The Joys of MS...

Keith Johnston

New Member
Hi. I'm a new member here and like many, was an avid cyclist for years until my MS progressed and made traditional road cycling untenable. Hello ebike. My splurge is a new Trek Verve+3 ebike, a step-through. I love it and it works great (better than my body....). Two challenges:

1. I find that I really need a throttle to help me start off from a dead-stop--I didn't think I did initially, but reality always rears its ugly head and disagrees with me...This is a huge issue for me, especially in the summer when the heat exacerbates all my symptoms. I've been told that Trek does not have throttles on any of its ebikes, and the only way to add one (if possible, at all), would be through a warranty-negating hack of the Bosch drive-train and controller. So, two questions within this: is it even possible to add a throttle to this bike? And if so, how?

And if not, I'll have to modify my physical workouts to facilitate pushing off from a stop. Or, sell my beloved Trek and find an alternative bike (or e-trike) with a throttle.

2. Like others, my feet commonly slip around or fall off the pedals. I can't do cages or clips b/c of leg weakness and inability to quickly remove my foot from a cage/clip. Any other ideas? 3D printer pedal mods??

Any or all thoughts would be most welcome. Thanks so much!

Keith
 

Timpo

Well-Known Member
I'm sorry to tell you but the quick answer is no, Bosch does not offer throttle.
This topic comes up here on EBR every once in a while, Bosch owners looking to add throttle, and as far as I know, no one succeeded it.

Quote:
" As a representative of the United States of America, I felt it was my duty to travel to ask the engineers and CEO directly: “When will Bosch employ a throttle on their systems?” During the conference, on stage, the response was “Why? It already performs naturally as a bicycle, why would you want to change that?” I simply responded “Throttles are very popular in America.” “Ah yes” Clause said “Throttles are an American phenomenon.” (the rest is a paraphrase) “Years ago, we actually looked into the viability of providing a throttle for our American systems. The obstacle we faced was legislative. Bosch did not want to be seen as motorcycle company, barring access for eMTB in certain zones. We wanted full and complete access, if we could. And I think we have come much closer to accomplishing this in America.”

Source for the quote:
As for pedals, you should look into BMX or MTB pedals.
I use my bike everyday for commute, and I had some scary moments because my feet were slipping off the pedal in the rain.

BMX or MTB pedals are both studded, and for me, it made a huge difference.
The 10 Best Mountain Bike Pedals - [2020 Reviews] | Outside Pursuits

Nukeproof Neutron MTB Flat Pedals | 10 of the Best F...
 
Last edited:

John from Connecticut

Well-Known Member
Hi. I'm a new member here and like many, was an avid cyclist for years until my MS progressed and made traditional road cycling untenable. Hello ebike. My splurge is a new Trek Verve+3 ebike, a step-through. I love it and it works great (better than my body....). Two challenges:

1. I find that I really need a throttle to help me start off from a dead-stop--I didn't think I did initially, but reality always rears its ugly head and disagrees with me...This is a huge issue for me, especially in the summer when the heat exacerbates all my symptoms. I've been told that Trek does not have throttles on any of its ebikes, and the only way to add one (if possible, at all), would be through a warranty-negating hack of the Bosch drive-train and controller. So, two questions within this: is it even possible to add a throttle to this bike? And if so, how?

And if not, I'll have to modify my physical workouts to facilitate pushing off from a stop. Or, sell my beloved Trek and find an alternative bike (or e-trike) with a throttle.

2. Like others, my feet commonly slip around or fall off the pedals. I can't do cages or clips b/c of leg weakness and inability to quickly remove my foot from a cage/clip. Any other ideas? 3D printer pedal mods??

Any or all thoughts would be most welcome. Thanks so much!

Keith
Hi Keith,

I have no knowledge regarding a whether a throttle can be hacked ( added ) to your Bosch Drive Train. Based on the facts you've
presented you want and need a bullet proof, 100% reliable throttle designed for the motor and gearing specific to your Trek.

