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Thread: Electrical Assist For Handcycles...My Experience

  1. #1

    Electrical Assist For Handcycles...My Experience

    The Question is:
    Should I Use The ROADRACE PowerPod To Install My E-Bike Wheel On My Handcycle?

    First Of all, If you are a recreational handcyclist an e-bikeKit Hub Motor wheel is a must to get the most enjoyment from your ride.

    The e-bikekit wheel uses a throttle to control your speed. I recently put this type of e-bike wheel on my Intrepid Tourer Handcycle(a very nice Handcycle) and it works great. It makes riding the handcycle so much more enjoyable. You can decide how hard to pedal or if you want to, you don't need to pedal at all.

    For example, you can set the throttle to 15 mph and pedal hard enough to go faster then 15 mph, the motor isn't helping at all. However, if you let up and your speed drops to 15 mph, the motor will keep you at that speed. When you come to a hill, just give it a little more throttle and it makes the hill much easier to climb.

    With the throttle type e-bike wheel you have two options for installing it:
    1) Replace the front wheel on your handcycle, or
    2) Use the ROADRACE PowerPod to install it.

    THERE'S ONLY ONE REAL OPTION!!! USE THE ROADRACE PowerPod!!!
    Why? Because I tried to save money and replace the front wheel and I just ran into one problem after another.

    Problems:
    1) The e-bikekit hub is a little bit wider than the handcycle hub. The
    handcycle forks with the leg supports makes it much harder to spread
    apart to mount the wheel.
    2) If you have a disc brake, the caliper and rotor DO NOT align.
    So you would need to add a spacer to the caliper mounting to make it
    work.
    3) The gears and chain have the same problem.

    You may think once you get past all of these problems you got it made.
    WRONG!!! I WOULD NOT want to change a flat tire on the road\trail. It woul be a nightmare. If you did get a flat, the best thing would be to call someone to pick you up.

    Mounting the ROADRACE PowerPod is very easy and it would be possible to change a flat on the road.

    I just put the e-bikeKit wheel on my Intrepid Tourer Handcycle using the ROADRACE PowerPod. I tested it on a hill that without the motor I could only do 4-5 mph. With the ebike wheel, I went up it at 19 mph.

    I'm a 51 year old, T-4 complete paraplegic with 32 years of wear on my shoulders, arms, wrists and hands. The e-BikeKit wheel with the ROADRACE PowerPod will extend my handcycle riding for many years.

    I added an eyehook to the front of the kickstand on the ROADRACE PowerPod. Then I wrapped a heavy duty bungee cord around the axle and attached it to the eyehook. This pulls the ROADRACE PowerPod down giving it added traction. See photo below.

    Attachment 44985

    Me on the West Penn Rails-To Trail in Saltsburg, PA

    Attachment 44983

    Attachment 44984

    Sam Barnard
    Last edited by Sam Barnard; 05-24-2012 at 08:59 PM. Reason: Adding Images

  2. #2
    Great pics there Sam, and thanks for the write-up.

    Just to add a bit more info - I started talking with Sam a while back and he decided he preferred to modify the handcycle by replaceing the main wheel with the e-bikekit wheel. He then purchased the 700c motor directly from e-bikekit.

    As he writes, this did not work out well, and Sam came back to me. I was able to make for him the bracket and frame. For the frame I had to use a bike that could accommodate his larger 700c (29") wheel - that is why it is blue lol.

    Anyway, long story short, his rig is not the standard Power Pod, since he is using a larger wheel that is gear-driven, instead of the smaller direct-drives that I use in the Power Pod.

    Perhaps Sam can offer an opinion on the gear-driven motors? However, the Power Pods, I feel, are better with the 24" direct drive motors since they are more powerful and offer more torque. They still top out near 30mph, so the top speed is not compromised with the 24" wheel (the smaller you go with the wheel the slower that top speed will be).

    Anyway, thanks for the write-up of your experience and good luck in the future Sam!

  3. #3
    Hey Sam, I notice the knee guards.....thats a great idea to protect my knees from the chain. What kind are they?

  4. #4

    E-BikeKit 350 watt Geared wheel~Knee Pad

    Hello Mark,

    I think the 350 watt e-BikeKit wheel is a good wheel for someone that rides in areas with grades less than 5% and they can help the motor going up hills by pedalling. I would go with the 500 watt if I had to do over.

    I like the 700c(28") wheel, however I need to deflate the tire to mount it on the PowerPod frame. A better choice might be a 26" wheel for this frame.

    As far as the knee pad, I use it to keep the oil off of my pants, because the chain rubs my leg when making sharp right turns. The one I wear is padded thats elastic and pulls over my foot to get on. It's made by Franklin, I must have picked it up at a sporting goods store. You probably could cut the toe out of a tube sock to achieve the same results, i.e. keep your pant leg clean.

  5. #5
    Senior Member forestranger52's Avatar
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    We use knee pads like that when wrestling. I also used kneepads for work when finishing concrete and such.

    www.duluthtrading.com has the Tactical Ultra Flex lll Knee Pads. They are plastic and have less a chance of getting caught.

    Army knee pads may also work and SWAT teams use them too.
    Last edited by forestranger52; 05-27-2012 at 05:22 PM.
    C 5/6 Comp.
    No Tri's or hand function.

    Far better it is to try mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure. Than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much or suffer much, because they live in the grey twilight that knows neither victory or defeat.

    Teddy Roosevelt

  6. #6
    I agree Sam, the powerpod is the cat's meow for sure. As for flats, I ride the bike home, slowly. I've never hurt a rim yet, a few dings but good to go. I throw out the old tire because I'm sure it's toast but could be okay. Like you, after so many years of dragging my sorry ass thru life, they're pretty well toast and I can't do the road to seat transfers anymore; hence the riding it home.

    the only problem I have with the e-bike kit are those dang Anderson connections to the battery. I really have to press the wires going into the connections to make sure they're contacting. They are really finicky.

    I love my bike, don't know what I would do without it. With the powerpod, I'll be able to ride post drool cup stage.

  7. #7
    Hi Patrick,
    I don't know why people like those smaller anderson connectors. I don't like them. I got the anderson connectors for heavier gauge wire and solder the wires into them. I'll never have problems with loose connections.

  8. #8
    Great idea.thanks. I just got off the Bike after a 20miler. With the hills etc. I doubt I'd be able to make it without the Powerpod; esp. at 16 average mph. This thing is a hoot.

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