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Q&A - Electric Bike - Freebike - Scheme

It’s as fast as the bike!
Download the app, register, scan the QR code on the back of the bike and set off within one minute from downloading the app. Only people with an email address may register.


Q. What are the Freebikes to be used for?

A:  Their primary purpose is to allow IHS Markit employees to travel to and from meetings in substitution for a taxi or other form of transport, and otherwise use in the course of their work-related activities. In the evening and weekends, colleagues are welcome to use the bikes to commute, or for leisure for a modest charge.

Q. How do I sign up to use the Freebikes?

Q: How do I sign up to use the Freebikes?

A: To begin using the Freebikes, you will need to sign up on the Freebike app which you will find on the app store or play store – type into the search box and you will see the app icon:

logo. small

Q: Once signed up, how do I begin using the Freebikes?

A: Locate a bike in front of 25 Ropemaker Place. Open the app, scan the QR code behind the bike seat, choose whether to ride the bike as a Freebike (pedal bike) or an Ebike (Electric pedal-assist), then pull the brake once.  The lights will go through a quick sequence ending with a red rear light and a white front light. If the lights stay on, your rental has commenced.

Q. Do we have helmets that I can use?

A:  Yes, helmets are available from Ropemaker Reception. Colleagues are strongly encouraged to borrow a helmet from reception before using a Freebike. There are also hi-visibility jackets available.

Q: How do I return a Freebike after use?

A:  Pull either brake 3 times rapidly and wait for the bike lights to go off. The rental has terminated. If the lights stay on, you should try again.

End the rental at a place where the sky is visible. If you are returning the bike to a place with a poor mobile signal and / or a poor sky view, the rental may not end and the lights will not switch off. In this case, open the app, press End Rental, wait for the confirmation on your phone screen that the rental has terminated and then pull either brake 3 times rapidly. If the bike still does not return, please move the bike’s position 100 metres and try again – the reason that the bike rental is not ending is because the bike has a poor mobile signal.

Q: Where do I return a Freebike after use?

A:  Freebikes should be returned to the area in front of the Ropemaker office from where they were rented. See picture below. You may park bikes somewhere sensible while you are at meetings (end the rental whilst parked), but please return to Ropemaker Street once you are finished.

IHS Parking Space Annotated

Q: What should I do if the Freebike I am using is lost or stolen?

A: If the Freebike that an IHS Markit colleague is using is either lost or stolen, that colleague should inform Freebike on +44 20 3287 8869 or as soon as possible.

Q: What should I do if a Freebike that I am using is faulty or damaged?

A: Where an Freebike is faulty or damaged, the IHS Markit colleague should in the first instance report the problem through the app. If it’s something more urgent you can inform Freebike on +44 20 3287 8869 or as soon as possible. Where possible, we will endeavour to supply an alternative Freebike to that colleague for continued use.

Q: Do I have to lock the bike, if so how?

A: Yes. To lock the bike and return it at the Ropemaker office, just return the bike in the app or pull a brake lever 3 times rapidly – when the lights switch off, the bike is returned. To lock the bike at home or anywhere else, always use the combination lock that is attached to the front basket of the bike. Attach the bike to something solid like a rack, lamppost or railing. The lock number can be found by pressing the time counter on the upper left-hand side of the screen (before you return the bike). If you have already returned the bike in the app, you will need to rent it again and click to find the combination number.

Locking a bike

Q: Where should I park the bike?

A: The best place to park the bike is at a bike stand. If there is no bike stand nearby, park on the pavement as close to a building as possible, where pedestrian traffic is not hindered. The bike needs to ‘see’ satellites and therefore please park it in a place where the sky is visible. Once you have ended the rental you are free to take a bike inside at night for extra security.

Q: How fast do they go?

A: The bikes travel at up to 24.7kmh (15.5 mph). You ride the Freebike in just the same way as a pedal bike, except that the motor helps you to pedal so you need almost no effort. However, if you go faster than 24.7km (15.5 mph) the motor will no longer provide assistance. You can change the power assistance in the settings section of the app. Each time you borrow a bike, the new setting will be applied automatically. The modes vary in assistance levels. Faster mode has the most assistance from the bike’s electric motor; standard mode has slightly less assistance from the motor; and slower mode requires the highest exertion level from the rider.

Q: How do I turn on the motor?

A: The motor starts when you start pedalling and stops when you stop pedalling or press a brake.

Q: How do I charge the bike?

A: You do not have to charge the bike during the week. When you first rent the bike, you can see the battery status. A fully charged battery will do around 120km/80 miles – you do not need a Freebike with 100% battery every time. All Freebikes offer the same level of assistance, and given that 10% of battery equals approximately 10km of riding, all battery levels above 30% will be sufficient to travel in the City.

Q: How do I know when it is out of charge?

A: If a bike is very low on charge the motor will stop helping you. When you rent a bike in the app, you can also see the battery percentage to help you plan your journey.


Q: What should I do if the bike runs out of charge when I am riding it?

A: Cycle to the office and end the rental. The bike will ride like a normal bike.

Q: Will we be providing training?

A: The bikes are very easy to use so please follow the instructions on this page. If you do need tips, please contact Alex Miles and he will help you get started.

Q: What happens if I breakdown?

A: Call Freebike on +44 20 3287 8869

Q: Is the bike GPS tracked?

A: Yes

Q: What happens if the bike gets stolen?

A: Without putting yourself in danger, have a quick look to see if it’s been moved just around the corner, out of the way etc. It may be that someone has just moved it. If not found, please call the Police in the first instance, and then contact Freebike on +44 20 3287 8869 .

Q: Where do I put my belongings when I am riding the bike?

A: There is a basket on the front of the bike in which you can put a small bag, secured with the bungee straps. You can also wear a bag or handbag as you normally would when riding a bike.

Q: Am I insured when I ride the bike?

A: You are insured for third-party liability.

Q: What happens if I get caught in the rain?

A: If you are caught in the rain, please get under cover and wait 5 minutes – the rain normally stops. If it does not, end the rental and attach the bike to something using the combination lock. Try to pick up the bike later and bring it to the office. If you know that this will not be possible, call Freebike on +44 20 3287 8869 or email

Q: What happens if I unexpectedly cannot return the bike on the same day?

A: Please return it as soon as possible the next day. If you know that this will not be possible, call Freebike on +44 20 3287 8869 or email

Q: What’s the cost during the day?

A: All rentals are free on working days (Mon-Fri excluding Bank holidays):
  • between 8:30 to 16.50 or other times that may be notified in writing.
  • between 16.50 and midnight if the rental ends at the office
  • between midnight and 8.30 if the rental starts at the office
  • Outside of these times, rentals cost 10p per minute with a maximum cost per rental of £2. The rental time is measured from the moment when the front light switches on until the time that it switches off.
  • Users are expected to return the bike to the IHS Markit office. If a bike is not returned within 24 hours the system operator will pick up the bike and bring it to the office and IHS Markit will be charged a £10 fee.

Q: What’s the cost overnight?

A: There is no overnight charge. You pay 10p a minute when you have rented the bike (with a maximum charge of £2). When you end the rental, you stop paying.

Q: What’s the cost over the weekend?

A: There is no weekend charge. You pay 10p a minute when you have rented the bike (with a maximum charge of £2). When you end the rental, you stop paying.

Q: Do Freebike have a social media presence?

A: Funny you ask! Visit to share your pictures and use the hashtag #freebikeUK in your pictures, and you could be in the running for a prize from time to time for our favourites!

Q: I have another question.

A: If you have a further question that is not listed here, please direct it to and a Freebiker will get back to you.