Looks like Ridekick is back in production

Korvus

New Member
Today I received the following message in my email inbox.

"Hello Ridekick Fans,

Thank you for your patience as we take care of the final few steps to get Ridekick trailers on their way to you. We have appreciated the enthusiastic questions about when your order will arrive...."

In an earlier email chain, I was informed by the folks over at Ridekick that my unit should ship between Friday the 10th and Monday the 13th. As long as all goes well, I should have my Ridekick before the end of next week and I'll share my thoughts on the device once I've had a good opportunity to put in 15-20 miles on the device.
 

Korvus

New Member
Off to a rough start. Ridekick arrived today but the unit wouldn't turn on.

I made sure to follow all instructions, confirm the battery was properly plugged along with a fully charged battery.

I'll have to see what they say tomorrow, and how swiftly they're able to support me with my problem.

Edit:

Turned out there was an issue with the battery under the soft casing. Two of the wires were not properly seated, and this fixed my issue. I totally didn't think of looking there before I originally posted.

Note, not my pic (took it from google), but this is what the battery looks like under the soft case.

 
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Korvus

New Member
First trip to work went really smoothly. I only used my Ridekick in bursts to keep my speed up and to help me move faster through intersections and stop signs (after properly coming to a full stop, of course). I was able to shave about 5-6 minutes off of my short commute, and the battery was still near full when I parked my bike (Battery level 9 which is technically "full").

Today I plan to see how much battery I use when I ride home so I can gauge how much I might be able to increase my morning use of the Ridekick.
 

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sexton Tom

Member
First trip to work went really smoothly. I only used my Ridekick in bursts to keep my speed up and to help me move faster through intersections and stop signs (after properly coming to a full stop, of course). I was able to shave about 5-6 minutes off of my short commute, and the battery was still near full when I parked my bike (Battery level 9 which is technically "full").

Today I plan to see how much battery I use when I ride home so I can gauge how much I might be able to increase my morning use of the Ridekick.

What kind of speed was you running and do you have any hills on your commute ???
Thanks TG
 

Korvus

New Member
What kind of speed was you running and do you have any hills on your commute ???
Thanks TG
I can't really give you a good breakdown on speed, since I don't have a bike computer installed. Previously I didn't see the need, since I personally didn't care how slow/fast I was pedaling. I can look at my Google Fit app a little later when I have a chance to review my history, but I don't personally know how accurate it is.

As for a hill, yes I do have a hill on my commute, and you can read more about that whole issue on my other thread here.

https://electricbikereview.com/community/threads/i-need-e-bike-suggestions.4291/
 

Korvus

New Member
Last week I was able to put in 50 miles on my RideKick. Over all I do like the device, but I feel there are some drawbacks.



Pros:


- Price, I know there are some kits out there that are cheaper, but I still think the price of the unit with a SLA battery is still hard to beat. This is also a con (SLA battery). I’m getting about 10 miles out of a single charge, but this also includes a very steep hill at the end of the day. I also do not have the throttle constantly on when I’m riding. On my down hill commute, I’ll pull the throttle once in a while to keep my speed higher, or to provide a boost when moving through stop sign’s and traffic lights.


- Space, I've been able to get rid of the use of one of my panniers, along with carrying all of my rain gear in a backpack. I just simply throw my backpack into the RideKick. This is a big pro for me because the weather report has been off on occasion and I'll be at work with no rain gear. I would end up having the wife come pick me up, but now I can actually make it home.


- My bike is unaltered. This may be a pro for some (like me) and con for others.


- Easy installation. I really couldn’t ask for installation to be more straight forward.


- Assistance when I want it. The throttle really is more of a switch. I can turn it on when I feel like it, I can peddle when I don’t want assistance. This is great because sometimes I do want a work out, so even if the RideKick is attached, I don’t necessarily have to “use” it.


- Use on multiple bikes. I have used my RideKick on my commuter bike, and my old mountain bike. I had to switch the throttle and mounting plate between bikes, but I already plan on buying a second set so I can switch between both bikes when I feel like it. This also means it can be used on future bikes by my wife, or kids.



