Friday, July 10, 2015


I realize that my blog has been light on all things bikey, and there's a reason.

My glorious cargo trike has been sidelined for a few weeks. I bought an electric assist kit, thinking that it wouldn't be all that difficult to assemble, and failing that, a local e-bike guy might be able to help assemble it.

First of all, WRONG on all counts. I don't know if other brands of e-kits ship with schematics, but this one sure didn't. Because all the wheels on my Schoolbus are 24" instead of 26", it took quite a lot of hunting to even find a rear geared hub rim kit in the right size. When it arrived with no diagrams or explanations, we were bewildered. So I called a local guy who had an outdated website (my first clue) and asked if he could assemble it.

Now, to be fair, he DID admit that while he loves e-bikes and building them,but he had only ever assembled about 10, and they were all on standard frame bikes. He had assembled one of the same kits as mine before, though, and that was one more than we had done.

Dude, he was flummoxed. He (and I'm trying to be nice here, because he was messing with my drum brakes and that flipped me out) kept trying to overthink the battery location - it's designed to go on a back rack, but he wanted to put it in the box, which didn't work with cable lengths or ease of battery removal. He also kept setting nuts and bolts and cables in random spots on our gravel driveway. GRAVEL. DRIVEWAY. We were lucky to find them again!

Long story a little shorter, he was unable to do the job. When he left, a few components were put on, like the new hub motor rim, but the battery and controls were left dangling.A good friend who works at the bike shop and volunteers at Recycle Bicycle was able to get the bike technically ride-able again, and put on a few more of the controls, but it's still not motorized. So now I have a heavier trike (because that hub motor is heavy) that STILL isn't running, and it's discouraging to ride it half-finished that way. We still have to find a place to mount the control box, put on the control box, mount the battery to the recently installed rack, attach all the cables, and pray everything works properly.

I said it before and I'll say it again - I only had $1000 to buy this bike. I should have just waited and saved the extra $600 to get the one that already had the power assist built in. This has been a MAJOR pain.

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