NEW YORK, NY–Lyft started yanking its e-bikes out of New York City earlier this month when numerous reports of braking problems surfaced. That withdrawal is now extending to other cities where Lyft operates bike sharing programs.
The issue does not impact the traditional bikes, but just the e-bikes.
Lyft extended the withdrawal of e-bikes to Washington DC and San Francisco.
Dozens of riders have suffered injuries from stopping too abruptly. The front wheel of some pedal-assist bikes just “blocked,” with the wheel practically frozen, sending riders over the handlebars and onto the pavement.
E-bikes are not difficult to ride, and are not that different from regular bikes. A battery gives the bike a boost of power. Depending on the bike, the effect is tuning human power that might generate enough energy to move the rider 12 mph to about 16 mph. Again, depending on the bike, the boost above raw human power can vary and increase with gearing and speed selectors.
In a statement, Citi Bike in New York, owned by Lyft, said, “We recently received a small number of reports from riders who experienced stronger than expected braking force on the front wheel.” While this may be an understatement in light of the above incident, Lyft took decisive action.
Lyft is developing a new e-bike that it will send into the fleet when they are ready. Uber this week said that it had similar problems with its own e-bikes, which were outfitted with Shimano brakes. Uber replaced the bikes with making any announcements or issuing any recalls. Shimano issued a statement this week saying that their brakes are not defective, and that the problem occurred in the manufacturing and integration process with Uber.