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Citibikes have started!

Old 04-01-19, 07:46 PM
  #726  
dendawg
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Originally Posted by zacster View Post
18mph is not exactly a breakneck speed and I can easily do that on my commuter. Do they tend to bog down on hills too? I passed a few going up the Manhattan Bridge.
I tried one a few weeks ago. I found the assist really kicked in on the hills as I rode through central park.
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Old 04-05-19, 06:10 AM
  #727  
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Originally Posted by zacster View Post
I've always thought it was good that the citibikes were slow, since many of the riders are inexperienced. Now they won't be slow but still inexperienced. Let's all guess how that works out.
i've already had too many near misses with people on the ebikes. i was almost clipped from behind by someone launching off from a red light the other day. all sorts of generally poor bike handling/behavior displayed on the greenway. these are entitlement-enhancement machines, and honestly i hate them. this summer is going to be quite the ****show when we get clots of tourists on these things.
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Old 04-05-19, 03:34 PM
  #728  
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Originally Posted by basketbro View Post
i've already had too many near misses with people on the ebikes. i was almost clipped from behind by someone launching off from a red light the other day. all sorts of generally poor bike handling/behavior displayed on the greenway. these are entitlement-enhancement machines, and honestly i hate them. this summer is going to be quite the ****show when we get clots of tourists on these things.
I compare it to giving a 12 year old the keys to a minivan and saying, "Have at it." I have had the same experience. Generally when I rider can hit 15-18 mph, they have been riding long enough to gain experience and know how to handle a bike at that speed. A lot of these riders have no clue how fast they are going or what that means.
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Old 04-05-19, 03:51 PM
  #729  
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Originally Posted by punkinevil View Post
I compare it to giving a 12 year old the keys to a minivan and saying, "Have at it." I have had the same experience. Generally when I rider can hit 15-18 mph, they have been riding long enough to gain experience and know how to handle a bike at that speed. A lot of these riders have no clue how fast they are going or what that means.
While I agree in principle (and often wonder if there should be firmware acceleration limits), I think it's more that people only tend to sustain 15+ mph when they've built up some athletic capability that hopefully brought experience, too.

In terms of raw numbers I'm pretty sure my little nephew regularly hits 15 mph on his little 20" bike, and citibikes being pedaled under 12 mph on a flat are kind of rare. But what is likely game changing is going fast all the time and getting back up to speed quickly, rather than only where the expenditure of energy seems worthwhile.
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Old 04-05-19, 04:59 PM
  #730  
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Only a few days ago I was riding into a headwind on the hudson river bike path and a woman on a cit-E-bike passes me, maybe 2-3mph faster. Looking for some relief (with 3 gears, its either doing squats on the big gear or pedal like my chain fell off in the middle gear), I caught her wheel and stayed on it, but it was more dangerous with non-riders like her since she was constantly lightening up on the throttle whenever she encountered another rider ahead of her. I have to keep a wheel distance and maybe ride slightly to the side so I can see what's ahead. I eventually stopped drafting off her and went off on my own to chase some joe schmo that passed us in his tourist bike (not tourists on a bike, but the ones that usually holds panniers).

But then, going at high speed on e-bike also allows one to maneuver beyond their normal ability if they were actually pedaling... specifically delivery people on an e-bikes that darts left and right without slowing down one bit. I tried to suck the wheel when one was are going around 23-25mph on the same bike path. I didn't have the agility at that speed to constantly avoid cyclist/joggers/strollers and maintain that speed, thereby constantly having to jump back to his wheel and eventually losing it.
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Old 04-06-19, 09:50 AM
  #731  
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Honestly, all this nay saying and hand wringing over ebikes sounds a bit like the histrionic bikelash right before Citi Bike hit the streets. There were dire predictions of mayhem, blood running in the gutters, dead riders and dead pedestrians everywhere (while meanwhile no one would use the bikes anyway). None of that came to pass, and Citi Bikes, like bike share everywhere, have a better safety record than bikes in general. Yes, some Citi Bikers are inexperienced, and I admit that they sometimes annoy me. But I dare say, most are perfectly competent riders using bike share to go about their business; we just pay attention to the annoying ones. Now that bikes share has been around for a bunch of years, a lot of those noobs have become seasoned commuters, and they didn't die or kill people in droves learning to ride in traffic. Ebikes do take a bit of getting used to, but people will learn to cope, as I am learning. So, I'm not going to lose too much sleep over them. Or try not to; I have the retrogrouch in me too who's suspicious of change and the Next Big Thing, but I'll try to keep him in check.

Last edited by wilfried; 04-06-19 at 11:29 AM.
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Old 04-06-19, 11:04 AM
  #732  
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@wilfried:

This!

