Thread: E-Trikes for MS
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Old 04-29-19, 09:45 AM
Awkward Rider
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Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: USA
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Bikes: Small fleet of e-trikes

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E-Trikes for MS

I have MS that is affecting my left side. My balance is actually pretty good but I am weak, easily fatigued, and it is hard for me to pick my feet up, especially the left. So riding a two wheeled bike is fine while moving, but getting started, stopping, and getting started again, is exhausting. So last year I got a Liberty Trike.

I liked it so much I bought a second one. My husband scoots around town with me, or other friends come over to ride them. It is surprisingly fun alone and adding a second one has been even better. We ride them around the quiet side streets of our town, or on the sidewalks in the town center, or five miles up the bicycle trail to the park. I take it into the farmer's market and even to indoor events like a motorcycle show at a convention center last winter. It fits in small spaces and through doors. Oh and it come apart into two pieces to fit in the trunk of the car.

It has a hub motor in the front wheel and a battery that is mounted under the large basket. I tested the range and easily got to 20 miles. There's a twist throttle and a little instrument panel that shows speed, odometer, battery meter etc. There's a button to select 1 through 5, this controls max speed. 1 maxes at 1.5mph, and 5 maxes at 12mph. I set it to 4 or 5 when I am on the road or the bike path, and 2 or 3 for the sidewalk. I mainly only use 1 when teaching someone new to ride it. The hand brake operates a disc brake on the front, and there's a coaster brake that applies to only the right rear wheel. Both offer good, easily modulated stopping power. It only has one speed; no gears. I like the wide seat with the backrest, the reverse, and the parking brake. I can stop to chat with neighbors, and comfortably sit on it without moving. My head is at eye level with other people, which is much better, socially, than sitting down low like you would in a wheelchair or on a mobility scooter.

I wouldn't want to take them out for bicycle touring, though. First of all they won't keep up; they are electrically limited to 12mph and frankly I would feel unsafe going any faster. With that extra wheel and the inherent tippiness of trikes on bumps, the raggedy edges of country roads could be super dangerous, especially on downhills when you could get going faster than 12mph. Also, you would not be able to eke out much more range by pedaling. The cranks are awkwardly short and with my long legs the seat won't go high enough to get a good angle on the pedals. I just pedal enough to keep from stiffening up, and to give it a boost when the front wheel loses traction.

I love my Liberty Trike a lot and highly recommend them to anyone who has good vision and is spatially aware, yet has mobility issues.

However I recently sold my sidecar motorcycle so I have some funds and garage space. So I am shopping for another trike. Stay tuned!

Last edited by elizilla; 05-22-19 at 07:14 AM. Reason: I now have ten posts so I can add links!
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