The motor attempts to fix a necessary flaw of bikeshares: Clunky design equals clunky riding. But this particular innovation does more to take away from the benefits of riding a bike than add to it.
That resolution to bike to work more often just got easier.
A portable motor created for bikes provided by bike-share programs is getting a lot of attention from gadget and design junkies this week.
ShareRoller is a small motor, about the size of a pack of paper, that can be attached to bikes provided by 11 sharing systems in the U.S., UK, and Canada.
The motor attaches above the front wheel of the bike and a thumb throttle attaches to the handle bars allowing riders to control their speed.
The engine will get the rider up to 18 mph without any effort or help riders who are willing to pedal go even faster.
But laziness doesn’t come for free. The device will initially cost $995.
That is, if it launches at all. The motor might have some problems officially launching in New York City due to local laws that ban electric bikes from city streets.
The motor includes built-in headlights and a USB plug for charging devices. Given time constraints on bike-sharing programs, it’s unlikely the device would provide much juice for iPods or phones on the road.
ShareRoller was developed by electrical engineer Jeff Guida, who is expected to launch a Kickstarter campaign on February 28.
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Photo credit: A small engine powers bikes that belong to Gizmag