Thread: E-Trikes for MS
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Old 05-18-19, 08:39 PM
Awkward Rider
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Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: USA
Posts: 41

Bikes: Small fleet of e-trikes

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I picked up the Pfiff trike today. It is not yet an e-bike, I am still planning out the details. But now that the bike is here I can make better plans, because I have something to look at and measure.

I rode it around close to home, with only pedal power, today. I did OK on the flat, but there's a little uphill slope to get back to my garage and I could not get up it. My right leg was able to push the pedal enough, but the left is stupid. Getting across the top of the pedal stroke on the left, I could not maintain enough momentum, and when the pedal ground to a halt the bike started rolling backwards and I had to brake. And then I could not get going again because I was stranded at the weakest point of the pedal stroke. If it were a freewheel hub I could have spun the pedal backwards to a spot with more mechanical advantage, but it's a coaster brake so that could not be done. Ultimately I had to get off and push it. I made it to the garage but I was done in. Still, on the flat parts I felt quite good about it. I think this is going to be OK. Toe clips will help, and I need to get rid of that darned coaster brake. Freewheel!

I worked my arms and shoulders pretty hard trying to fight that left pedal over the top dead center, and the grips were at a very uncomfortable angle for that. So I adjusted the handlebars to suit me a little better, and I put the seat up another half inch. Rest overnight and I will have another short spin tomorrow, see if I do better with these ergonomic changes.

I really like the low step through. It was easy to mount/dismount!

The shop is recommending a TDCM hub motor with a five speed internally geared Sturmey Archer hub, or the other option would be to use a more generic rear wheel hub motor, and add a freewheel and rear derailleur. I need to find out if that TDCM is a coaster brake hub or a freewheeling one. I have always had an appreciation for internal geared hubs, they're super neat, but I have never owned a bike that had one. The freewheel and derailleur are familiar and comfortable so I may just go with what I know.

Another thing I need to change, is that this bike has a generator headlight/taillight. I realized after I got back to the garage, that thing was rubbing the tire, so that was also giving resistance today. I can't afford the extra resistance, I don't have leg power to spare for it, and I am unlikely to ride at night anyway. Also even when I was strong, I thought those generators were stupid. They were never bright enough for the speed I was riding, and when the bike stopped they were completely dark, which is lousy for being seen. Modern LEDs would mean the generator headlamp is brighter when moving, but when stopped it will still be useless. It is a nice tidy setup, the wires are very neatly installed; I'm impressed! But I still plan to remove it. I'll avoid cutting the wires, try to remove it carefully enough for someone else to use it, and I will pass it on.

I need to figure out how best to carry my cane.

Last edited by elizilla; 05-18-19 at 08:43 PM.
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