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Old 02-05-15, 05:26 PM   #1
christo930
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Motorized Trailers Dangerous?

I just saw a YT video of a motorized trailer designed to push the bicycle and it seems very unsafe to me. I saw 2 of them, but the one I though was REALLY bad was the RideKick motorized e-trailer.

It seems to me that this thing has some really bad design features. For one, it is only attaching to one side of the bike on the axle. Unless you have vertical dropouts, especially with QR, that it could dislodge your wheel or make it not straight.

The other thing, which I think is much worse is the upward push along with turns. Should you hit the throttle on a turn, particularly a sharp turn, this thing is going to try to go straight forwards. This thing could easily end up at a 45 degree angle from the bike or even more and with all of that upward and now lateral force, could knock you over. Even if it doesn't jack-knife on you, what will all that lateral force on the bike do to your rims over time?

It is attached at a low point, well below most of your mass and so I am not entirely sure of just how safe/dangerous this really is in that respect. The low attachment point could make safer than it looks.

There's also no automatic cutoff and so with a panic stop you have up to 60 lbs with a second battery or possibly just another 20 pounds of "stuff" (which is a significant fraction of the average rider's weight, more than 1/3) pushing on the back of the bike, possible with the motor going. It will also help to lift the back wheel off the ground since the pushing has upward force as well, again far worse if you haven't full disengaged the throttle (and this setup has no way of automatically killing the engine on braking).

Am I right in thinking this thing has no business being attached to anything but a 3 wheeled trike? It just seems to me that everything is working against it. I am not trying to pick on RideKick, I just think the whole concept of pushing the bike from behind with a swiveling trailer is a bad idea.

Any feedback would be appreciated.

Chris
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Old 02-05-15, 05:50 PM   #2
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I would say it depends on how much power the electric motor puts out, if it's 350W or less, I suspect it's not a big problem... JMO.
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Old 02-05-15, 06:20 PM   #3
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I would say it depends on how much power the electric motor puts out, if it's 350W or less, I suspect it's not a big problem... JMO.
It's rated at 500 watts. I actually thought it was higher at 800, but I mixed the 2 different setups I saw. But what do you think at 500? Also, torque is the major thing here and if it's geared, it may be down-geared witch would give it far for more torque than the wattage would otherwise indicate.

Thanks.
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Old 02-05-15, 06:41 PM   #4
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Using the E-Assist when the trailer is empty could certainly cause problems but when fully loaded most of the energy would be used moving the trailer, Now if you don't pedal and are using the trailer to move everything then I can see problems happening... As to where the danger cut off is 350W, 500W, 800W..? I think a lot would depend on how you use the assist... Helping to get up the hill with the loader trailer or also pushing the bike to get up the hill because you don't want to pedal...
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Old 02-05-15, 07:56 PM   #5
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Using the E-Assist when the trailer is empty could certainly cause problems but when fully loaded most of the energy would be used moving the trailer, Now if you don't pedal and are using the trailer to move everything then I can see problems happening... As to where the danger cut off is 350W, 500W, 800W..? I think a lot would depend on how you use the assist... Helping to get up the hill with the loader trailer or also pushing the bike to get up the hill because you don't want to pedal...
The trailer is mostly a pushing device, there really isn't much room to put anything in it. It's 40 pounds stock and 60 pounds with an extra battery. It's not designed to be a trailer that takes the load of the trailer off your legs, it's designed to be an e-bike conversion kit with a small amount of storage. Seems like a bad idea to me, but it's been around since 2012 I think. Don't know how many they sold.
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Old 02-05-15, 08:41 PM   #6
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Ridekick Electric Bike Conversion Is this what you are asking about? I'm sure if abused or not used properly it could cause all the problems you mentioned, but in general it seems safe enough to me... JMO
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Old 02-06-15, 01:33 AM   #7
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Ridekick Electric Bike Conversion Is this what you are asking about? I'm sure if abused or not used properly it could cause all the problems you mentioned, but in general it seems safe enough to me... JMO
Yes, that's the one. Thanks for the feedback.
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