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peterw_diy
08-29-2018, 08:24 PM
"We want you to know about some important changes to our terms.

"We are updating and revising our Bicycle Rental Agreement and Liability Waiver and Release. Effective September 5, 2018, if you rent a bicycle or use our website or our other services after that time, you are agreeing to do so under the new terms.

"Why are we doing this?

"We have some exciting additions coming to the Capital Bikeshare fleet. Soon well be introducing new pedal-assist bicycles as another solution for getting across Metro-DC. Therefore, weve changed our Rental Agreement and Liability Waiver and Release to include policies related to pedal-assist bicycles."

https://www.capitalbikeshare.com/terms-update-2018

Dewey
09-03-2018, 08:10 AM
Motivate have ebikes in San Francisco branded Ford GoBike+ recently they introduced an in house design that looks like a capital bikeshare bike with a front hub motor, feedback comments on Twitter are positive with riders liking the features shared with the standard bike, instead of the 3-speed IGH WTOP report it has an “infinity gear” presumably a CVT (https://wtop.com/dc-transit/2018/09/capital-bikeshare-rolls-out-electric-bikes-as-part-of-pilot-program/)
https://twitter.com/FordGoBike

Judd
09-04-2018, 12:18 PM
E-CaBis are on the streets tomorrow. They will be black and will use the regular CaBi dock according to the Post. It appears that normal CaBi rates apply.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/dr-gridlock/wp/2018/09/04/e-bikes-coming-to-capital-bikeshare-this-week/


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ginacico
09-04-2018, 12:43 PM
E-CaBis are on the streets tomorrow.

Only 80 in the system. Which means it'll be like trying to find a unicorn. I'll give it a test ride if it's not a competitive sport just to locate one.

I find the "juicers" or volunteer ($) scooter chargers quite entertaining. Today I saw a guy on Army Navy Drive riding a Bird, while he had at least two others somehow balanced onboard. Ghosting to an extreme.

Judd
09-04-2018, 04:40 PM
CaBi FAQs day that there will be a lightning bolt symbol to indicate e-bike locations. Happy hunting tomorrow everyone.


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cvcalhoun
10-15-2018, 03:11 PM
CaBi FAQs day that there will be a lightning bolt symbol to indicate e-bike locations. Happy hunting tomorrow everyone.

The lightning bolt now exists. Unfortunately, it's more or less useless, because there are so few ebikes in the system that if you go to a location with a lightning bolt, the ebike is pretty much sure to be gone by the time you get there.

I tried to get an ebike one day, using a Jump bike to get to the CaBi locations. I went through four CaBi locations (one of which showed two ebikes), without managing to snag one. I finally gave up and used Metro.

One time, I found one in the wild--only to discover that I couldn't take it out because it was broken.

Of course, this was not as bad as the time I finally found an ebike that wasn't broken at a CaBi station, went to take it out, and discovered that someone had smeared a thick layer of dogshit on it...

So far, I have never managed to ride a CaBi ebike. I'm really hoping that CaBi will soon get enough of them that finding one (preferably one without the dogshit) is practical.

Yule
10-17-2018, 01:37 AM
there are so few ebikes in the system that if you go to a location with a lightning bolt, the ebike is pretty much sure to be gone by the time you get there. With only eighty in the entire region during the phase-in period, and with seemingly half having dead batteries at any given time, it's no wonder you haven't gotten one yet.

I'd say the Dead Battery Problem has probably frustrated many by now, maybe comparable to the problem you describe (people whisking the ebikes away before you arrive). Between the time someone locates a lightning-bolt designating an available ebike, and the time he/she arrives at the station use it, the system detects a low battery, the red-light goes on, preventing use until a CaBi employee stops by and switches the battery for a fresh one. This doesn't seem to be automatic upon docking, but can occur any time.

Which leads me to wonder why the ebikes with dead batteries but otherwise running fine are not allowed to be used as "non-e" bikes? The "electric assist" is optional, in that you have to press a button to turn it on, but once the battery is gone, the bike is locked up even if it otherwise runs fine.

dasgeh
10-17-2018, 09:17 AM
Which leads me to wonder why the ebikes with dead batteries but otherwise running fine are not allowed to be used as "non-e" bikes? The "electric assist" is optional, in that you have to press a button to turn it on, but once the battery is gone, the bike is locked up even if it otherwise runs fine.

