Month: August 2015
I live within a couple miles of the local soccer stadium and sometimes we ride in for games. When I am riding fast and over obstacles I like the bigger fatter tires of my 26″ eZip Trailz. The Trailz is one of the cheaper electric bikes made, but they made a lot of them and there is a lot of information and parts available.
Personally I like riding mine. I can get about 20 miles out of one battery pack. I changed the battery connection on mine to Anderson connectors so I can use the batteries on other vehicles as well. I changed the plastic pedals for some metal ones I picked up at a yard sale.
Riding in an urban environment is challenging for a number of reasons. There are many hazards. The road has screws, glass, stickers, curbs, holes, rocks, etc. The biggest danger is cars, there is no arguing with mass. But people who are not paying attention, people not expecting you to be there and people who think the road is for cars and not bikes, they are the biggest threats.
Every time I hear someone talking about taking public transportation and riding bicycles I chuckle. Do you really intend to ride or do you intend other people to ride? If you ride you know it’s nuts.
So here’s the perfect example about bicycle riding lip service. We rode our bicycles to the soccer game the other night. Over 20,000 seats. Do you know how many bicycle parking spots? 4. We used two.
Here’s the stats on my electric bicycle:
26″ Ezip Trailz Electric Bike:
- Motor: 450W DC Brushed Earth Magnet
- Ezip Trailz Electric Bike requires EV-rated, SLA-type, rear-rack mounted, 24V rechargeable battery (included)
- E-bicycle requires 6-8 hours to charge battery completely
- Charge System: UL-listed Currie Smart Charger with LED status display
- Electric Bicycle Controller: exclusive Currie Electro-Drive TM 24V, fully-potted with power gauge function
- Derailleur: Shimano rear
- Grip Shift: SRAM
- Shimano 7-speed freewheel
- Ezip Electric Bike User Controls: power on/off switch, easy-access charger port in removable battery pack, twist throttle with PAS+TAG function and battery gauge
- Maximum E-Bike Speed: 15 mph (rider weight, rider input and terrain contingent)
- Range: 15-22 miles (rider weight, rider input and terrain contingent)
- Wheels: 26″ alloy rims
- Frame: exclusive Currie hi-ten steel frame with Bottle Bosses, fender and rack mounts
- Fork Type: suspension
- Handlebars: mid-rise bar and stem
- Saddle: comfort design with quick-release seat post
- Brakes: alloy linear pull with alloy brake-inhibit lever
- Maximum Weight Capacity: 240 lbs
- Dimensions: 54″L x 18″W x 48″H
I often ride the train to get places. To get to the train station I ride a folding bicycle. It takes me about 10 minutes. Then I fold the bike up and get on the train. With the bike folded I can keep it with me in the seat, it’s great. When I get to my stop, I can unfold the bike and ride farther still.
I took a ride the other day and snapped a few pictures out the window. This is mobility to me. The ability to go, to do, to get places.
My folding bike is great. It has 12″ wheels and is a bit wild to ride, which to me makes it more fun. It is a one speed but is a pretty good gearing, I can ride most everywhere without much trouble and it actually goes pretty good. I have never seen another one exactly like it. It is a great ride, folds quickly and fits in the trunk. Super easy to transport. I have taken it with me on several RV trips and it allows me to ride wherever I go.
People stop me regularly and ask me about whatever scooter I am riding. It has been surprising how many people need something like what I have, and the varied reasons they need it. I got into scooters to help me, but meeting people who use assistive devices has softened my heart. There are a lot of people who suffer but want to keep going and need a little help.
If you are one of the people who has stopped me, hopefully you will find answers to your questions here. You can also contact me if you have a specific question.
A BIG issue for assistive devices is transportabilty; can you take it with you when you are not riding it? The scooter pictured above has a folding handlebar and I put it in the trunk to take shopping. It is super lightweight and easy to pull out and use. It is a GoPed KnowPed that I stuck a seat on. It’s awesome, one of the most powerful tools I have.
The KnowPed has a wide deck and a solid adult-sized frame. The wheels are solid, no flats ever! And most importantly for a sit-down configuration like this, a front hand brake. I will do a detailed post about the seat in the future. I hope to build a folding post in the next week or two, so I will do a post on that.
You may notice that I put big, sprung Schwinn Quilted Wide Cruisers Saddle seats on my rides. They really work for me in giving me an extra bit of suspension that helps my joints. I also use Schwinn Collapsible Handlebar Baskets, very handy.
Endless-sphere.com is an excellent website for information about all things electric vehicles. I made a post there explaining my scooter named “Frankenscooter.” I put a Schwinn S750 together with a Schwinn S1000 Stealth. The result is awesome.Top speed 18 MPH.
When it came to mobility, I quickly realized I didn’t even know what questions to ask. After many mistakes and much wasted time and effort, I found the question: With a seat — how fast, how far? What I found is I need to ride 3 speeds; walking speed (3-4 mph), running speed (4-8 mph), and city transport speed (12-15 mph). So basically shopping, riding with my wife while she runs, and zipping to the store in town.
A Pride GoGo mobility scooter can give you lots of walking speed — only. An inexpensive electric scooter can give you running speed, and an electric bicycle can get you all the speed you are looking for. There is a tool for each job.
So how far? My kick scooter; .5 to 1 mile (slow); My eZip 750 (8 miles 12-15 mph); my iZip EZGO 16″ folding bicycle (15 miles at 6 mph); and my eZip Trailz (12-15 mph for 20 miles).
What about something that can do it all? If you can balance, a 2 wheeled electric scooter is tough to beat. They can go fast or slow and can be ridden in stores. Currie has stopped making their 750w and 1000w scooters which is the smallest I would recommend for an adult, but you can find them used. There are other manufacturers making 2 wheeled scooters with a seat. I recently picked up a 36v Quazar scooter that is belt driven.
I had a 3-wheeled Dillenger M5 that could do it all. 350w 36v12ah, it could go over 10 miles at speeds of up to 18 mph. No rear suspension, it was fun to ride and surprisingly stable. Limited hill climbing ability though.
My best ride is my Lyric Runn3r. Full suspension, all aluminum body, speed, torque, brakes, lights, speedometer, quality tires, fenders, alarm, remote — it has it all. 48v 500w motor. It even has a speed selector so I can set the speed. Example, riding in a store I set the speed selector to low so the starts are not full-jerks. I have much finer throttle control. At high speed it is great, the tilting suspension allows me to lean into turns and take them at higher speeds. Controller is sealed, so riding this in the winter; snow, rain, whatever — no problem.
I try to ride my electric bicycles when I can. I like at least getting some exercise when possible. But on bad pain days it is nice to have the full electric options.