An Introduction to LimeBike: Rent a Bike from Your Phone

Depending on where you live, you might not have ridden a bike since you were a kid. Even if you do ride your bike, it’s probably as a form of recreation and not your primary way of getting around. This is because owning and regularly using a bike just isn’t practical in a lot of cities. You have to find a place to park the bike, worry about people stealing it, and possibly even drag it up and down the steps of your apartment.

You would like to bike more, however. You know it’s better for the environment and your health not to drive, but it just hasn’t been convenient enough for you to do it. Not to mention, it can be difficult to bike up and down the big hill that confronts you at the start of your commute.

A new wave of technology companies is working to solve all the problems we just discussed. One such company is LimeBike, who offers a fleet of dockless bikes that you can rent on demand with just a couple taps on your phone. You use the bike for as long as you need it and then park it wherever you want when you’re done. What’s more, LimeBike offers electric bikes that can make it much easier to climb hills, as well as electric scooters for shorter trips.

But how does this all work? How can you get started using LimeBike? What does the service cost, and where is it available? In this article, we’ll take a look at the answers to these questions and more, so that you can get started taking your first ride today.

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What Is LimeBike?

As the name implies, LimeBike (whose official name is “Neutron Holdings, Inc” but is now known simply as “Lime”) was originally a bikeshare company. Nowadays, however, they also run a fleet of electric scooters. The focus of the company is on making eco-friendly personal transportation more accessible. They’re yet another example of a private company seeking to solve the traffic congestion and pollution that plague city streets across the United States and the world.

You may have seen people riding the company’s distinctive green bikes or scooters in bike lanes near you. Though these new additions to the streets have been frustrating to some drivers, the point of them is to provide an affordable, convenient alternative to driving. While they won’t be able to replace other forms of transit like cars or public transportation for all trips, they do aid in making it easier to skip driving for commutes or even short trips around town.

How Does Lime Work?

An Introduction to LimeBike: Rent a Bike from Your Phone

Lime’s slogan is “Your ride anytime,” but is it really that simple? Let’s take a look at how using the service works. The first step to using any of Lime’s bikes or scooters is to download the Lime app. It’s available for both iPhone and Android, and it’s simple to use.

Once you’ve downloaded the app, you’ll need to create an account. The information you need to provide is minimal — just your name, city, phone number, email address, and credit card information. You can pay for Lime using any major credit or debit card. You can also pay with ride credit, which we’ll discuss in more detail later in this article. Note that you must be 18 to use any of Lime’s products.

After you have your account set up, you’re ready to take your first ride. Depending on your city, you’ll have access to a few different types of vehicles:

  • Lime-S Electric Scooters — These electric scooters have a top speed of 14.8 mph and a range of over 20 miles. Don’t worry if you’ve never ridden a scooter, as the app provides instructions on how to use them, and it doesn’t take long to learn. You need to have a driver’s license and be at least 18 to operate these vehicles (you scan your license with the app to verify it before you take your first ride).
  • Lime-E Electric Assist Bikes — These dockless electric bikes have a built-in motor that automatically provides you a boost when pedaling up hills or other steep terrain. They don’t have throttles, so don’t expect to ride them like a motorcycle. It’s more like a regular bike that’s easier on your legs.
  • LimeBike Smart Pedal Bikes — When Lime first got into the dockless bikesharing market, they used regular pedal bikes. They still have many of these in operation in cities across the world. They ride much like the bikes that are part of other bikeshare programs, but they have the convenience of being dockless.

Riding any of the above vehicles is similar no matter your city. To get a ride, take a look at the map in the Lime mobile app. It will show you the vehicles available near you. If it’s a scooter or electric bike, the app will also show you how much charge it has remaining.

Using the map, you can navigate to the vehicle that’s nearest to you. On each vehicle, you’ll see a QR code. You unlock the vehicle by scanning the QR code with the Lime smartphone app. The vehicle will beep when it’s working, and now you’re off. To ride a LimeBike, just hop on and start pedaling, shifting through the gears as necessary.

To ride one of Lime’s scooters, place your feet on the board and then kick with your back foot a couple times to get the scooter rolling.  Once you’re moving, you can accelerate by pressing the throttle with your right thumb. To slow down, squeeze the brake with your left hand. Be sure to ride in bike lanes when possible, always wear a helmet, and obey all traffic laws.

When you’re done riding the vehicle, you can tap “End Ride” in the app. You’ll then need to park it. You can do this in any legal location that doesn’t block the sidewalk or pedestrian walkways. Parking near a bike rack is a good move if you can find one. After each ride, the Lime app will show you a trip summary with the cost of the ride, the distance you traveled, and the number of calories you burned.

Where Is Lime Available?

An Introduction to LimeBike

Lime vehicles continue to pop up in cities across the world. While Lime is an American company, they have vehicles in nine countries outside the United States. They also have a significant presence on U.S. college campuses.

