Safety

Helmets

Always wear a helmet when riding a bicycle. Doing so dramatically reduces the risk of head injury in the event of a crash while bicycling. Be sure to wear a helmet every time you ride. Here are two ways to acquire your own:

  • Buy Online:
    Click here to order a quality helmet through Hubway's homepage now. Or, when you sign up for a Hubway Annual or Monthly Membership, you'll have the option of adding a helmet to your purchase while registering. We'll mail it right to your front door!

  • Purchase from a Subsidized Helmet vendor:
    The City of Boston and the Boston Public Health Commission are working hard to ensure helmets are accessible and inexpensive so you can wear a helmet every time you ride. Visit the helmet retailer page for subsidized locations. Your local bike or sporting good shop is likely to sell helmets too!

Safety Features

Hubway bikes are designed with many built-in safety mechanisms, including:

  • Front and rear flashing LED lights that run automatically as you pedal;
  • Wheel reflectors;
  • Reflective sidewalls on both front and rear tires;
  • Adjustable seat height;
  • Step-thru frame for lower center of gravity; and
  • Plastic casing around cables to prevent tampering.

Riding Tips

There's more to safety riding than a well-tuned bicycle. Make your trip more secure by following these tips:

  • Obey all regulatory signs
    and traffic lights.
  • Never ride against traffic.
    Always ride with traffic to avoid potential incidents, and do not ride against one-way streets unless bike lanes are clearly marked.
  • Use hand signals
    to communicate with other cyclists and motorists what you intend to do.
  • Ride in a straight line
    to the right of traffic and at least 4 feet away from parked car doors.
  • Watch for turning cars.
    Ride defensively at intersections and driveways. Intersections are where many incidents occur.
  • Be aware of pedestrians.
    Yield to pedestrians at crosswalks and in other pedestrian areas.
  • Be alert!
    Don't ride distracted, and do not wear headphones while riding. Pull over and stop your bike prior to using a cell phone.
  • Respect all other riders, drivers, & pedestrians.

More safety information is available at Boston Bikes.

Check Your Bike Before You Ride

Hubway maintains every bike to ensure they are in good condition and working properly. It's always a good idea to give the bike a look over before starting a ride. Check the following before you set off:

  • Seat Height
    Hubway bike seats are adjustable. Simply release the clamp on the side of the seat post (just below the seat), raise or lower the seat to your preferred height, and then re-tighten the clamp, making sure that the seat can't twist or sink. Typically a seat is at the right height when you can almost fully straighten your legs when you pedal.

  • Air
    Push each tire hard against a curb. If you can flatten it, it needs air.

  • Wheels & Tires
    Lift each wheel up and give it a slow spin (spin the back wheel forward so the pedals don't move). Check that the wheel spins freely and doesn't rub against the brake pads or anything else. Look for cuts, bulges, or bubbles in the tires.

  • Shifting
    Try all of your gears to make sure the chain shifts smoothly between gears.

  • Brakes
    Check that both brakes are functional and feel strong.

  • Loose Parts
    Pick up the bike and shake it. You shouldn't hear anything rattling.

If a bike isn't working properly, lock it back into any Hubway dock, press the wrench button on the dock to let a bike technician know, and then unlock a different bike.

Bicycle Education

Take a bike safety class today! We want to make your experience with Hubway as safe and enjoyable as possible. A number of free classes & workshops are offered throughout the Metro Area, where you can learn the tips and tricks of urban cycling from certified instructors.

Bicycling Laws

To be a safe cyclist, it's important to know and follow the law. Visit these resources for your rights as a cyclist in addition to regional rules of the road: