Ridekick Power Trailer Review

2015 Ridekick Power Trailer Review 1
2015 Ridekick Electric Bike Trailer
2015 Ridekick Power Trailer Brushed Chain Drive Motor
2015 Ridekick Power Trailer 3 Digit Combination Lock
2015 Ridekick Power Trailer Velcro Throttle Attachment
2015 Ridekick Power Trailer Back
2015 Ridekick Power Trailer Hitch Mount From Above
2015 Ridekick Power Trailer Electric Ride
2015 Ridekick Power Trailer Easy Connect Hitch
2015 Ridekick Power Trailer Disassembled
2015 Ridekick Power Trailer Chain Drive System
2015 Ridekick Power Trailer Cast Aluminum Rims
2015 Ridekick Power Trailer Cable Lock Example
2015 Ridekick Power Trailer Hitch Plate And Leash
2015 Ridekick Power Trailer Trigger Throttle
2015 Ridekick Power Trailer Usb Charger Display Panel
2015 Ridekick Power Trailer Inside Empty
2015 Ridekick Power Trailer Integrated Led Light
2015 Ridekick Power Trailer Vertical Parking And Locking
2015 Ridekick Power Trailer Loaded With Bags
2015 Ridekick Power Trailer Parked Upright
2015 Ridekick Power Trailer View From Above
2015 Ridekick Power Trailer With Catrike Recumbent
2015 Ridekick Power Trailer Side View
2015 Ridekick Power Trailer With Groceries
2015 Ridekick Power Trailer Top
2015 Ridekick Power Trailer Recumbent Ebike
2015 Ridekick Power Trailer At Rocky Mountain Recumbent In Fort Collins Co
2015 Ridekick Power Trailer Review 1
2015 Ridekick Electric Bike Trailer
2015 Ridekick Power Trailer Brushed Chain Drive Motor
2015 Ridekick Power Trailer 3 Digit Combination Lock
2015 Ridekick Power Trailer Velcro Throttle Attachment
2015 Ridekick Power Trailer Back
2015 Ridekick Power Trailer Hitch Mount From Above
2015 Ridekick Power Trailer Electric Ride
2015 Ridekick Power Trailer Easy Connect Hitch
2015 Ridekick Power Trailer Disassembled
2015 Ridekick Power Trailer Chain Drive System
2015 Ridekick Power Trailer Cast Aluminum Rims
2015 Ridekick Power Trailer Cable Lock Example
2015 Ridekick Power Trailer Hitch Plate And Leash
2015 Ridekick Power Trailer Trigger Throttle
2015 Ridekick Power Trailer Usb Charger Display Panel
2015 Ridekick Power Trailer Inside Empty
2015 Ridekick Power Trailer Integrated Led Light
2015 Ridekick Power Trailer Vertical Parking And Locking
2015 Ridekick Power Trailer Loaded With Bags
2015 Ridekick Power Trailer Parked Upright
2015 Ridekick Power Trailer View From Above
2015 Ridekick Power Trailer With Catrike Recumbent
2015 Ridekick Power Trailer Side View
2015 Ridekick Power Trailer With Groceries
2015 Ridekick Power Trailer Top
2015 Ridekick Power Trailer Recumbent Ebike
2015 Ridekick Power Trailer At Rocky Mountain Recumbent In Fort Collins Co

Summary

  • An affordable, electric powered bike pushing trailer with integrated LED light, USB charger and locking lid for hauling groceries or other items around town
  • Keeps weight low and separate from the bicycle which improves handling, easy and fast to disconnect for storage or transport, integrated metal loop locking point, quick and easy to swap between different bikes (optional extra mounts)
  • Excellent choice for recumbent bikes, solid year long warranty, several battery options for extended rangeor reduced weight, louder than most purpose-built electric bikes

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Video Review

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Introduction

Make:

Ridekick

Model:

Power Trailer

Price:

$699 USD ($1,365 with Lithium Battery Option)

Suggested Use:

Urban, Commuting, Neighborhood

Electric Bike Class:

Throttle on Demand (Class 2)
Learn more about Ebike classes

Warranty:

1 Year Comprehensive

Availability:

United States

Model Year:

2015

Bicycle Details

Total Weight:

42.5 lbs (19.27 kg) (38 lbs with LiFePO4 Battery)

Battery Weight:

18.5 lbs (8.39 kg) (13 lbs for LiFePO4 Battery)

Geometry Measurements:

Dimensions: 16" High x 24" Wide x 36" Long

Frame Colors:

Orange Tubing with Gray Plastic Shell

Rims:

APSE Cast Aluminum Alloy

Tire Brand:

Extra Thick, 12.5" x 3", Recommended 35 PSI

Wheel Sizes:

12 in (30.48cm)

Tire Details:

Recommended 35 PSI

Accessories:

Extra Quick Release Hitch Plate and Throttle $50, Replacement SLA Battery $125 (Estimated 400 Charge Cycles), Replacement LiFePO4 Battery $795 (Estimated 1,500 Charge Cycles), Built-in UL Certified 1.5 Amp Smart Charger with LED Status and USB Port for Charging Electronics and Upgrading Firmware, Removable Locking Lid (3 Digit Combination), Optional Additional Hitch Plates (For Use with Multiple Bikes), Integrated LED Rear Light

Other:

Cargo Volume: 41.8 Liters Up to 75 lbs, 300 RPM Motor, Scrolling Diagnostic Display, 15 Minute Automatic Power Off

Electronic Details

Motor Type:

Rear-Mounted Gearless Motor (1" Brushed Design, Drives the Left Axle/ Wheel with a Short Chain)
Learn more about Ebike motors

Motor Nominal Output:

500 watts

Battery Brand:

Elite Power Systems from Arizona for LiFePO4 Prismatic Cells

Battery Voltage:

24 volts

Battery Amp Hours:

12 ah (Optional 20 ah LiFePO4)

Battery Watt Hours:

288 wh (Optional 480 wh LiFePO4)

Battery Chemistry:

Sealed Lead Acid (Optional Lithium Iron Phosphate)

Charge Time:

5.5 hours (3.5 for LiFePO4)

Estimated Min Range:

10 miles (16 km)

Estimated Max Range:

15 miles (24 km)

Display Type:

LED Console and Readout

Readouts:

On/Off, Alert, Scrolling Diagnostic Display

Display Accessories:

Fuse, USB Power Outlet

Drive Mode:

Trigger Throttle (Mounts with Velcro Straps to Either Bar, Variable Speed Digital Throttle that Stops on Release)

Top Speed:

19 mph (31 kph)

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Written Review

The first time I saw a Ridekick Power Trailer was at Interbike 2012 but the company has actually been in business since 2010. The founding team, Dee and Mark Wanger, wanted to built an alternative ebike system that could be shared easily between the different bikes in their family, from parents to kids or even friends. They purchased the rights to an existing ebike trailer design called the Bidwell Pusher and engineered something truly unique and professional of their own. the Pusher was basically an instructions kit for converting an electric kick scooter into a platform that could “push” a bike with the option of adding a simple plastic storage tub on top. What Ridekick has done with the Power Trailer design is leverage Mark’s mechanical, electrical and software engineering skill set (forged at CSU, UCSB and MIT) to deliver a ready-made, great looking and affordable machine. The Ridekick will work with nearly any bicycle (road, mountain, tandem or recumbent), offers a three-combination lock for securing cargo and an integrated USB charger and LED safety light. You get all of this for well under $1,000 plus a one year warranty. It’s not as quiet as most purpose-built electric bikes I’ve tested, due in part to the plastic shell and chain-drive motor system, but it’s surprisingly strong and effective with a top speed of ~19 mph and 10+ mile range depending on the battery option you choose. For those who have been following the company, in 2014 they paused manufacturing to improve supply chain logistics and refine the controller board which had failed for some users on previous generations. All faulty controllers were replaced free of charge by Ridekick, even those out of warranty :)

Driving this unique electric bike pusher “trailer thing” is a 500 watt brushed DC motor. Many people recoil with the mention of “brushed” motors but Mark assured me that the motor they chose has long, durable brushes and is an ideal choice for powering the unit. He and Dee both have original Ridekicks with over 2,000 miles each… The motor is inset along the bottom of the plastic shell for protection and one end protrudes just enough to turn a chain that connects directly to a sprocket on left axle. The gearing is designed to “step down” RPM so the motor can spin quickly (which is more efficient) and generate power for zippy starts and hill climbing. It’s simple but well executed and seems to be very durable, even in wet conditions (which we saw in while filming the video review above). Over time, the left tire will wear more quickly because that’s where all of the power is being applied to the concrete but it’s fairly easy to swap with the right wheel, just like rotating the tires on cars.

Powering the Ridekick is a 24 volt battery system that comes in 12 amp hours or 20 amp hours depending on the chemistry you go with. The smaller Sealed Lead Acid option comes standard and is much less expensive, the MSRP of the Ridekick with this battery is $699 and replacement packs are just $125! Weighing in at ~18 pounds, the SLA pack is much heavier than other electric bike batteries I’ve tested but the additional weight serves to increase traction and “pushing power” through the wheel. With this basic pack you get about 10 miles of range and if you add a second pack in parallel it just about doubles. With 75 pounds of cargo hauling capacity to work with, even if you bought two extra batteries for a ~30 mile range you’d still have 35 pounds to work with for groceries, books or a laptop in the cargo hold area. The alternative premium battery option uses Lithium Iron Phosphate cells and offers a ~20 mile range. This pack is physically larger than a single SLA but weighs just 13 pounds. This pack sounds awesome in terms of performance but at $799 (or $1,365 with the unit) it may not be worth it for some. Frankly, the SLA works great and even though it will get fewer charge cycles (estimated 400 vs. 1,500) you could still buy four of these and come out ahead on charges and cost savings. The one caveat here is in cold weather environments where SLA will only output ~40% capacity while LiFePO4 will offer more like 60%+ just based on how the different chemistry performs. Sealed Lead Acid batteries are very recyclable, often made from 60%+ recycled material to begin with, and use materials that are not mined and shipped from politically sensitive areas of the world like Lithium often is. I really like the custom fabric bags (with carry straps) that Ridekick uses for their packs to make them easier to transport and charge separately from the main unit. When you take the battery out of the Ridekick, the trailer itself only weighs ~20 pounds and is modular so you can take the hitch arm and lid completely off for easy storage or transport. Another little extra from Ridekick is that the LiFePO4 batteries are designed with an integrated fuse to reduce premature failure. Both batteries are designed to have zero draw when unplugged from the unit which helps them maintain a high state of charge during long periods of disuse.

