A man invented a motor for Citi Bike but it's probably illegal - Houston weather, traffic, news | FOX 26 | MyFoxHouston

A man invented a motor for Citi Bike but it's probably illegal

Posted: Updated:
NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

One Citi Bike cruising around the Financial District, Friday, sounded a little whinier than others. And for that we could blame more than just its rubber tires rolling over wet pavement.

"I've done it!" Jeff Guida said.

Guida invented ShareRoller, a laptop-sized, seven-pound electric assistant intended for the Citi Bike, which he believes could use the help.

"It's about twice as heavy as any other bike," Guida said of the Citi Bike, "and it's only three speeds and it really feels like it requires twice as much effort as a regular bicycle."

Because ShareRoller doesn't start powering a bicycle until the rider gets the bike moving two miles per hour, Guida believes his product is legal in New York City.

"Well, the New York City law that was passed in the spring stipulates that a motorized scooter is able to be powered without human assistance," Guida said.

By that definition, ShareRoller does not transform a bicycle into a motorized scooter.

"It seems the law was targeted mainly at delivery cyclists who ride 30 mph electric motorcycles masquerading as bikes," Guida said.

So, every time someone delivers you a pizza or an order of dumplings using a motorized bicycle they break the law. But ShareRoller might qualify as street-legal.

We asked the Department of Transportation about electric bike attachments -- like ShareRoller -- and it directed us to its website, which informed us: "The New York State Dept. of Motor Vehicles does not register electric bicycles. Therefore, their operation is prohibited in New York City."

We rely on police to enforce that ban, and NYPD confirmed after this story first aired that someone using a motor to operate a bike -- even a motor requiring human power to start -- would be at risk of receiving a summons.

Citi Bike, which faces its own problems, also called us back, saying while it applauded Guida's inventiveness, he violated their user agreement because he modified their bicycle -- even if only temporarily.

"I don't look at using Citi Bike as exercise," Guida said. "For me, it's commuting."

Regardless of any potential restrictions on his product, Guida rides forward with the roll-out of ShareRoller, which can attach to nearly any bicycle. With the help of investors, Guida plans to start selling them internationally as soon as this summer.

The base model costs more than $1,300, but Guida says: With a 20-mile range, a top speed of 18 mph, the added users he hopes it brings to the program and the lack of change required to a system's infrastructure to accommodate it, ShareRoller improves any ride-share system.

But New York's system can only recognize that alleged improvement if the Department of Transportation, the NYPD, and CitiBike deem ShareRoller legal.

  • Manhattan NewsManhattan NewsMore>>

  • Pregnant woman says officer put her in choke hold

    Pregnant woman says officer put her in choke hold

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 5:57 AM EDT2014-07-29 09:57:51 GMT
    Back from vacation, Mayor Bill de Blasio is addressing the allegations of police choke holds. Standing next to his police commissioner and standing by him, de Blasio declared police community relations will improve by Bill Bratton's call for retraining of officers. The mayor did say that police choke holds are not acceptable.
    Back from vacation, Mayor Bill de Blasio is addressing the allegations of police choke holds. Standing next to his police commissioner and standing by him, de Blasio declared police community relations will improve by Bill Bratton's call for retraining of officers. The mayor did say that police choke holds are not acceptable.
  • SummerStage: you still have time to catch a show

    SummerStage: you still have time to catch a show

    Monday, July 28 2014 10:22 PM EDT2014-07-29 02:22:53 GMT
    You've got a few more weeks to enjoy SummerStage, New York's annual performing arts showcase that's 28 years running. But it's not just music: there is dance, comedy, theater, you name it. There are several shows weekly at 14 different parks throughout the five boroughs. A recent show at Rumsey Playfield in Central Park paid tribute to Pete Seeger. Most of the shows are free and are funded by tickets purchased for the some of the bigger acts.
    You've got a few more weeks to enjoy SummerStage, New York's annual performing arts showcase that's 28 years running. But it's not just music: there is dance, comedy, theater, you name it. There are several shows weekly at 14 different parks throughout the five boroughs. A recent show at Rumsey Playfield in Central Park paid tribute to Pete Seeger. Most of the shows are free and are funded by tickets purchased for the some of the bigger acts.
  • NY teacher tenure system faces new legal challenge

    NY teacher tenure system faces new legal challenge

    Monday, July 28 2014 10:14 PM EDT2014-07-29 02:14:16 GMT
    An educational advocacy group led by former CNN journalist Campbell Brown is challenging New York state's teacher tenure system, filing a lawsuit Monday that alleges that job protections unfairly shield bad teachers. Seven parents of public school children from New York City and Rochester are the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, filed in Supreme Court in Albany.
    An educational advocacy group led by former CNN journalist Campbell Brown is challenging New York state's teacher tenure system, filing a lawsuit Monday that alleges that job protections unfairly shield bad teachers. Seven parents of public school children from New York City and Rochester are the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, filed in Supreme Court in Albany.
Powered by WorldNow

KRIV FOX 26
4261 Southwest Freeway
Houston, TX 77027

Phone: (713) 479-2801
Fax: (713) 479-2859

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices