Citi Bikes

Photo by Anthony Behar/Sipa USA

Citi Bike Pulls E-Bikes From Streets After Riders Reportedly Catapulted

April 15, 2019 - 9:43 am

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – Citi Bike’s operator says it’s pulling pedal-assist “e-bikes” from its fleet after reports of a brake malfunction.

A Citi Bike spokesperson says there were reports of stronger-than-expected breaking force on the front wheel of the bikes.

That may be putting it mildly. The Daily News confirmed there have been at least four instances recently where e-bike riders tapped the brakes and were catapulted over the handlebars.

Bill Somers told the News he broke his hip in a March 17 incident on Central Park West. 

“I tapped the brake and I just went flying,” Somers said.

For now, the entire fleet of pedal-assist bikes has been pulled from city streets and Citi Bike’s parent company Lyft says it’s pulling e-bikes from its fleet in D.C. and the Bay Area for good measure.

E-bikes have become popular among Citi Bike members, especially those with a hillier commute.

About a thousand had been deployed in the program, with around 3,000 more expected by June.

There’s been no word from the company on how this might affect the plans for a wider rollout.

It’s also unclear when the bikes can be expected back in circulation.