I assume because allowing it to travel after the low battery has been detected would make it harder to replace the battery.

I imagine there's data to inform how much of a problem this is now, and to help predict whether it would be a problem with more ebikes.

Judd
10-18-2018, 06:25 PM
I assume because allowing it to travel after the low battery has been detected would make it harder to replace the battery.

I imagine there's data to inform how much of a problem this is now, and to help predict whether it would be a problem with more ebikes.


No imagination needed. A dude that works for CaBi confirmed on Twitter that they lock for maintenance when the battery needs swapping so that the batteries can be swapped more efficiently.

Judd
10-18-2018, 06:34 PM
With only eighty in the entire region during the phase-in period...



Just a note on this. The CaBi Plusses are a pilot until the end of November. The pilot itself is more of a Motivate conceived thing than an ask from the jurisdictions that contract with Motivate to operate bikeshare. Unlike regular CaBi's the Plusses are not owned by the government jurisdictions. My understanding is that Motivate (and their Lyft overlord) are trying to gauge usage as well as additional cost to purchase and maintain an e-bike fleet and once they do so they'll be some sales pitching to the jurisdictions to spend more money on bikes and operating costs.

The last figure I heard was that a Cabi Plus was averaging over 7 trips per day which is roughly double of of a regular CaBi. I haven't heard anything about whether having the e-bikes in the fleet has led to any increase in overall ridership. It would be interesting to see if a mostly e-bike fleet would lead to higher usage or if usage would stay relatively flat (but be more fun.)

Judd
10-18-2018, 06:38 PM
The lightning bolt now exists. Unfortunately, it's more or less useless, because there are so few ebikes in the system that if you go to a location with a lightning bolt, the ebike is pretty much sure to be gone by the time you get there.

I tried to get an ebike one day, using a Jump bike to get to the CaBi locations. I went through four CaBi locations (one of which showed two ebikes), without managing to snag one. I finally gave up and used Metro.

One time, I found one in the wild--only to discover that I couldn't take it out because it was broken.

Of course, this was not as bad as the time I finally found an ebike that wasn't broken at a CaBi station, went to take it out, and discovered that someone had smeared a thick layer of dogshit on it...

So far, I have never managed to ride a CaBi ebike. I'm really hoping that CaBi will soon get enough of them that finding one (preferably one without the dogshit) is practical.


Sorry about the terrible luck finding a Plus, especially the dog poo one. From what I've seen, it's much harder to track one down in DC since there's a lot more population density and CaBis turnover faster in general. I've been fortunate to snag several rides on the Columbia Pike and Four Mile run corridor in Arlington and weekends in Crystal City.

Judd
10-18-2018, 09:48 PM
My friend Schep made a tool to alert you when a CaBi Plus is docked at locations of your choosing: https://the-cabi-electric.glitch.me

Dewey
11-27-2018, 09:07 AM
Good analysis of the CaBi Plus ebike trial on GGW https://ggwash.org/view/69833/capital-bikeshare-members-hog-the-new-e-bikes-other-things-we-learned-data

cvcalhoun
11-27-2018, 10:39 AM
Good analysis of the CaBi Plus ebike trial on GGW https://ggwash.org/view/69833/capital-bikeshare-members-hog-the-new-e-bikes-other-things-we-learned-dataI really hope to be able to take advantage of this some day. I love the Jump bikes, but their utility is limited by the fact that they aren't allowed to go beyond the DC line, and I live in Bethesda.

However, I have yet to take even one trip on a CaBi Plus. There are so few of them that there may not be one in the area you need in the first place. The lack of ability to reserve one means that you can rush to a station that has one, only to find it already gone. And then I've had a series of issues, ranging from the one that got stuck in its dock and couldn't be taken out to the one that had been deliberately smeared with a thick layer of dog poop.

