Lyft’s bikeshare business is having a rough Sunday.
Almost identical blog posts from Citi Bike, Ford GoBike, and Capital Bikeshare — all of which are Lyft-owned businesses — confirm that their “pedal-assist” electric bikes have been temporarily taken out of service. That means customers in New York, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. will have to make do with pedal bikes for now.
The issue stems from some kind of issue with the brakes on those pedal-assist bikes. “We recently received a small number of reports from riders who experienced stronger than expected braking force on the front wheel,” each of the posts notes.
That’s a safety issue. A too-strong front brake could put riders at risk of flipping frontwards off the bike. So “out of an abundance of caution,” each of the bikeshare companies will be taking their pedal-assist options out of circulation until the issue can be addressed.
Two of the updates note that a new electric bike that can be accessed by scanning a QR code is currently in development. Ford GoBike’s post further notes that “a portion of electric bikes in San Jose have different components, and will remain in service,” suggesting that the issue is specific to a certain specific model of bike.
It’s not clear when the electric bike option will return in these three locations, or if other markets are impacted by the issue.