Jeremy Clarkson once pointed out that the reason all fire engines look pretty much the same is that, after you’ve designed in the essentials, there’s not much more you can do to change that recognisable boxy shape.
It’s much the same with electric scooters. Two in-line wheels, one central handlebar stem, battery in the deck (usually, although Tier’s new model changes this up). There’s no soft-top option, no oversized blingy alloy wheels or, for you bicycle lovers, no clear lacquered carbon frame, to differentiate models.
Where micromobility operators are distinguished on grey city streets is with colour. Lime’s V3 EU scooter is mostly white with green highlights. Very modern, very fun, very Instagram generation. Spin has gone for grey and orange, which is bold without being garish. Actually, despite the bright orange stem, the Spin livery seems subdued in comparison with the funky fresh Lime colourway.
Riding the Lime scooter was simple. There’s a single button to accelerate, using the thumb on your right hand, and a choice of two braking inputs. The first is a lever on the left handlebar, which operates the front brake. This also illuminates the rear brake light. The second option is the rear wheel arch, which directly slows the rear wheel. A solid stamp and that wheel will lock.
Spin’s offering was even simpler to operate. There’s the usual right-hand-side accelerator button, but just one braking input, which is a brake lever on the left handlebar. This single input still operates two brakes, as mandated by the Department for Transport, one on each wheel – mechanical for the front, electronic for the rear. The bell seemed much better integrated into the handlebar than the Lime, where it looked more like an afterthought.
We found Lime’s large screen very helpful while riding and while parked, and it displays the state of charge. There’s a glitch, however. After around 15 minutes of hard riding on our scooters, after which they’d each dropped to around 80% charge, we stopped for a few photographs. When we returned to the scooters around twenty minutes later, one claimed to have 100% charge. Hmmm.
Still, even if you did manage to inadvertently run out of juice, it’s no massive disaster.
[It’s not, for instance, like running out of petrol on the motorway at midnight because you’re driving an old rust bucket with a temperamental petrol gauge that leaves you guessing how many miles you have in the tank…. RR]
Spin’s screen is smaller and was much harder to read than the Lime, especially when riding on brick weave roads – the lack of suspension exacerbated the issue.
Ride and handling
When up to speed, the Lime V3 is fairly twitchy but not off-putting. It was something we didn’t notice as much on the Spin – the Lime may be suffering from having slightly more gadgetry at the top of the stem – but there’s not a million miles between them. You’d be hard-pressed to try riding one-handed on either model, but that goes for e-scooters in general, meaning the lack of flashing indicators (as seen on Tier’s new model) was a shame. At no point during the rides did either Ellie or I feel we were about to fall off, even though most of our time was spent at the top speeds or traversing tricky potholes.
And that top speed of 15.5mph is more than enough. It is the maximum permitted by the UK regulations, and you can see why. Getting from A to B felt like a proper sprint.
The Lime model comes with front suspension, which was a welcome buffer between your palms on the handlebar and the brick weave below the wheels.
The Spin model we were riding wouldn’t go above an indicated 14mph, though it happily cruised along at that speed. It felt like it had the muscle to giddy-up a bit more so we’re not sure why it isn’t faster. This means it is currently around 10% slower than the Lime model at full speed. The Spin does not have suspension, so we’d be a bit more cautious when riding over rough surfaces.
Both the Spin and the Lime had very similar, and very ample, footplate widths. Both e-scooters let you get on with a pair of size 10s (mine, not Ellie’s), with room to shuffle about.
What Are Lime Scooters?
Lime scooters — also known as Lime-S scooters — are electric scooters customers can rent by the minute and “return” by parking the scooters safely near their destination.
They run up to 15 miles per hour for about 20 miles on a full-charge.
And, they’re a great transportation option for anyone who wants to explore their city or for commuters who need convenient, affordable rides to work.
Riders can simply find, pick up, and rent these shared scooters day or night — even during light rain or snow.
That means they can be a fairly reliable last-minute ride.
Are Lime Scooters Legal?
Several cities welcome electric scooters but others have banned them or have prohibited their use in certain areas or situations.
