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Industry Urban transport
Founded July 15, 2008 (2008-07-15)
Founder Laurent Mercat
Headquarters Montpellier, France
Key people
Laurent Mercat (CEO)
Products Bicycle sharing systems

Smoove is a French company that designs, manufactures and markets[1] products related to bike-sharing. The company produces lightweight bike stands that require virtually no civil engineering and no electricity. The lock is on the bicycle, situated in the fork. It secures the bike in the stations and outside the stations with an auto-winding cable.[2]

The system won some recognition[3] by mayors and in the industry[4] for its reliability,[5] its moderate price[6] and the fact that it is not linked to an advertising deal.[7]

Fork lock[edit]

The Bike Stand
Smoove key

The lock can be either mechanical or electronic. The mechanical lock is based on the distribution of an RFID-tagged key from a pillar box dispenser.[8] The electronic lock relies on an RFID reader on the bicycle, together with a keyboard for casual users. A long term member will simply flash the member card on the bike to unlock it while the casual user will purchase a code, by internet, SMS, at a counter, or from a credit-card pillar dispenser. One idea is to share costs of payment methods and of street furniture with other existing systems such as car park ticket machines or public transport ticket systems, which can host the radio relay server.

RFID/Keyboard electronic lock

Smoove Bike[edit]

The salient part of the bike is the Fork Lock which can be adapted to different types of bicycles, including motorized bicycle. A cheap, light and sturdy bicycle[9] is proposed, meant to reduce servicing and vandalism:

  • self-winding lock cable, it winds itself in the frame;
  • powerful and low energy LED lights, included in the frame;
  • transmission gear by Cardan joint;
  • secured punctureless tyres;
  • rear hub gear and front hub dynamo;
  • mud-guards, skirt-guard, front basket, with easily changeable promotional fabric;
  • compatible with motorized bicycle.

Other products[edit]

Public foot-pumps, secured bike parks[10] whether collective large shelters with access code or mono bike carousels. In a town equipped with the Smoove Box electronic key system, an RFID-radiotag bike-theft monitoring system can be provided for individuals, users can locate their bike whenever it is within 50m around a station or a mobile reader. A "Smoove Soft" web access software helps manage the whole system, from the user and administrative perspective.

Systems installed by Smoove[edit]


  1. ^ Ville & Transport magazine n° 460, Nov 2008: «Smoove's vocation is to insure coordination, communication and realization of a complete offer by putting together different industrial solutions provided by its partners.»
  2. ^ General presentation in English: European Conference on Mobility Management London 2008 Vélomagg' Smoove address 12:30 05/06/2008
  3. ^ Tous à Vélo AFP 19/10/2007: «Paris, Orléans and Montpellier receive the "Bicycle Trophy 2007" for their achievement in Bike Sharing programs».
  4. ^ Salon des maires (French national fair for mayors and community leaders).
  5. ^ Midi Libre (a major daily newspaper in the South of France): «In 2008, 76 000 clients and 800 000 trips have been registered in Montpellier. A success, and little vandalism compared to the Velib in Paris.»
  6. ^ Montpellier agglomération magazine: Harmonie n° 255 Oct 2008 and Harmonie n° 251 Mai 2008, «The annual cost of a Vélomagg' is around 700€ per bike to be compared with the 2000-3000€ average for other similar French programs».
  7. ^ CityRyde: "There are several vendors with bike share programs that are not based primarily on advertising revenue, including CityByke, Public Bike Systems, B-cycle, and Smoove amongst others."
  8. ^ Vélocité n° 98, Dec 2008, fr:FUBicy «users can, with an RFID card or a code, access to a bicycle key distributed by an automatic dispenser».
  9. ^ Montpellier journal «12 h of riding for only 0,25 €», «The bicycle weights 5kg less than the Parisian Vélib'», «The bikes are in good condition. Maybe because they are under used? But surely because the maintenance team is known to be competent, although small in number: Only 1 person for every 600 bikes in Montpellier, to compare with 1:50 in Paris!».
  10. ^ Revue Transport Public n° 1085 Nov 2008: «400 bicycle slots in secured bike parks».
  11. ^ [1] [2]
  12. ^ [3]
  13. ^ [4]
  14. ^ Available 24h/d with regular public transportation card
  15. ^ Bikes are a part of a global intermodal transportation solution
  16. ^ On the road in less than 20s.
  17. ^,316243.php Now crossing the river Rhône
  18. ^ Construction works are reduced since stations are self sustained.
  19. ^ swipe your card directly on the bike
  20. ^ 1000€ for Vél'hop compared to 4000€/y/bike for Parisian Vélib.
  21. ^ Bicycle sharing scheme launched

External links[edit]