Cons:


- Drag from the unit when riding. I honestly think there is more drag caused by the unit than I originally anticipated. It’s not a deal breaker for me, but it might be for some. I wouldn’t want to pull the unit for a long distance with no assistance to get up to speed, and help maintain it, even without a big hill to consider.


- Speed, when flying down the hill on my way to work I used to top out at 25-28 MPH (according to Google Fit). Now I’m lucky to go past 20 MPH. The RideKick does top out at 20 MPH, and apparently that includes when you’re peddling downhill with no assistance.


- Distance, you only get 10(ish) miles out of a single charge, unless you pony up for a Lithium battery. At that point, it makes more sense to look into a Juiced CrossCurrent, sale on older model e-bike, fire sale on e-bikes, etc...


- It’s loud. If I were to compare to the two e-bikes I’ve tested, there is a very noticeable difference. It doesn’t bother me, but I can see how it might bother some.


- Weak assistance when compared to other e-bike solutions. Do not expect the same performance out of this unit as you would receive from other solutions.


- Throttle, I hate it. This is the one thing I actually do not like at all about the RideKick. I’ve tried placing it in different spots and it is just clunky and quirky. I really wish they offered alternative throttles on their website. I wouldn’t even care if it cost extra. I would personally be ok with paying for a better solution here.


I’ve only tested out a few ready-made e-bikes at my LBS so my comparison is pretty limited. Both bikes were 2015 iZip models. One had a direct drive system, the other was a mid-drive. I liked the iZip mountain bike with the mid-drive the most between those two. Both e-bikes I tested provided a greater level of assistance, and they were pretty nice in my humble opinion. Regardless of the fact that the iZip bikes I tested were nicer, they were also much more expensive.


I honestly don’t think the RideKick is for everyone out there, but there will be people like me who it might be a good fit for. I know I could get more assistance for around the same price if I went with a conversion kit, but I really don’t want to alter my bike, and I’m not sure if I even want to go to that level of tinkering with my bike. Also, if I went with another ready made e-bike, it would be much more expensive. I can technically afford the expense, but I didn’t feel it is necessary. I’m receiving enough assistance from the RideKick for my range and purposes. The price was right and the added space is a bonus.


There is a good chance that I’ll end up buying an e-bike in a few years, but now I can take my time and hopefully better battery technology will kick in by the time I’m ready.
 

SQN

Member
Hi Korvus,

Thanks for the great update earlier this week. Any additional thoughts as you've continued to use your Ridekick this week? I'm trying to decide between the Ridekick (with upgraded battery) with my own Surly Crosscheck and possibly a Juiced CrossCurrent given that they are fairly similar in price range. Thanks.
 

Korvus

New Member
Hi Korvus,

Thanks for the great update earlier this week. Any additional thoughts as you've continued to use your Ridekick this week? I'm trying to decide between the Ridekick (with upgraded battery) with my own Surly Crosscheck and possibly a Juiced CrossCurrent given that they are fairly similar in price range. Thanks.
Sorry for the late response.

At the price point of the RideKick with the LiFePO4 battery, I think it starts to make more sense to possibly look into complete e-bikes.


I get the need for a higher capacity battery and the RideKick if:

- You have a trike that you wish to add an electric assist option.

- You must use your own bike and do not want to mess with a kit.

- You have multiple bikes that you wish to use the RideKick on.


If the SLA battery package didn’t fit my current needs, I honestly would have started to seriously look at the CrossCurrent and other options in that price range.


Since I’ve had next to no ebike experience, past testing two options at my LBS, I really can’t give you a better answer than this.


As for my current thoughts, they haven’t really changed for the most part. For a pretty reasonable price, I get enough assistance for my needs. The RideKick allows me to use my bike, which I do like but wasn't 100% necessary if price came into play. Also, the extra storage space is a big plus, but not a necessity for me.
 

EWH

New Member
Hello - looks like this is an old thread. I have had a Ridekick for a couple of years and I really like it since it allows me to keep my very light tadpole nomad (Bill Darby built) trike intact. I do have issues with hills and am hoping that now they are back in production I will be able to network with others to get a bit more assistance on hills. I also need to find a way to charge from a solar panel. So I am looking for other users. Anyone here?
 

Ann M.

