Skip to Content
Streetsblog New York City home
Streetsblog New York City home
Log In

Citi Bikes Are Not Fixies, and Most People Will Be Happy With That

Citi Bike isn't enough of an adrenaline rush for Simone Weichselbaum. This bodes well for its success. Photos: Daily News (##, ##

Daily News reporter Simone Weichselbaum likes her bikes light and fast. The self-proclaimed "proud bike snob who is rarely without her SE Draft steel-frame fixie" said in 2009 that "biking here can be a death sentence," and that bike lanes are "battle zones."

So it's no surprise that Citi Bike -- featuring a 45-pound three-speed with balloon tires and a low center of gravity -- wasn't her cup of tea. What she intended as a scathing review of the bike-share two-wheelers might turn out to be their best endorsement yet.

"The seat is wide and spongy. The handlebars are extra wide. The tires are fat," Weischelbaum wrote, as if it were a bad thing. If even the Daily News's resident bike daredevil couldn't manage to do much beyond an easy pedal on a Citi Bike, it's hard to see how the unfounded nightmare visions of "hell on wheels" conjured by the paper's editorial board could come true.

To be fair, Weichselbaum did run into a common problem when she tried to take the bike out of its dock, but only because she was doing it the wrong way. "The thing wouldn't move. I kept yanking on the handlebars. Nothing," she wrote. If she had followed instructions printed on the bike and lifted by the seat instead of the handlebars, she could have saved herself the trouble.

Bicycling should be for everyone, not just people who keep a fixie in their apartment for a high-speed, high-stakes experience. For those just looking to get around town safely, cheaply and quickly, Weichselbaum's review shows that Citi Bike should be exactly what they need.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog New York City

SEE IT: How Much (Or How Little) Driving is Going on in America’s Top Metros

Check it out: The lowest-mileage region isn't the one you'd think.

April 21, 2024

Justice Dept., Citing Streetsblog Reporting, Threatens to Sue NYPD Over Cops’ Sidewalk Parking

The city is now facing a major civil rights suit from the Biden Administration if it doesn't eliminate illegal parking by cops and other city workers.

April 19, 2024

What to Say When Someone Claims ‘No One Bikes or Walks in Bad Weather’

Yes, sustainable modes are more vulnerable to bad weather. But that's why we should invest more in them — not less.

April 19, 2024

NYC Transit’s New Operations Planning Chief Wants To Fight ‘Ghost Buses’

One-time transit advocate and current MTA Paratransit VP Chris Pangilinan will oversee bus and subway operations for the whole city.

April 19, 2024

Friday’s Headlines: Gimme Bus Shelter Edition

The days of the Landmarks Preservation Commission reviewing every proposed bus shelter in landmarked districts may be no more. Plus more news.

April 19, 2024
See all posts