Product reviews

E-scooters – Lime vs Neuron

Words by: Jarrad Clatworthy & Tom Jennings

Bike riders try e-scooters

Lime vs Neuron e-scooter

In February 2022, 1500 e-scooters hit the streets of Melbourne as part of a 12-month trial in participating council areas (Melbourne, Yarra and Port Phillip).

Naturally, we were intrigued to see how the new contraptions operate, and if they are indeed an alternative transport option that helps create a more liveable city, or an added obstacle that will cause friction on bike paths and shared trails. See more on our e-scooter position here.

We tried out Melbourne’s two micro-mobility operators, Lime (green) and Neuron (orange) on a trip through the city to see how they fared on a quick commute, and if the bikes, regretfully, might start to be left in the office or at home.

The verdict

In a nutshell, the e-scooter experience was a fun foray into the world of micromobility, but a temporary one. Both models rode well over flat terrain, with the Lime e-scooter edging the Neuron in a 100-metre dash (note, both e-scooters are capped at 20km/h). They felt a little more sluggish when accelerating up an incline – but the ability to cruise around the city with minimal physical exertion did not go unnoticed.

Both brands offer the same pricing structure, with a $1 unlock fee and an additional $0.45 per minute of operation. If you opt to pay as you go, a 20min trip will set you back approx. $10 which can add up quickly if used as regular transport. There are, however, daily and multi-day prices available for frequent users (up to 90 minutes per day).

Overall, we won’t be replacing the bike with an e-scooter full time, but they do offer an enjoyable alternative for a quick dash across the city – especially when there’s no secure bike parking options available at the destination. We’ll admit, the e-scooters are fun to ride, but not being able feel your natural cadence or build-up those good endorphins that come with the bike, leaves pedal power as our preferred transport option.

And as for our preferred e-scooter…
Neuron e-scooter
Lime vs Neuron - e-scooters

Lime

Pros:
  • More responsive braking
  • Gets up to speed on flat smoothly
Cons:
  • Requires a big kick-off or repeated revving of the throttle (especially uphill) for e-assist to kick in
  • Helmet lock and start-up process is fiddly
  • Expensive over longer trips

Neuron

Pros:
  • Digital display with speed, time, etc.
  • Quicker start-up and helmet unlock system
  • Gets up to speed smoothly
Cons:
  • Less responsive brakes
  • E-assist dramatically slows down when throttle isn’t being used
  • Expensive over longer trips

This article was made possible by the support of Bicycle Network's members who enable us to make bike riding better in Australia.