Operating the Ridekick electric bike trailer is very simple but the feedback you get while riding is extremely limited. Basically, one wire runs from the controller inside the trailer to your handle bars where the throttle is mounted. There’s a quick disconnect point where the trailer mates with the hitch plate at the bike axle which is nice. to secure the wire and variable speed trigger system you get several velcro straps that are pretty sturdy. Once it’s all plugged in and the unit is powered on (in the rear by the battery) the spring loaded throttle must be compressed and held to make the bike go. While it doesn’t take much effort to pull, it may require some adjustment in hand positioning and some good thought in how you mount it can really pay off. Most thumb throttles on traditional ebikes are little paddles that must be pushed along a semi-circular mounting plate with your thumb. The Ridekick throttle by comparison is more of a little squeeze system that could be activated with a thumb, forefingers or even your palm. It’s about the size of a large paperclip. The downside, as alluded to earlier, is that there aren’t any LED battery indicators or a speedometer or trip distance readout on the throttle, it’s just a black piece of plastic. To get any sort of feedback from the battery and electronics systems you need to open up the Ridekick and look at the display panel inside. Here you’ll find a fuse and an LED readout that reports any errors. There’s an on/off button, a battery light, charging port and a USB port that can be used with portable electronics devices! I actually used this while filming (because the video went very long) and it worked great. Another neat feature here is a 15 minute timer that automatically beeps and shuts the Ridekick down to conserve batteries if the throttle has gone inactive.

The Ridekick product and company are unique and special to me. The Power Trailer itself, much like other electric bikes, is not suited to every application and probably not ideal for most. It’s a compromise of utility, convenience and affordability. You can build a quieter, more powerful recumbent electric bike with an aftermarket BionX kit like this one and enjoy throttle mode, four levels of assist and regeneration with greater range while still carrying a Burly trailer (or similar) loaded with more gear… but you won’t be able to swap it as easily between bikes and it will cost a fortune by comparison.

I love how easily this thing connects, the tilt-up parking feature and integrated lock loop. A full year warranty is solid for any electric bike but seeing how well the team has supported this thing and how happy customers has been inspiring. If you’re a recumbent cyclist who needs to carry along some gear or maybe just a regular cyclist who wants to use their existing bike and still take it out un-electrified at times, then this could be an excellent option. It’s full of possibilities and that’s why the video I shot went so long. It’s over-engineered for strength, handsome and sleek in terms of design and surprisingly zippy and fun to ride with.

Pros:

  • Thick rubber tires should resist flats and the cast aluminum rims won’t go out of true like spoked wheels often do over time, they can support a lot of weight (as shown in the video)
  • Convenient locking storage space offers enough room for two medium sized grocery bags, the weight of stored items is kept separate from the bike which improves handling for riders and doesn’t introduce the same back and neck stresses of wearing a backpack
  • Impressive control unit (updated for improved reliability for 2015) features scrolling diagnostic readout, replaceable fuse and a USB charging port
  • Very affordable, less expensive than many electric bike kits which don’t look as good, aren’t as easy to switch between bicycles and don’t offer integrated storage features
  • May different battery options for extending range (one additional SLA for just $125) or reducing weight and saving space (one additional LiFePO4 for $799)
  • Responsive customer service, Ridekick is a family owned and operated business in Colorado that has been around since 2012 and has often delivered beyond their stated warranty
  • Decent power and speed for an untraditional setup, range goes from 10 miles up and the top speed of 19 mph is easy to reach with the 500 watt motor
  • Hitch system takes under one minute to connect or disconnect and has a nice metal spring for easy flex when turning, the added safety leash is a quality touch
  • Very easy to transport and store, the battery comes in a fabric bag that can be taken out on its own, the unit itself can be tipped upright for vertical storage or to keep out of the way at bike racks
  • Surprisingly durable, holds up well and keeps the internal systems (and your gear) safe and dry even in snowy and wet conditions
  • Variable speed trigger throttle is intuitive and simple to use, can be mounted nearly anywhere on any type of bike for optimal comfort (standard flat bars, cruiser bars, vertical bars on recumbents, drop bars etc.)
  • Works with most electric bikes including hybrid, mountain or recumbent and can even be used with some kick scooters
  • Two of the SLA or two of the LiFePO4 batteries can be connected in parallel for increased range
  • Impressive 75 pound cargo weight capacity, ~42 Liters of space inside the shell (with the standard SLA battery)
  • Handy 15 minute “auto shutoff” feature keeps the Ridekick from running out of batteries or being activated accidentally
  • Very stealthy design, if you aren’t activating the throttle most people probably wouldn’t know you were on an electric assist bike

Cons:

  • At the time of this review the Ridekick was only available in a standard gray and orange color scheme, some riders paint them by hands
  • The integrated LED light is a nice extra but isn’t super visible because it’s mounted so low on the unit which is already very low to the ground
  • Whether the unit is powered on or not, it rattles and creates more noise than some trailers due to the smaller wheels and plastic lid system
  • Only the left wheel receives power which means the left tire wears down faster than the right, it’s pretty easy to swap or “rotate” the wheels by hand and Ridekick does sell replacements
  • Wires have to be run across the frame and look a bit tackier than a purpose built solution (often routed through tubing) but the included velcro strips are strong
  • May be more difficult to ride your bike up or off curbs, across trails or through narrow gates and corners when using the Ridekick as compared with a stand alone ebike with no trailer
  • Delta style recumbent trikes (one wheel in front, two in the back) may require an adapter to use the Ridekick
  • No integrated LCD display or battery readout on the throttle, you will need to add your own after market cycle computer and you can check battery level inside the Ridekick

Resources:

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More Ridekick Reviews

2013 Ridekick Power Trailer Review

  • MSRP: $699
  • MODEL YEAR: 2012, 2013

Electric powered bike trailer that connects to rear axle and pushes rider with a trigger throttle. Less expensive and more portable than buying a complete electric bike...

James Hendrix
3 years ago

Brilliant. I am really impressed with the package and preformance.

Reply
Chris Nolte
3 years ago

Me too, the Ridekick folks are genuine but also very smart and business savvy. They offer a product that’s affordable, versatile and effective and even though it isn’t perfect, it really does a good job for what it is in my opinion :D

Reply
James Hendrix
3 years ago

Brilliant. I am really impressed with the package and preformance.

Reply
Court Rye
3 years ago

Me too, the Ridekick folks are genuine but also very smart and business savvy. They offer a product that’s affordable, versatile and effective and even though it isn’t perfect, it really does a good job for what it is in my opinion :D

Reply
Ron
3 years ago

I’ve ordered one. Was waiting to make sure I could complete the repairs on my bike first. Bad move. Now they are sold out. I thought one purpose of the long shutdown was to sort out the supply situation.

Reply
Chris Nolte
3 years ago

Bummer! They’re a smaller operation and you get quality and good support but sometimes volume must be difficult : if you’ve placed an order did they say how long it will be to ship? Are you on a waiting list now?

Reply
Skymax
1 year ago

They did notify constantly since Feb 2015 about the need to pre-order.

Ron
3 years ago

I’ve ordered one. Was waiting to make sure I could complete the repairs on my bike first. Bad move. Now they are sold out. I thought one purpose of the long shutdown was to sort out the supply situation.

Reply
Court Rye
3 years ago

Bummer! They’re a smaller operation and you get quality and good support but sometimes volume must be difficult : if you’ve placed an order did they say how long it will be to ship? Are you on a waiting list now?

Reply
Ron
3 years ago

I just heard back from Dee and she says they are not quite sold out, so maybe I will get the unit in June. Was supposed to be April but the West Coast dock strike screwed things up. My record of bad luck with ebikes is still intact.

Reply
Chris Nolte
3 years ago

Nice, hopefully it will arrive in short time. The dock strikes in California have been a mess… I’ve been traveling out here and lots of smaller companies are suffering. It’s a bummer just seeing the boats parked out there. I’m sure you’ll love the unit once it arrives and I know Ridekick will take good care of you :D

Reply
Ron
3 years ago

I just heard back from Dee and she says they are not quite sold out, so maybe I will get the unit in June. Was supposed to be April but the West Coast dock strike screwed things up. My record of bad luck with ebikes is still intact.

Reply
Court Rye
3 years ago

Nice, hopefully it will arrive in short time. The dock strikes in California have been a mess… I’ve been traveling out here and lots of smaller companies are suffering. It’s a bummer just seeing the boats parked out there. I’m sure you’ll love the unit once it arrives and I know Ridekick will take good care of you :D

Reply
Mark DT
3 years ago

How would this compare or to which bike would the Ride Kick be comparable in terms of performance? For example, does Ride Kick make your regular bike feel like a bike with a 250W 36V rear hub motor or something like that?

Reply
Court Rye
3 years ago

That is a great question Mark… it rides different than most of the other purpose built or converted electric bikes I’ve tried because hardly any of the motor or battery weight is on the frame. There’s definitely start/stop feeling because the trailer is pushing the bike and adding weight or momentum horizontally. The noise is a bit greater but different… you can hear the zippy sound in the video and sometimes that makes me feel self conscious but on the other hand, the trailer is so stealth that it almost doesn’t seem like an electric bike and people seem to put their guard down and become interested instead. I guess if I had to compare the feeling of power and speed on the Ridekick to another ebike I’ve tested recently I’d go with the Blix Komfort Plus (you can skip to ~6:50 for the ride test there). In the video you can see that the geared motor on this ebike produces a bit more noise but that it’s also zippy and gets me up the hill. The Blix has a claimed top speed of ~15 mph but it felt faster and this is similar to the Ridekick which has a top speed of ~19 mph :)

Reply
Mark DT
3 years ago

How would this compare or to which bike would the Ride Kick be comparable in terms of performance? For example, does Ride Kick make your regular bike feel like a bike with a 250W 36V rear hub motor or something like that?

Reply
Chris Nolte
3 years ago

That is a great question Mark… it rides different than most of the other purpose built or converted electric bikes I’ve tried because hardly any of the motor or battery weight is on the frame. There’s definitely start/stop feeling because the trailer is pushing the bike and adding weight or momentum horizontally. The noise is a bit greater but different… you can hear the zippy sound in the video and sometimes that makes me feel self conscious but on the other hand, the trailer is so stealth that it almost doesn’t seem like an electric bike and people seem to put their guard down and become interested instead. I guess if I had to compare the feeling of power and speed on the Ridekick to another ebike I’ve tested recently I’d go with the Blix Komfort Plus (you can skip to ~6:50 for the ride test there). In the video you can see that the geared motor on this ebike produces a bit more noise but that it’s also zippy and gets me up the hill. The Blix has a claimed top speed of ~15 mph but it felt faster and this is similar to the Ridekick which has a top speed of ~19 mph :)

Reply
Kevin
2 years ago

Thanks for all the great reviews. So professional yet simple! Have you ever reviewed the electric bike solutions products and if not, why? I’ve been considering Doug’s kit and would like to have any feedback. Thanks, Kevin

Reply
Court Rye
2 years ago

Hi Kevin! I try to review every kit and bike that I come across. Some of this is random and other times I drive to company headquarters and meet with the founders or management and get the “inside scoop” before taking bikes out to ride. I’ll keep an eye out for the Electric Bike Solutions company you’re referencing here, could you share a URL or some more info on where you’ve seen them?

