Lime vs Pace: Dockless Bike Review
Dockless bikes have arrived in Rockaway! There are two companies operating the bikes on the peninsula: Lime and Pace. A total of 400 bikes between the two companies will be dropped off during the pilot. Lime will have 100 traditional two-wheelers and 100 pedal-assist bikes. Pace will have 200 regular bikes --- you may be seeing fewer Pace bikes now, but the rest will be delivered soon. Lime's electric pedal-assist bikes will be available after July 28, when legislation allowing for their place on city streets goes into effect (and will probably cost a little more to use). For both bikes, each 30-minute ride costs $1, and the first ride is free.
The Rockaway Advocate staff went out and tested both Lime and Pace bikes. Here's what we found out:
Lime bikes look like their name, with bright green paint and yellow detailing. They have airless tires with reflective sidewalls, as well as front and rear safety LEDs that are activated by pedaling. They have a beach cruiser vibe, with swept-back handlebar and wide handgrips. The basket on front is attached to the handlebars, which makes for a difficult ride if you put too much weight in it. The app is easy to use --- you can unlock a bike by scanning its QR code or entering its 6-digit number, and it plays a little tune to celebrate. The map reads clearly, and everything pops up in Lime's trademark yellow and green. Once you set up payment (credit/debit card required), there's an option to pay as you go, or you can choose to add a set balance to the app to monitor your spending. You can leave Lime bikes anywhere (as long as it doesn't block anything), and easily lock up by pushing a red button near the rear tire (which triggers another little song for you).
Pace bikes are white with royal blue detailing. The standard handle bars and smoothly rounded frame give them a more traditionally appealing look compared to Lime bikes. They also feel slightly heavier, possibly due to the built-in locking mechanism. Like Lime, Pace bikes come with airless tires, a low step-over crossbar, and pedal-activated safety lights. The basket is a little taller and seems a little sturdier than Lime's, but is still attached to the handlebars and can't handle too much weight gracefully. The Pace app requires both location and bluetooth access to locate a bike, and you have to select a bike (identified by a unique number) from the map to unlock it. The app also allows you to pay using Paypal or credit/debit . Unlike with Lime, Pace bikes have to be locked to a public bike rack (or fence, or other secure element) in order to end the ride, using a small built-in cable.
We (and DOT) want to hear from you! These bikes are here as part of a pilot program, and the city will evaluate whether they should stay at the end of a trial period. The DOT is seeking feedback on the bikes here. We're seeking feedback too! Scroll down to rank the bikes on five factors (Price, Availability, Ease of Use, Attractiveness, Feel of the Ride), with 1 being the worst and 5 being the best. And leave a comment below to tell us if you prefer Lime or Pace!