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LimeBike adds e-bicycles to its dockless sharing service

A not so mean green machine.
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Renting and riding a bicycle from a dockless bike-sharing scheme can be tough work. The two-wheeled transporters are built to last, which means they often have thick, heavy frames and chunky tires. If you're out of shape or intending to ride uphill, they can be a little off-putting. Thankfully, LimeBike has a solution — electric-assist bikes. The company unveiled the Lime-E today, a green machine with a rechargeable lithium battery and a 240-watt motor. It can help you reach speeds of 15 MPH and will, the company claims, adapt to your individual riding style too.

It's still a hefty bicycle, however. At CES 2018, I was able to sit on the saddle and, for a moment, pretend I was gliding down the streets of San Francisco. (I would have ridden it for real, but a crowded convention hall didn't feel particularly safe.) The motor is always-on and will kick in as soon as you've unlocked the bike. The battery is hot-swappable, though you can't replace it yourself — LimeBike's staff will be roaming around and refreshing batteries in between rides. If you're interested, it'll cost $1 to unlock and an additional $1 for every 10 minutes that you're riding.

LimeBike operates in a bunch of US locations including Seattle, Miami, and the greater San Francisco bay area. (The company also expanded to Zurich and Frankfurt, its first European markets, last month.) The Lime-E will be added to the company's existing fleet later this month — a useful differentiator, perhaps, from the countless other bike-rental services that have been popping up around the world. Electric-assist bikes aren't for everyone, but if you want to be just a little healthier — while still getting around at a decent pace — this could be an option worth considering.

Click here to catch up on the latest news from CES 2018.

In this article: ces2018, gear, transportation

Nick Summers is a senior reporter, editor and photographer at Engadget. He studied multimedia journalism at Bournemouth University and holds an NCTJ certificate. Nick previously worked at The Next Web and FE Week, an education-focused newspaper in the UK. He lives on the south coast of England with a stack of half-finished Gunpla.

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