If the CaBi Plus bikes ever become readily available, that would motivate me to buy a membership. But it is simply not practical to take a regular CaBi on my usual route (seven miles, much of it straight up Massachusetts Avenue to the Cathedral). I'll keep my fingers crossed that the program is expanded some day to the point of being useful.

komorebi
11-27-2018, 10:26 PM
I rode a CaBi Plus for the first time today, and I actually didn't like it very much. The Plusses are heavier and more unwieldy than the regular CaBis, which are already tanks. And the e-assist kicked in and cut out unpredictably, which made for a jerky ride. Possibly it was a problem with that particular bike, or possibly I would have gotten more used to the e-assist over a longer ride. But that's now the third model of e-bike that I've tried, and I haven't liked any of them. Maybe I'm just not meant to ride e-bikes.

dasgeh
11-28-2018, 09:05 AM
I rode a CaBi Plus for the first time today, and I actually didn't like it very much. The Plusses are heavier and more unwieldy than the regular CaBis, which are already tanks. And the e-assist kicked in and cut out unpredictably, which made for a jerky ride. Possibly it was a problem with that particular bike, or possibly I would have gotten more used to the e-assist over a longer ride. But that's now the third model of e-bike that I've tried, and I haven't liked any of them. Maybe I'm just not meant to ride e-bikes.

I've ridden 2 Plusses and never experienced this. I thought they were really great ebikes.

I've ridden a bunch ebikes, generally, and most newer models ride like regular bikes, just stronger.

TwoWheelsDC
11-28-2018, 09:51 AM
I rode a CaBi Plus for the first time today, and I actually didn't like it very much. The Plusses are heavier and more unwieldy than the regular CaBis, which are already tanks. And the e-assist kicked in and cut out unpredictably, which made for a jerky ride. Possibly it was a problem with that particular bike, or possibly I would have gotten more used to the e-assist over a longer ride. But that's now the third model of e-bike that I've tried, and I haven't liked any of them. Maybe I'm just not meant to ride e-bikes.

Yeah, I'm not a fan of their assist. The only way I could get it smoothed out was to ride at a higher cadence/effort, which almost defeats the purpose. I find the Jumps to be much better and they feel very similar to my Radwagon, which is rear drive.

DCAKen
11-28-2018, 10:08 AM
I rode a CaBi Plus for the first time today, and I actually didn't like it very much. The Plusses are heavier and more unwieldy than the regular CaBis, which are already tanks. And the e-assist kicked in and cut out unpredictably, which made for a jerky ride. Possibly it was a problem with that particular bike, or possibly I would have gotten more used to the e-assist over a longer ride. But that's now the third model of e-bike that I've tried, and I haven't liked any of them. Maybe I'm just not meant to ride e-bikes.

I haven't experience that jerkiness on the CaBi Plus I've ridden. I ridden one here and the same model out in San Francisco a few times. The assist was predictable as you start pedaling, but for a first-time rider, getting used to that may take a little time.

buschwacker
11-28-2018, 11:29 AM
I rode a CaBi Plus for the first time today, and I actually didn't like it very much. The Plusses are heavier and more unwieldy than the regular CaBis, which are already tanks. And the e-assist kicked in and cut out unpredictably, which made for a jerky ride. Possibly it was a problem with that particular bike, or possibly I would have gotten more used to the e-assist over a longer ride. But that's now the third model of e-bike that I've tried, and I haven't liked any of them. Maybe I'm just not meant to ride e-bikes.

I haven't ridden a CaBi Plus yet, but your experience may be the result of a defective cadence sensor on that bike. The cadence sensor is a series of magnets around the crank area - as you pedal, each magnet is activated and the ebike computer activates the motor to boost you. If some of those magnets aren't giving good feedback to the computer, slow pedaling results in the boost not kicking in, but fast pedaling would. It sounds like a defective bike to me.

Judd
11-28-2018, 05:50 PM
I've ridden 2 Plusses and never experienced this. I thought they were really great ebikes.

I've ridden a bunch ebikes, generally, and most newer models ride like regular bikes, just stronger.

Ive ridden a Plus about 25 times now and I have experienced some that were jerky and felt like the assist was cutting in and out. Ive also had experiences where the battery was about done where the assist was weak.


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TwoWheelsDC
11-29-2018, 09:10 AM
I haven't ridden a CaBi Plus yet, but your experience may be the result of a defective cadence sensor on that bike.

This is a really good point. I suspect that either the cadence sensors are a point of failure for the Cabi+, or they're using sensors with an insufficient number of magnets to get smooth power delivery. I know that Radpower Bikes used to have something like a 7 point cadence sensor (so 7 magnets) and people found the power delivery jerky, but the newer models have a 12 point sensor and it's pretty seamless.

