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Thread: Freedom Ryder Upgrades

  1. #1

    Freedom Ryder Upgrades

    I like to upgrade the parts on my bikes as a reward for putting in the miles I done in the past 40t years of hand cycling. I needed to replace my SLA 36vlt batteries on the Road Race Powerpod so figured it was time to investigate the possibility of going with a Lithium Battery. E-bike kit was having their Christmas sale so looked into them

    At first I ordered a 48vlx10ah lithium with a delivery 4 weeks away. During that time I thought the 10ah was not going to do what I wanted so called to talk about it. Dan mentioned they had a 48v x 20ah for 67 dollars more so went with that. I saved a couple hundred dollars on the the battery. It arrived without a cover so had a waterproof one made that cost 30 bucks by a friend I know. It weighs 10lbs less than the 36 x 15 SLA's I had on before and has 12 more volts with another 5 AH added. Big difference and is much sleeker looking than the old SLA's.

    I hate the Avid BB7 disc brake Freedom Ryder puts on their bikes due to the faunky stopping power they have and how much travel is in the brake lever. It goes to almost the handle before any type of braking is applied. Speaking with Fuentes, he suggested going with the hydraulic/mechanical cable TRP puts out. That brake is for road bikes and F/R uses a Mountain brake setup, so again the travel of the brake lever would not be efficient.

    Instead I went with their new TRP Spyke mountain disc brake and exchanged the 160mm disc with a Shimano 170mm disc.

    Man it changed the whole response on the bike. The 48v gives plenty of torque with the 20ah giving me over 40 miles of battery life and the Spyke brake stops it on a dime. That brake is the best thing I've put on it.

    This is probably my last bike after all the years of riding and, of course, the many I still have left to do. I think the only stuff left on it that are original is the frame and cranks. Other than that, it's all custom.

    So those with faunky stopping power on their F/R, switch over to the TRP Spyke disc brake and add a Shimano 170mm disc; it'll change that big time.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Good to know about the brakes. I always thought the ones on my frh-1 sucked, but didn't know if it was normal since it was my first handcycle. New pads didn't help either. What was the cost of your brake swap if you don't mind me asking?

  3. #3
    I think it was under a hundred for the brake Brad. I normally do the work myself but had my mechanic do it this time. He kept the TRP 160mm disc and gave me a Shimano 170mm instead. With a tuneup, labor and the brake I think it was around 150.00

    Well worth the cost. It made a tremendous difference on stopping.

    Two things I don't like about the F/R is Mike Lofgren doesn't put enough chain length to reach the big chainring if the tiller is adjusted all the way back. It takes another 5 or so links to make it right. And the faunky Avid BB7 brake. To make it so the lever doesn't hit the handle while braking means adjusting the brake so much it rubs on the disc slightly making the wheel not spin freely. Other than that, it's been a great bike. I think this is my 15th or 16th hand cycle. My insurance used to buy them anytime I wanted a new one. Things have changed since then though they'll still buy my tires etc.

    I reward myself with a part upgrade for putting in the miles. If it makes it more efficient or keeps me in the saddle that much longer, it's worth it. Before you know it, you have a completely customized bike.

  4. #4
    nice pat. I'm a big trp fan. I put the hybrid on a lot of my QUAD ELITE builds. I love it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Madsen View Post
    I think it was under a hundred for the brake Brad. I normally do the work myself but had my mechanic do it this time. He kept the TRP 160mm disc and gave me a Shimano 170mm instead. With a tuneup, labor and the brake I think it was around 150.00

    Well worth the cost. It made a tremendous difference on stopping.

    Two things I don't like about the F/R is Mike Lofgren doesn't put enough chain length to reach the big chainring if the tiller is adjusted all the way back. It takes another 5 or so links to make it right. And the faunky Avid BB7 brake. To make it so the lever doesn't hit the handle while braking means adjusting the brake so much it rubs on the disc slightly making the wheel not spin freely. Other than that, it's been a great bike. I think this is my 15th or 16th hand cycle. My insurance used to buy them anytime I wanted a new one. Things have changed since then though they'll still buy my tires etc.

    I reward myself with a part upgrade for putting in the miles. If it makes it more efficient or keeps me in the saddle that much longer, it's worth it. Before you know it, you have a completely customized bike.
    Bike-on.com rep
    John@bike-on.com
    c4/5 inc funtioning c6. 28 yrs post.
    sponsored handcycle racer

  5. #5
    I agree John, they make great stuff. Thanks for the suggestion to go TRP. I've had their levers on other bikes but never thought about their brake setups. The builds you put together are spectacular that's enabled a lot og people the thrill of getting on the roads and trails in an efficient, cost effective way.

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