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New Lyft e-bikes won’t spec’ Shimano front brake after brake force complaints

NEW YORK (BRAIN) — While its revamped Citi Bike e-bike model won’t be out until the fall, bike-share company Lyft last month began unveiling a new model in California that it says addresses brake complaints that sidelined its e-bike fleet.

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The Ford GoBike, re-branded Bay Wheels, will now spec’ the Tektro MD-M300 front disc brake, which replaces the Shimano Nexus Inter-M Hub Roller Brake, Lyft told BRAIN. Lyft will continue to use the Nexus Inter-M rear brake, Lyft said. Like the Shimano model, the Tektro disc brake is cable-actuated.  

Lyft pulled its e-bikes after excessive brake force caused some riders to be thrown over the handlebars. Lyft did not disclose whether it determined the front brake problems were from equipment malfunction, improper spec’, maintenance or operator error. Shimano released a statement to BRAIN three days after the e-bikes were pulled, maintaining its brakes were not at fault.

Lyft has relied on pedal bikes in New York since April 14. It was the latest to report a probelms with Shimano brakes. Uber also had complaints of excessive brake force with its JUMP e-bikes before adding a Shimano-recommended power modulator and eventually re-spec’ing with a Tektro hydraulic disc brake. Shimano said the Citi Bikes were not assembled with the modulator.

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