City of Seattle sends warning after vandals cut bike-share brake lines

SEATTLE – The Seattle Department of Transportation sent out a warning Wednesday, saying brakes on some bike-share bicycles are being cut across the city.

Whether you use the bikes to commute to work or you take them out for a ride with friends while visiting the city, you've seen the green, yellow and orange bikes scattered across Seattle.

Now, the bike-share companies Spin, Ofo and Limebike are also warning users to check the brakes on their rental bikes.

The city of says it’s working with the bike-share companies to help them notify users.

But one rider found out about the issue the hard way when she said discovered one of her bike’s brakes failed while rolling downhill.

“We’re college students, so anything like cheap and free,” said Alexis Sanchez.

Sanchez and her buddy Kennedy were visiting Seattle for spring break and said finding a cheap bicycle ride in Seattle wasn’t hard.

“They’re all over the city,” she said.

But Sanchez says Tuesday wasn’t much fun when one of the brakes on her Ofo bicycles wouldn’t work properly.

“We were going downhill and I realized that only the left brake was working,” she said. “So when we got to the bottom of the hill I was like, OK, let me switch bikes really quick.”

Sanchez said she alerted Ofo about her problem and hadn’t seen it repeat on other bikes she later rented.

But many other bike-share riders like Satoshi Otani didn’t experience any problems.

“First time to try the LimeBike so I don’t know such a problem has happened,” he said.

Sanchez says she still plans to rent bikes on her vacation except she’ll pay closer attention to see if the next one is roadworthy.

“Now, like every time after that when we got on a bike, I checked to make sure the brakes were working, the seat’s tight, all that,” she said.

The bike-share companies have urged customers to  visually inspect the brakes and test them out before riding.

Customers who find one with a problem are being asked to notify the company directly.