If Citi Bikes were cars, they’d be considered “fully loaded” since they’re factory-equipped with ride-ready essentials — lights, fenders, chain guard, bell and rack. They might also be likened to Hummers, according to one of the engineers involved with their design. That’s because the features of these sturdy, 3-speed, step-through aluminum bicycles, as shown below, were conceived to muscle through the challenges that continuous use in an urban environment present.
Although installation of docking stations continued apace in Brooklyn last week, the blue bikes have not yet begun to roll onto the streets; the official launch will occur some time in May, according to the New York City Department of Transportation.
In the mean time, New Yorkers embraced with gusto their initial opportunity to buy Citi Bike share subscriptions online. The first 5,000 founding memberships, which came with special incentives and went on sale Monday, sold out within 30 hours. (In a sign of the cultural totems that spring up spontaneously around newness, bragging rights were claimed on some online forums by subscribers who scored low numbers — as in, Mine’s in the low hundreds.)
As anticipation builds, there’s time to study up on bike share “anatomy.” The photo illustration below from Bloomberg Businessweek includes commentary by Michel Dallaire, the industrial designer who conceived the bikes, provided by Bixi, as well as Bruno Gauthier, chief engineer of the bicycle maker Devinci. Find additional information about the bikes’ features and how to use them on the Citi Bike website.
Photos: Top, Buck Ennis; Above, Justin Steele