Reply
Kevin
2 years ago

Thanks for all the great reviews. So professional yet simple! Have you ever reviewed the electric bike solutions products and if not, why? I’ve been considering Doug’s kit and would like to have any feedback. Thanks, Kevin

Reply
Chris Nolte
2 years ago

Hi Kevin! I try to review every kit and bike that I come across. Some of this is random and other times I drive to company headquarters and meet with the founders or management and get the “inside scoop” before taking bikes out to ride. I’ll keep an eye out for the Electric Bike Solutions company you’re referencing here, could you share a URL or some more info on where you’ve seen them?

Reply
Ron
2 years ago

Latest update on my order from Ridekick: they are no longer even projecting a ship date. (My e-bike jinx is growing in power.) Their re-design is still in progress and they are still seeking component suppliers! I feel bad for them, but I feel worse for me! By the time this arrives, I may be too old and decrepit to even ride an e-bike.

Reply
Court Rye
2 years ago

Hi Ron! That’s such a bummer… I’m so sorry to hear that Ridekick hasn’t been able to deliver. I like the folks who work there and admire the creative product they’ve built but the position you’re in obviously isn’t any fun. Thanks for the update… hang in there :(

Reply
Ron
2 years ago

Latest update on my order from Ridekick: they are no longer even projecting a ship date. (My e-bike jinx is growing in power.) Their re-design is still in progress and they are still seeking component suppliers! I feel bad for them, but I feel worse for me! By the time this arrives, I may be too old and decrepit to even ride an e-bike.

Reply
Court Rye
2 years ago

Hi Ron! That’s such a bummer… I’m so sorry to hear that Ridekick hasn’t been able to deliver. I like the folks who work there and admire the creative product they’ve built but the position you’re in obviously isn’t any fun. Thanks for the update… hang in there :(

Reply
Ron
2 years ago

Update: Still patiently waiting for mine (since March).

Reply
Court Rye
2 years ago

Ouch… Such a bummer! I was really excited for Ridekick in 2015 because they updated their supply chain and refined the design a bit. It was awesome meeting with Dee and Mark and hearing their updates but I’m sorry that this content has lead you to the current position… of waiting forever. Thanks for checking in, it will help others and I’d love to hear if/when you finally do get it. So sorry :(

Reply
Ron
2 years ago

Update: Still patiently waiting for mine (since March).

Reply
Court Rye
2 years ago

Ouch… Such a bummer! I was really excited for Ridekick in 2015 because they updated their supply chain and refined the design a bit. It was awesome meeting with Dee and Mark and hearing their updates but I’m sorry that this content has lead you to the current position… of waiting forever. Thanks for checking in, it will help others and I’d love to hear if/when you finally do get it. So sorry :(

Reply
Jack
2 years ago

I hadn’t even had a passing thought to a ‘powered trailer’ approach but was drawn to this review because of the excellent electrical discussions Court & Mark had on Youtube. (You’ll find the one on motors here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vgWzGdg1POk) I’ve had to develop a strong understanding of battery technology for off-grid living, and Mark’s at the top of that game IMO.

For folks like me, who are new to ebikes and sorting options, Court’s written review didn’t mention two benefits of a Ridekick I think can really matter to ebike shoppers who are motivated by environmental concerns and have a limited budget. First is Ridekick’s principle goal: Get folks out of their cars when doing shorter drives to local stores, cross-town visits and such. Gas engines are least efficient providing that kind of transportation, that’s when they produce the highest pollution per mile, and such trips are hard on gas engines, too. Second, if you’re just not sure the ebike option is for you – or are hesitant about this method of electrifying bike transportation – the entry price point is amazingly low. Go with a SLA battery and, for a low cost by ebike standards, you’ll have more than a year to see how well it works and how well it works for you. If it wins on both accounts, you can then opt for the LiFePO4 battery pack, knowing the higher cost is justified.

I can’t help but be impressed with Mark’s & Dee’s infectious, positive style and practical design approach. They offer a real-time conversation option at ridekick.com. For those (like me) who want a production update, that’s probably the simplest, quickest way to get one.

Reply
Court Rye
2 years ago

Thanks for sharing your thoughts Jack! Mark and Dee are wonderful and I’ve enjoyed meeting with them and testing out their product during visits to Colorado. Do you have a Ridekick? I’d love to hear more about your off-grid lifestyle, are you in Colorado?

Reply
Jack
2 years ago

Court, no Ridekick…but it’s an interesting option I hadn’t considered. I’m the guy moving to Bozeman, MT where both the city and the surrounding USFS lands offer lots of bike paths & trails. So picking the best compromise of those diverse types of riding – and especially wanting to have the bike replace a car – is a challenge. (That’s why I appreciated your interview with Greg so much. Similar circumstances). About your off-grid Q: We’ve spent many years sailing the oceans, where one’s battery bank is the local power company and sole source of one’s electrons. The evolving battery technology we see infiltrating the ebike choices really is the invisible but significant element in making the right choice, as you already know. That’s why, at some point as time permits, you would do a great service if you offered a review of BMS choices that go beyond the inexpensive chargers offered with ebikes. There’s great potential there for increasing owner satisfaction and lowering long-term ebike costs by avoiding more frequent battery replacements.

Reply
Court Rye
2 years ago

I agree that batteries and BMS are playing a greater role in differentiating models and was impressed with the Satiator from Grin in Canada, it’s a charger that provides deeper feedback and control. Here’s a video I did with Justin where we geek out about all of this stuff, you might enjoy it! Your boating trips sound fun, I lived on an island off the coast of Bermuda for a summer and spent time sailing and swimming, getting an appreciation for that self sufficiency and exposure to the elements.

Reply
Jack
2 years ago

Fascinating, Court! You’re like peeling an onion. A new topic surfaces in one’s mind and – Voila! – there’s already a video about it, either within the All Bike Update youtube channel, the EBR channel, or on the EBR website. Obviously bright, Justin ‘downloads’ at a pace that’s hard to keep up with…but listening to things twice is worth the effort. Grin Tech, yet another amazing resource for those willing to dig deep on the learning curve. Thanks, Court. Now…when will we see you review one of those e-Unicycles?

Reply
Court Rye
2 years ago

Ha! That’s one product I don’t have a video for… I did practice riding unicycles when I was working downtown in Austin and that experience gave me a lot of respect for people who can do it without the aid of a shopping cart or wall. Outside of ebikes and such I’m also a fan of virtual reality as jokingly mentioned with Justin.

Reply
Rettig
2 years ago

Bitte um ein Angebot MoreTraler Model 2015 in Deutsch

Reply
Court Rye
2 years ago

Grüße , ich bin nicht sicher, dass dieses Produkt in Deutschland verfügbar ist? Sie könnten auf der offiziellen Website hier kontaktieren.

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Jeff
1 year ago

Hey Court, love your sight and have read so many of your reviews and videos I am more confused then ever. Being new to the ebike world I just don’t know what to buy. I thought I was close to fat tire or maybe one I don’t think you really like the Prodeco outlaw. They I came across your review on this very cool thing called a ridekick and everything changed. I love my trek pure. What do do you think about just adding a ridekick to my trek pure? And should I go with the larger battery? Thank you for the great reviews. Jeff

Reply
Court Rye
1 year ago

Hi Jeff! I really love the Ridekick as a concept but it does produce more noise than a lot of ebikes. There’s a definite trade-off in that sense but it hauls cargo, keeps weight low and is quick and easy to install/uninstall… For all of those reason’s it’s unique and worth considering :)

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kola8273
2 weeks ago

I've had my GeoOrbital for two months and put about 200 miles on it in that time. I agree with your review of the wheel but as I'm 6' and 160lbs my experience may be a bit different.
1) The battery mount does indeed allow for too much vibration and movement of the battery and is my biggest complaint. Considering the cost, necessity, and potential safety hazard of a damaged battery, a couple simple and inexpensive improvements, as in your suggestion of a foam layer, would prevent this vibration and provide a much more stable mount.
2) As far as I am able to determine, I am getting near 18-20 miles per charge. This is using assist and in slight hilly terrain, so who knows what actual is. I also regularly pull a trailer full of groceries which sucks power like crazy! I'm satisfied with the battery performance, but I'd agree it's probably not getting the distance GeoOrbital claims.
3) The weight of this wheel does indeed throw a bike wildly out of normal balance. Every time I pick my bike up I still find it shocking, and have to put the bike back down to adjust. In use, however, I hardly notice the added weight and it hasn't affected my steering or braking in any appreciable way. Free peddling, without any assist from the battery, is another story. For myself it is far to exhausting and impractical with this wheel. If I want to ride using only my own power the wheel needs to come off, period.
4) The throttle length is too short and the throw a bit too long, but were easily solved by my attaching a small clothespin style clamp to the throttle adding a necessary inch of length. I use my palm/thumb to adjust speed and am still able to keep hold of the handlebar and apply the brake at the same time.
5) I have no idea if regenerative braking works either, but the resistance the wheel adds when not powered is significant. Hats off to you for being able to free-peddle 5 miles on this thing, no way I'd be able to.
6) The power provided by the battery could be greater, but is adequate for my needs. in fact, It provides enough power that I'm able to pull a grocery-filled trailer, total combined weight of 300lbs, back from the grocery store with little assistance from myself, a distance of six miles and over 100 ' of elevation change. Coming from a stop with this much weight requires assistance from me, but once I get moving the wheel alone can accelerate to and maintain a speed well beyond my comfort zone!

Overall, I love the GeoOrbital and I don't regret its purchase. The cost is high, no doubt. I was able to get a $100 discount simply by emailing GeoOrbital, but still the cost was significant compared to other options. Why I chose to pay the premium cost was the ease of installation, the ability to quickly revert back and forth with hardly any effort, and remove and carry it with me while shopping, etc. so I don't have to worry about losing it to thieves.

Sounds like we have had a similar experience! But I have an update....

Found out mytt 5 mile limitation was not due to battery. There is an internal temp sensor cut-off (or something of that nature), My ride to work is 9 miles of multi-use path. I can just leave the throttle wide open for miles on end. So around the 6th miles i thought the batterry was dying was really the wheel going into safe mode. I had been so tired that day that I just decided to push the bike home, then after about a half hour of walking the wheel came back to life and had over 50% charge still. Soooo I guess I need to give the wheel a break every mile or so to not overheat.... I don't know. I am going to contact geo orbital.

