As most experienced Citi Bikers know, there are two versions of the iconic blue bike. The original, which we will the Legacy version, was rolled out with the program in 2013. In 2015, with Citi Bike’s first system expansion on the horizon, the program tapped famous bicycle builder Ben Serotta to design a new version, which we will call the Expansion model. The new bike featured a number of improvements including less-sticky handlebar grips, more-stable handling, less-water-retaining saddles and more-reliable components.
Legacy Model in Foreground, Expansion Model Behind
So now in 2017, how do the two versions stack up? We dispatched our pollsters to find out this past Thursday. But first, let’s review some Citi-Bike spotting pointers:
Expansion Model on Left, Legacy Model on Right
From the Front the tell-tail signs are:
– The Legacy model has a front basket with perforated sides and a smaller sticker. The Expansion model sticker is larger
– The Legacy model has a blinking front light, while the Expansion model is solid. This is a general rule, but may vary if the light has been replaced.
From the Back:
Legacy Model on Left, Expansion Model on Right
– The Legacy model has two tail-lights on the bottom of the seatstays, near the rear dropouts. The Expansion model has a single tail-light integrated into the rear fender.
– The Expansion model rear fender is more integrated, without separate stays. The Expansion model’s fender is a matte black plastic, while the Legacy model is glossier.
How many of each model compose Citi Bike’s fleet? Citi Bike purports to have 10,000 cycles in the system, though about 500 are relegated to Jersey City, NJ. 6,000 Legacy bikes were introduced with the original program rollout, which would pin the NYC Citi Bike roster at 6,000 Legacy versions to 3,500 Expansion models.
So what did our pollsters find? Here are the stats:
Day: Thursday, April 13th
Start: Greenway at Christopher Street, 7:55 A.M.
Finish: Greenway at 76th Street, 8:15 A.M.
Weather: Mid-40s, sunny with slight breeze.
Expansion Model: 35
Legacy Model: 22
The warm weather showed a significant increase in Citi Bike riders, with 57 polled. It can be seen very clearly that there is a strong preference for the new and improved Expansion model. Despite making up only thirty-seven percent of the fleet, riders chose it sixty-one percent of the time.