Finally—the solution for slow-ass biking has arrived (video)

We talked to the dude behind ShareRoller, and we even got to hook up the portable electric motor to a Citi Bike to give it a test ride

Illustration: Sarah Mulligan

As even the most die-hard cyclists will tell you, commuting via bicycle in New York isn’t exactly easy. Taking a bike over the city’s bridges and hills can be a chore, and that’s before you factor in all the taxi-dodging. Citi Bikes, meanwhile, are heavy—like, "if I ride this too long I’m going to die" heavy—making them a (sometimes literal) pain in the ass for both newbies and seasoned vets. As the exasperated folks in infomercials always say, there’s got to be a better way—right?

Longtime cyclist Jeff Guida thinks he has the answer. He’s the guy behind ShareRoller, a portable drive system that turns boring, old-fashioned two-wheelers (including Citi Bikes) into electric bikes. After working on a prototype for about eight months, he launched a Kickstarter campaign in February (it ends on March 30), with the goal of raising $100,000 to fund mass-production. 

So what’s the benefit? Commuting—hell, even a simple ride through the park—suddenly becomes a lot easier and more fun. Although it won’t turn you into a speed demon, ShareRoller will reach speeds of up to 18mph, making that hellish journey over the Brooklyn Bridge less arduous. (Although Guida cautions that "it’s definitely not designed to turn the bike into a rocket ship." Bummer.) Folks elsewhere are even catching on to the advantage of electrified cycles: London is currently implementing an e-bike pilot program for its bike-sharing system, and according to Guida, other U.S. cities (he declined to specify) have shown interest in ShareRoller.

But c’mon—shouldn’t we be a little worried that someone riding a motorized bike for the first time might end up eating pavement? Guida doesn’t think so. "We’re perfectly happy giving somebody a car with hundreds of horsepower and just trust them to follow the speed limit," he says. "You give somebody a bicycle with half a horsepower, and all of a sudden they’re a menace to society and they’re going to start mowing down pedestrians. [Laughs] It doesn’t make any sense." (We’ll see.)

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Editor: Marley Lynch (@marleyasinbob)

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