Author Topic: Dockless Bikes (merged superthread)  (Read 13066 times)

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: Lime E-bike
« Reply #75 on: January 10, 2019, 02:04:52 pm »
Electric motor scooters are very much a thing here too, although not so much as electric kick-along scooters, which of course you don't kick along. I suspect most users regard them as more convenient e-bikes, so no licence.

Yes, I'm seeing a lot more of those non-kick scooters around (mostly on the pavement).  They seem to appeal to the yoof who don't quite have the nerve for electric skateboards, but I've seen a couple being used by what you'd normally consider to be the mobility scooter demographic.
Confused there. By "non-kick scooters" do you mean the ones that are like electrified kid's toy scooters or the ones that are basically electric mopeds? If the former, I've only seen them used by young-ish people, and often on the road. Interesting if Brum e-scootists should be so different. But thinking about it you must mean the others, cos the first type involve standing.
sideways bounding monkey lounging under fruit tree

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Re: Lime E-bike
« Reply #76 on: January 10, 2019, 02:07:19 pm »
I assume someone rocks up in a van, removes the bat flattery and slides in a fully charged one, leaving the bike where it is unless it needs repairing or re-locating to somewhere less stupid.

Yes, the battery is stored in an open-ended compartment on the rear rack, so presumably can be swapped easily.

Just been out for a test ride:
https://www.strava.com/activities/2068812958

First impressions: Nice. Much more fun to ride than the Santander bikes - the main advantage being the way they effortlessly accelerate away from a standing start at junctions and traffic lights (as you'd expect of an e-bike).

That cost me £2.20 for 8 minutes, so yes, they're certainly not cheap, but for short journeys, I'd far rather use one of those than a London bus. I've paid my £90 for a year's subscription to the Santander bikes, so I'll continue using those for the most part (my journeys are always under 30 minutes, so effectively free). But the Lime bikes certainly look like a decent option for when I CBA to make an effort.

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Re: Lime E-bike
« Reply #77 on: January 10, 2019, 02:10:51 pm »
Electric motor scooters are very much a thing here too, although not so much as electric kick-along scooters, which of course you don't kick along. I suspect most users regard them as more convenient e-bikes, so no licence.

Yes, I'm seeing a lot more of those non-kick scooters around (mostly on the pavement).  They seem to appeal to the yoof who don't quite have the nerve for electric skateboards, but I've seen a couple being used by what you'd normally consider to be the mobility scooter demographic.
Confused there. By "non-kick scooters" do you mean the ones that are like electrified kid's toy scooters or the ones that are basically electric mopeds? If the former, I've only seen them used by young-ish people, and often on the road. Interesting if Brum e-scootists should be so different. But thinking about it you must mean the others, cos the first type involve standing.

If Kim means the electrified kids' toys, I've seen a lot of those about - they're very popular with commuters as they can be folded to take on the train, and unlike e-bikes they require no effort input from the user. And yes, they do get ridden mostly on the pavement. I'm sure it won't be long before the Daily Mail does a piece on the electric scooter terrorists making our streets a living hell.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Lime E-bike
« Reply #78 on: January 10, 2019, 02:11:22 pm »
Electric motor scooters are very much a thing here too, although not so much as electric kick-along scooters, which of course you don't kick along. I suspect most users regard them as more convenient e-bikes, so no licence.

Yes, I'm seeing a lot more of those non-kick scooters around (mostly on the pavement).  They seem to appeal to the yoof who don't quite have the nerve for electric skateboards, but I've seen a couple being used by what you'd normally consider to be the mobility scooter demographic.
Confused there. By "non-kick scooters" do you mean the ones that are like electrified kid's toy scooters or the ones that are basically electric mopeds? If the former, I've only seen them used by young-ish people, and often on the road. Interesting if Brum e-scootists should be so different. But thinking about it you must mean the others, cos the first type involve standing.

Yeah, the electrified kids toy standing ones.  (Though I have seen some with some sort of minimal seat on a very flimsy looking post much like the handlebars are attached to.  I expect the whole thing would fall to bits if you hit a decent pothole.)

Electric mopeds not so much, though I did see (briefly, I was driving a car) something the other day that appeared to be halfway between a small-wheeled fatbike and a vintage-looking motorcycle.

