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Worst Winter Damage for Divvy Bikes? Cracked Seats From Cold

By Kyla Gardner | March 20, 2015 5:48am
 Divvy is gearing up for increased spring ridership after a harsh winter.
Divvy is gearing up for increased spring ridership after a harsh winter.
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DNAinfo/Alex Parker

CHICAGO — Like everyone else in Chicago, Divvy is gearing up for spring.

About 400 bikes were kept in winter storage, and 200 of them already have joined the city's bike-sharing fleet in anticipation of warmer weather, said Elliot Greenberger, general manager of Divvy.

The other 200 will be rolling out in the coming weeks, he said.

In all, Divvy has 3,000 bikes in Chicago.

Kyla Gardner says Divvy bikes were prepared for winter:

Though the city saw record-breaking snow and cold this winter, durable Divvy bikes fared well in the elements, said Erik Erkel, bicycle service manager for Divvy.

"One of the main things we see in winter is the saddles crack a little more easily because of the cold weather," he said. "The other thing that we really see is just the elements. The snow and the salt and ice that gets on the bikes takes a little bit more to clean off."

But the slush doesn't do much to the aluminum frames of the bicycles, which were designed with sturdiness in mind.

"It's pretty much a 40-pound bicycle," Erkel said. "It's very robust. It's designed to withstand the elements a little better than a traditional bike would."

Though tuneups are "more focused in the winter months," all 3,000 of the city's Divvy bikes go through a full annual tuneup throughout the year as well, Greenberger said.

In those tuneups, the bicycles are taken apart, checked out and put back together. For many, that means a new seat, a new chain and new brake cables, Erkel said.

As the first day of spring arrives Friday, Divvy is close to hitting a turning point of its own.

"We anticipate crossing a big milestone this month: 7 million miles ridden since our June 2013 launch," Greenberger said in an email.

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