Yes a hack may work, but I would not consider it an option. Typically a well designed factory throttle/ drive train
provides a smooth controlled acceleration, one that inspires confidence. This is a huge safety issue, in my opinion.

If I were in your situation I'd talk with your Local Bike shop about a different bike. I hate to say this, but you don't want a science project
via a hack. How old is your bike ? Keep us posted.

John
 
Last edited:

Keith Johnston

New Member
Wow, impressively fast and thoughtful responses! Many thanks to you all.

Yes, the studded pedals are my next step. Re the throttle, well, you're not wrong about undertaking a science project, but it's sad....Regardless, I really appreciate the input.
 

Timpo

Well-Known Member
Hi Keith,

I have no knowledge regarding a whether a throttle con be hacked ( added ) to your Bosch Drive Train. Based on the facts you've
presented you want and need a bullet proof, 100% reliable throttle designed for the motor and gearing specific to your Trek.

Yes a hack may work, but I would not consider it an option. Typically a well designed factory throttle/ drive train
provides a smooth controlled acceleration, one that inspires confidence. This is a huge safety issue, in my opinion.

If I were in your situation I'd talk with your Local Bike shop about a different bike. I hate to say this, but you don't want a science project
via a hack. How old is your bike ? Keep us posted.

John
yeah I think it's gonna be a big project.

I was looking around for Bosch ebike tuners, and just to remove the 20mph speed limit will cost you $200 to $300.
If you were to physically add a throttle.. considering a throttle unit (up to $100?) and physical wirings, reprogramming for the ECU, etc..
It could be as much as $500+ after the tune.

Also, the warranty and everything will sure to be void. :confused:

 

byunbee

Well-Known Member
Trek Verve+3 is a great bike and I don't recommend selling it to get one with a throttle as you will lose substantial money on the resell. The only thing I can recommend since Bosch doesn't offer throttle, is to get into the habit of switching to the lowest gear when you are approaching a stop. It'll make start from dead stop much easier.
 

FlatSix911

Well-Known Member
Hi. I'm a new member here and like many, was an avid cyclist for years until my MS progressed and made traditional road cycling untenable. Hello, ebike. My splurge is a new Trek Verve+3 ebike, a step-through. I love it and it works great (better than my body....). Two challenges:
1. I find that I really need a throttle to help me start off from a dead-stop--I didn't think I did initially, but reality always rears its ugly head and disagrees with me...This is a huge issue for me, especially in the summer when the heat exacerbates all my symptoms. I've been told that Trek does not have throttles on any of its ebikes, and the only way to add one (if possible, at all), would be through a warranty-negating hack of the Bosch drive-train and controller. So, two questions within this: is it even possible to add a throttle to this bike? And if so, how? And if not, I'll have to modify my physical workouts to facilitate pushing off from a stop. Or, sell my beloved Trek and find an alternative bike (or e-trike) with a throttle.
2. Like others, my feet commonly slip around or fall off the pedals. I can't do cages or clips b/c of leg weakness and inability to quickly remove my foot from a cage/clip. Any other ideas? 3D printer pedal mods??
Any or all thoughts would be most welcome. Thanks so much! Keith
Keith, welcome to EBR!

As others have mentioned, the mountain bike pedals with aggressive studs will help with grip.

You may want to try the new ABS pedal cages... easy to release and they provide a really solid grip.


1593402943201.png
 
Last edited:

RandallS

Member
Hi. I'm a new member here and like many, was an avid cyclist for years until my MS progressed and made traditional road cycling untenable. Hello ebike. My splurge is a new Trek Verve+3 ebike, a step-through. I love it and it works great (better than my body....). Two challenges:

1. I find that I really need a throttle to help me start off from a dead-stop--I didn't think I did initially, but reality always rears its ugly head and disagrees with me...This is a huge issue for me, especially in the summer when the heat exacerbates all my symptoms. I've been told that Trek does not have throttles on any of its ebikes, and the only way to add one (if possible, at all), would be through a warranty-negating hack of the Bosch drive-train and controller. So, two questions within this: is it even possible to add a throttle to this bike? And if so, how?

