A HEAP of broken Ofo bikes has been spotted near the city, but the firm insisted its Oxford operation was proving successful.

A new three-gear model of the dockless Ofo bike has been introduced, with 75 set to be deployed to add to the 200 already in circulation.

But pictures of a pile of damaged bikes at a depot has emerged.

The firm insisted a certain number of damaged bikes was to be expected and that those on the scrapheap would be recycled.

Ofo, which produces the bikes that can be unlocked with your mobile phone, has partnered with Iffley Road bike shop Reg Taylor Cycles, which has been repairing faulty bikes.

Operations director, Joseph Seal-Driver, said: “Our bikes have GPS trackers and when issues arise we have a large team of marshals on the ground to deal with them quickly.

“Wherever possible we repair bikes, and we have partnered with local bike shops to do so.

“However, as expected, a small number of bikes have been damaged.”

He added: “These bikes were picked up in a timely fashion by our marshals, with some due to be recycled and others waiting to go to our partner bike shops to be repaired or have salvageable parts removed.”

He said the local reaction had been ‘great’, and there had been very few instances of misuse.

Since Ofo launched in August, two other dockless bike schemes - Pony Bikes and oBike - have set up and a fourth, Mobike are due to arrive at the end of this month.

The current number of dockless bikes in the city is believed to be more than 400, with Mobike promising 100 more from October 31.

All the schemes are currently undergoing a trial period and must get permission from both local authorities before expanding.