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A Stealthy Gadget That Gives Clunky Bike-Share Bikes a Turbo Boost

You can reach 18 mph by barely pedaling.

Bike-share bikes are notoriously heavy and sweat-inducing. That’s why ever since Citibikes launched in New York City last June, resident Jeff Guida has been working on a way to make pedaling a breeze.

Behold the ShareRoller, the first portable electric motor drive designed especially for major bike-share programs in the U.S., England, and Canada. Gizmodo tested the product last week, and gave it a good review, writing:

I watched in awe as Guida converted a regular old Citibike into an electric bike in approximately four seconds. By the fifth second, my ass was in the saddle. Then came the real fun. For legal reasons, the ShareRoller won't engage when you're at a standstill, so I had to pedal a couple of times before I could engage the 1.0 horsepower motor with a handlebar-mounted throttle. But, when I pushed the button, it felt like I'd been given superpowers. In a matter of moments, I was going 18 miles per hour while barely pedaling. I seriously laughed out loud at the sensation.

Using friction drive to power the bike, the 7-pound unit mounts onto the metal docking triangle above the front wheel. It installs in less than 10 seconds and boosts you to 18 mph without pedaling, for a 12-20 mile range depending on battery size. ShareRoller also has built-in LED headlights and a USB charging port.

Guida is trying to get the product onto streets faster with a Kickstarter campaign, launched last Friday. Pricing for a ShareRoller starts at $995 and goes up to $1,495 for an extended range model.

In terms of legality, ShareRoller claims it complies with all federal regulation on e-bikes, as well as all Terms of Use for major bike share programs. Guida argues the ShareRoller is exempt from New York City’s ban on e-bikes, since the motor won’t engage until after the rider begins to pedal.

All images via Kickstarter

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