Move Electric has already had the first trip on the new electric rental bike that features improved motor power and gears.
Ride-sharing firm Lime has started launching its latest Gen4 e-bikes. Gen4 e-bikes have improved engine power and new two-speed automatic gears. In London, Move Electric has already had the first ride.
The new rental bike will replace the machines that have been available in the capital since the end of 2018. The e-bikes manage by Uber’s mobility firm Jump, which Lime bought in 2020.
Since its launch, the scheme’s electric bikes uses for five million trips covering eight million miles. That included a record 2.4 million trips last year, as the popularity of active transportation increased in the Covid-19 pandemic.
The new Gen4 bike has been tested for about a year and has so far been launched in Washington DC, Charleston, and Atlanta in the United States.
Lime says the new bike features improved acceleration and increased engine power. Though it hasn’t made precise figures available. Figures, along with a new two-speed automatic transmission that’s designed to make riding smoother.
The bike also features what Lime calls significant technological upgrades. Upgrade, with a revamped modular design meant to make it more reliable and easier to repair. Lime claims the new bike will have a lifespan of around five years.
The bike’s design revamps, with a new smartphone holder. As a result, it allows cyclists to use navigation apps without stopping. It revamps the information display on the handlebars. It mirrors that used on Lime’s latest scooters.
What is it like to ride the Lime Gen4 electric bike?
Move Electric had early access to the Gen4 electric bike. Access tests itself on Lime’s quality control track at its new Bermondsey warehouse. which is the base of its London operations.
Now, full disclosure: The QA course is an empty section of the company’s warehouse marked by traffic cones. We couldn’t learn much about how the Gen4 bike will perform on London’s bumpy roads. Its practicality for commuting, or its comfort on extended trips.
Still, even a short outing was enough to show the potential of this bike. Since a rental electric bike uses as a tool for short trips. The key requirements are practicality, durability, and ease of use, and in that regard, the Gen4 is promising.
It’s easy to distinguish it from London’s current bikes. It’s not because the old red livery, the colors of the old Operator Jump, replaces by lime white and lime green colors. Lime green colors add a fresh touch to its appearance.
The Gen4 looks smarter and more modern than the previous one. While it’s still thick, it looks like a more refined and sophisticated touch. It retains the front storage basket, while the new phone holder is a practical and tidy touch.
Another welcome benefit: the new bike has a built-in automatic lock. The automatic lock eliminates the need for faff with the cable lock built into the rear wheel. It’s a small step, but it should make the process of starting and ending travel a little simpler.
The bike retains the upright riding posture of its predecessor, and the easily adjustable seat makes it easy to feel relatively comfortable quickly. It’s not the most comfortable bike you’ll ever ride, but as a rental service, this isn’t a machine you’ll make long trips on.
Once you walk away, the Gen4 bike’s revised electrical system is easily apparent. The electric-assist is evident from the moment you start pedaling, but the delivery is still smooth and confidence-inspiring. It makes catching up easy, perhaps surprisingly given the bike’s slightly utilitarian weight.
The electric-assist motor also creates a subtle but noticeable hum, which helps add a nice, modern touch and helps you stay informed of what the system is doing to make your life easier. The brakes also inspired reasonable confidence, and features like the bell and kickstand are easily found and used.
Any true judgment on the Gen4 bike will have to wait until we can take it to the streets of London and see how it copes both in traffic and in the hills. But from this first impression, it feels like a small but significant step up from the existing bike.
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