Despite what your takeout dinner delivery person may have you believe, electric bikes are, in fact, a fine-able offense in New York City. Nonetheless, Manhattan resident Jeff Guida is hoping to make these outlawed vehicles much more common by selling a small, portable device that motorizes Citi Bikes, the city’s popular bike-share network. The Shareroller is housed in an 8-inch-by-11-inch-by-3-inch box that, once mounted, turns share-bikes into e-bikes.
While New York was the laboratory for the product, the engine can be installed on many bike-share systems in other major cities—like Washington, D.C., Chicago, London, Montreal, and Toronto—as they all share the use of the same basic vehicle model. The product boasts an installation/removal time of ten seconds and claims it allows users to reach top speeds of 18 mph. The Shareroller also comes equipped with a pair of LED headlights and a built-in USB charging port.
In explaining how the product actually works, the Kickstarter page enthusiastically boasts: “Let’s just say it required thousands of hours of CAD design and prototyping. It’s a very complex system that has been designed with incredible precision” before launching into the nitty-gritty.” Guida and his team are in the process of developing 3-D printed adaptable mounts that allow the Shareroller to be affixed to bike and scooter models beyond the base bike-share design.
The group is hoping to raise $100,000 to enable further testing and larger-scale manufacturing. While the goal seems to be to launch in the summer, pledging over $1,995 to the cause now grants you immediate access to beta-version just in time for Vision Zero!