In some cities, ordinances were not in place for the safe use of scooters when they were introduced.
Scooters will probably get a green light once local laws and safety issues are hammered out and implemented.
Some things that bother the residents of these cities are riders without helmets that pass walkers too fast or too close.
Riders also leave scooters in the path of walkers or they stack up in front of businesses.
In Santa Monica, scooter riders looking to avoid tickets for illegal sidewalk riding parked a ton of scooters just before the point of no return.
The cops weren’t happy about cleaning it up.
Scooter companies like Lime are working hard to make the changes cities want.
They’re focusing on safety programs and on making scooter rentals affordable for low-income users.
Lime itself encourages users to be mindful and considerate so that cities see the scooters in a good light and keep them rolling.
To find out if Lime scooters are available in your city, check the smartphone app.
If Lime scooters are available in your area, you will see icons (that look like limes) near your location.
At the time of writing this article, Lime scooters are available in many major cities across America, including:
- Los Angeles
- San Francisco
- St. Louis
- San Diego
- New York
Many universities and college campuses have Lime scooters available as well.
If you’re in a larger city, you may find that Lime isn’t legal in one neighborhood but may be in the next.
For instance, in LA, they’re banned in Beverly Hills, you can ride but not park in West Hollywood, and you can ride and park in other areas of the city.
For those campuses that don’t have a scooter rental company available, check out Zipcar Student.
It’s a great way to rent a vehicle and get around without having to purchase one of your own.
How Much Do Lime Scooters Cost?
Lime scooters are made to be extremely affordable for short-distance rides.
While exact costs vary by city, they can usually be rented for a 450 unlock fee and a 15 cents-per-minute charge.
Unlike many on-demand mobility apps, Lime does not charge higher rates during times of high demand, so you can rely on your city’s flat fees.
You can find these rates on your app by tapping any scooter icon or the “Scan to Ride” button.
The only reason any other fees might be added would be if you park in a no-parking zone, like a pedestrian walkway or handicap ramp, and Lime forwards you the fine.
In select markets, frequent Lime scooter users can save money by purchasing a LimePass or Lime Prime, which provides unlimited, free unlocks for seven consecutive days for a one-time 4.99 fee.
Since unlock fees are typically 450, you would get your money back in as few as five rentals.
You can also cut costs by refilling your virtual wallet with Lime Cash, which is store credit you can use on any ride.
Lime provides a free dollar when you add 20 to your account or 5000 when you add 30.
How To Sign Up for Lime
Before you start riding with Lime, you need to meet a few requirements.
Then, you will complete a simple signup process in the app.
Below, we outline what you need to know in order to sign up.
While Lime scooters are generally safe to ride, the company does have some rider requirements to further prevent injury.
- Be at least 18 years old
- Have a valid U.S. driver’s license
- Wear a helmet while riding
- Follow local traffic laws
Local traffic laws typically ask you to ride in bike lanes whenever possible, stop at red lights and stop signs, and drive within the speed limit.
Scooters are set to not exceed the city’s maximum speed limit for non-highway driving.
But if you run into lower limits (for example, 10 miles per hour), you’re expected to abide by these limits.
It’s against Lime rules to ride while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or to use your phone while riding.
Users must also have a smartphone that runs on Android 5.0, iOS 10.0, or a later operating system to use the Lime app.
Step-by-Step Sign-Up Process
When you’re ready to sign up for Lime, download the app from the App Store or Google Play store, then follow these directions:
Open the app and start the sign-up process.
You’ll need to either submit your phone number, tap “Continue with ,” or tap “” and sign up with your email.
Connect your account or verify your phone number or email as prompted.
Agree to Lime’s user agreement and privacy notice to proceed.
Grant location access
Give Lime access to your location on your smartphone.
How to Use Lime App (How to Ride Lime Scooter or Lime Bike)
This allows Lime to locate scooters in your area.
Connect payment method
Tap “Add Credit/Debit Card” to connect your payment method. Alternatively, you can tap “Skip.”
If you choose to skip at this time, you’ll need to add the method before your first ride.
