CHANGED 08-09-11 11.00 hrs

One of the most common problems among students is finding a proper bike. So to help you in your search for a reliable and cheap form of transport, we have created a list of four different ways to find a bike in Rotterdam.

1.    Marktplaats

This is a Dutch website where people buy and sell secondhand and new stuff. You could compare it to a website such as eBay. If you are able to understand a little Dutch or find a person who is willing to translate, this is a very cheap way to get a good bike. The only practical issue is that you have to pick up the bike somewhere yourself, but there is an easy way to filter out bikes in your area. Prices are from about €50. To give you a little taste of the advertisements on Marktplaats: a cool silver racing bike for ladies, with 8 different speeds and brakes that actually work (quite essential with 8 speeds). Price? €55. Are you not a very sporty type? There is also a bright green bike with pink dots and a pretty basket on front, also with working brakes, for the mere price of €50.

1.    Megabike at Oostplein

Another, more expensive alternative is going to the Megabike store at Oostplein. They sell new and secondhand bikes, but only for those who are willing to spend some more money on a proper bike. Be careful with the secondhand bikes though, as the prices are too high for the quality you get. For instance, paying €80 for a rusty old bike is way too much. If you do want to invest in a new bike, this is the place to go. For more details, check out their website.

3.    ESN Marketplace

This Facebook group from the Erasmus Student Network is a perfect way to get to know people while finding a bike at the same time. This Facebook group for international students and does not only sell/buy bikes, but also books, kitchen equipment, you name it. Shermin Chavoushi, Vice-President/Secretary of ESN invites you to join them: ‘Be one of the group members of ESN Marketplace, and it will facilitate your search for most of your settling needs in Rotterdam!’

4.    Become buddies with the homeless

This is probably the most classic, though completely illegal way to get a (very) cheap bike in a big city. Contact a homeless person, ask him/her to ‘find’ you a bike and reward him/her with a little money. A reasonable price would be around €10. Naturally, this bike has been stolen, so whether you find this ethical or not is fully up to you. Be careful though: if you get caught riding a stolen bike, the police can fine you for up to €400. IS