Lyft’s New Ebike Rides the Rising Wave of Electric Bicycle Popularity

Photo: Lyft
Lyft is stepping up its bike game with the announcement of its revamped electric bicycle. The brand promises a smarter, better, faster, stronger version of its current ebike. Launching in late 2021, the new Lyft ebikes reflect the growing popularity of electric bicycles.

"Ebikes are pulling a new group of riders onto active transportation by helping them get to their destination faster, and climb hills and bridges without breaking a sweat, no matter their physical ability," reads a Lyft press release. "They’re also a sticky product for our current riders: we’ve found that once they try them, more often than not they take out an ebike whenever it’s an option. In fact, our ebikes saw two to three times as many rides per bike as our classic pedal bikes across our systems last year."

The electric bike market is booming—it was valued at $25.03 billion in 2020, and is projected to reach  $48.46 million by 2028. Ebike brand VanMoof saw its sales triple during the pandemic, selling more bikes in the first four months of 2020 than in the previous two years combined. Brands like SixThreeZero and Retrospec released ebikes in colorful, vintage-style designs with an appeal to casual riders.

Riding an ebike is more affordable and more environmentally friendly than riding in a car. And even though ebikes do a bit of the work for you, most of them don't do all of the work. Bikes like the Lyft ebikes use pedal-assist to give you an extra push, and a small 2021 study found that while pedal-assist helps you get to your destination faster and with less effort, riders can still experience a meaningful increase in heart and breathing rates making that ride count as moderate exercise.

The new Lyft ebike features a more powerful motor; an LCD screen and speaker to provide instructions for unlocking, parking, and more; hydraulic brakes for smoother stops; a greater range of seat-height adjustability; increased battery capacity with one charge allowing 60 miles of riding; brighter lights; and reflective paint making the bike more visible to drivers.

"Using our learnings as the largest ebike operator in North America, we set out to make the world's best-shared ebike with a beautiful modern design, industry-leading safety technology, and a low carbon footprint," says David Foster, head of transit, bikes, and scooters at Lyft, in a press release.

During the week of June 7, Lyft will begin a public beta test of the new bike with dozens placed at Lyft bike stations for anyone to try. Once Lyft is ready for a full rollout later this year, the bikes will be available through bike-share company Divvy in Chicago before potentially expanding to other cities. Currently, older versions of Lyft ebikes are available in California's Bay Area, Santa Monica, and Denver. Lyft also operates through third-party bike-share companies like CitiBike in New York City, Chicago, Washington D.C.'s metro area, Minneapolis, and Portland, Oregon.

“Lyft has always been about creating affordable, reliable and joyful transportation experiences - and few things create joy like riding this new ebike,” says John Zimmer, president and co-founder of Lyft.

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