Campfool
2 weeks ago

I bought the geo orbital a while ago. There weren't really any reviews so I had to just take a flying leap. Here's my review;

1) Wheel is solidly constructed. I am not worried about it breaking. The One problem though is the battery pack is loose and vibrates when you ride. This was solved very easily by putting a paper towel wedged in between the frame and the battery. Seems like such a silly problem that would have been so easily fixed in the factory with some foam.

2) There is no way I am getting 20 miles out of this wheel. The most I have gotten is 5 miles. I was worried about this as I am 6'5 and 270lbs, so if you are 150lbs your probably going to get more mileage than I do. I got this wheel to ride to work which is 10 miles one way, I thought since it was rated to get 20 miles, I would be at least able to do 10 given my weight.

3) The weight of the wheel is really annoying. My road bike was very light and easy to move around but after attaching this wheel wrestling this bike in an out of my house is a real chore. This is obviously a drawback to all e-bikes. But it was just surprising how the extra weight affected my overall experience.

4) The throttle ergonomics are horrendous. They designed the throttle to put in any position you can think of on your bike, and I have tried at least 10 different positions. The throw of the throttle is too far, like it moves 90 deg, 30 degs throw would have been fine and less cumbersome. Ideally I would just prefer a push button of simply full throttle or no throttle. The power of this wheel is lacking and I don't need a variable throttle.

5) Regenerative breaking? I don't know what or how that is supposed to work as I have run this thing dry and then I have had to pedal another 5 miles home and the bike did not gain any charge. Riding the bike after the wheel has died is a chore, the ability to disconnect the motor and have the wheel move freely after the battery dies would be a huge improvement.

6) The power is lacking, but that might be my weight.

So I have written a lot of negatives about the wheel but I do like it, it's probably not worth the 995 I paid for it, If the company could fix the complaints I had about the wheel this would be a solid buy

I've had my GeoOrbital for two months and put about 200 miles on it in that time. I agree with your review of the wheel but as I'm 6' and 160lbs my experience may be a bit different.
1) The battery mount does indeed allow for too much vibration and movement of the battery and is my biggest complaint. Considering the cost, necessity, and potential safety hazard of a damaged battery, a couple simple and inexpensive improvements, as in your suggestion of a foam layer, would prevent this vibration and provide a much more stable mount.
2) As far as I am able to determine, I am getting near 18-20 miles per charge. This is using assist and in slight hilly terrain, so who knows what actual is. I also regularly pull a trailer full of groceries which sucks power like crazy! I'm satisfied with the battery performance, but I'd agree it's probably not getting the distance GeoOrbital claims.
3) The weight of this wheel does indeed throw a bike wildly out of normal balance. Every time I pick my bike up I still find it shocking, and have to put the bike back down to adjust. In use, however, I hardly notice the added weight and it hasn't affected my steering or braking in any appreciable way. Free peddling, without any assist from the battery, is another story. For myself it is far to exhausting and impractical with this wheel. If I want to ride using only my own power the wheel needs to come off, period.
4) The throttle length is too short and the throw a bit too long, but were easily solved by my attaching a small clothespin style clamp to the throttle adding a necessary inch of length. I use my palm/thumb to adjust speed and am still able to keep hold of the handlebar and apply the brake at the same time.
5) I have no idea if regenerative braking works either, but the resistance the wheel adds when not powered is significant. Hats off to you for being able to free-peddle 5 miles on this thing, no way I'd be able to.
6) The power provided by the battery could be greater, but is adequate for my needs. in fact, It provides enough power that I'm able to pull a grocery-filled trailer, total combined weight of 300lbs, back from the grocery store with little assistance from myself, a distance of six miles and over 100 ' of elevation change. Coming from a stop with this much weight requires assistance from me, but once I get moving the wheel alone can accelerate to and maintain a speed well beyond my comfort zone!

Overall, I love the GeoOrbital and I don't regret its purchase. The cost is high, no doubt. I was able to get a $100 discount simply by emailing GeoOrbital, but still the cost was significant compared to other options. Why I chose to pay the premium cost was the ease of installation, the ability to quickly revert back and forth with hardly any effort, and remove and carry it with me while shopping, etc. so I don't have to worry about losing it to thieves.

america94
3 weeks ago

Hi Dan. Have you tried any separate tests with just you riding on each of the bikes (Teo/Rad/M2S) and go up the same hill to see how each bike does? To be a fair test I would think you would want to have similar weight riders, and have similar power you are putting to the pedals etc.

I'm just saying this because we have some big, long hills around here that my wife and I ride up. I can generate more power to the pedals than she can, hands down. (Or feet down i guess)o_O. I also have a good 70-80lbs more weight than her. We both go to 9 on PAS. As we climb, she moves to the front no problem. I can't keep up. We have the same bikes. I know there's more to this, but I think you can understand what I'm saying.

Benoit mentioned the new 750w 2018's have the square wave controller and the 500w have the sine wave controller. He told me that our bikes (the 2017's) have a sine wave controller, and that they will produce 750 watts, but it is a more gradual progression of power. I also remember someone on here saying the new Teo's have upgraded controllers that produce more power. I guess it is because they have square wave controllers? Maybe the M2S and the Rad have the square wave controllers instead of the sine wave controllers?

I found this on you tube. I don't know if that is a good representation of a square wave controller or not. It seems very snappy, but also very loud and doesn't look like it would be very comfortable to ride. Reminds me of my RC trucks. Ones that have the regular Speed control and brushless motor VS ones that have sensored speed control and motor. Both go the same speed, but the sensored is smooth and isn't near as jumpy. I think the sensored is making more of a sine wave VS a square wave.

Looks like there could be a ton of discussion on this kind of thing, probably already has been if I search EBR, lol. I guess if you're not happy with the performance you should ask Benoit if in fact your bike was "dialed down" by accident? Have you tried to contact Benoit about this? I'm kind of confused as he told me my bike has the 750 watts and I'm pretty sure we all have the same bike.
Honestly now that I have been riding and am used to how it feels, I could go for some more power and torque as well. That wasn't the case when I first rode it though. It was "holy crap this thing moves!" And that's the response I see when I let my friends try it out too. I guess we will just have to wait and see what he tells us.
I 100% agree with @Falken here. You need to compare apples with apples and his suggestions encourage that. I will add that the tire type and pressure must be similar if not identical for a fair comparison. And of course, either no trailer on both bikes or trailer on both too! :-) And Falken makes a realllly good point about the controller... again, not apples vs apples if the type of controller is different.

I have to agree that as much as the bike felt so fast at first, once I got used to it, it did start to feel slower and I wished for more speed and more power each month that went by. I stopped riding for a while and when I got back on the bike, I was convinced it was defective as it was riding much slower than I remembered. But the speedometer proved me wrong! I guess like anything addictive, tolerance builds up over time ;-)

Dan Edwards
3 weeks ago

Well its been a few weeks, I've had my Teo and the Rad out riding.
I enjoy these electric bikes.
I do have a trailer bike behind the Teo most of the time. My 8yr daughter loves to ride along, she helps peddle at times!
I have both bikes outfitted with LED wheel lights, mine being the 486 led unit from eBay. Hers is the Monkey light. With valve stem lights, and small loop of LED on the trailer bike. So we are quite the show when riding through town together in the evening!

My thoughts, would I buy a Teo' again. No, I do not believe the bike is set up to 750 watts! Hence I can ride twice as far as the Rad, even while pulling the trailer. The Rad and a M2s bike both. Uphill allot easier than the Teo. ( stopped and waited for me ) any hill at length the wife will ride on by me. *RadRover and M2s bikes use the same Bafang 750 watt hub. M2s is made at the same factorie as the Teo'.

There is no accessory stand off mounts ( water bottle ).

I love the hydro brakes, They out perform the Rads brakes. Believe me, downhill 12% at 30mph with the trailer in tow. Coming to a hard stop. Awsum! I could smell them getting hot. Might upgrade to a 200mm rotor. ( Already changed the Rads calipers and pads for a better unit )

I have swapped the seat out for a cloud 9. Replaced the compass with a Rock Bro. brass bell

I have the large frame, I caution anyone to get sized for a bike. I have the stem adjust all the way up and added a stem extension. I don't think the medium would have worked for me either. I found the crank center line to the ground is higher than the Rad, and a display ebike at the bike shop.

The cables / routing is clean and impressive.

My future upgrade will be Luna Cycle mid drive unit ( 3000 watt ) It will take care of the power issue! It will add unsightly wires. And a bigger battery pack.

Teo' the bikes need a better display with WATTAGE output! Color even!

Shipping to the USA, I got lucky, 38 hours. Montreal .CA to Lynchburg .VA , USA. $148. No damage!

Photos later!

JeffJ
1 month ago

I’m new the forum. My wife and I bought 2 Rad Mini’s a number of weeks ago. We live in a hilly area and our pedal bikes were just not getting used. We attend vintage trailer rallies with a small camping trailer and would bring our pedal bikes to the rallies. (The campgrounds are usually flat) I used an extended trailer hitch which allowed me to put the bikes between the trailer and the tow vehicle. I had always thought that having an E-Bike would be great, but the weight would be too much for the type of bike carrier and the set-up that we have.

Then I saw a Rad Mini. I figured that 2 folded Rad Mini’s would fit into the back of our SUV. (...and they do) We went to a rental shop that Rad suggested and the folks at the shop were more than happy to let us try the bikes out. (Like "wave goodbye" try them out, not just in the parking lot) We were impressed. A week or so later, I went back and took one more test ride before I made the order. The bikes arrived with just one of the boxes torn-up a bit, but there was no apparent damage and that bike went together just fine. The other bike was a different story.

Now, before I go any further, I want to tell everyone that we are very happy with our purchase so far and the folks at Rad have been great. We have one bike with over 70 miles on it and the other with close to 100 miles.

But there were problems with one of the bikes. It must have been manufactured on “Murphy’s Law” day. The first thing I did before assembling the bikes was to start charging the batteries. The “problem” bike’s battery was defective, the charge indicators didn’t work so the folks at Rad sent me a new one right away. A couple days later, I got down to putting the “problem” bike together. (The other one was already together and working just fine) That’s when I discovered that the fork was bent when I couldn’t get the front wheel on. The folks at Rad sent me a new fork right away and told me that I could take it to a shop and they would pay for it, but I figured I would learn by doing. So when the fork arrived, I went back to putting the bike together, that's when I found that the controller box cover only had one screw holding it on. A little bit of weld was in the way so that the cover wouldn’t fit. The guy who worked on this particular bike must have been having a bad day. He tried to force it on with no luck. He buggered it up and then, just gave up. It was an easy fix, a bit of grinding along with the screws and touch-up paint Rad sent me.

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that there was also a small dent on the rear luggage rack. Apparently something at the factory got dropped on the bike or vice-versa. Rad was willing to send me a new rack but I declined, you could hardly see the dent, but it showed me how sturdy the rack really is. Whatever banged it was pretty darn heavy.

