When Life Gives You Limes…

August Lamb, Editor-in-Chief

After spending some time trying to find a place to park downtown with an abundance of both brands of e-scooter, my comrade and I were finally ready to commence our review. For some reason, William was dying to prove Bird’s superiority over Lime, so he assumed responsibility for that half of the critique, while I made the smarter decision to stick with Lime. Both companies charge the same flat rate of one dollar to unlock, and fifteen cents per minute to ride, so what exactly is the difference between the options? It’s a matter of user experience, where, in my opinion, Lime wins hands down.

First of all, Lime includes a speedometer and battery meter built into their scooters, and Bird does not. That may not be terribly important to every rider, but I like to have the information right in front of me, not just in the app, especially when it comes to battery life. Second, and this is definitely a matter of preference as William prefers Bird’s implementation, but I am a big fan of the manual handbrake on the Lime. Bird’s brake is electronic, and is activated by pressing down on a thumb trigger, while Lime is much more like a classic bike, including a manual squeeze trigger. I found the Lime brake to be much more responsive than Bird’s, which failed to stop the scooter when I was riding down a hill. Lime, however, brought me to a satisfying, almost screeching halt. Also, as a taller individual, I appreciate the taller handlebars on the Lime. I found myself bending down a bit too far for comfort on the Bird, which shorter people might prefer.

Supposedly, Birds are slightly faster than Limes, but I found myself flying ahead of my Bird-bound friend on multiple occasions, not the least of which being when his scooter died in the middle of a busy downtown intersection. Too bad he didn’t have a battery meter… When he finally found another Bird nearby, and paid another dollar to unlock it, he discovered that it was malfunctioning. Dangerous as it seemed, he wasn’t keen to walking the mile and a half back to our car, so he took it anyway.

After a brief photo-op in Court Square, which we later learned was illegal (oops), we parked our scooters and got ready to head home. This point was my single qualm with the Lime, as it took a few tries to lock it up with the app. It was indicating that I was in the Downtown Mall No Parking Zone, despite the fact that we were hundreds of feet away from the mall. This is definitely a GPS issue, so I don’t blame Lime too much, but I didn’t appreciate being charged for the time I was spending trying to park it.

Anyway, in conclusion, the Lime user experience is better than Bird’s. William had way too much trouble with his Bird scooter, paid more money than he was expecting, and he was probably just having bad luck, but that’s not something I’d be willing to risk if I need to get somewhere quickly.