Charlotte is in the middle of a pilot program to try dockless bikes around the city.
Four companies — LimeBike, Spin, Mobike, and Ofo — have put bikes on the street and allow Charlotteans to download their app and access the bikes for $1.
I tested out all four bike shares. Here is my review for each.
The App: LimeBike’s app is my favorite of the four to use. It is the most user-friendly and offers more. This app lets you know how far you have gone on your trip, tracks all of your rides and even tells you how many calories you burned.
The Bikes: The bikes have plenty of storage space (with a basket up front) and lights to use when it gets dark. However, I noticed that LimeBike is a bit heavier and more cumbersome to use than some of its competitors. Good news, you will probably burn more calories on LimeBike.
The App: Spin has a pretty basic app to use. When I first downloaded it, the app would often tell me that no bikes were available in the area even though I was standing next to one. They have seemed to work out most of the bugs since then, though.
The Bikes: Compared with LimeBike, the Spin bikes are easier to use and much lighter. The safety light in the back turns on automatically once you unlock the bike. Spin bikes might just be my favorite to ride around town on. I also noticed that the Spin bike fits comfortably on the bike rack of CATS buses.
The App: Like LimeBike, the Mobike app will give you your trip history and miles traveled. I have had some issues locating bikes on the app, but it seems to be improving. You can directly report bike issues on the main page, which is nice since some of the bikes have already taken a beating.
The Bikes: These are sleek bikes and offer a smooth ride — but they are slightly heavier than Ofo and Spin. The basket isn’t directly attached to the handlebars, which makes it easier to turn. A cool feature that sets Mobike apart is that the light in the front turns on as you pedal.
The App: Immediately after your ride, Ofo asks you to rate your trip and report if you had an issue with the bike. The Ofo bike also allows you to report if bikes are parked illegally. Note: Ofo is offering free rides for the entire month of January, so I would take advantage of this while you can.
The Bikes: Ofo comes in a close second after Spin. The bikes are light and easy to use. If for some reason the two QR codes are not working or damaged, you can enter a code on the bike to unlock it.