To do this, open your app menu, select “Wallet,” and tap “Add” under “Payment Methods.”
Once you’ve finished these easy steps, you’ll have access to the platform and can rent your first scooter.
How to ride an e-scooter
It’s easy to get riding! Just follow these steps:
- Download the Lime app.
- Find your nearest scooter on the map.
- Inspect scooter for damage before riding.
- Scan the QR code on the scooter to unlock it.
- Put one foot on, kick off with the other and gently press the throttle to accelerate.
Use Lime’s Training Mode for your first ride – it’s a great way to get acquainted with riding the e-scooters at a lower speed.
Bird VS Lime Scooters. Which One To Ride?
How to park an e-scooter
Park the scooter upright on the sidewalk or near curbs or bike racks. If you are on CU Boulder’s East Campus or at Williams Village, the scooter must be parked in the designated areas.
Make sure you are not blocking the sidewalk or curb ramps.
Follow the prompt on the Lime app and take a photo to end the ride.
Safety tips to remember
It’s important to be aware of your surroundings when riding an e-scooter and share space with others responsibly. Remember these safety tips when you ride:
- Use Lime’s Training Mode for your first ride. It helps you get familiar with riding a Lime e-scooter at a low speed.
- Always wear a helmet when you ride. Helmets reduce the risk of serious head injury. Lime provides discounted helmets – learn more.
- Follow all traffic laws. Stop at stop signs and traffic lights and use intersections or crosswalks to cross the street.
- Always yield to pedestrians. Take caution traveling on sidewalks and share the space.
- Use the bell on the scooter to warn others when passing.
- Ride predictably and defensively and take extra caution when crossing driveways.
- Be 18 years of age or older to ride.
- Ride solo and sober.
Take Lime’s safety quiz and you’ll get a promo code for your first ride free.
Lime electric scooter speed
Shared electric scooters proliferated in Paris during the past few years. Officially termed trottinettes electriques en libre-service, you’ll also hear them called scouteurs in Franglais. (The official name is Engins de déplacement personnel motorisés (Personal Motorized Travel Devices), or EDPM, which incudes electric scooters and unicycles (monowheels), hoverboards, electric skateboards, and all other small personal motorized travel devices.
They were soon everywhere, up to 40,000 of them on the streets of Paris. Although potentially a useful addition to the city’s ecologically-sensitive transportation system, there has been widespread misuse of them, hundreds of traffic accidents, and even deaths.
The City of Paris enacted strict safety regulations for their use, but abuses continued, so early in 2023 a referendum was held to determine their future.
Parisians voted overwhelmingly (90%) to discontinue rental e-scooters. The three companies permitted to rent them, dott, Lime-S, and Tier, will not have their permits renewed when they expire on August 31, 2023.
How to Ride Legally Safely
Until then, here’s how to use these personal transport devices legally and safely:
Download the smartphone app of your choice (dott, Lime, or Tier), register as a user, and consult the app to find the nearest available scooter—it probably won’t be far away.
It is illegal to ride them on sidewalks!
The scooters, which can attain speeds of 24 kph (14.8 mph)—four times average walking speed—must be ridden on roadways and in Paris’s ubiquitous bike lanes.
At the end of your ride, you must park the scooter in a place and manner dictated by law, or you will be held responsible for an infraction.
Helmets are not generally provided as part of a scooter rental, but it’s strongly recommended to wear a helmet when riding a scooter. The City of Paris also recommends that you wear a reflective vest (gilet réfléchissant), at least at night or in conditions of poor visibility.
You’re riding on city streets, in traffic, and every other vehicle is bigger, heavier, and faster than yours. If there is a collision—and there are always collisions—the scooter rider is always the loser. The number of deaths of scooter riders climbs every year.
Traffic Laws Regulations
Scooters are subject to the same laws and regulations as bicycles and motorcycles. The proliferation of trottinettes—and their misuse—has caused the city government to undertake enforcement actions of the regulations regarding their use.
Illegal to Ride Scooters on Sidewalks!