I finally figured that it was all ready to go and it ran well for 40 or 50 miles but then the throttle intermittently stopped working, and then just start up working again. The PAS still worked so the bike was functional and we could use it. Rad had me check all the connections and that seemed to work, until it didn’t. Then Rad sent me a new controller but that didn’t do it, so they sent me a new throttle. Guess what... That didn’t fix it either. It turned out to be a bad wiring harness.

That seemed to do it. Now, it’s only been 30 or 40 miles since then but I’m pretty sure it be fixed!

So why did I put up with all this nonsense? Because I could tell that this was a great little bike and a good piece of engineering. At one point Rad even offered to send me a brand new bike, but by that time I wanted the satisfaction of fixing this darned thing.

That said, Rad Power Bikes was great! They bent over backwards to make this debacle right. They were willing to pay a bike shop to do the work and they were willing to replace the bike itself.

The quality of anything built in a factory comes down to the humans putting it all together. Little problems will happen now and then. And once in a great while, a whole bunch of little things will happen all together.

Caca Occurs.

The bike is working great now, I just took a 12 or 13 mile ride this morning. Heading to a big vintage trailer rally next weekend and I know that the bikes are going to be a real hit.

bob armani
2 months ago

I have a Hilltopper 250W 24V front wheel on my 7-speed Schwinn. I don't use it for sport, just for day-to-day transportation. (I almost never use my car any more.) My terrain is flat city roads, and my typical trip is 2 to 4 miles one way.My kit has no throttle, just a push button to kick in the motor.

Most of the time I pedal in gear 5, and just use the motor for assist when I get below 10 MPH, and usually only goose myself until I'm back up to 12-14 MPH. Even pulling a bike trailer loaded with 20 pounds of groceries, I have no trouble cruising along at 12 MPH or so, although I do use the motor more when I'm fully loaded. (I'm only 150 lbs myself.) I don't need more speed than that since, at age 72, my reaction time isn't as quick as it used to be, and I find 15 MPH to be very comfortable, and 20 MPH to be a little on the "break-neck" side for me. hehe.

So as far as power is concerned, I seem to have all I need. What I'm wondering is, is there any efficiency advantage to a higher voltage, or higher power motor? Could I maybe get more range, or less battery wear by using a system that has more power than I really need, rather than pushing my 250W motor harder? I see that so many bikes use higher voltages and wattages, even when they are still topped out at 20MPH, so I assume there must be some advantage.

I'm also looking into these issues because I'm thinking about making a home-built trike just for fun, and as a better grocery-getter.

Gary-I agree with Mark's comment. You are only 150lbs and with a 250 watt motor, sounds like it is pushing you just fine. I asked the same question when purchasing my ebike. I am at 135lbs and my 350 watt motor on my ebike pushes me along at fast and furious speeds that are more than adequate. I can top out at 22.5 mph without a whole lot of exertion I asked about a 500 watt motor and they indicated it is too much power for someone in my weight class.

I like the concept of the Hilltopper. I was thinking on making one of my mtn bikes into an electric with the kit. Sounds like it is performing well! Ride safe!

Gary Shannon
2 months ago

I have a Hilltopper 250W 24V front wheel on my 7-speed Schwinn. I don't use it for sport, just for day-to-day transportation. (I almost never use my car any more.) My terrain is flat city roads, and my typical trip is 2 to 4 miles one way.My kit has no throttle, just a push button to kick in the motor.

Most of the time I pedal in gear 5, and just use the motor for assist when I get below 10 MPH, and usually only goose myself until I'm back up to 12-14 MPH. Even pulling a bike trailer loaded with 20 pounds of groceries, I have no trouble cruising along at 12 MPH or so, although I do use the motor more when I'm fully loaded. (I'm only 150 lbs myself.) I don't need more speed than that since, at age 72, my reaction time isn't as quick as it used to be, and I find 15 MPH to be very comfortable, and 20 MPH to be a little on the "break-neck" side for me. hehe.

So as far as power is concerned, I seem to have all I need. What I'm wondering is, is there any efficiency advantage to a higher voltage, or higher power motor? Could I maybe get more range, or less battery wear by using a system that has more power than I really need, rather than pushing my 250W motor harder? I see that so many bikes use higher voltages and wattages, even when they are still topped out at 20MPH, so I assume there must be some advantage.

I'm also looking into these issues because I'm thinking about making a home-built trike just for fun, and as a better grocery-getter.

Denis Shelston
2 months ago

By Michael Skopes. August 2017
With permission

A 2017 E-Bike Adventure

One day, not so long ago, I opened a door to enter an area where I am employed. I was hit, full on, with the fact that I no longer have any passion for what it is I do there. My days there are only a passing of time spent wondering about other things more important to me; my family, my home,...me, and other more fun activities.

At the same time, I appreciate the compensation that my job affords me - money and health care benefits. You know, all that boring stuff like an IRA, 401k, and such. But, all that, is for the most part, pleasureless. The most pleasing aspect of that crap is the toys I can buy to make my life more FUN.

The following sentence involves a subject, which to me, borders on the surreal. Retirement...is...just...around...the...corner. Hell, retirement is something old people do. I don't qualify as an old person. At least, not in my mind, I don't.

I don't know how my twenties turned into my sixties so quickly. My brain, my heart, and my soul, all tell me it's time for another game of 500 in the park, or a few high dives off of top board at my hometown swimming pool. But, uh oh...the deep end no longer has those old diving boards! In fact, the entire pool has been completely re-built and almost unrecognizable. And, unfortunately, what my body tells me about physical activity is not quite the same as what my brain, heart, and soul communicate.

Go for a long endorphin filled cross country type run? Uh uh. Don't even think about it. My lower back and knees won't take the pounding. Damn, I loved running so much. Extend my body airborne for that long pass at the goal line like I once often did? Not a good idea. Hitting the green grass wearing pads at one time was exhilarating, not debilitating. Hey, how about attacking a radical mogul course on freshly fallen snow? Get real fella! Not anymore. Oh, the knees, the hips, the lower back. Skiing became my all time favorite winter activity while in my mid to late twenties.

Get this, though. Physical exertion is far from a thing of my youthful past. Hooray for the bicycle! Hip hip hooray for the electric bicycle! I'll get to the e-bike in just a minute. Allow me to back track for a moment.

One of my very first loves, as a young boy, was learning how to ride a bicycle. And, after mastering that marvelous activity, the extended range that became my daily excitement, grew longer and longer. Soon, I disappeared from my parents' view for hours at a time as I biked with my pals from one end of town to the other. Minutes, hours, and miles meant nothing to us. We had trusty mechanical steeds whose rolling wheels seemed capable of endless, small town, summer time adventures. If we weren't kicking up dust, pebbles, and basic dirt while racing around Chapin Park's baseball field, we were busy slamming on our brakes while screaming down swimming pool hill.

That excellent downhill activity, of melting bicycle tire rubber, left twenty foot long black streaks on the blacktop. Bald tires? We never cared. That was part of the deal. And when those rubber burning slides ended, we just might opt to take a little detour out to the long abandoned strip mines. Out there, on the outskirts of town, the giant coal digging machines of old left us with huge mounds of gray/white earth. Over time, outstanding trails developed throughout those sometimes treacherous hills which were intertwined with deep, blue pools of water that stretched for hundreds of feet. Riding those paths brought many a boy, and a few girls, to the point of total exhaustion, and in some cases...broken frames and fractured bones.

Yes, my childhood relationship with my Monark bicycle was a love affair. Many of my friends had that same love affair. Several of us participated in the annual Corn Festival bicycle parade. We decorated our bikes with crepe paper, flags and banners. Some kids wore costumes. I donned a Marlon Brando type motorcycle cap - the tough guy look like from his fifties movie, "The Wild One".

But that love affair broke my heart when some criminal stole my beloved Monark. Sadness became my middle name. Consolation on the part of my mother didn't even help. And I adored my mother, and how she did so much for me and my two sisters. My father offered a matter of fact response to my long face with a few well chosen words and a simple pat on my shoulder. All that did little to mend my deep psychological wound. But Dad had a quiet way about him that endeared me to him just as much as Mom.

In time, a replacement two-wheeler appeared. That tale is one whose details I won't divulge in this story. I would rather keep that for anyone interested in reading my book "My Little Skinny Greek Life: On Liberty Street". Find it on Amazon. I don't want to spoil that story here. What I will go into here, is the flash forward to today.

FLASH!

For years, various physical problems have kept me from fully enjoying the activity that I had loved for so much of my life. Before losing the ability to travel by bicycle, I had the pleasure of making two long road trips. The first, at age twenty nine and turning thirty, went on for 1500 miles from California to Illinois.

Some of the information written in an unsolicited newspaper article about that tour - going all the way to Maine, down to Florida, and back to California - never happened. Those plans had to be changed for several reasons. I actually can't recall the primary reason. It may have been that being a touring novice, I bit off more than I could pedal.

I have read, in my current research, that the number one reason for many new bike touring enthusiasts cutting their tours short is because of unrealistic goals. Their mental and physical preparations couldn't match up with their lofty plans. Really. Just imagine coming up with the idea of riding a heavily outfitted bicycle for 7,000 miles without ever having done any touring at all prior to that. Hmm...you see what I mean? However, I did go over 1,500 miles on my Centurion two wheeler.

My second major distance bicycle adventure took me from Monterey, California south to Los Angeles and specifically, Northridge to attend a Super Bowl party. However, I only managed to put in about 155 miles because I strained my knee and had to grab a bus for part of the remaining distance.

So, as I mentioned above, hip hip hooray for the electric bike. Because now, I am so happy to say that I have returned to the joyful activity of riding a long distance tour by bicycle. I am in the middle of one as I write this story. It is forty miles this time. Nowhere near 1,500...yet.

This time, so many calendar years later and with bike technology that is light years ahead of 1982, I now ride a RadRover from Rad Power Bikes, out of Seattle, Washington. They have created a beauty that comes in two colors; black or white. I chose black. It is an electrically powered fat bike which I have modified to fit my practical and esthetic needs.

It is known as a fat bike partly because it has four inch wide knobby, fat, tires. It is, in essence, a mountain bike which is very capable as a road bike at the same time. The 750 watt motor and the 48 volt battery can take me up to 25 miles with my leg power added. With a second battery stowed away in my Burley Nomad trailer, my distance doubles. When that runs out, I hopefully am already camped or in a hotel where I can re-charge for the next day of travel.

My interest in bicycle touring was recently re-kindled by stumbling upon a few videos on YouTube. Seeing the various examples of which panniers to purchase, how and what to pack in them, brought back memories of my past pannier preparations. There is a certain excitement related to the process of deciding upon what to buy, where, and how much to spend. So, familiar tour preparation became a big part of my daily thoughts. This was particularly true while at my personally unsatisfying job.

