The rear mudguard is a large plastic unit which combines a skirtguard and a rear dynamo light, it's attached to the seatstay bridge and chainstay bridge only which makes it a bit floppy. I'm not sure if this was intentional as the rear of the mudguard is usually the bit which gets smacked about, maybe having something a bit flexible allows it to flex rather than brake. The dynamo lights appear to be the Dutch Spanninga brand, they are pretty good and are constant lights, unlike the flashing lights of the Barclays bikes. The tyres are the ubiquitous Schwalbe Marathons, they are the same as the Vélib and the Barclays bikes, a good choice. At the station I picked mine up from there was one bike which had a flat and another bike which had a dropped chain. The one with the flat had the seat turned backwards which is what people do to indicate a dud bike - nice one. One bad thing I noticed was that the kickstand is a nice strong steel unit, however the spring that holds it in the up position is often a bit weak so you'll hear a clank every time you hit a bump.
|The rear light is recessed into the mudguard|
to protect it from knocks and vandalism
After I was done with it I rode it back to the nearest docking station to my hotel, however it was full... dang. However the terminal (which is in French, English and Spanish) showed me the status of the closest 3 stations. There was 7 free spots at one down the block, however I had no idea where it was because it was presented in a table format rather than a map. Anyway I was able to return it quite easily by just pushing it into the dock.
Overall the bike system works pretty well, the bikes themselves are pretty good. I would even go so far to say that I think they are better than the Barclays bikes because of the better basket and better lighting system. What I would like to see on some of these bike share bikes is a rear rack, so you can have a passenger to give a lift to (AKA Backie, Dink). I bet though, that it's perceived as unsafe (open to being sued?) and that they want you to just hire another bike anyway.
That's all for now. Happy riding.