Biking will most likely be your primary form of transport in Eindhoven. If you've never ridden a bike before, it might be a good idea to practice before you get here, or have someone teach you how on arrival. Most places you'll be visiting in Eindhoven will be reachable in 5-20 minutes by bike, depending on where you live.
Biking can either be just a form of transport for you, or you can get fairly involved and start biking long distance or repairing/modifying bikes as a hobby. This page has resources on getting a bike, repairing your bike and general tips for cycling culture in the Netherlands.
Types of Bikes
Picking a bike is mostly a matter of personal preference. Most opt for a city bike, which is comfortable for short distances and are low maintenance. Racing bikes are lighter and faster, but some find the small seats and forward leaning position uncomfortable.
If possible, try a few bikes before you pick the one you want. A useful guide can be found here, though in the end, if a bike feels good to you and you can afford it, you'll most likely be happy.
"You haven't been in Netherlands long enough, if you haven't had a bike stolen." With this quote in mind, it's best to buy a bike that doesn't look impressive, or you can afford to lose. More importantly, always lock your bike to a stationary object, and preferably in a public area with lots of pedestrians and other locked bikes. Here is a guide to locking your bike properly.
A thief with the proper tools can break most common locks easily. Thus, it's important not to lock your bike perfectly, just to lock it better than everyone else. A thief will steal the bike that's easiest to steal.
Buying a Bike
There are countless bikes for sale in Eindhoven at any given time, through many different channels. Traditional bike stores can be found all over the city, and most have similar prices depending on the types of bikes they sell. You can also buy bikes second hand, by looking around on Facebook buy/sell groups, or a number of websites for second hand items. When buying a bike second hand, it's important to make sure you're not paying too much. Make sure that at the very least, the breaks work on your bike and that there are no obvious structural damages (such as broken spokes or damage to the frame). A basic second hand bike will usually cost between 50-100€.
Bike stores in Eindhoven:
Renting a bike
Swapfiets offers a service where you can rent a bike for a monthly fee, and in return Swapfiets guarantees that you will have a working bicycle while your subscription is active. If your bicycle breaks, they will come to your location and provide you with a working bicycle within 12 hours. Swapfiets is an especially good choice for exchange students, as purchasing a used bike may potentially cost more than a Swapfiets subscription for your whole stay, and you won't have to worry about repair costs or selling your bike before you leave.
Most bike stores will fix your bike for a small fee, but most small repairs can be performed by anyone for just the price of materials. For instance, repairing a flat tire may cost 10€, but a repair kit for a flat tire will cost around 1€ per repair. Most repairs are easier than they might seem, and countless guides can be found online for most basic repairs. Though of course if you don't have time or the interest, bike repair stores offer excellent service, and are by no means ripping you off by charging for repairs.
Cycling in Netherlands
There are more bicycles than residents in The Netherlands and in cities like Amsterdam and The Hague up to 70% of all journeys are made by bike. The general rules of cycling in the Netherlands are:
- Always keep to the right side of the road.
- Obey traffic lights and traffic signs.
- Cycle on bike paths.
- Signal with your hand when you want to turn.
Holland Cycling is a useful website that answers frequently asked questions regarding cycling: Holland Cycling.