For those Citi Bike riders who are looking to speed up their ride, one man is trying to make that happen for you..
Jeff Guida, an electrical engineer and Citi Bike rider, started a Kickstarter campaign to fund his project that would create a portable electric motor add-on for the city’s two-wheelers for rent.
Guida, 40, of the Financial District, said a lot of Citi Bike riders aren’t able to get to the top speed when riding because the bikes are heavy and New York City traffic can be burdensome, but his device, “ShareRoller,” will solve the problem.
“I love biking but there are times when I don’t want to put in a huge effort and get to where I’m going fast,” he said.
A spokeswoman for NYC Bike Share said the group urges innovators to work with the city since Citi Bike users aren’t allowed to “otherwise modify or deface a Citi Bike bicycle or any part of a Citi Bike bicycle in any way.” However, Guida said “ShareRoller” doesn’t do any damage to the blue bikes and he wants to work with the city
The six pound, battery-operated device, which was first reported by the tech blog Gizmodo, is about the size of a cable box and designed to attached to the front wheel of the bike. Once a user pedals up to 2 mph, they can activate a throttle that attaches onto the handlebars to accelerate the bike to a maximum of 18 mph.
Guida is looking to raise $100,000 by March 30 to produce the device and as of Tuesday he raised more than $16,500 from 38 backers. He aims to launch the product this summer if the fundraising effortt succeeds.
Last year, the city passed a bill that doubled the fines for people who ride electronic bikes, which are illegal in the city.
Guida said he looked over the law and said since “ShareRoller” still requires the users to pedal, it is not violating any regulation.
“They aren’t designed to make the Citi Bikes faster than they are it is designed to make it equal among riders when it comes to speed,” he said.