Not much to add; you omitted Dorothy Rabinowitz's querulous "Begrimed!" from the end-of-the-world predictions preceding the Citibike's rollout.
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Old 04-06-19, 01:43 PM
  #733  
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Originally Posted by arbee View Post
@wilfried:

This!

Not much to add; you omitted Dorothy Rabinowitz's querulous "Begrimed!" from the end-of-the-world predictions preceding the Citibike's rollout.
Good times, good times.

A Fond Look Back At The Hysterical Anti-Citi Bike Hysteria: Gothamist

I keenly remember that terrorists would use Citi Bike to blow up Dag Hammerskjold Plaza, Comptroller John Liu predicting blood in the streets, and massive liability, and 99 Bank St.'s lawsuit, "HOW MANY LITTLE OLD LADIES HAVE TO BREAK A HIP BEFORE BIKE SHARE IS DESTROYED?!" (I now take a bike from that station almost every Sunday, not a dead little old lady in sight; I bet they tout it as an amenity). And of course, the inimitable Dorothy Rabinowitz.
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Old 04-06-19, 02:43 PM
  #734  
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Originally Posted by wilfried View Post
Good times, good times.
99 Bank St.'s lawsuit,
I'll see your 99 Bank St and — around the corner from me — meet it with The Cambridge at 175 W 13 St https://nypost.com/2013/05/21/bike-r...victims-co-op/ where the bike docks nearly killed and ate a 92-year old man and his neighbors. When I dock a bike there, it brings joy to my heart to do it forcefully with an extra-loud ka-Boom.
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Old 04-06-19, 08:55 PM
  #735  
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I was out on my road bike today in Manhattan, not a usual occurrence, and I could easily ride faster than any Cit-E-Bike. That doesn't mean I like them. But as I said somewhere above, I'll have to give one a try. I just haven't found one yet at the docks near my office at 5pm on a weekday. I guess I'll have to swap for one downtown.
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Old 04-07-19, 08:46 AM
  #736  
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Originally Posted by wilfried View Post
Honestly, all this nay saying and hand wringing over ebikes sounds a bit like the histrionic bikelash right before Citi Bike hit the streets.
I think that's a bit of a mischaracterized as pearl-clutching. This isn't before the e-bikes hit the street, it is based on actual encounters and observations out on the street. My initial response was right after someone on one almost crashed into me. I can say "almost" because I have the skill and experience and I avoided him. Sure, some people are perfectly fine on them, but some people are not. I know some 12 year olds who could drive perfectly well, but I'm not advocating for all 12 year olds to have access to cars.

Yes, some Citi Bikers are inexperienced, and I admit that they sometimes annoy me. But I dare say, most are perfectly competent riders using bike share to go about their business
It sounds like you've never been hit by one. Once you have, you'll wish that the inexperienced ones couldn't exceed 10-12mph. If the woman who hit me on her conventional Citibike had been on an e-version going 18mph, my rim would be toast and I'd have some scars to show. It's also a lot easier to react and compensate for erratic behavior from some one ride at 10mph than someone riding at 18mph. Btw, I keep quoting 18mph because I paved one the other day and that was their sustained max speed.

we just pay attention to the annoying ones
Of course there are plenty of good riders on Citibikes. I've been a proponent of the program since day one and have used them frequently since their launch. I'm talking about the annoying ones, I'm taking about the ones who ride recklessly.

Now that bikes share has been around for a bunch of years, a lot of those noobs have become seasoned commuters, and they didn't die or kill people in droves learning to ride in traffic. Ebikes do take a bit of getting used to.
Overall, Citibike has been great for biking in the city, propelled the improvements in infrastructure, and increased overall ridership, BUT I don't really want to be a casualty of some learning curve. I could deal with them if there was 12mph limiter on them to keep those afore mentioned noobs from becoming a menace. If you want to go faster, pick up a conventional one.

As to Zacster's point, any experienced rider on a road bike could go faster than an e-Citibike, but that experience also tells you (hopefully) when you need to slow down for congestion, crosswalks, etc.

A final note to all this: Motiva had initially proposed introducing e-bikes into the system as a solution to the L shutdown to help people ride over the bridge. The implication was that these bikes would be tied to the East River crossings, but that seems to have fallen by the wayside.
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Old 04-07-19, 08:53 AM
  #737  
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Morningside Heights
I rode a citibike on Thursday, 4th April , and though there were plenty of ebikes available, I chose the conventional bicycle. Actually, the one I took a closer look at had BOTH Red and Yellow lights lit, so it wouldn't have been available, but there were several others.

I rode up to Morningside Heights, for a change of scenery. The bike I used had a CVT.


Citi Bikes on Broadway


A Respectable Gentleman Riding a Citi Bike down Broadway
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Old 04-07-19, 04:01 PM
  #738  
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Originally Posted by punkinevil View Post
I think that's a bit of a mischaracterized as pearl-clutching.

