Seeing their bikes all over the place got me curious about Seattle’s bike services, Spin and Lime bike. I installed both apps on my phone and they both worked just fine, popping up a map showing where the bikes are. In both apps, the first ride is free. Neither app asked me for credit card info, though presumably they would later if I continued riding. They both have plenty of bikes downtown, though Lime seems to have more bikes in outer areas like Magnolia and Ballard.
Walking home from the Magnolia center district today, Lime said there was a bike nearby. I followed the map a couple of blocks and the bike was exactly where the app said it would be. I used the app to scan the QR code, a few seconds later it unlocked. The bike was mine!
I rode it a few blocks home. My impressions:
- It’s a tank – weighs 49 lbs!
- Has a basket in front, whose bottom is a solar cell.
- The front wheel has a built-in generator that powers a front & rear light that are always on when the wheels spin.
- It has fenders and a full chain guard.
- It has an 8-speed Shimano Nexus internally geared hub. It works smoothly, though it was slightly out of adjustment due to a bit of cable stretch, skipping some gears (like 3rd). A couple of cable adjuster twists fixed that, then it shifted perfectly.
- It’s geared low, which is a nice touch you really want around hilly Seattle, especially for this 49 lb. tank of a bike.
- The brakes are Shimano drums.
- The tires are not pneumatic and can’t flat. But they’re not rock-hard either. Seem to be foam-filled.
- The seat is easily adjustable with a hand quick release. But it doesn’t go quite high enough for my average length legs (32″ inseam).
Overall, it’s a comfy bike to ride around town. At $1 per 30 mins it’s cheap too, with bulk monthly rates for unlimited rides.
Next, I want to try a Spin bike.