My Honest Kinmen Island K-Bike Review: How To Use + Biking Tips
July 5, 2020
The Kinmen K-Bike System makes Kinmen Island travel a pleasure. The unique Taiwan island is splattered with abandoned military bases, surrounded by beaches, and covered in hiking trails.
While easily tour-able by scooter, if you’re on a budget and/or into outdoor activities, I recommend the Kinmen K-Bike system to travel the island and explore Kinmen’s most popular destinations. As an English-teacher on Kinmen Island, I find the K-Bike system great for weekend activities and exercise.
Here, I leave my honest review and rating of the Kinmen K-Bike system and provide tips to make the best of your K-Bike riding fun!
The Kinmen Island K-Bike System: What You Need To Know
According to the Kinmen Travel Guide, K-Bikes are free for the first hour and then cost $10 NT per half hour. As someone who likes to save money, the price is great and you can cover a lot of ground in a few hours, barely denting your budget.
I pay with Taipei’s Easy Card (you can buy these in any 7/11, even on Kinmen), but you can also pay with a Kaohsiung I-Pass or credit card.
Each Kinmen Island K-Bike kiosk displays the island-wide station map on screen.
I haven’t been able to find a map online and the app hasn’t worked for me, so I suggest taking a picture of the screen map and taking notes of the major destinations where K-Bikes are often located.
If you plan to visit a destination with no station, plan to hold onto the bike or lock it up so — luckily the cheap price won’t rack up a large rental charge even if you get stuck with the bike while you’re not using it.
On a last note, if it’s convenient, rent and return from stations in less popular destinations.
Kinmen K-Bike Rideability
I’m disappointed to say, but these bikes are heavy-cruisers.
They’re more suited for renting and returning to the same location than riding long distances. Even riding up the slightest of inclines you’ll be working hard. There are a few times when I walked the bike despite being on what barely counted as a hill.
Is it an entirely bad thing? No, I’ll still probably do a similar ride in the future because I like the challenge. Just don’t say I didn’t warn you and try to stick to flat paths and roads.
Kinmen K-Bike Rideability rating: ★★★☆☆
Overall I enjoy the design of Kinmen K-Bikes.
They have three-gears, a stable kickstand, a bell, a basket, and even a lock and key so you can leave the bike anywhere as you explore. I haven’t ridden the bike after dark, but the bike appears to have a light on its back wheel.
One thing I’ve noticed with both bikes in Taipei and Kinmen is that the pedals seem higher up. Even when my feet just touch the ground my legs don’t extend very much while I pedal. For prospective riders, I suggest a higher-set seat, as long as your feet still reach the ground.
I rode a K-Bike around the island for about 3 hours one day and was pleasantly surprised.
Unlike the U-bikes in Taipei that would leave my booty sore, I can’t recall my booty feeling sore on the K-Bike even after a few hours.
As mentioned above, get a bike at the correct seat height for maximum riding comfort so you don’t feel squished as you pedal.
Ease of Use
Once you’ve signed up for the Kinmen K-Bike System (our next point), it’s easy to rent a bike. If you can’t read Chinese, be sure to have a camera translator available to translate the screen.
(Hilariously, the Kinmen K-Bike kiosk offers English, but only the kiosk menu gets translated, which is not much help when you need to rent a bike.)
So be sure to have a camera translator to help you!
Here are the steps to rent.
Select the rentals option on the kiosk and select rent.
Select your payment option
Scan your EasyCard or iPass (or enter your credit card information)
Select your bike.
The lock-cord connecting the bike to the station will then un-leash and you’ll be good to go!
When you return the K-Bike, dock the bike and insert the lock-cord into the station to lock the bike. Next, head on over to the kiosk, select rentals, and select return.
How To Sign-Up To Use the Kinmen Island K-Bike System
Signing up for the Kinmen Island K-Bike System was a breeze — all you need is a phone number based in Taiwan and be able to receive texts.
You’ll need to sign-up on the kiosk and provide information such as your name and email. Once again, if you can’t read Mandarin, have your camera translator ready.
After you enter your personal information and your phone number, you’ll receive a text confirmation. Confirm your code and you will be all set to ride!
It has been a bit since I signed up, but I’m certain you also provide your payment preference during sign-up. This is how the kiosk knows it’s you each time you use your payment method at the kiosk after signing-up.
Kinmen Island Travel — Made Easy with Kinmen Island K-Bikes!
Visiting Kinmen Island is a special treat for all visitors and even residents of Taiwan.
As a foreigner living on this island, I highly suggest some Kinmen Island travel to learn about a whole other side of Taiwan. If you’re interested in history, the outdoors, and a mixture of Fujian & Taiwanese culture, Kinmen Island is the place to discover it.
While electric bikes are an outstanding option for island travel, if you plan on staying for a week or more, I recommend the Kinmen K-Bike system to save money, travel slowly, and get some exercise!
If you want to save money but aren’t sure about taking a K-Bike from one side of the island to the other, I also recommend the bus system!
Overall, the Kinmen Island K-Bike system has some great perks — I love almost everything about it from the ease of signing up, the cheapness, and bike design.
Yet, it fails when it comes to riding for long-distances around the island because the bikes are resistant to the slightest of inclines. I can guarantee you one thing if you do ride any long-distance, you’ll get in the exercise.
Overall Rating: ★★★★☆
If you loved this post — please PIN it! & let me know if you ever visit Kinmen Island, Taiwan! I’ll happily be your tour guide.
American millennial Kayla Marie has a vision to live life outside the margin. As a creator, her goal is to tell stories and inspire others to live for themselves. She focuses on themes of inspiration, hustle, and travel to promote values that question the status quo.