To be blunt, that sounds exactly like pearl clutching. It's like the countless stories I've heard or read people tell of "almost" getting creamed by a bicycle, as reasons for hating bike lanes or bicycle share. But none that I've heard about, either first or second hand, have actually been seriously hurt. I've been in my share of scrapes or near scrapes with other bikes, but I haven't been seriously hurt, nor, apparently, have you. I'm not saying that bad things never happen, or people never get hurt, but the perception of risk is not at all commensurate with the actual risk.

And, those scrapes have involved all kinds of bikes and riders, not just Citi Bikes. Citi Bikers are easy to single out, but when I stop and think about it, few have involved Citi Bikes. There are bad riders of all types (including me, TBH, from time to time; we all make mistakes). In fact, statistically Citi Bikes get into significantly fewer crashes than bikes are general, so they are actually much safer.

If ebikes make bike share a more viable form of transportation for more people, then I want them to be available. I have seen no evidence or statistics that show that ebikes are more dangerous than other bikes. If that evidence exists, I'm willing to revise my view. But as it's stands, I see them as a big gain, for a small risk. BTW, the L train shut down was a good reason to push for ebikes, but they were at no point going to be limited to riding over the bridges. If more ebikes mean that more people will ride, and ride over bridges, and ride longer distances, then good, by all means, bringing 'em on.

If the ride share of bikes is to grow, then some percentage of riders will be noobs. New riders have to come from somewhere; everyone, including you and me, was a noob once. So, if you want cycling to grow, and I do, then you have to put up with some noobs, and their noob mistakes. As cycling has grown, cycling has gotten safer, so the cost of noobs on the street ask minor compared to the gains. So I say, bring 'em on. Yeah, there will times when I get annoyed, but in the big picture, lots of noobs means cycling is getting better.

Last edited by wilfried; 04-07-19 at 04:59 PM.
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Old 04-07-19, 06:04 PM
  #739  
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Originally Posted by wilfried View Post
To be blunt, that sounds exactly like pearl clutching. It's like the countless stories I've heard or read people tell of "almost" getting creamed by a bicycle, as reasons for hating bike lanes or bicycle share. But none that I've heard about, either first or second hand, have actually been seriously hurt. I've been in my share of scrapes or near scrapes with other bikes, but I haven't been seriously hurt, nor, apparently, have you.
To be blunt right back, no, you're wrong. I'll address this later but as an fyi, I HAVE been in the emergency room as a result of some idiot hitting me head on because he was where shouldn't be. I was almost literally in between a rock and a hard place... The hard place being a truck.

Do not respond to me as if I am some hysterical ninny. I've lived in Lower Manhattan for the past 30 years. I've been riding since I was six. I can tell the difference between an annoyance and a hazard.
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Old 04-07-19, 06:15 PM
  #740  
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Then I'm sorry you were hurt.
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Old 04-07-19, 07:49 PM
  #741  
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Originally Posted by punkinevil View Post


I think that's a bit of a mischaracterized as pearl-clutching. This isn't before the e-bikes hit the street, it is based on actual encounters and observations out on the street. My initial response was right after someone on one almost crashed into me. I can say "almost" because I have the skill and experience and I avoided him. Sure, some people are perfectly fine on them, but some people are not. I know some 12 year olds who could drive perfectly well, but I'm not advocating for all 12 year olds to have access to cars.



It sounds like you've never been hit by one. Once you have, you'll wish that the inexperienced ones couldn't exceed 10-12mph. If the woman who hit me on her conventional Citibike had been on an e-version going 18mph, my rim would be toast and I'd have some scars to show. It's also a lot easier to react and compensate for erratic behavior from some one ride at 10mph than someone riding at 18mph. Btw, I keep quoting 18mph because I paved one the other day and that was their sustained max speed.

I have to say, the citibikes are built like tanks. I've had many spills, sometime clipping the bollards because I wasn't use to having bikes with handlebars so wide, or crashing on my own because of going airborne over invisible speedbumps (I usually ride, when not needing to manourver, w/my elbow on the bars, hand draped near basket), bike not as nimble as expected (when doing powerslides w/o taking foot off pedal), or being doored (having to go to the ER, but the bike was still perfectly rideable...docked by the cop on scene). In fact, every time I am about to have a head on collision with another bike (usually when a vehicle crossing a 2 way bike lane when they have a red light, and as soon as they cleared part of the bike lane, somebody crosses over to the opposing side of the 2 way bike lane to cut around the rear of the vehicle just so they don't have to come to a complete stop), I just brace on and hope my citibike will plough through with me on relatively safely. Of course, there were brakes involved, but it would probably have been 1/2 sec of braking, so there are still some speed involved, even if its not 30mph (15+15), and those other bikes usually have some damage or misalignment, whether handlebar or brake hood/lever. The citibike pretty much survives unscathed..me, not always.
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Old 04-14-19, 06:23 AM
  #742  
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This just in:

Service Update: Pedal-Assist Bikes



Since Citi Bike first deployed pedal-assist bikes last year, riders have taken hundreds of thousands of rides and shared with us incredibly helpful and overwhelmingly positive feedback.


