Lightweight and Electric Bikes Could Be Coming to Your Local Bikeshare System

New bikes could be on their way to your local bikeshare system. PBSC Urban Solutions, the largest supplier of bicycles and stations in North America, has unleashed a pair of brand-new models designed to give riders a broader choice of how they use the system.

A new slate of bicycle models — including lightweight and electric bikes designed for hill travel — could soon appear in your local bikeshare system.


PBSC Urban Solutions, the company that supplies bikes and stations for New York's CitiBike and DC's Capital Bikeshare (among others), made a splash last week at the Velo-City world cycling conference in Taipei, where it introduced its new family of next-generation bicycles.

Along with its familiar ICONIC model, the stout bikes already in use in over a dozen cities around the world, PBSC unveiled a smaller, lighter alternative called the FIT, as well as a new electric model — the BOOST. The move to expand the fleet came after discussions with smaller cities and cities with hills that requested more options for riders.

The FIT is billed as a lighter version of the ICONIC model, offering better maneuverability than its older, larger companion. One of the main criticisms of bikeshare systems is that the bikes themselves tend to be bulky, part of the reason why they're also so resilient. The downside is that it's difficult to pedal uphill with 45 lbs. of metal — resilient or not — dragging you down. The lightweight FIT should definitely make things easier for riders in hilly locales.

The new BOOST model is perhaps even more intriguing. According to a PBSC release, the company's new pedal assist electric model features a battery that charges as the bike sits locked into its station. It sports a hub motor integrated into the wheel that provides a noiseless extra push up hills, against wind, and over long distances. For riders of Bay Area BikeShare, that news has to be music to their ears.

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