- An adaptive electric bike that's customizable to transport any rider virtually anywhere a normal bike could go
- Can be setup with normal pedals, hand cranks, twist throttle, foot tray, tri-pin hand controls and more
- Seat can be elevated for easy transition from wheelchair, on/off switch is a large accessible lever
- Full suspension design dampens bumps and enables the rider to go off road to get out into nature
Warning, in some configurations this electric bike is classified as a moped or motorcycle and may not be ridden on cycling trails or paths. It may require licensing, insurance and lights when used on public roads.
The Outrider Horizon is something truly special in the world of electric bikes. It’s a modular recumbent trike that can be fully customized to transport just about anyone out into nature in a way that’s thrilling and empowering. Whether you’re a fully able bodied individual who can pedal, steer and change gears using your legs and arms or are a person who has limited use of hands and arms (or amputated limbs) this bike can get you out into the woods. The process of reviewing this system and speaking with the founders has illuminated the challenges and limitations that so many individuals face. People who enjoy the outdoors like me but struggle to get there, to feel a sense of independence, adrenaline and peace that only nature can provide. It’s not a perfect system but it feels perfect in a way. The team that conceived and is building it (which includes a quadriplegic) is dedicated, authentic and honorable in their craft and warranty. It’s important to note that the Horizon shown in this video review and the images below is a pre-production prototype (proof of concept). While it performed great during the rides and embodies some of the features that the final version will ship with it does not have a frame integrated battery box and the ground clearance is not as high as it will be.
The motor powering the Horizon is a bit different from the other Outrider recumbent trikes like the 422 Alpha. This one uses a 2,000 watt geared hub motor capable of high torque output that makes starting from rest, even on steep inclines, possible. This is very important for scenarios where the bike configuration might not include a form of pedal power at all. It’s a quieter and smoother system than the other bikes but also a bit slower (top speed here is ~30mph in power mode). Ultimately, it performs as expected and takes the edge off of the higher power systems which are aligned with commuting on-road. I like the sense of peace and quiet that electric vehicles (and this bike) offer, allowing you to see wildlife and put your mind at ease.
The battery pack delivered with the Alpha is quite unique and highly configurable. Unlike the 422 Alpha which uses Lithium polymer cells, this one uses Lithium Iron Phosphate chemistry and standard 18650 cells. The packs are removable, upgradable and custom-chargeable based on the bike configuration. It’s not all that complicated to use the pack or get a replacement, just more versatile than the other models from Outrider. In addition to powering the drive system, the battery also runs the lift that raises the seat for easier mounting (transitioning from wheelchair to bike). Depending on your range needs batteries are available in 43.2 volt 23, 46 or 69 amp hour configurations. Note again, this shot of the battery pack shows the pre-production version of the bike. The final product will be frame integrated providing more protection and ground clearance.
This ebike receives a lot of positive recognition and attention for being accessible and adaptive but it’s also just an awesome ride. I love the full suspension setup, aerodynamic recumbent seating and stable three wheel design. It’s fast, powerful and intuitive with an easy to use grip shifter on the right and twist throttle on the left (again, this depends on what kind of setup you want but is the standard configuration). Seven speeds is enough to get going and keep a smooth cadence in the 20mph range. The computer system uses a v3 Cycle Analyst that shows voltage, amp hours used, speed, power level, efficiency, tripometer, odometer and lifetime energy used. It’s large, easy to see and read and is backlit for use at dusk, dawn or night time riding.
The Horizon is one of very few electric bikes I know of that can transport a person with limited body use, climb a steep off road trail and serve as a hunting platform all at once. It’s a light electric vehicle like no other that delivers freedom and peace to people with limited options. It does all this and delivers a comprehensive two year warranty, domestically produced components including design and assembly in the USA. I was amazed to see just how far the team had gone to consider different use cases and build something that will not only perform but excel in the real world, in some of the harshest most rugged environments.
- Delivers autonomy, independence and a sense of thrill and adventure to just about anyone
- Optional roll bar to keep the rider safe in unstable riding conditions
- High torque geared rear hub motor is quiet but powerful enough to climb starting from rest
- Easy reach, easy activation oversized on/off switch is thoughtfully designed for people with limited mobility
- Enormous range of configurations (pedal cranks, hand cranks, electric only) and willingness to customize further
- Normal 20mph speed (for legal city riding) or high speed 30mph off road mode for performance
- Full suspension improves comfort and protects the bike when traveling in off road environments
- In some states they can be legally used as mopeds at higher speeds
- Recumbent body position is comfortable over long distances, stable at higher speeds and aerodynamic
- American made designed and assembled in Fletcher North Carolina
- Bar end mirrors provide added awareness when riding
- Excellent two year warranty that covers motor, drive system, frame and battery pack (everything but consumables like brake pads and tires)
- Optional battery upgrades can deliver up to 105 miles per charge making distance riding a possibility
- Grip shifter and twist throttles work well and balance out the two handle bars
- Plastic chain covers keep your pants clean and out of harms way, also protect the chain from mud and water
- Very stable with low center of gravity, battery pack acts as a ballast and enables hard turning at higher speeds
- Highly water resistant system is designed to stand up to rain, snow and mud tested rigorously
- Heavier than most electric bikes, starting at ~84 pounds depending on configuration
- Longer frame may require a special recumbent hitch rack or SUV/truck to transport
- Mechanical 160mm disc brakes vs. hydraulic require a bit more effort to use, may create more hand fatigue over long distances
- Nowhere to mount a water bottle, consider using a CamelBak but putting it on the front of your body vs. back
- In the event of a fix Outrider will work with local bike shops to help get service, in high-touch situations the modular components may have to be shipped back to North Carolina
- Official Site: http://www.outriderusa.com/Adaptive-All-Terrain-Horizon-Trike-s/1940.htm
- More Pictures: https://goo.gl/photos/WHW4yqHUXzwGSGKr6