However, we recently received a small number of reports from riders who experienced stronger than expected braking force on the front wheel. Out of an abundance of caution, we are proactively removing the pedal-assist bikes from service for the time being. We know this is disappointing to the many people who love the current experience — but reliability and safety come first.

We have been hard at work on a new pedal-assist bike, and are excited to bring that to you soon. The new bike model will be accessible just by scanning a QR code and overall will be more fun to ride. In the meantime, we will quickly replace the pedal-assist bikes with classic pedal bikes.

Thank you for being a member of our community.

​​​​​​​
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Old 04-14-19, 07:23 AM
  #743  
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I got that, too. Weird. I found the front brake a little weaker than the Sturmey Archer brake. I guess a few are defective? I hope the bikes are back soon. I really enjoy them.

I saw a woman standing on the pedals going up the slope of the Williamsburg Bridge on a cit-e-bike. Cool, I thought.
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Old 04-14-19, 03:29 PM
  #744  
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Citi Bike pulls all of its e-bikes from service after riders thrown over handlebars

​​​​​​​https://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/ny-citi-bike-e-bike-pulled-from-service-20190414-qdgpcntc55e6fppiqovk33ps3m-story.html?fbclid=IwAR3JLS0ytEKDoCwEYYGPP_UOn4OfgkxoSgvI_w1qmEWfjfoWO0_ctGkR7ZA
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Old 04-14-19, 04:55 PM
  #745  
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I wonder if it was really the brakes. I got on a Cit-E-Bike and started pedaling and before I had my balance, I almost ran into the curb. It's because the bike surged forward faster than I expected it. But I managed to bring it under control before hitting anything. With a little less skill, the result may have been different. I think the low end acceleration should be tuned down.
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Old 04-14-19, 06:58 PM
  #746  
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
I wonder if it was really the brakes. I got on a Cit-E-Bike and started pedaling and before I had my balance, I almost ran into the curb. It's because the bike surged forward faster than I expected it. But I managed to bring it under control before hitting anything. With a little less skill, the result may have been different. I think the low end acceleration should be tuned down.
According to the Daily News article, it is the front motor locking up. I didn't know there were motors in the front of the wheel. I didn't think there was a motor up front. It would be crazy to make a AWD bicycle. Unless they meant front brakes, which on drum brakes would default to a unlocked position. Even with disc brakes, which would be the most powerful type, a front lockup is possible, but then that is just a desired capability that one has to know how to modulate.
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Old 04-14-19, 08:37 PM
  #747  
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Originally Posted by tubesocksFred View Post
According to the Daily News article
The only motor is in the front hub, operated by some sort of crank sensor.

As for what all is going on in the front wheel hub assembly, it's hard to know - the Daily News article claims to quote someone saying something that is either mechanically confused, or very alarming.

The only thing that seems actually clear at present is that someone in management or legal became concerned, as they seem to have pulled the e-bikes out of several other cities as well.
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Old 04-15-19, 07:00 PM
  #748  
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Fixed the link for you...and according to https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/techn...ems/ar-BBVXIAc it has to do with braking problems, also in DC and San Francisco, the bikes are Lyft.
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Old 04-16-19, 04:42 AM
  #749  
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Thank you for fixing the link. I posted the mobile version of the link IIRC.
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Old 04-17-19, 11:17 PM
  #750  
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And now it's explained, though in an article that seems to oddly place the blame: the citi e-bike allegedly lack a "power modulator" which according to the Shimano manual for the roller brake is intended to prevent precisely the situations reported in the press:

You need to use the Shimano front INTER M brake body and the hub as a set (excluding BR-C6060). The hub of the Shimano front INTER M brake has a built-in power modulator. This system controls the braking force so that excessive force is not applied if the braking force reaches the specified value. If the front brake is applied too strongly in case the hub is not equipped with the power modulator, the wheel may lock and the bicycle may fall forward, and serious injury may result.
Or another explanation - it's basically a clutch in the hub that limits the ultimate torque the brake can apply to the wheel

Presumably they aren't using the Shimano hub because they have a hub motor from a different source, so either there's no clutch to modulate braking, or if there is it doesn't work as well as it needs to.

(A little background reading reveals power modulators have their detractors who feel braking is less than a skilled rider could safely achieve without, but these are share bikes)

Last edited by UniChris; 04-18-19 at 12:13 AM.
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