Judd
11-30-2018, 10:50 AM
From an interview with William Shatner, 87 years old, in the LA Times:

https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20181130/814f26ff414e6c265ae4eddc76ed35d6.jpg


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Sunyata
12-03-2018, 06:38 AM
From an interview with William Shatner, 87 years old, in the LA Times:

https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20181130/814f26ff414e6c265ae4eddc76ed35d6.jpg


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My problem with this quote is the last half sentence... "I go back to my car when the bike ride's over"... :(

Judd
12-03-2018, 12:47 PM
My problem with this quote is the last half sentence... "I go back to my car when the bike ride's over"... :(

True. But even Captain Kirk can not fix California Car Culture on his own.

cvcalhoun
12-18-2018, 02:07 PM
I finally managed to capture a CaBi Plus in the wild! (Previous attempts had ended with everything from five different ones disappearing while I was racing from dock to dock, to the time someone had spread dog poop all over one.)

The good news: I was able to ride it all the way to Bethesda (although unfortunately, the nearest dock is still over a mile from my house). Having had to stop all my Jump bike rides at the DC border, this was a big improvement.

The bad news: What is with those saddles? I was biking in a dress, and the saddle chafed the inside of my thighs so badly that I was having to hobble into the house and apply diaper rash ointment when I got home. This has never happened with a Jump bike.

If CaBi ever gets enough Plus bikes so I have a reasonable chance of getting one on any given night, I will definitely get an annual membership. However, I'd better keep some bike tights at the office, because that chafing was a major pain!

DrP
02-17-2019, 04:41 PM
I found a CaBi plus on Friday night, mostly because the rack I wanted to get a bike from was blocked as they were changing traffic lights at Quincy and Wilson (in prep for the bridge move?). Along Fairfax it was great - a bit of a shock to get power as I was trying to just get off the sidewalk (which was also under construction, so off the curb I went), but otherwise, nice getting decent speed along the road. When I started uphill on the Ballston Connector to the Custis, the power cut out a few times and similarly on the other hills as I rode it back along the Custis and to the docking station on Washington Blvd. Nice when it was working, but annoying that it kept cutting out when I needed it more. I did like the fact that there are baskets on the front that one could place larger items on than on the regular CaBi. I would use again if I found one, but the regular CaBis are just fine for me.

Dewey
03-11-2019, 07:44 AM
Jeff Marootian, DDOT Director addressed the DC Council Committee on Transportation and the Environment on 2/25 and among other items reported "We also introduced an electric bike pilot deploying 80 e-bikes across the system this year. We have had positive feedback on this pilot and are preparing to announce a significant expansion in the coming months." Source: https://ddot.dc.gov/sites/default/files/dc/sites/ddot/release_content/attachments/DDOT%20Oversight%20Hearing%202019%20Testimony_2_22 _FINAL.pdf

peterw_diy
03-15-2019, 09:59 PM
Next week CaBi begins increasing the number of electric bikes to about 12% of its fleet and using one will cost an extra $1 per ride.

https://www.capitalbikeshare.com/blog/500-plus-ebikes

I do hope they will waive the surcharge not just for those receiving financial assistance but also anyone who takes an electric bike if there are no red bikes available. Paul, are you listening?

Dewey
03-27-2019, 02:56 PM
Fire breaks out at NY Citi Bike hub after e-bike battery charger bursts into flames (https://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/ny-citi-bike-e-bike-fire-20190326-kmvl5iwk3zbadovmwrlkydcyom-story.html).

Whoops, shades of the fire in 2015 (https://www.arlnow.com/2015/01/05/fire-damages-electric-bike-shop/) that gutted Hybrid Pedals in Arlington. More seriously given the NY Citi Bike fire involves the same operator as CaBi, Motivate, I hope they consider installing a battery bunker or other storage room with a lithium extinguishing system at Capital Bikeshare warehouse/maintenance facilities and carry Class D dry powder extinguishers and battery storage ammo cans (https://lunacycle.com/luna-charge-safe-lithium-battery-storage-box/) in the rebalancing trucks.