Well-Known Member
@EWH you can find a fairly inexpensive 40 or 50 watt solar panel set on Harbour Freight's site that will have an ok controller; just mount it to dolly with a foldable handlebar setup and a pair of deep cycle marine batteries, add a converter to turn the output into 110 AC and you can charge your ebike battery, cell phone, laptop, etc. after a you're done riding. Use the dolly to pull the panel and batteries to where the sunlight comes in and you have a nifty portable solar charger.

There are other portable, flexible flat panel systems out there that charge on the go; however, they're more expensive and you still need a very good solar controller for the panels that monitors charge to other batteries. Also, you're going to need adequate time to charge if you're on the go with the panels, since there's no guarantee that you can get adequate light exposure. So all of this is said with questions about what you might be wanting to charge. We have one member, Marissa Muller who decided to do a cross country commute powered by a pretty big set of solar panels that she hauled behind her electric bike; quite an accomplishment! It's doable :)
 

EWH

New Member
Thanks so much. I haven't been looking at electric bike forums for a couple of years and am delighted to see that there is a lot more support available. I want to charge my Ridekick battery from a solar panel if possible. I have been using the grid but would like to be able to avoid it in case of emergency. I want to be sure that I don't damage the charger and/or the battery. I wish that the LiFePo battery makers would offer a solar charge option so we could avoid the converters that are the weak links in the process. By the way, I also wish that I could get more of an assist out of the Ridekick system because I have a long hard hill to get up and if the system overheats I have to get off the bike and reset while the bike tries to coast backwards into traffic. Still I am convinced that trailers are the way to go. That is because when the system breaks down (as it often does) you can pull the trailer off, chain it to a tree and ride home. I love my trike and my recumbent bikeE (very old) as bikes and I don't always need an assist.
Thank you for responding!
 
I pick up my ridekick today and will have to replace the SLA batteries because their shelf-life has well and truly expired. I'll commute to and from work using SLA for the next 6 months, before upgrading to a 24v 20ah lithium battery for a planned ride across Australia next year. I'll be using a recumbent trike (Greenspeed Magnum XL) with a Lekkie Summit Pro mid-drive kit, combined with the Ride Kick for a little extra cargo capacity (mainly a 10ltr water bladder and my bike maintenance and repiar kit). The longest leg of my trip is 187km (just over 116miles) with nothing in between - and I mean nothing, so the ride kick will help supplement my assisted range to flatten out the hills and to maintain a reasonable average speed.

I'll let you know how it goes, once I've set up and used the Ridekick for a few days.
 

Ann M.

Well-Known Member
Sounds like quite the adventure @Shane (aUSTRALIA), Interesting, 2 forms of assist! Keep us in the loop as your training and preparation continues. What's the total projected ride length?
 
Sounds like quite the adventure @Shane (aUSTRALIA), Interesting, 2 forms of assist! Keep us in the loop as your training and preparation continues. What's the total projected ride length?
G'Day Ann,

The all-up distance is 3,788km (about 2,353 miles) from Perth to my home in Canberra, across the Nullarbor - and there are some significant hills during the last third of the trip. I'm doing it solo and unassisted, hence my using a mid-drive and the Ridekick to help with the hills and the cargo. I'm using Arkell RT-60 panniers and a 30ltr top-box, plus the trailer. My all-up baggage weight is 30kg, including water, rations, clothing and cooking & camping gear. I'll need to camp out at least 5 nights during the longer legs but will be able to spend most nights at Roadhouses, motels, backpacker hostels, campgrounds and caravan parks along the way. At worst, I will be able to recharge every second day, with the ability to recharge daily, most days.
 

Ann M.

Well-Known Member
Well, keep us apprised of the progress, Shane. You might want to consider a small solar charging system for those longer days; particularly if you have multiple battery packs to top off.
 
