- Affordable, entry level electric trike is well designed and gets the job done
- Lead-acid battery pack is very heavy and won't get as many cycles as a Lithium option would
- Top speed of bike is kept low, 12 miles per hour, but motor provides good torque
- Lots of great options: foldable rear basket, dual disc brakes with brake locks, removable battery
The eZip line of bikes from Currie Technologies offer entry level performance at an affordable price. The eZip Tri-Ride is an electric tricycle that provides stability and storage for riders who aren’t looking to go fast and don’t want to spend a lot getting there. The downsides include overall weight of the bike (a whopping 107lbs), longevity of the battery (estimated 200 cycles), low top speed (12mph) and overall quality of the system. If you’re wondering whether this bike is worth it however, you should wonder a little longer and read on because there’s actually a lot of bang for the buck here :)
The biggest drawback of this bike is also what makes it work so well. The battery that comes stock is a 36 volt 12 amp hour Lead-acid pack that is heavy and won’t last very long before needing replacement. The good news is that this bike is very stable so the battery weight doesn’t really impact ride quality. The top speed of the bike is limited to 12 miles per hour and this helps extend range. And, the pack is affordable to replace and less environmentally hazardous than a Lithium option. The real win with this battery is that it keeps the cost of the bike extremely low, $1,399 is an amazing price for any ebike. The battery is also easily removable and that makes the bike a lot easier to transport.
The biggest design highlight on this bike is the three wheel configuration which keeps it stable for mounting and dismounting or loading. You can use this thing for groceries, books, pets, or whatever you want as long as it’s not over 200 pounds. The basket can be folded flat or completely removed if you want to create a do-it-yourself project and add something custom like an insulated food storage box. I like the quick-release pins that were used in the design of the stock basket but they do rattle a bit. Overall the bike rides well but uses more “bolt on” design than welded and that means it will get loose over time and make more noise. Keep and eye out and just make sure it stays tuned but don’t worry too much, at just 12mph the bike should stay solid with use.
The motor chosen for the Tri-Ride is a powerful 500 watt geared front-mounted hub motor that provides lots of torque and helps to balance out the weight of a full basket and mid-mounted battery. By mounting the motor on the front wheel, the rear drive system is kept very simple and clean. To provide ample stopping power, the bike uses two disc brakes and has automatic cut off to the motor when the hand brakes are squeezed. Pedaling this bike can be a challenge since there is only one gear, but you don’t have to pedal if you don’t want, just twist the throttle on the right handlebar and the front wheel spins into action.
Instead of adding a coaster brake (where you brake by cranking backwards) as some other single-speed electric bikes have opted to do, this bike lets you pedal backwards kind of like any normal geared bike. I like this because it makes getting on and off the trike easier by letting you move the pedals out of the way without maneuvering the bike forward.
The seating position of the Tri-Ride is very upright and relaxed. The handlebars are wide and swept back so you don’t have to lean forward and the pedals are also positioned out in front so it feels like sitting on a bench when riding. One downside here is that the pedals are plastic and rubber and when wet, they get a bit slippery. The wide, soft seat provides good cushion and even includes a nice backrest but you might consider adding a seat post shock for further comfort as the bike has no shocks and the tires are fairly firm. The seat also flips forward to reveal the battery beneath which has a nice handle for removal. Taking the battery off the bike makes a lot of sense when moving or even charging due to the overall size and weight of the bike. That said, the Tri-Ride can fit through any standard 3 foot wide door without issue… just get someone to hold it open for you ;)
All in all, I’m very impressed with the Tri-Ride but that’s primarily due to its low pricepoint. There are tons of ways it could be improved but not many that I’d be willing to spend hundreds of dollars for. I’d add a seat post shock and some new pedals, keep the screws and basket tight and plan to replace the battery after a year or two and call it good. This is a great entry level electric bike and one that could provide a lot of freedom and mobility to someone who worries about the stability of a regular bike. Currie is a big company that has been around for years and provides good support. If you’re less price sensitive and are considering other e-trike options check out the Pedego Trike.
- Very affordable, made by a company that has been around many years and provides replacement parts and support
- Stable, easy to mount and dismount without concern for falling
- Brake locks that help stabilize the bike stable on slanted ground
- Nice aesthetic and well balanced weight: motor at front, battery in mid and basket at rear
- Low center of gravity, smaller 24″ wheels combined with front hub motor
- Foldable basket works well in many situations and is easy to adjust
- Seat easily flips forward for easy access to the battery pack
- Battery replacement is affordable and can be completed through Currie website
- Built in chain guard protects pants and legs from touching the chain
- Corners well and can make u-turns easily, also fits through standard three foot wide doors
- Extremely heavy due to Lead-acid battery pack
- Fewer charge cycles on the battery before noticeable decrease in range and ultimately replacement
- No keys for locking the battery pack or starting the bike, lock it yourself and avoid leaving it where people might mess around with the system
- Bolt-on design of bike gets loose and rattles over time vs. welded design
- Lower top speed may bother some who want to go faster than 12mph
- Drum brakes vs. disc or rim/v-brakes don’t stop as quickly under load