Dewey
04-26-2019, 01:16 PM
Regarding the decision (https://www.capitalbikeshare.com/blog/service-update-putting-riders-safety-first) to temporarily withdraw CaBi+ ebikes this article (https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2019/04/16/uber-fixed-electric-bikes-that-had-similar-problems-bikes-lyft-recalled/?utm_term=.a81632636294) in the Post makes depressing reading: that there isn't safety oversight or a channel for communicating safety data between electric bikeshare operating companies. Uber/Jump reportedly fixed the problem in their bikes, the Shimano manual (https://si.shimano.com/pdfs/dm/DM-HRB001-02-ENG.pdf) says the hub of their front Inter-M roller brake (https://www.sheldonbrown.com/rollerbrakes.html) needs the wheel hub to incorporate braking power modulators so Uber must have found a way to retrofit the power modulators into the motor hub - that they failed to share with Lyft/Motivate either the existence of the problem or their technical solution demonstrates a need for better regulatory oversight. Hope they do the right thing by anyone injured, and they fix the problem toot sweet so they can get CaBi+ back on the streets.

dasgeh
04-26-2019, 01:52 PM
Regarding the decision (https://www.capitalbikeshare.com/blog/service-update-putting-riders-safety-first) to temporarily withdraw CaBi+ ebikes this article (https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2019/04/16/uber-fixed-electric-bikes-that-had-similar-problems-bikes-lyft-recalled/?utm_term=.a81632636294) in the Post makes depressing reading: that there isn't safety oversight or a channel for communicating safety data between electric bikeshare operating companies. Uber/Jump reportedly fixed the problem in their bikes, Shimano said the Inter-M roller brake requires a wheel hub incorporating power modulators so Uber must have found a way to retrofit the power modulators into the motor hub - that they failed to share with Lyft/Motivate either the existence of the problem or their technical solution demonstrates a need for better regulatory oversight. Hope they do the right thing by anyone injured, and they fix the problem toot sweet so they can get CaBi+ back on the streets.

Sounds like adding a requirement that operators share safety information would be an improvement to dockless policies.

RayRayBike
05-08-2019, 09:12 PM
Sounds like adding a requirement that operators share safety information would be an improvement to dockless policies.

Dasgeh, why dockless? Should be safety (and safety fix) info should be required for all companies operating rental bikes (and scooters), both docked and dockless. At any rate, I miss the electric bikes, they were a great addition to the annual membership. Even though they were often out of juice or otherwise out of service!

Dewey
05-15-2019, 12:50 PM
BRAIN article (https://www.bicycleretailer.com/industry-news/2019/05/13/new-citi-bike-e-bike-model-wont-be-ready-until-fall#.XNxQ425KiUk) reporting CitiBike (and CaBi+) pedelecs won't return to the active fleet until this fall.

dasgeh
05-15-2019, 04:05 PM
Dasgeh, why dockless? Should be safety (and safety fix) info should be required for all companies operating rental bikes (and scooters), both docked and dockless. At any rate, I miss the electric bikes, they were a great addition to the annual membership. Even though they were often out of juice or otherwise out of service!

The dockless policy governs the various private operators in Arlington, that otherwise have no relationship with the County. Arlington has a direct relationship with Motivate for the docked bikes, and thus can directly get safety information. If that's not already part of the contract, it should be. But that's separate from the dockless policy.

Dewey
06-15-2019, 08:27 AM
This is why we need CaBi ebikes : 1 month after $8bn IPO Uber announce 67% price increase on JUMP ebikeshare rides https://denver.streetsblog.org/2019/06/13/1-month-after-i-p-o-a-big-jump-in-prices-at-ubers-bike-share-service/

ChristoB50
06-15-2019, 08:30 PM
This is why we need CaBi ebikes : 1 month after $8bn IPO Uber announce 67% price increase on JUMP ebikeshare rides https://denver.streetsblog.org/2019/06/13/1-month-after-i-p-o-a-big-jump-in-prices-at-ubers-bike-share-service/

Wow! At 25 cents per minute on JUMP, the total riding I’ve done on my own ebike would’ve cost me $2,500 MORE than my ebike’s purchase price!

Dewey
06-15-2019, 09:46 PM
Yeah I can’t figure it out, one commenter said it now costs the same as using Uber pool for a 15 minute ride?!

sjclaeys
06-21-2019, 09:07 AM
Rode a Jump Bike for the first time to go from K St NW to Adams Morgan. Have to admit that it did not suck and cheaper than any other option (other than walking). What did suck is the Uber app not working when I wanted to ride one back to K St.