Mobike introduces New Lite model in Sydney
6 Months ago, Mobike, one of China’s biggest dockless bike sharing companies, introduced their new model, the Mobike New Lite. Today, this bike is also available in the streets of Sydney and our team went out to do a big bike ride, and compare the differences between the old model, and the New Lite.
The biggest update on the New Lite is the cycling comfort. The ‘Model 1’ is a solid piece of of hardware, but it comes at the cost of extra weight, which, with the hilly surrounding of Sydney, is not always the best option. So, the New Lite has been slimmed down quite a bit. We didn’t have a portable scale, but the new model, while still around 15 kilos, is considerably lighter than the previous model.
One of the nice features of the old model is the easily adjustable height. You only need one hand to lift the saddle to your desired height, and off you go. For the newly introduced model, it doesn’t take much more effort, but you do need two hands, since the seat doesn’t rise automatically. No deal breaker, but we did like the old system slightly better.
The handlebars have been updated to include some Mobike branding. While that is a nice touch, the comfort level of the new handle bars have increased significantly, and the grip on the new model is far nicer than the old one, which frankly, wasn’t bad either. It’s nice that the Mobike team really went into the details of addressing these smaller features.
One of the great things about Mobike Bikes, next to it’s availability and price, is the quality. Their bikes always work, even in the more bike intolerant parts of Sydney. The build quality of the old bikes was, while maybe a touch heavy, very durable, and we’re a bit surprised to see a more exposed cable management system in the new model. We’re not entirely convinced yet that this is the right approach, and we would rather see the cables disappear into the frame altogether, so their’s less chance of vandalism. We might be wrong though, but time will tell.
As mentioned in the cable section, one of the great features of Mobike is their reliability. In the old model, the chain was entirely encased, so there was almost zero chance of damaging the chain. As you can see on the picture below, the chain is now exposed. While we don’t think any clothing or dirt will affect it much, we can’t say the same thing about vandalisms. We’ve seen numerous bikes of competitors which have been stripped of their chain, and we’d hate to see the same thing happing to the Mobike version. For now, we probably like the old system better, but we’ll be monitoring the streets for damages on the new model.
Brakes, a very important feature of riding a bike, are extremely well implemented in both systems. The bikes still use the disk brakes, which are able to withstand over 10.000km of cycling, and the cables are well protected from damage. This makes cycling with Mobike one of safest bike sharing rides out there, and our compliments on the build quality of this. In our hundreds of rides with either of the bikes, we haven’t found a single bike with defect brakes.
It’s great to see the updated model appearing in Sydney, and it will certainly make cycling easier and more comfortable. We can’t wait for Mobike to ship their latest model, the Mobike Lite 3.0 to the streets of Sydney, and once our team gets their hands on the latest model, we’ll be the first to let you know.