Citi Bike, New York City's oft-maligned bike sharing program that has recently started to get its act together with new funding and a major expansion, just announced a new bike design — and it's a pretty big overhaul. Perhaps the most important bit is that the new bikes are allegedly more robust and easier to repair when they break or need maintenance, which should help keep more bikes in operation at any given time. (Today, it's not uncommon to see large bike docks in the city with nary a single bike present.)
The old Citi Bike (left), reversed for comparison, and new (right).
But if you look closer, you'll notice a strategically placed hole on the bike seat — this is a common element in modern bicycle seating that's designed to take pressure off nerves in and around the rider's crotch. (Citi Bike actually notes that it'll stop water from pooling in the rain, but I suspect it'll be a boon for crotches, too.) If you've gotten numb down there after a long Citi Bike ride, this is exactly the kind of thing you've been waiting for. Curbed notes the new bike's designer as saying that the seat will be "easier on the backside."
There's also a stronger kickstand, and better gearing — I've noticed that the bikes on the road today are geared a little too low for cruising, which means you've got to pedal too quickly. Hopefully that's fixed with this new model.
The updated bikes start rolling out this month, with 1,000 going into service by the end of June; a total of 2,400 will enter the fleet over the course of the summer.