Scooters must be ridden in bike lanes and on roadways on which the speed limit is 50 km/h (31 mph) or lower.
You must obey all traffic signs, signals and regulations just like any other motorized vehicle.
Riding on sidewalks (trottoirs) exposes pedestrians, especially children, the elderly, and the handicapped, to danger, and is prohibited. Infractions are subject to a penalty (procès-verbal) of 135€ (about US140).
Maximum Speed: 20 km/h
The maximum speed allowed is 25 km/h (about 15.5 mph), or 10 or 20 km/h, about 6 to 12.5 mph, in some areas. (In fact, the e-scooter rental company may automatically slow the speed of your vehicle in high-density areas, based on geo-location.) The penalty for exceeding these limits is 1500€! Many scooters have top speeds of 32 km/h (20 mph), so don’t ride them at top speed.
One Rider per Scooter
Only one person (age 12 or older) is allowed to ride a scooter. Those found riding two on one scooter are subject to a fine of 135€ (about US140).
Park Only in Designated Areas
Do not leave your scooter on a sidewalk or other pedestrian area!
The City of Paris has delimited 2,500 special free parking places for scooters (see the photos on this page of scooters in their parking places.) You may also park them in payable motor vehicle (car) and motorcycle (deux roues) parking areas—but you don’t need to pay.
The last rider of a scooter improperly parked on a sidewalk or other unauthorized area may be subject to a fine of 35€ (about US36.40). (Remember: the scooter company knows who used the scooter last.)
How Long Does Lime-s Generation 1 Last?
The Lime-s generation 1 has a 36v 5.6Ah battery which takes about 7 hours to charge. When fully charged, the charged lime scooter can last for a whole day.
The lime generation scooter doesn’t run at night because it is at this time the juicers collect them and take them out for charging.
The juicer takes up the lime generation scooter at a designated time at sunset to charge them all through the night.
After charging, the juicer will place the charge lime scooter at a specific scooter hub, where they are made available for those riding a scooter.
Lime-s Generation 1 Weight?
The lime generation scooter has a maximum weight of 14kg. The vehicle’s light weight makes maneuvering off the lime electric scooter easy and fun.
And because it is light and easy to ride on, anybody can ride on it. Teens, young adults, and aged individuals can ride.
However, the recommendable age to ride the scooter is 14 years and above. Children younger than this age are not permitted to use the lime generation scooter for safety reasons.
So, only young people who can handle the technicality of the lime electric scooter can ride on it.
How Good is Lime-s Generation 1?
The Lime-s generation is great for commuters who are always on the go. It is less expensive than taxis and other means of transportation.
It is also very fast as it can cover a long distance in a few minutes. Here is the necessary information you need to know about riding a lime scooter.
- Download the Lime electric generation app using your smartphone.
- Click on the ‘scan to ride’ options on your scooter’s LED screen. Scan by positioning your camera over the QR code.
- Scan your ID card as requested and fill up your payment information. Your ID card is required to confirm your age and that you’re up to the appropriate age for riding the lime scooter.
- Listen up for the chirp to verify the information you input. This chirp can take up to 30 seconds or more. Ensure to stay patient while still processing.
- Scanning unlocks the scooter and gives you access to it. If you attempt riding before the instruction says so, the scooter company could lock the scooter wheels.
- Get your safety helmet. The helmet is necessary when riding on a scooter. The reason is that scooters run at high speed, which may be dangerous to ride on without a safety helmet.
- Once the chirp sound comes up, you’re ready to ride. Place one foot on the ground and the other on the scooter. And with the foot on the ground, you push forward three times to enable the electric motor to kickstart.
- Pull the throttle at the handlebar to keep the electric motor in motion.
- Begin the trip on the app.
- After riding, you can also end the app by parking the vehicle in a safe location, locking it, and then ending the ride through the app.
- You must ensure to park the scooter responsible as any irresponsible parking will incur a fine from the scooter company.
Note that you should only attempt locking the scooter if you’re running a quick shop or need to do something urgently.
The reason is that when you lock the device, no other person can access it, and it will continue to increase charges on your account.