The bikes — set to roll out in cities where Jump is active from January 2019 — also boast a swappable battery and a new dashboard with key controls.
The new features are meant to make the bicycles more appealing to inexperienced riders and easier for company technicians to service, while balancing flexibility and security concerns when it comes to parking.
The bright red bikes have a cable lock built into the rear fender, which retracts for easy storage during the ride.
Unlike other dockless bike hire schemes such as Mobike and Ofo, Jump has always required its users to lock its bikes to a rack to end their journey. This is meant to reduce the likelihood of the bicycles being left in inconvenient spots or even at the bottom of rivers or in trees — a form of vandalism that’s blighted dockless schemes in some cities and led to Mobike withdrawing from Manchester earlier this year.
Previously, Jump’s e-bikes used a U-lock for this purpose, but Uber has now opted for a retractable cable to offer users more flexibility in terms of what structures they can use to chain their bike to.
Among the other features to make the bikes easier to use is a mount on the handlebars to hold the user’s mobile phone. This enables them to navigate the streets, without having to stop and fumble for their phone when it is potentially not safe to do so.
Also on this section of the handlebars is a “dashboard”, with buttons for users to pause their trip or register a need for repairs. Users scan a QR code on the dashboard with their phone to unlock the bike.
The bikes also have a new feature to make things easier for Uber: a battery that can be swapped on the spot.
Previously, the company’s technicians had to collect the bicycles from the streets when their batteries were depleted and charge them at the warehouse.
As with Jump’s previous model, the bikes offer electric-powered pedal assistance — up to 20 miles (32 kilometres) per hour — allowing users to go faster with less effort.
“As we continue to expand our footprint in the US, and globally, we want to make biking even more accessible for that commute or ride across town — especially for those who don’t own a bike, and maybe haven’t ridden since their childhood,” said Jump head of product Nick Foley.
Jump first launched its bikes in Washington DC and San Francisco before being bought by taxi and ride-sharing company Uber in April 2018.