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Tim Maihold (c) Jana Dünnhaupt
12.07.2023 from 
Campus + City
Trying it out risk-free

A spontaneous desire to move more and eat healthier often leads to impulse purchases of sports equipment. After initial euphoria follows after 2-3 training units then the disillusionment and with the lack of time and staying power the acquisitions fall fast into oblivion. The weight bench then serves at best as a clothes rack, the hula hoop collects dust and the tap board ekes out a sad existence under the bed. It is particularly annoying if you have bought particularly expensive sports equipment.

This is where the idea of Tim Maihold, a student at the University of Magdeburg, comes in. He is studying for a Master's degree in Integrated Design Engineering and is active in university sports and the student initiative "FlaR". "We got feedback from interested students a long time ago about whether it would be possible to give racing cycling a try," recalls Tim Maihold. "With almost every other sport at the sports center, you can borrow the equipment you need and try it out - it's just not available with road cycling," he continues. Since some FlaR team members had bought a new bike in Corona times, the older models were no longer needed. "We then asked around in the team and the cycling community who would agree to make their old bikes available for loan," says the student.

The owners of the bikes do not have to worry about anything else, because the organization of the rental as well as the insurance is taken over by the newly founded bike rental FlaR REnTRY. Interested sports enthusiasts can rent a bike there for up to 3 months for body sizes between 1.50 meters and 2.10 meters. This also includes drinking bottles including a holder, pedals and a saddle bag with useful aids such as a mini pump. "There are lots of breakdown accessories in the saddle bag. Together with the mini pump, you can thus repair almost any defect, such as a flat tire, without having to be picked up by a cab," explains the student. "We want to achieve with the lending service that people can try the sport without great risks, and then make wiser purchasing decisions and stay tuned." He said the offer is especially attractive to students, for whom large investments are usually not possible, because racing bike courses from the university's sports center can be linked to it. The sports center offers both beginner and advanced courses. Participants not only learn how to use the bike as a piece of sports equipment, but also how best to ride in a group and what to watch out for. An overview of the courses offered by the sports center can be found here. Unlike going for a leisurely spin in the park on your own bike, the road bike is a team sport with speed. "In terms of equipment, participants don't need to bring much. Sports sneakers with a firm sole are good for getting started, and you should always wear a helmet when riding," says Tim Maihold.

So far, the feedback from the rental service has been consistently positive and shows that the need is there, Maihold said.  "For our first tenant, the road bike rental has already led to enthusiasm for the sport. Thus, in combination with our tips, she has found out for herself in 3 months of racing cycling what is important to her later on her own racing bike and what she can do without." The bike rental service is not only aimed at students, anyone interested in road cycling can rent a bike and then pedal hard. More information and prices are available at FlaR REnTry.