Every day, while at work, my mind wandered away from vocational duties to adventurous daydreams. I couldn't help it. Every day, as I commuted to and from work, all I could think about was bike touring. Could I even physically do it anymore? I would soon find out.

Suffering through the slow stop and go crawl of heavy rush hour traffic turned into something completely different. My mind turned off the disgust associated with this daily grind and welcomed the fantasies I conjured up instead. Rather than mutter under my breath my roadway discontent with hundreds of other cars and trucks that surrounded me, I was smiling internally at the prospect of my next, long awaited, two wheeled adventure. Hot damn!

Well, the days passed by. Each night after work I would stitch together more and more ideas that percolated in my mind in the hopes of making my fantasy adventure come true. I pulled down my old Centurion Super Le Mans twelve speed that had been hanging in the garage for years and started the process of giving it new life. Yes, the very same bike that took me to Illinois from California thirty five years ago. It needed new tubes and tires for sure, and a good amount of service all totaling $240. That figure was just under what I paid for the bike new from Joslyn's Bike Shop in Monterey thirty seven years earlier. Ouch.

After that, an expense that ultimately turned out to be an unnecessary one, I rode it around my neighborhood for about a mile with no bags other than the old handlebar bag. It felt very familiar and good. The next day, I added the matching rear Eclipse panniers I had stored away from those past tours. I partially filled them with a few items to ease into a touring weight. I rode for three miles. That was not bad, but I did feel the difference and the need to get into better shape if a real extended tour were to take place. By the way, I tried desperately to figure out a way to once again use those great old blue bags on my Rover. I couldn't quite get their proprietary configuration to conform to my new ride satisfactorily, so I had to let them go back into storage after the third and final test run coming up. Bummer!

The following day, for that final test run, I went out for six miles. This time I had to walk up a few hills and also stop for a good rest or two along the way. It occurred to me, that there was no way I could realistically take this sentimental bike for a long tour ever again. My hopes faded. The idea of embarking on another tour adventure looked pretty much impossible. Then, I stumbled upon the e-bike world and everything changed.

I discovered a video, among many others, that was created by a young man named Adamm Jarvis. He produced an interesting review of the RadRover. It can be found on YouTube easily enough. I watched it a couple of times and thought the Rover was worth a better look, so I went to the Rad web site to learn more. I was impressed with the company and its young founders. Still, I needed to look around for other choices, which I did, just to be sure I was satisfied with my research.

I kept going back to Rad. I spoke with them on the phone a few times, telling them my plans and they thought the Rover would work best for my touring idea. I saw more reviews - EBR, Electric Bike Review, was another good one.

I returned to Adamm's video. There was something about it that spoke to me. It had an easy going vocal delivery by Adamm himself, music, and good production value. Along with the bike itself, featured in the video, that twenty something minute video helped me make up my mind. The Rover is what I wanted.

It is now June, 30th 2017. Today, I have pedaled my Rover twenty miles to the Sycamore Campground at the beach near Malibu, CA. Roughly ten miles on roads and streets, and ten miles on the great trail from inland to the beach. I am the only person in the hike and bike area. My campsite begins to take shape.

This may only be a shorter overnight adventure, but boy, am I ever loving it. The ride was wonderful - not hot at all, but perfect. I took this trail part way three other times. Having taken this trail now for the fourth time, and adding the camp out element to it, I am filled with a sense of adventure. I've longed for this touring/camping feeling. This short bike tour brings back all the experiences that my other longer tours gave me - scenery, fresh air, camping, exercising by bike, saying hello to new people as they go about their camping fun. The little kids on their bikes smile as they ride past me among the camp sites. I think one of those smiling little ones was the same one who woke up early the next morning and would not stop screaming. Seriously, for well over an hour, I struggled with those screams and the incessant small dog barking that complimented the shrieking. So much for a peaceful way to wake up with the great outdoors.

My penthouse suite tent is roomy and functional, but it isn't sound proof. It has enough room to hold my Rover and trailer all secured, dry and safe without a need to lock it up. I think it is fine with me right beside it. Even so, ever since my first bike was stolen so many years ago, I have never forgotten the hollow feeling of having lost such a treasured possession to some cold hearted thief. However, in my actual garage at home, my Rover is kept securely locked.

I kid around when asked about the space inside my voluminous tent.
"I have a garage, a bedroom, kitchen, and bathroom."
When people hear me say that, they often chuckle. It's true. I really make good use of the giant tent...I create a garage, a bedroom, a kitchen, and a bathroom within the nylon walls.

Many a campground will have a tendency to gross me out when it comes to the bathroom facilities. I decided to take my self contained idea to new heights by incorporating the survivalist style bathroom. I have a sliced section of a pool noodle circling the rim of a small bucket lined with a plastic waste bag, a hospital urinal, a hospital wash basin (I've spent a few days in hospital care recently), plenty of t. p., small trash bags, wet wipes, wash cloths, towels, soap, and I fill up one or two gallon plastic bottles with water from the campground source. All these comforts ease the hassle of having to walk to the facilities in the middle of the night if necessary. In fact, I am now so spoiled by this, I can't help but think that this is the only way to camp by bicycle.

Having my indoor kitchen is convenient, too. Boiling water for morning coffee without going outside is great. Oatmeal and coffee at my fingertips - perfect. My only concern is if Yogi Bear's cousins come snooping around. I had better start keeping the bulk of my minimalist food stuffs outside during the night. Ya think?

My bedroom set up is an important one. I have to be comfortable with my necessary pillow configuration, and mattress combo. My ground tarp is the first protective layer followed by the tent floor, a one half inch thick layer of foam rubber, topped with my air mattress, the Klymit Insulated Static V Sleeping Pad. I researched the mattresses and knew I had to have a top of the line product. It inflates with only about twelve deep breaths. The Klymit I bought is not their most expensive version. That said, I was not going to sacrifice my comfort to save a few bucks by going any lower.

My new sleeping bag, the OutdoorsmanLab sleeping bag is not of the mummy type. I feel way too restricted if and when I can't sprawl as part of my comfort zone. The bag also allows for poking your feet out when it gets too hot. I like that for sure. Everything is lightweight, and compact. That, my friends, is more than just desirable when biking. It is imperative.

There is so much room to work in my tent garage. I'm away from any flying pests or crawling bugs as I work. I fabricated a kick stand/tent floor protector out of a plastic coffee can lid, cardboard and gaff tape. I need to prevent holes in the tent floor. Spreading out my tools and parts inside my tent near my Rover and Nomad bicycle trailer makes it easier to be a do-it-yourselfer. Very convenient.

Here are some thoughts as the sun sinks behind the dry mountain a few yards west of my camp site.

We're taught from an early age to share. Share that Popsicle, or candy bar. Back in 1982, a lanky gray haired gentleman walked out of a small grocery store in Glacier National Park and saw I was bicycle touring. He had just unwrapped his candy bar and offered to share it with me. I think it was a Hershey bar - kindness.

"Here, have a bite of my Slim Jim, or half of my sandwich." That's a comment that may sound familiar to many of us from times past. Similarly, at another stop at a campground in northern Montana, an older retired couple, who upon learning I was in the middle of a cross country bicycle tour, offered dinner and homemade blueberry pie in their motor home camper. I will never forget the look on the woman's face, and her exclamation;

"You're doing what?? You must be hungry!"

I find it touching when on the receiving end of kindness and generosity. At the same time, I see the compassion and satisfaction on the faces of those who offer it. Those moments lead me into a more spiritual place where I often ponder the bigger picture, and how little things we do can have so much meaning.

Ah, the wonder of it all. The world going by at 70 to 80 miles per hour in a car is quite different from the world I see at 5 to 25 miles an hour by bicycle. The world I witness from a slower perspective has a more complete way of becoming a part of me. I see more. I hear more. I feel more. I acutely sense the wonder of it all.

I guess my philosophical nature comes from being Greek. My ancestors managed to produce a few good ones way back when. I'm sure you can recall their names.

This trip is only the beginning. I'd like to make several of these e-bike journeys to help re-capture some of the youthful times I loved so much. I want to retire soon and take advantage of the physical abilities I still have before they wither away never to be again. I can't see myself spending anymore precious days than I absolutely have to working in an unsatisfying job. I want to feel the wind against my face as I bike along a secluded trail. I want to hear the birds calling, see the squirrels, lizards, and rabbits dart across the trail in front of me as they rush toward their own little palaces. I want to cross the shallow stream that meanders across the trail in three different locations and get wet, muddy, and laugh about it to myself.

I travel alone. I don't mind the solitude, the mud, the sweat, the tough hills, and the occasional mechanical repair. They're all part of the smile. My smile. And I will savor all of these moments as they find me - as nature comes to me. I won't wonder, one day, why I didn't take advantage of the mountains, the beaches, the nights under the stars. Nope. That little boy who ate up the streets of small town USA while pedaling on his Monark still exists. He is just a little bigger, wiser, and definitely more gray. He continues to occupy the space between my ears and the heart of my soul.

So, this is my camp/biking story that replaced the original, longer, Santa Barbara round trip which had to be cancelled. Some of you have been waiting for this documentary of sorts for too long. I apologize for the delay. Perhaps I will get to the Santa Barbara adventure before my legs tell me to give it up. I hope to make that tour soon. For now, I hope you found this little story interesting. Perhaps even inspiring. Thanks for taking the time to share my adventure.

Shane (aUSTRALIA)
2 months ago

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.

Gary Shannon
2 months ago

Very creative solution to the potential theft issue, @Gary Shannon! Glad you're out and about pedaling; makes life a lot more fun with the ekit. :)

Thank you. I did have one problem. The battery is a bit smaller than the lock box, and when I hit a bump it often causes the switch on the battery to hit the inside of the box and turn the power off! I solved that with some foam padding cut to fit the size of the battery and keep the power switch away from the sides.

I also hooked up an "Aosom Wanderer Bicycle Cargo Trailer" and pulled a giant watermelon and a ten-pound bag of potatoes home from the store with no trouble at all. Good times! :)

Robert W Green
2 months ago

So I'm about to pull the trigger and buy an e-bike (yay!). However, I am concerned about service. I'm OK traveling 30 or 40 miles to an e-bike shop once or twice for the initial purchase, but not basic maintenance year after year.

Do you have any suggestions for finding a local e-bike mechanic (Long Beach, CA) competent to work on (my) bike? Questions to ask, things to look for when visiting the shop, etc.? Are the differences between e- and non-e bikes small enough that skilled bike mechanics can work on everything other than the motor and battery? Does it matter in this regard whether the bike's mid-drive or hub drive? ... Sorry for all the Q's!!

Beeline bikes will come to you in their awesome mobile bike shops and fix your nonebike issues and depending on the tech some of your ebike issues. Also Southern California is the ebike capitol of the USA, do a google search and I bet you'll find a lbs that will help you. Things have have changed since I bought a recumbent trike and a ridekick power trailer. Back then I was a double heretic for the recumbent nature of my bike and the electric motor in my trailer. Now my lbs has an entire section for ebikes and recumbent and erecumbents. Is that a word?

