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Citi Bike e-bikes return to New York City

Published February 19, 2020

NEW YORK (BRAIN) — Ten months after pulling e-bikes from the streets because of brake concerns, Lyft unveiled redesigned Citi Bike e-bikes on Wednesday.

Several hundred of the e-bikes join the bike-share service's fleet. The e-bikes are spec'd with a drum front brake, a new battery, and a hub-drive motor. The drum brake replaces the Shimano Nexus Inter-M Hub Roller Brake. A Lyft spokesperson would not give the make and model.

Last April, some Citi Bike e-bike riders said excessive front brake force threw them over the handlebars, causing some injuries. The fleet was shelved, with the bike-share service left with only pedal bikes. Shimano said Lyft didn't follow its requirements to spec' a power modulator for that model front brake.

Then in July, battery fires sidelined Lyft's e-bikes in San Francisco, further delaying the New York relaunch. Lyft said it is now working with a new battery supplier, which the spokesperson did not name. Nobody was injured when the two Bay Wheels e-bikes caught fire, and vandalism was not ruled out initially.

"We're thrilled to power up Citi Bike rides as we launch our brand new e-bike fleet," said Caroline Samponaro, Lyft's head of micromobility policy. "With the Citi Bike e-bike, riders can conquer hills and cross the East River bridges without breaking a sweat, and we can't wait to bring this transformative new option to even more New Yorkers as we work with NYC DOT to expand the network in upper Manhattan and the South Bronx in the coming months."

The e-bikes will be available for rent through the Lyft and Citi Bike apps in nearly 900 Citi Bike stations in New York. Through a multiyear $100 million plan, Lyft intends to double the size of the Citi Bike network while increasing the size of the Citi Bike fleet. Starting in the spring, Lyft will add stations in Manhattan and the Bronx with more neighborhoods added.

Along with the Citi Bikes' return is a new pricing plan that will lower upfront costs by eliminating a $2 per ride flat fee. Citi Bike said 80% of members' e-bike rides are less than 20 minutes. The fees are to help with maintenance costs.

Citi Bike e-bikes are back on New York City streets.
Topics associated with this article: Bikeshare, Electric bike

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