Lime is a typical startup, looking to change the face of personal mobility by offering a techy solution: app-based rental of bikes and scooters.

The company has gained quite a foothold in US cities over the past 12 months, with backing from some big companies, like Uber and Google Ventures - and is quietly launching in London, following a previous launch in Milton Keynes.

While the Lime-S electric scooter that Lime is best known for in the US would be illegal in the UK, its electric bike isn't - so there's 1000 Lime Bike-E heading to Brent and Ealing through December.

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The Bike-E is an electric-assisted bike, with a 250W motor and battery that should be able to assist you for 50+ miles of riding. The bike is limited to 14.8mph, it's tracked by GPS and 3G and Lime maintains the bikes, locating and changing the batteries when they go flat.

As such, they are "dockless" bikes with a remote lock, so unlike London's Boris bikes that have parking locations, you might find a Lime Bike-E parked on a street corner for you to rent. 

How does Lime work? 

Rather like ride hailing service Uber, the Lime journey starts with the app on your phone. You'll be able to locate and rent the Bike-E through the app; it costs £1 to unlock the Bike-E, but it then costs 15p per minute of riding, so it's only really good for short journeys or the prices will rack up.

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Through the app you'll locate the Bike-E and then scan the QR code on the bike to unlock it. Then all you have to do is check that it's in good working order - for your own safety - then hop on and get riding. 

You can check the battery level through your app, if the power assistance is something you're excited about.

The bikes are all tracked, so Lime knows where they are, and as you need to be registered to use them, it'll know if you ride it to a bridge and throw it in the Thames when you're done. Inevitably, we suspect that some will be picked up and vandalised, but they do also have an alarm.

If you want to find a Lime bike, then install the app (Android or iPhone) and sign-up!