Franklo
3 months ago

I am hoping to buy an e-bike soon, and am somewhat surprised at the weight of many of them (>45 pounds). How hard is it to ride a bike that heavy without the motor giving assistance? What factors make it easier to pedal a bike that weight: should I focus on finding a sub-45 pound bike or focus more on getting one that has 7+ gears? Are there any other factors that play a role? Do any of you ever deliberately shut off power, or choose to ride a long enough distance that you know you'll be peddling "on your own" for more than a few miles?

As a side note, are there any issues with putting a 50 pound e-bike on a rear-mounted bike rack? I assume you remove the battery first. Any other concerns to know about?

My bike is 43# without the battery. my rack is rated for 40# per bike. it's a 2 bike rack. so i do use it without problems. my other bike is 53# without the battery. i haven't tried that one on the rack and probably won't. and i definitely wouldn't put both on at the same time.
if you have a trunk or rear hatch type of rack, they're not usually rated much above 40# per bike, that I know of anyway. if you get a very heavy e-bike 60# or more, that type of rack might not work. you'd have to go to more of trailer hitch receptacle type.
plus, if you want to peddle without assist, a 60# bike would be a bit of a workout, but can be done ,especially on flat roads. my one bike has 20 gears the other (heavier one) has 28. i try to use minimal assist just for range- but it's sure nice to know you got that power when you need it.
Faraday makes a really light weight bike. I'm not sure how many gears they have though. My bikes are Easy Motion. one has a throttle and one doesn't.
I f you go back to the "general discussion" section of the forum and scroll down a few pages there was a lengthy discussion about e-bikes and racks. Good Luck in your quest!

Bike_On
3 months ago

continued....

2012
Jim Turner resumes motocross racing again after a 25 year retirement
Jim decides to race again when his son Austen takes up racing.

Racing motocross again reaffirmed Jim's belief in how the excitement of riding an Optibike is an exhilarating and simple to do alternative to racing.

2013
The Boulder B Cycle Bike Share Program teams up with Optibike
The Optibike will be used with a special trailer to re position the B cycles from one station to anther during the day.

The Optibike has the power required to carry up to three B Cycles from one station to another and eliminate the use of a pickup truck.

Previously a regular bike was tried with the trailer, but this proved to difficult to pedal. The B Cycles must be continuously moved from one station to another as riders drop them off. One station may become full, while the other becomes empty.

The Optibike Patented Motorized Bottom Bracket drive system lets the Optibike easily pull large loads up hills, an ability unmatched by other electric bikes.

2013
The Electric Bike Book is published by Jim Turner
Jim Turner completes and published "The Electric Bike Book", the first book dedicated to helping people understand the technology and ability of electric bikes to change their lives. The book is a best seller on Amazon.

Watch the Trailer and Get the Free Book

Click Here

2014
Optibike sponsors BERT - Bicycle Emergency Response Team
BERT is an Optibike sponsored Denver University project where students developed a bike trailer using an Optibike for emergency response.

The BERT trailer is designed to by pulled by an Optibike R series bike. The power of the Optibike allows the trailer to be pulled with weights up to 250 pounds for up to 100 miles at speeds of 25MPH.

The Optibike R series are the only electric bikes with the power and durability to be able to accomplish this. The R series Optibike makes the concept of BERT a reality.

2014
Revolutionary SIMBB (Super Integrated Motorized Bottom Bracket) released.
Optibike releases the new SIMBB which has the motor, controller and battery packaged together to make the smallest E bike drive system in the world. It is so small that when one competitor saw it, they said "But where is the battery?"

2014
Second Generation of Turners Join Optibike
Jim's sons Nicholas and Austen grew up breathing electric bikes and in 2014 began working in the business full time contributing their unique knowledge and skills to develop the next generation of Optibikes..

2015
Wooden SIMBB
The National Hand Built Bicycle Show features a wooden framed SIMBB developed by Professor Jay Kinsinger at Cederville University.

This beautiful hand built frame was made from hard wood and sanded and polished by hand.

2016
R15 Released
All Optibikes are fun to ride and have their own personality, but none put a bigger smile on a riders face than the R15. The acceleration and high climbing ability of this bike is unmatched and has amazed all the customers who have upgraded from their R11.

The R15 has industry leading performance with 1500 watts of continuous power, 175 Newton Meters of torque and a 48 volt 22 Amp Hour (1056 watt hour) battery that weighs only 11 pounds.

Compare these specifications to the original Model 400, 10 years ago, and it is clear Optibike has evolved by leaps and bounds.

2017
Mini SIMBB Released
Optibike releases the Mini SIMBB. The first high performance electric bike built for smaller people. (And we found loved by every rider). This bike has 750 watts of continuous power and a 37 volt 21 amp hour battery!! The unique SIMBB design lets the small frame size with big performance possible. No other bike can come close in this small package.

Alex_C
3 months ago

This afternoon I mounted the trailer bracket kit to the back of the ST2.

Zero directions are included with the kit. However, it is fairly straightforward to mount the plates. If you've never removed the back wheel I'd encourage you to do so when you have some time. If you're beside the road with a flat it's not the best time to learn how it all comes apart.

Remove the through axle. Pull the power plug from the middle of the hub and slide the wheel out. Shift to the smallest gear just like a regular wheel removal. Remove a couple of bolts where the new screws and bolts will attach the plates. Used some of the online pix I found to line up the plates - they are different from each other. Torqued all the bolts and put the rear wheel back in.

See the pictures below.

1/4
Cargo Bike Trailer Josh
3 months ago

Just upgraded the brakes to dual piston hydro Shimano Zee's with Ice Tech rotors. 203mm front, 180 rear. Amazing results, even with a 3 hundred pound trailer on my 6!

All I can say is it's easily 10 times the stopping power as the stocks. With the stock brakes I was literally billowing smoke from both front and back. Was not going to last much longer without a total melt down. Problem solved.

1/2
Steve Plattner
4 months ago

Hi everyone,

Anyone out there done a long ride over several days on a Stromer?

I have been looking around for blogs or forum posts but haven't had any luck...

A friend and I are going to ride 900 miles (1,500km) by Stromer ST2 from Belgium to Spain. We have done a few long rides but nothing more than one day. There are a few things we have been thinking about and would love to hear from someone who has done something similar, for example:

- We were hoping to do 130 miles each day, taking 9 days in total. Is that realistic or too ambitious?
- We have a Radical Design trailer but we'd prefer to try and fit everything into pannier bags to avoid being slowed down by the trailer. Any thoughts on that?
- This would mean no camping gear and we would hopefully be able to find hosts on Warm Showers to find a place to sleep each night.
- ...and many more things to think about but those are the main points!

Thanks!
Joe

Joe, sounds like great fun. But ambitious in my opinion.

I haven't done anything that long--but last year did the C+O Towpath/GAP Trail from DC to Pittsburgh on my ST1 Platinum. Some of those trails go through some pretty remote areas and some of the C+O Trail can be rough going in the rain--muddy, puddles, etc. But I did all 350 miles in 6 days--4 days up around 70 miles, and two around 40. It's fairly flat except for one stretch north of Cumberland, MD. I pulled a BOB trailer (and one pannier lightly loaded) with all my belongings. The trailer really worked well.

There is one big question to consider: recharging batteries. I am 6'2", 210 lbs. My total load was right at 300 lbs. I have two gold and one purple battery. The golds would give me a conservative range of 30 miles each, and the purple about 25. Remember, you shouldn't ever discharge more than 90% of the battery so that reduces your range. I would have camped, but most campsites have no power. So I stayed in motels, B+B's, and a great hostel, which was nice but expensive compared to camping. I would finish riding around 5-6 PM, and immediately go to my room and plug in the charger with the first battery. It takes 3 hours or so to charge the first one, same for the second, and I'd stay up (or set my iPhone alarm) until I could plug in the last battery to be sure everything was topped off by AM.

To do 130 miles each day, with the highest capacity battery available, and depending on terrain, wind, your cadence and speed, weight of your trailer and your body weight, I would think you'd be hard pressed to get 130 miles on two batteries every day. It would be dicey. So I think you'd need a third one. To do 130 miles, again without knowing more details, averaging let's say--17.5 mph, you'll be riding about 7.5 hours. Your seat will be a major factor as well, and if the pavement is rough, I would highly recommend a Body Float or Thudbuster LT (I have the latter and it's great).

I hope you can do it but I would encourage you to think through the battery issues and make sure you have 3 of them, or, maybe reduce your mileage per day to a range that works with 2 batteries.

You should also get Ravi Kempahlah's input as he rode cross-country last summer--all the way to San Diego--5000 miles I believe.

Good luck,

SP

mams99
4 months ago

Can an electric Yuba cargo bike fit your budget? Kinda of expensive to me, but I would believe it's very safe. One could buy two electric bikes in my opinion for that kind of money, but I believe you want to be the only driver?

The ridekick should work on a single bike, but I just don't like the concept because I feel that a motor on the bike, while more difficult to install, is the correct way to power a bike. A pusher trailer is a solution marketed with an overly simplistic view of being easy to attach, etc. I think that when conditions are more rigorous, like hills and heavier weight ... it won't work as well. Plus it seems like bikes always tip if parked when they have a trailer on the back. Well, I've never seen a ridekick, so I am just biased.

.
2 ebikes for that price? Not that I see. Or at least ones that are still classified as unknown/untested brands. To electrify anything costs money if you don't know how to do it yourself and have to pay someone and those high rated kits are $900ish to $2500oish.

If I'm missing something, please point me in a better direction.

harryS
4 months ago

Can an electric Yuba cargo bike fit your budget? Kinda of expensive to me, but I would believe it's very safe. One could buy two electric bikes in my opinion for that kind of money, but I believe you want to be the only driver?

The ridekick should work on a single bike, but I just don't like the concept because I feel that a motor on the bike, while more difficult to install, is the correct way to power a bike. A pusher trailer is a solution marketed with an overly simplistic view of being easy to attach, etc. I think that when conditions are more rigorous, like hills and heavier weight ... it won't work as well. Plus it seems like bikes always tip if parked when they have a trailer on the back. Well, I've never seen a ridekick, so I am just biased.

.

diomark
5 months ago

My wife recently purchased a radwagon. I didn't think I wanted an e-bike, but now I do. badly.

I can't decide on getting the rad rover vs. getting the rad city. other bike that I had considered is the Juiced CrossCurrent..

I like the idea of the juiced crosscurrent having a torque sensor in addition to the cadence sensor, but the motor seems to be underpowered compared to the Rad Power bikes(?) at least on paper it's 350w vs. 750w..