Well, keep us apprised of the progress, Shane. You might want to consider a small solar charging system for those longer days; particularly if you have multiple battery packs to top off.
I have thought about that but I am not convinced that the juice would be worth the squeeze. I'm planning on averaging 100km per day, with half-a-dozen longer days thrown in across the Nullarbor. I'm quite prepared to pedal and was originally planning to do the trip with no electric motor at all. With my mid-drive and the Ridekick both powered by 20ah Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries, I'll have about 60-80km of assisted range. I'm only planning to use the electric motors to help flatten out the hills, so I should be able to get by with what I have with a good contingency reserve left over. The Nullarbor is pretty flat, with about 1,200km of bugger-all hills. I should be able to maintain an average speed of 20kph along most of the route, giving me plenty of time to cover 100km per day. Even on my longest day, I should be able to cover 187km in 12hrs of daylight with 60-80+km of assisted range. If not, I'll just ride unassisted and at night until I get to where I'm going. That's part of the charm and attraction.
 
I may not always be the sharpest tool in the shed but I get there eventually. I was at Battery World today to get new batteries for my Ridekick. I was pleased to find that there are 12v 15ah SLA batteries available to replace the two dead 12v 12ah SLA batteries the unit came with. I also discovered that there are 12v 20ah Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries which are much lighter, provide better range and shorter charging time but are significantly more expensive. I bought 2 x 12v 15ah SLA batteries to use for the next 12 months until I undertake my ride across Australia next year. Before I go, I'll upgrade to the Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries - and I'll just take the surplus SLA batteries and charger with me in the Ridekick trailer. They will provide more range and some redundancy if the Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries in my mid-drive and the Ridekick trailer give out. Once I've crossed the Nullarbor and have the luxury of regular towns and villages to ride through, I can either bin the old SLA batteries or I can carry them all the way home, especially once I no longer need to carry significant supplies of food and water. At AUD$180 (US$140) for 2 SLA batteries, it is much cheaper than forking out for a solar option and is a lot less mucking around. A change of batteries for the Ridekick will add a further 25+km of assisted range, which will be more than I need combined with the Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries I'll have for my mid-drive and the Ridekick trailer. It works out to be a very cost-effective option, especially since I got a run-out deal on the Ridekick for AUD $400 (USD $317), which was a good price, even though the batteries were buggered.

I'm pretty happy about that.
 
I took my new Ridekick trailer for a test ride today, along a 40km (just under 25miles) circuit that is on bike paths all the way and has a few decent hills. I placed a 10ltr bladder of water in the trailer to give it traction and set off to give it a test. The unit performed well but there was a problem. At the side of the control panel is a power lead to the motor. I found that this lead kept coming loose from the control panel. Although I had the battery pack tightly secured with the Velcro strap, I can only assume that the road vibration kept pushing the battery pack against the lead and disconnecting it from the control panel. When I got home, I stuck a couple of Velcro dots to the body of the control panel, wrapped a Velcro strip around the lead and secured the lead into the control panel, holding it firm with the Velcro strip. For added insurance, I placed a block of high-density foam between the side of the trailer (behind the motor) and the lead, so any movement of the battery couldn't dislodge the lead from the control panel. I'm taking it for a 70km ride (about 43.5 miles) tomorrow and will see if that has done the trick. I think it should. The next step would be to super-glue the plastic connectors together - but I really don't want to do that unless I have to.

That said, when the unit worked, it worked well.
 
Well, the Ridekick performed well. I loaded it up and took it for a 75km road trip. I used the Ridekick to flatten out the hills and to get me across intersections faster. It was a good supplement to my mid-drive, meaning I could use my mid-drive less and could achieve a longer range than I would have been able to with just the mid-drive alone. The Ridekick was smooth, efficient and sufficiently powerful to make a significant difference on the hills. The extra cargo capacity of the ridekick provided an efficient means of carrying extra cargo without compromising performance. I'll certainly be using it on my long distance rides. Even without the motor, it's a nifty little unit that reduces the need to overload my panniers and maintains the handling characteristics of my trike.
 

EWH

New Member
Glad I finally found this thread but it has gotten a bit old. I still find that my Ridekick does not have enough torque to get me up the huge hill that separates my house from the town center. What happens is that I cannot keep up the minimum speed that is required and the controller shuts off the motor. I really like the ridekick and the way it connects to my recumbent trike. There are lots of times when I want to just ride my bike and not tackle that hill. I wish there were someone around Central Massachusetts who could advise me. I am just not smart enough to figure this out. I would like to replace both the motor and the controller actually.