The Bike Centre serves customers on the Baana bikeway at the Kansalaistori square throughout the summer season until the end of September. The centre reopened at its new location in late May, having served earlier in Kamppi and Herttoniemi.
“We wanted to move the services of the Bike Centre to a more prominent location and closer to cyclists. The new location and the new facilities were commented on positively by customers and passers-by immediately during the first week of operation. Baana was used by close to one million cyclists in 2018, so we expect a high number of visitors at our new Bike Centre,” says Eeropekka Lehtinen, a planner at Helsinki City Transport (HKL).
The Bike Centre provides customers with opportunities for independent bicycle maintenance, with a mechanic on hand for advice and guidance. Bicycles can also be left at the centre for express bike repair by professionals for a fee. The centre provides information on the City Bikes bike-share programme and hands-on guidance on the use of City Bikes. The centre has a pumping station and the most essential tools, from chain whips to spoke keys. The staff are also available to answer questions about routes and the rules of the road.
The Bike Centre started its 2019 season at full speed. Arto Mäkinen, in charge of the centre’s bicycle maintenance operations, confirms: “We were busy as early as the first week.”
“We have been surprised to see how old some of the bikes are that people ride. If you ride a very old bike, you should be prepared not to find spare parts very easily. The most common problem of cyclists is soft tires, and cyclists are sometimes surprised to find out how high the proper tire pressure is,” Mäkinen comments.
The Bike Centre operations will be developed further. The goal is to include a bicycle wash and an electric bicycle charging station in the operations at Kansalaistori.
The Bike Centre serves from Monday to Friday, 9–17, until the end of September. The earlier service locations at Narinkkatori in Kamppi and in Herttoniemi are no longer in operation.
The Bike Centre is part of the City of Helsinki cycling promotion programme. The centre’s operations are managed by Helsinki City Transport HKL. The operations are run by Velo & Oxygen during the 2019 season.