I've been biking for years now and love the 'it's me just faster' aspect of getting an e-bike. i.e. a smoother pedal vs. motor curve would be nice.. Also planning on dragging our existing child trailer (weehoo igo 2) from time to time (although, with the wife having the radwagon, probably not as often as before..)

Any suggestions? Really can't decide of a fat bike (radrover) is right for me or not.. I ride in San Francisco - lots of hills, but mostly pavement (some trails..).

Radrover has a geared hub motor.. I guess this is better for hills vs. the direct drive? but wears down faster?

Can't choose:(

-mark
ps - the radwagon topping out at ~23/24mph was one of the negatives for me.. I guess based on my own pedal power the crosscurrent advertises ~28mph..

kennyzzz
6 months ago

( I've read some places online that say I should make sure to have a pure Sine Wave inverter to recharge the ebike battery. Other places say a modified sine wave inverter is fine. )
you should have a pure sine wave inverter.
this is My experience with a modified sine wave inverter ...
well I'll share my experience with cigar plug inverter, went through 2 vcr's and 1 power brick for my computer, it (cigar plug inverter in my travel trailer ) was not a pure sine wave converter, hence it slowly burnt up me electronic entertainment. so the money i thought i saved my buying a 40 dollar inverter. so buy a pure sine wave inverter .
like i said it burned the stuff out slowly.
now I know why my tv had this buzzing background noise, it was the cheep power inverter .
this is what I purchased
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002O5P8BA/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
now it's worry free for me using my computer and tv in my travel trailer when camping without campground power.
that old tv commercial rang true to me pay me now of later. cheap inverter or pure one. but at the time I did not know any better because i bought a great brand name one, (monster power) I thought it was a quality product . but i did not know the differences of them,.
just trying too help.

Alan8668
6 months ago

Good morning. I'm new to this forum and I'm hoping to find some help. I live quite far from where I purchased my ST1 so bringing it to 'my dealer' is not really an option if something goes wrong. I bought this bike to replace my car and so far I've loved it. But my intention was/is to get to know the bike inside out so that I can look after any issues without having to rely on anyone.

I have the ST1 elite (mountain33) and after eight weeks of daily use (including riding in salty slush, snow, rain), I am now experiencing power loss and it's getting worse. The handlebar interface shows the power cutting out intermittently without any change in the amount of force I apply to the pedals. Not only does it feel like a complete loss in power assist when this happens, it also feels like I'm suddenly pulling a trailer. I've checked the rear brake sensor, cleaned the torque sensor and checked all of the connections...to no avail. The interface is not giving me any error messages. I should add that the bike (so far, might change today) has ran like normal when I leave for work from a 'cold' start. But the power loss has been consistent in kicking-in after about 5 or 6 kilometres of riding. Power loss has been immediate when I leave work to come home (weird).

So after that explanation, I'm at a loss. Like I said earlier, this bike is my only means of transportation. Am I doing further damage by continuing to ride it until I get the issue resolved? How am I to service this bike myself? I'd like to test the entire system (state of charge, motor, etc.). What tools can I invest in? I am meticulous in how I look after my equipment and frankly, feel I could do an excellent job at keeping my bike purring like a kitten for years to come, if I had the proper training and tools. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated!!

Dewey
6 months ago

I would prefer pedal assist to throttle only. I see that you suggested a bike with quite a powerful motor- is that because that is what is necessary to get up the hills?

I understand, I adapted my bicycle with a mid-drive motor and I ride it using pedal assist no throttle. Among a convenience sample of other riders on a recent ride with my neighborhood family bike group 3 of 6 parents towing children had adapted their bicycles with the same type of ebike motor which is a Bafang BBS01/BBS02 rebranded and sold under several names such as 8fun, Dillenger, Lunacycle, Empowered, EM3EV, eRad, and my preferred supplier California Ebike (Doug the owner is super helpful). It isn't a turn key solution like a complete ebike, I needed help from my local bike shop to remove the bottom bracket and replace the chain/make sure the gearing worked because in the conversion process you lose your other front chain rings, turning my 21 speed bike into a 7 speed. I have the lower powered BBS01 with a 36v battery and I programmed the controller to 18a, but the more powerful BBS02 48V model with a 25A controller setting is powerful enough (1200 watts peak power) to get up most hills. Power is necessary to climb hills when you are hauling extra weight. One of the links I posted above is from two parents with the Juiced ODK, one of whom claimed to be able to achieve 7mph up a 23% hill at full throttle. With my much less powerful controller/battery settings (648 watts peak power) I would be standing on my pedals to achieve the same speed on that grade hill. Because I adapted my old 1990's heavy steel hybrid bike, the added weight of me, my daughter, the trailer, the motor, and battery, means my system is underpowered for the weight I'm trying to haul uphill, it works most of the time if I'm not carrying anything else but I get a real workout when we haul the weekly groceries.

Dewey
6 months ago

Want to be able to get around with my five year old- towing him on a wheehoo or trail-a-bike. I am 5'6" and have a just over 30" inseam- Ideally I'll have a bike we can also use to cruise the local rail trail. I am wondering about step-thru models and their ability to deal with towing...

A refurbished Juiced ODK U500 is $1200 and offers nearly 900 watts peak power, low step, smaller 20" tires, cruise control, long range, hydraulic disk brakes, lots of bolt on accessories including a huge sturdy front basket, and a dealer network so you can take a test ride before you buy. Check out Court's review. Here's a review by a parent. Here are some first impressions from parents in hilly Seattle, they recommend adding a wide double kickstand like the Ursus Jumbo but check with Juiced if they will fit one or what they suggest would work. Two Wheeling Tots has a buying guide on trailer cycles, one consideration is to check the measurements of the trailer cycle arm to make sure it will clear the extra long rear rack of the Juiced ODK, you might want to ask Juiced what they suggest might work - you might need some sort of extension piece or a trailer cycle arm that bolts onto the rack rather than the seat post. Or skip the trailer cycle and get rack mounted bars, seat pad, and foot pegs/boards for a passenger. One issue is the ODK uses Kenda K-924 tires that are not standard bicycle tires but use a harder rubber compound which makes them stiff and difficult to get off the wheel rim in the event of a puncture, you could either swap them out for something more puncture resistant like the Schwalbe Big Ben Plus tires, or buy some Park Tool steel tire levers and have a plan B e.g. a cell phone with GPS and if you are a member of AAA and you can push the bike to a road they can arrange for a tow truck to take you and your bike home.

Tora Harris
6 months ago

Tora, get the shakes looking at this. Truly a new universe. But would I be able to work with this also in between having the most enjoyable commutes and fun rides?

Like will it come with bosses for a good rack?

Seems like plenty power for hauling good load on bike trailer. Am I wrong?

It has frame bosses for the rack. We will have a MAC 12T winding version with incredible torque but somewhat lower top speed.

Zachary Laputz
6 months ago

Sounds like a "suck up" review, doesnt sound like a objective review, lets see it in action

Robert Jenkins
7 months ago

The webber hitch is featuredon the jayo world toursite.

Robert Jenkins
7 months ago

would the ridekick be anymore efficent withe a webber type hutch?

Marc A Gagnon
7 months ago

why not use hub less motor's

Keithava
12 months ago

Nice review. Told me what I wanted to know.

NUNYA BIDNEZ
1 year ago

thanks Court. I have been wondering about this product for years. I have 6 bikes and i love that i love that I can use it on all of them quickly. The best review yet.

Ben
1 year ago

Oh my god, please stop talking and go for a ride! It's happening! It's finally happening! Oh no, you stopped and now you're talking more. Please do both at the same time. It's useful info but I just want to see you ride around. Get a tripod, not just angles within arms reach. Oh good, you're riding and talking at the same time now. Thank you

Content Updating
1 year ago

18650 batteries are lighter, and they're safe too. My concern with lipo is not a fiery accident, but a fiery mess if the charger malfunctions.

Benjamin Ward
2 years ago

I have had one of these for about three years and its worked flawlessly.

ROBERT CAMMARATA
2 years ago

It all looks good and seem to be very nice to have!!!! But it cost more then a fare price if it was about $300.00 to $500.00 then you will have a good seller. As of now it is not a good thing to buy do to the cost.

Andres Chapero
2 years ago

I can´t believe they are not selling them by the thousands right now. and the added plus of this trailer is the fact that as batteries improve in performance the trailer can get better with minor, tiny adjustments. I pre ordered one and will wait until I get one. I own several expensive e bikes but this idea is just way too smart I have all my faith in it and in the owners skills and attitude towards their creation.

Content Updating
1 year ago

+Andres Chapero I'd rather not have to pull a trailer. That's why I have a mid drive.

ROBERT CAMMARATA
2 years ago

+Andres Chapero They  cost to much...

Leonard Kubwimana
2 years ago

how well does it work in snow and ice

Content Updating
1 year ago

+Leonard Kubwimana Well, imagine a relatively light trailer driven by one wheel.

joseph valenzuela
2 years ago

I concur, I called the number on the website to place an order and the phone number is out of service. Now I want one so bad!!

ajd91711
2 years ago

+joseph valenzuela the correct telephone number is (877)974-4440

Ron Warrick
2 years ago

The question is, when, if ever, are they going to actually deliver any more units?

Tim Parziale
1 year ago

I modified some Ridekick trailers for people because they weren't happy with them. I changed the whole Power system to 1500 watt motor and controller because their power system cheap garbage. Heavier duty chain and sprocket too.

Tim Parziale
1 year ago

I make better ones.

ElectricBikeReview.com
2 years ago

+Ron Warrick Yeah, I wish I knew... was surprised to hear people commenting about not getting theirs this year. I was under the impression that they had solved issues and were going to deliver in bulk and grow the company!

adrianTNT
2 years ago

13:38 needs some kind of suspension maybe ?

TheAegisClaw
2 years ago

Brushed motors are not worse because they're less reliable, they're worse because they're less efficient AND less reliable. Brushes and commutators are two parts that just don't exist in brushless. Brushed motors produce less torque and less RPM in general too. The only reason these guys are using them is because they're cheaper as they don't require a 3 phase controller.

wordreet
2 years ago

Such a good idea. Looks like a great product! I loved the additional USB connector port.

Fayez Patel
2 years ago

When can we expect the bigger wheeled gearless hub child trailer version to be in production? They announced a prototype in 2013. I would be much more comfortable cycling with a child carrier than the regular ridekick, just because a child carrier is common nowadays.

Terry Brightwater
2 years ago

Great review ;0) Great product :0) Thanks for making and posting :0)

wevenhuis
2 years ago

wow, sounds like a wonderful versatile product! So if I place two Li-iron batteries what would be my range? And how much room would it consume in the casing? And do they sell outside of the USA?

wordreet
2 years ago

+wevenhuis With two matching batteries in paralell, you have the same voltage and get double the amps, so theoretically you could go twice as far at the same speed.