After trying to get back into road cycling with my disability of a prosthetic leg, I’ve become very upset with myself on how I’m not able to do the same as I used to, etc etc. Natural self-blame. I decided it’s time to bite the bullet and accept my issues but not give up… only change how I do things. I decided to buy an electric bicycle through Rad Power Bikes, which is more of a mid-range of the e-bike industry. The reason I decided to use them is because of their customer support and parts availability. Sure, I know how to engineer & make things, but I’m not looking to do that with everything in my life or else I’d have nothing nice because my focus would be across too many things. Besides, for the price they’re nice! To my door, delivered, it was $1,499 + tax.
I bought a bike labeled “Rad Rover”, which is an all-terrain style bicycle with a motor rated at 750 watts and a battery rated at 48v 14ah 672 wAh. It’s a tall bike, I’ll give it that. I’m 5’5-5’6″ (1.65-1.68 meters) tall, and I just barely straddle the center bar, but I do. It’s a pedal-assist (PAS) at different levels (1-5, different watt delivery depending on choice) or throttle control at your fingertips. I use the throttle to accelerate from a dead-stop due to my issue, and pedal-assist at level 2 or 3 depending on the elevation changes of where I’m pedaling. I’m impressed at how long I can keep the battery charge going during pedal-assist 2 since the bike delivers about 140 watts of power to the wheels as I’m constantly pedaling. Since it is a mountain bike style, the speed averages 17-20 MPH, but does go faster if settings are changed on the display. I travel about 5-7 miles away for errands, and I never even lost a bar of power on the meter until my return trip. That is with random throttle use during dead-stops or uphill travels. My main goal is next week to start using this bicycle to travel to work about 12 miles away. It shouldn’t be terribly taxing on the battery, and the charger is only about 1 pound in weight.
I already have upgrades and optimizations in mind, and I’ve started already. Simple upgrades now, such as a gel Cloud-9 brand seat & a skid plate for the underside of the bike where wires are exposed. I particularly like that since it’s available via E-Bay and made by a fellow rider named “FusedMatter”. This is a shot of the skid plate attached to the underside of the bicycle, making sure all wiring is safe.
Future upgrades & optimizations already purchased and on the way are a cadence sensor protector (to keep rocks/dirt from destroying it while riding high speed) along with Origin8 Supercell 26×4.0 30-TPI tires with a flat road surface instead of the Kenda brand Juggernaut knobby dirt bike tires currently on there… since I’m mostly on asphalt anyway. Next at a later time will be a 35A controller and color display, to deliver more energy to the motor along with the display being prettier. Currently, it is a black-and-white LCD screen.
It’s not the best-of-the-best, but it is much nicer than most I have seen through the years. I’ve put 120 miles on the bike so far since last monday (10 days), and it’s been friendlier than most other bikes I’ve ridden. I consider that to be a great baseline, and I can upgrade from that point without worrying.