In Brum, roads are for cars, lycra-clad cyclists, and the occasional brave sk8er d00d.  Muggles almost exclusively ride their bikes and non-legal faster-than-walking electric contraptions on the pavement.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

bludger

  • Randonneur and bargain hunter
Re: Lime E-bike
« Reply #79 on: January 10, 2019, 02:17:54 pm »
I remarked to someone the other day that the way to make these really viable would be to make them strong enough to carry two. In flat towns and cities that makes the bargain pretty attractive IMO.
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Re: Lime E-bike
« Reply #80 on: January 10, 2019, 02:23:18 pm »
The GPS isn't going to be much use once it's taken out of the bike, which is presumably no harder than with any other dockless (or even docking) hire bike. But I'd have thought collecting them all in for recharging is the biggest logistical problem. Presumably they'll have some sort of van which they can charge them in while they ferry them to wherever.

I assume someone rocks up in a van, removes the bat flattery and slides in a fully charged one, leaving the bike where it is unless it needs repairing or re-locating to somewhere less stupid.  The great thing about e-bikes (and electric motor scooters[1], for that matter) is that the batteries are small enough to do that with.


[1] Which I believe are a thing in ABROAD, where the FOREIGNS have less restrictive licencing requirements for users of low-power motorcycles.

We have Lime E bikes in Milton Keynes and I think that's the current situation here now. But the idea is to have an e cargo bike loaded with batteries to do battery replacements. I know this because I (and Bikeabilityman) signed up to ride the cargo bikes and replace batteries. The Lime HQ fro Milton Keynes is about half a mile from my home.
However, they cost £1 to release and IIRC 15p per minute to ride, which makes them about the same cost as a bus. Plus they seem to reside at local shops and the town centre. Just as with the Santander hire bikes, if I wanted to use one, I'd have to walk about half a mile , probably in the wrong direction, to get to a bike or walk over half way to the town to pick one up on the way at the train station. It's only a quarter of a mile to the bus stop and the bus costs the same as a Lime.
I signed up via an agency to ride the e cargo bike a few months ago and haven't heard from them yet. I heard from Bikeabilityman that he was on standby to replace batteries but has never been called out because the bikes aren't being ridden. That does seem to be the case. I see more Santander hire bikes ridden and they aren't ridden all that much. It's about 25 out of 75 if I encounter a Lime bike being ridden on my travels and even then, I'm probably being generous. I rarely see 2 being ridden. I wonder if they get stolen as well because I've seen one with the front light not working. The Santander bikes do end up going rogue. I've even seen one parked outside the tent of a homeless person, which I thought was good. At least the homeless can have a free bike!
I think they're partly too expensive and also need to be located around housing estates more, though that could mean some ending up in garages and homes where they can be fettled so that the GPSs and security can be removed....

Shame, I was looking forward to riding around Milton Keynes on an e cargo bike and getting paid for it...

hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Re: Lime E-bike
« Reply #81 on: January 10, 2019, 03:04:36 pm »
They've been in Brent around a month.

Pretty pricy at £2 to unlock + 15p/min.

I don't think they're getting many takers.

That doesn't compare favourably to London bus fares, does it?  It doesn't even compare favourably to Birmingham bus fares, TBH.

Tourists would use it, of course, but Brent isn't ideal in that respect.  I'm sure you'll get plenty of people 'having a go' simply because they're novel, but I reckon that's more likely to send them to the e-bike shop than create regular users.

Seem abandoned, unloved and ignored, from what I've seen.

I'll ask David if he has seen any being ridden. He has not said he has so I doubt there are many in use.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Lime E-bike
« Reply #82 on: January 10, 2019, 03:19:22 pm »
However, they cost £1 to release and IIRC 15p per minute to ride, which makes them about the same cost as a bus. Plus they seem to reside at local shops and the town centre. Just as with the Santander hire bikes, if I wanted to use one, I'd have to walk about half a mile , probably in the wrong direction, to get to a bike or walk over half way to the town to pick one up on the way at the train station.

Same issue as with the Brompton Docks - there are a couple of them in central Birmingham, in convenient locations for those arriving at the mainline railway stations.  Which makes them useful for visitors, or people who want to try out a Brompton properly before investing in one, but they do very little as a transport option for locals (which is a shame, because they're a lovely shade of purple).  At least the pricing structure is reasonable for longer-term hire.

We're supposedly getting a dock-based hire bike scheme in Birmingham[1] at some point this year, and it sounds like they're using unexpected amounts of common sense with the planning of that:  They're starting of with docks at the university campus, hospital and city centre, which will make it useful for a 5km journey that people actually make, with an adequate (and flat!) towpath route and a proper 'cycle superhighway' under construction for those who don't want to ride in the scary traffic.  They're also integrating it with the existing bus smartcard system.  Hopefully that will be successful enough to grow the scheme sustainably (e-bikes would make sense to expand into the hillier areas).  Unless they overprice it, of course.

