working one. The rental price for students starts at €18.50/month. For a fancier bike with gears, you pay €21,90/month.
#5 — Renting a bike through NS (short-term)
The final option is not buying a bike, but renting an “OV-fiets” if you need it. If you don’t need a bike that often, it’s a good solution. For renting an OV-fiets, you must have an OV-chipcard (the card you pay with in Dutch public transport) and a season ticket for the OV-fiets. The season ticket is free and you only pay when you rent an OV-fiets at one of the 3 renting stations in Maastricht (Central Station, Maastricht Randwyck, Maastricht Randwyck). Using an OV-fiets for 24-hours costs €4.25.
I hope that this blog helps you get the right bike. As always, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to post in the SBE GTEM Facebook group!