And if not, I'll have to modify my physical workouts to facilitate pushing off from a stop. Or, sell my beloved Trek and find an alternative bike (or e-trike) with a throttle.

2. Like others, my feet commonly slip around or fall off the pedals. I can't do cages or clips b/c of leg weakness and inability to quickly remove my foot from a cage/clip. Any other ideas? 3D printer pedal mods??

Any or all thoughts would be most welcome. Thanks so much!

Keith
Regarding the pedals:

The solution I made for my wife's bike (MS also) was to simply screw a metal plate (mending plate from Home Depot cut to size) onto a standard pedal and modify her shoe.
We then took a pair of old shoes and cut away at the sole. We epoxied rare earth magnets into the the void we created in the sole. It worked pretty well to keep her bad foot in place without being clamped in.

Unfortunately her balance doesn't allow her to cycle anymore - she tried out a trike and she didn't enjoy it as she felt quite unstable.

Best of luck in finding your solution!

Randall
 

Keith Johnston

New Member
Thank you for your ideas and experiences!

The pedals have several good alternatives that I can experiment with, and you all have been generous with your ideas --thank you.

The throttle is problematic, more so after falling in a busy intersection this weekend after trying to push off (in lowest gear ) when the light changed. Bad chest contusions but no broken ribs...I'll keep exploring options but I still love my ebike and biking, and the joys associated with them...!
 

Saratoga Dave

Well-Known Member
Keith, maybe you’ve figured this out already, but if you turn up the assist to Power or whatever the max is labeled when you take off from a stop, the bike will respond far quicker and asssertively, so to speak. Once underway you can just drop it back down. It really does make a big difference, maybe enough to help you.
 

jaizon

Active Member
This is a difficult problem and certainly you shouldn't wait until you have a much more serious accident to solve it.

I'm going against the grain here and recommend that you sell/trade in this bike for one with a built in throttle. There are many many on the market and your safety is of the utmost importance. I do not mean to be cavalier about this but money (or a loss thereof) should not be the most important consideration.

Find the right bike then sort out the rest. It's going to cost a lot to do a conversion, so you have to weigh that against the trade in/sale loss.


There are also magnetic pedals that allow you to vary the amount of force necessary to disconnect your feet (no unusual movements involved).

I truly wish you the best and hope you find a safe way to keep riding.
 

PatriciaK

Well-Known Member
I agree with jaizon. Much as you love this bike, you need a bike with a throttle. The sooner, the better, for your own safety. There are many great throttle bikes out there that you can love as much as you do your Trek. But, you really need to be safe!

Aventon makes quite fun and decent bikes with throttles, if there is a dealer in your area or you have a shop that will assemble it for you:


Check out the owner thread here.

For your situation, you would probably go with the 350 model - I've heard the 500 can really take off unexpectedly if you forget too turn PAS too zero when starting from a stop.
 

Keith Johnston

New Member
Yes, I'm coming to a similar conclusion about selling and finding something else, but will try and exhaust other options first....And Dave, yes, I downshift to lowest gear and highest assist when coming to a stop, but apparently not enough....

Thanks much.
 

rich c

Well-Known Member
Yes, I'm coming to a similar conclusion about selling and finding something else, but will try and exhaust other options first....And Dave, yes, I downshift to lowest gear and highest assist when coming to a stop, but apparently not enough....

Thanks much.
Wondering about adding a friction drive with a throttle just to get going. They come off the tire when not powered. But would add weight. I did a little searching and found someone on Endless sphere trying to add a throttle to Bosch, but was getting an intermittent loss of power after the first attempt on a seperate motor he purchased for experimentation.
 

Keith Johnston

New Member
A friction drive? You mean something like the old bike lights mounted on the front tire to generate a glimmer of light? Or something similar? Except I guess it would generate the power to the wheel instead of vice versa....? If that's what you mean, do they exist for this purpose? Sounds interesting....