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Actually, our e-bikes were capped at 15 mph when they launched in July – Streetsblog Chicago

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Really, our e-bikes have been capped at 15 mph once they launched in July – Streetsblog Chicago

Many e-bike fanatics have grumbled that Divvy’s electrical bikes have turn out to be much less helpful and enjoyable to trip since a 15 mph speed cap was implemented in mid-November, complaining of a “grindy” braking sensation at greater velocities.

Previous to the July 29 launch of the e-bikes, the Chicago Division of Transportation, which oversees the system, run by concessionaire Lyft, acknowledged that {the electrical} help would shut off at 15. However earlier than the current capping, Divvy prospects had gotten accustomed to using at greater speeds, nearer to twenty mph.

Final month the bike-share system defined that the pace cap wasn’t truly turned on till roughly November 14.

Earlier this month Divvy spokesman Jordan Levine instructed me that the pace cap is “certainly not everlasting,” and CDOT and Divvy will likely be evaluating it sooner or later. However it can most likely keep in place all through the colder months “within the curiosity of security, particularly as streets get icy through the Chicago winter.”

I not too long ago requested CDOT and Divvy why the 15 mph cap was chosen, when different Lyft-run programs like New York’s Citi Bike are capped at 18 mph. “CDOT’s determination to cap the pace of Divvy e-bikes at 15 MPH was primarily based on our deal with visitors security,” responded division spokesman Mike Claffey. “We took a cautious method to introducing 1000’s of highly effective new units into Chicago’s dense visitors atmosphere, which incorporates typically busy bike lanes and shared-use trails. We are going to proceed to watch the efficiency of the pace cap.”

“It’s price noting that the COVID-19 pandemic has deeply impacted journey patterns by all modes all through town,” Claffey added. “It is going to be a while earlier than we’re capable of observe e-bikes working below regular visitors volumes within the central enterprise district, and any implications on security on the present pace cap of 15 mph.”

In response to my query about whether or not the e-bikes have been initially not capped at 15 mph, as beforehand introduced, because of a aware determination, or reasonably an oversight, Levine stated one thing that type of blew my thoughts. “When Divvy was rebooted after non permanent shutdowns throughout this summer time’s civil unrest, the pace cap was inadvertently not reset. This has since been rectified.”

So in accordance with Levine, the 15 mph cap was in place when the e-bikes have been first deployed on July 29. However after the system was taken offline through the second spherical of unrest on August 10, it wasn’t reset once more till round November 14. In different phrases, the above Divvy tweet was inaccurate: The pace cap was actively turned on for riders at launch.

However native bike advocate Steven Quispe stated that timeline doesn’t jibe along with his experiences using the e-bikes. “I don’t consider they ever had a cap till I first observed it just a few weeks in the past,” he stated. “With my first trip on an e-Divvy, I distinctly bear in mind being shocked at reaching 20 mph after I’d learn on-line beforehand that it was speculated to max out at 15 mph. My first rides have been through the first week of August, earlier than August 10.”

Quispe added that he nearly at all times data his bike rides along with his Apple Watch, and he used it to confirm reaching speeds over 15 mph on the e-bikes. “It’s additionally what I used to confirm that I wasn’t [just] imagining going slower in current weeks. My very fast and fundamental and rudimentary evaluation of my rides confirmed my common pace lower noticeably with a couple of 20 p.c improve in time to do my common commutes pre- versus post-cap.”

So that is all very complicated: Divvy say the bikes have been capped from July 29 to August 10, after which have been uncapped till about November 14, once they have been capped once more. However Quispe says he’s fairly certain they weren’t capped in early August.

At any charge, the necessary factor is that they’re at present capped (once more?), and many shoppers aren’t glad about that. We’ve submitted a Freedom of Data Act request for paperwork concerning the change, so hopefully that may shed some extra mild on CDOT’s and Divvy’s thought processes on the pace concern.

https://www.frebike.com

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