Citi Bike released 1,000 of their redesigned bikes this week. I wasn’t aware of the new bikes, so when I first came across one, it was a surprise.
From afar, you couldn’t really tell that anything has changed, the bike is still blue and the same size. However as you approach a Citi Bike 2.0, you notice several little differences.
What I noticed first was the front “basket” which was visibly different; it seemed shallower than the old bikes and instead of perforated front, Citi Bike’s new basket has no holes. Take a look:
Not just that, but the old Citi Bike “baskets” featured only four pegs to attach the bungee cord; two at the top and two at the bottom. The new Citi Bikes have six pegs — two at the top, two on left and two on the right so it’s easier to support your small and large cargo with different tensions (which makes moving sensitive and fragile items less stressful). The shape of the “pegs” are also different.
As I went to tie up my bag onto the new basket pegs, I went to use the kickstand and saw that it was also different; it looked like a forked snake tongue-kickstand common on small motor bikes in Europe instead of the typical steel stick on American bikes. Check it out:
The splash guard on both wheels were also redesigned. The new gray, rubberized splash guards looked and felt much more formidable and featured a much larger reflector on the back — which is the quickest way to tell which bikes have been upgraded.
The bike seat has once again been upgraded. The new seats have been designed with comfort and weather in mind.
With a hole in the middle of the seat which will “prevent water from pooling when it rains”.
Citi Bike also added measuring lines so adjusting the height of the bike seat is more consistent.
When I finally jumped on the bike, I began to notice other improved features, including smaller handlebar grips (that hopefully don’t get sticky), a softer “is that heaven at the door?” bell and shifting gears was much easier.
Most importantly, the new bikes definitely felt like a smoother ride and at the same time, sturdier yet lighter that Citi Bike 1.0.
In sum, here’s my favorite changes about the redesigned bikes:
- Smoother ride
- Seats (mostly that rain won’t pool on them)
- Improved gear shifting
- Basket pegs (two more/redesigned/re-positioned)
- Non-sticky handle bar grips
- Measuring lines when adjusting seat height
- Larger reflector
- Splash guards
Just a few days experience with these new bikes and I am already scanning the stations for the new bikes when I’m out and about.
But with only one thousand of these new bikes in their fleet of 7,000, I’m looking forward when they release another 1,400 of the new bikes to the system later this year, as Citi Bike expands into deeper into Brooklyn (Bed-Stuy, Williamsburg and Greenpoint) as well as Queens (Long Island City). Citi Bike ridership continues to expand, while cyclist deaths in New York City’s five boroughs remain flat.
If you want to read more about the new bikes, go to Citi Bike’s blog.