Here are a few of the U.S. cities where Lime is available:

  1. Boston
  2. Dallas
  3. Detroit
  4. Indianapolis
  5. Nashville
  6. Raleigh
  7. San Diego
  8. San Francisco
  9. Seattle
  10. Washington, D.C.

And here are a few of the places that Lime is available internationally:

  • Waterloo, Canada
  • Auckland and Christchurch, New Zealand
  • Prague, Czech Republic
  • Vienna, Austria
  • Mexico City, Mexico
  • Berlin and Frankfurt, Germany

For a full list of all the places Lime is available, visit the company’s website.

How Much Does Lime Cost?

Lime is affordable, but it isn’t free. How much will a ride cost you, exactly? That depends on the type of ride you’re taking. Here are how the prices break down for each ride type:

  • Lime-S Electric Scooters — $1 to unlock, plus $0.15 per minute to ride
  • Lime-E Electric Assist Bikes — $1 to unlock, plus $0.15 per minute to ride
  • LimeBike Smart Pedal Bikes — $1 per half hour to ride

Regardless of the ride type, it’s a small fee compared to what you would pay for other forms of transportation.

What’s more, Lime has a special program called Lime Access that helps low-income riders use the service at a greatly reduced cost. Lime Access riders receive a 50 percent discount on Lime-S and Lime-E rides, as well as a 95 percent discount on Lime pedal bike rides. To learn more about the program, visit Lime’s website.

Lime FAQ

Now that we’ve gone over the basics of Lime, let’s take a look at some common questions that new members have about the service.

1. Are there LimeBike promo codes?

Wouldn’t it be great if there were a way to get free Lime rides? It’s easier than you might think. New users can use a variety of coupon codes to save money. Common special offers to new riders include three free rides or a set amount of account credit.

You can find these ride coupons in a variety of ways. The Lime app will display them to first-time users who have yet to take a ride with the service. You can also find codes at LimeBike.com.

Applying the code is simple. To start, you’ll need to go to your Lime Wallet. Do this by going to the Lime menu and tapping where it says “Wallet.”

LimeBike: Rent a Bike from Your Phone

From there, you’ll need to tap where it says “View” under “Promos.”

An Introduction to LimeBike: Rent a Bike from Your iPhone

Then, tap “Redeem Promo.”

An Intro to LimeBike: Rent a Bike from Your Phone

Finally, type in the promo code and then tap “Add” to activate it.

Introduction to LimeBike: Rent a Bike from Your Phone

You can now use your free ride credits. Note that while most promos are only available to first-time riders, the company does occasionally offer free credit to existing users. Keep an eye out for notifications from the Lime app about these special offers.

2. What is a LimeBike Juicer?

If you want to go beyond free bike and scooter rides, you can actually get paid to charge Lime scooters. Lime refers to people who do this job as “Juicers.” Lime Juicers collect scooters that are low on charge, take them home and charge them, and then return them to set locations around the city each morning.

You have to apply to be a Juicer, but it’s not a difficult process. As long as you have a way to collect the scooters and an outlet to charge them, Lime will provide everything else you need. They pay per scooter, so it can be a nice way to supplement your income. This is especially true if you’re a rideshare driver who’s already out driving around. To learn more about how to become a Lime Juicer, check out our complete guide.

3. What kind of support does Lime offer to riders?

If you have any issues with a Lime vehicle or ride, you can contact LimeBike Support using the email address [email protected]. After each ride you take, you’ll also have the opportunity to rate the ride and report any problems you encountered.

The company employs people to maintain the vehicles, so they’re usually quite quick about addressing any problems. Still, you should always alert them if you come across a vehicle that isn’t working or if you have any issues using the service.

4. How do I bring Lime to my city?

Lime is always looking for the next location to expand, and their expansion decisions mostly have to do with popular demand. If people want Lime in their city, then the company will figure out how to make it happen.

Before they can do this, however, they need to know that the demand exists. The best way to let them know is to visit their website and vote for your city as the next Lime location. Just go to this page, click “Vote Now!,” and then fill out the form with your full name, address, country, zip code, phone number, and email. You can also choose to receive text and email notifications about the status of bringing Lime to your city.

5. Can I use Lime if I’m under 18?

Sort of. If you’re 16 or over, you can use one of the Lime pedal bikes, but only under the supervision of a parent or legal guardian. Use of any of Lime’s electric vehicles by minors is prohibited by the company’s user agreement (and by law). In practice, it’s probably not worth the trouble, as the electric vehicles are part of the biggest draw of Lime.

Get Moving With Lime

We hope you can now see what a powerful tool Lime is for getting around the city. Whether you’re riding a scooter or bike, Lime helps you reduce CO2 emissions, get places more quickly, and save money.

If you’re curious to learn about Bird, the other major electric scooter rental company, then take a look at our guide to that service.