Lyft has removed several thousand of its electric bicycles in New York, Washington DC, and the San Francisco Bay area due to a braking issue experienced by a “small number” of riders.
"We recently received a small number of reports from riders who experienced stronger than expected braking force on the front wheel. Out of an abundance of caution, we are proactively removing the pedal-assist bikes from service for the time being," the company said in a blog post.
The ride-hailing firm said classic bicycles will take the place of the 3,000 bikes it removed from service. Lyft says a new pedal-assist bike will be released soon.
“We have been hard at work on a new pedal-assist bike, and are excited to bring that to you soon. The new bike model will be accessible just by scanning a QR code and overall will be more fun to ride. In the meantime, we will quickly replace the pedal-assist bikes with classic pedal bikes,” Lyft said.
Braking problems with e-bikes
Lyft’s decision to pull its e-bikes from three markets comes roughly two months after Lime -- an electric scooter service backed by Uber -- admitted that “some riders have been injured” due to a software glitch that caused its scooters to unexpectedly brake.
“...we diagnosed the issue in a laboratory environment and determined that in very rare cases -- usually riding downhill at top speed while hitting a pothole or other obstacle -- excessive brake force on the front wheel can occur, resulting in a scooter stopping unexpectedly,” Lime said in a statement published late February.
“Consumers are seeking better ways to get around,” Lyft said in the filing. “They have grown accustomed to the convenience and immediacy of the on-demand economy and expect their experiences to be more simple and enjoyable. Existing transportation options have failed to meet this shift in consumer demand, creating the opportunity for a better solution.”
The company currently offers bike and scooter rentals, as well as ride-sharing and carpooling services.