But unless everyone's a visitor or train commuter (as per central London) at some point you need coverage of the areas where people actually live.  And uptake's likely to be sparse unless the housing is particularly dense, or the demographic is unusually studenty.


[1] One of the problems with cycling in Birmingham is that the city centre itself is a confusing mass of one-way systems, tram tracks and pedestrian areas (which are legal to cycle in, but this isn't made obvious and they're unpleasant when crowded), while being small enough that most things are a reasonable walking distance.  It's only usually worth cycling if you're going further out.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

mattc

  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
    • Didcot Audaxes
Re: Lime E-bike
« Reply #83 on: January 10, 2019, 03:19:41 pm »
I remarked to someone the other day that the way to make these really viable would be to make them strong enough to carry two. In flat towns and cities that makes the bargain pretty attractive IMO.
Good idea, but wouldn't this hammer the performance? Even before you add the weight from any extra strengthening, doubling the rider(s) weight will be a big hit.  :-\
Has never ridden RAAM
---------
No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Ofo pulls out of London
« Reply #84 on: January 10, 2019, 04:03:19 pm »

Psychler

  • Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr........
  • 33.2 miles from Steeple Bumpstead
Re: Ofo pulls out of London
« Reply #85 on: January 10, 2019, 04:10:13 pm »
Still see a few of their bikes, normally lying in the gutter.
I'm gonna limp to the pub and drink 'til the rest of me is as numb as my arse.

Re: Lime E-bike
« Reply #86 on: January 10, 2019, 04:11:58 pm »

We're supposedly getting a dock-based hire bike scheme in Birmingham[1] at some point this year,

Allegedly being piloted in Wolverhampton soon. Guinea pigs can apply here:

https://www.wmca.org.uk/news/volunteers-invited-for-bike-share-tests/

ian

  • fatuously disingenuous
    • The Suburban Survival Guide
Re: Dockless Bikes (merged superthread)
« Reply #87 on: January 10, 2019, 06:10:06 pm »
Lime are quite common in Seattle, which is known to have a couple of hills, a mix of standard and electric models.

In Portland (mostly flat downtown) they have the electric scooters too. They move at a fair lick.

No surprise on the Ofo (and others), the only ones I see these days are mostly trashed. These schemes only work if there's a critical mass of available bikes, and the economics of inevitable vandalism and theft stack up.
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Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: Dockless Bikes (merged superthread)
« Reply #88 on: January 10, 2019, 07:34:03 pm »
I don't know whether either dockless or docked bike hire schemes are necessary better than the other. The Yo bikes (yellow and dockless) get quite a lot of use in Bristol as do the Next bikes in Bath (they're grey and don't match the architecture at all), but before the Yos, there was a docked scheme in Bristol which folded cos a) no one used it, b) the docking stations all got vandalised. I expect pricing and detailed design is more important than the dockless v docking decision.
sideways bounding monkey lounging under fruit tree

telstarbox

  • Loving the lanes
Re: Dockless Bikes (merged superthread)
« Reply #89 on: January 10, 2019, 07:48:09 pm »
In theory dockless is quicker and simpler to set up - no planning permission for example.
2017 - R500 ✅ | 2018 - R1000 ✅ | 2019 - ?

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Dockless Bikes (merged superthread)
« Reply #90 on: January 10, 2019, 07:51:03 pm »
In theory dockless is quicker and simpler to set up - no planning permission for example.

Yes, there's a lot of money to be saved by not building and maintaining docks.  Possibly even enough to make up for higher rates of bike attrition.

Probably makes the service less usefully predictable, though.  Unless the bike density is really high.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Re: Dockless Bikes (merged superthread)
« Reply #91 on: January 10, 2019, 08:35:48 pm »
When Mobikes and ofo moved into my part of London they created virtual docks where there were always a few bikes available on particular street corners. This required minimal manpower as  no bugger was using them, and even the vandals initially ignored them.

Either indifference or atrophy of bikes meant this only lasted a few months though.

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Re: Dockless Bikes (merged superthread)
« Reply #92 on: January 11, 2019, 11:33:04 am »
Had another go on a Lime bike this morning, to get from London Bridge to Marble Arch. A few more observations...

Finding the bike in Tooley Street was tricky because of the inaccuracy of the GPS and poor mobile phone signal. I eventually found it (across the road from More London) but then took several attempts to unlock it.

If you're having trouble locating a bike, you can ask the app to ring it and it plays a chime - although it's not really loud enough to hear from more than a couple of feet away. The bike also plays a chime when you unlock it.

I quite like the bikes to ride. The swept-back handlebars force you to sit more upright and give you quite a stately feel. Which made it all the more amusing when I cruised past a lycra-clad roadie over the hump of London Bridge. However, they are quite a harsh ride. Maybe down to the airless tyres? They certainly seem a bit harsher than the Santander bikes, but this might be partly in the mind because they're also quite rattly at the back - I'm guessing it's the battery rattling about in its housing but not sure.

There's a rather good bell (much better than the piffling pingers on the Santander bikes) which is operated by a left-hand twist-grip. The only down side is that it's quite chunky and made of a hard plastic and a bit uncomfortable - though this shouldn't be an issue for the short journeys the bikes are meant for.

I parked the bike right outside the office and it was only as I was going inside the building that I noticed the timer was still running on the app, so I had to rush out in a panic to check I'd actually locked it. In fact, by the time I got there, it had sorted itself out - again it was a problem with poor GPS/mobile signal. Or maybe it's just a scam to let the timer run over the minute mark so they could filch an extra 15p out of me!

The session ended up costing £5.80, which is about double what it would have cost to do the same journey on the Tube, but infinitely more pleasant.

fuaran

  • rothair gasta
Re: Dockless Bikes (merged superthread)
« Reply #93 on: January 11, 2019, 12:05:07 pm »
In theory dockless is quicker and simpler to set up - no planning permission for example.
Is it actually legal to dump a load bikes in the middle of the pavement without permission? If it is a business, don't they need some sort of street trader's licence?

mattc

  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
    • Didcot Audaxes
Re: Dockless Bikes (merged superthread)
« Reply #94 on: January 11, 2019, 12:11:40 pm »
In theory dockless is quicker and simpler to set up - no planning permission for example.
Is it actually legal to dump a load bikes in the middle of the pavement without permission? If it is a business, don't they need some sort of street trader's licence?

I think this is a grey area that hasn't been an issue for "normal" businesses.

In Oxford they have definitely become litter [there are at least 3 schemes there, don't think there are any docked schemes?]. Each operator does have permission from the council, but I think the latter may be regretting it! Public opinion seems very much against them - in a town where anti-cycling sentiment is pretty low.
Has never ridden RAAM
---------
No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Re: Dockless Bikes (merged superthread)
« Reply #95 on: January 11, 2019, 12:20:57 pm »
Public opinion schmublic opinion. People do like to complain about things that don't really have any meaningful impact on their lives... any news item on dockless bikes always comes with BTL comments about them being 'strewn' across pavements. Which is obviously bollocks.

Re: Dockless Bikes (merged superthread)
« Reply #96 on: January 11, 2019, 12:22:27 pm »
Is it actually legal to dump a load bikes in the middle of the pavement without permission? If it is a business, don't they need some sort of street trader's licence?

The more cycling-hostile councils treated them way and picked them all up as abandoned property.

The slightly more enlightened ones either ignored them or signed codes of conduct with the operators.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Dockless Bikes (merged superthread)
« Reply #97 on: January 11, 2019, 12:40:49 pm »
Public opinion schmublic opinion. People do like to complain about things that don't really have any meaningful impact on their lives... any news item on dockless bikes always comes with BTL comments about them being 'strewn' across pavements. Which is obviously bollocks.

People like to complain about things that are new and different.  While I'm sure there are legitimate complaints about dockless bikes being left in places that block pavements, private bikes locked in stupid places - while not always accepted - are rarely considered noteworthy other than by wheelchair users etc who are actually obstructed by them.  Inconsiderately parked cars (which are surely a much bigger problem) are so normal that people don't even notice them.  The advantage of a dockless bike over the above is that any able-bodied member of the public can, if necessary, pick it up and move it out of the way.

I said in some other thread that I'd much rather see a town littered with dockless bikes than littered with cars.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: Dockless Bikes (merged superthread)
« Reply #98 on: January 11, 2019, 12:53:11 pm »
Just at the bottom of the hill here there's a closed road with a gap for cycling through where it joins the main road. There are a dozen or so cycle stands just there, always busy, and various popular cafes and so on around. The only bike I've ever had to move out of the way in a five years or so of using that gap has been a Yo dockless. But it's more frequently blocked by parked cars or vans supposedly making deliveries.
sideways bounding monkey lounging under fruit tree

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Re: Dockless Bikes (merged superthread)
« Reply #99 on: January 11, 2019, 01:03:44 pm »
it's more frequently blocked by parked cars or vans supposedly making deliveries.

Exactly. But as Kim says, cars parked on the street has become so normalised that most people don't even notice them.

While I accept there may be occasions when wheelchair users have been genuinely inconvenienced by inconsiderately parked bikes, I suspect this is a lot less common than wheelchair users being inconvenienced by all sorts of other obstructions – and general poor street design.