Frequently Asked Questions about adding the Ridekick power boost trailer to your bike or recumbent trike
How fast does it go?
- With our 24 v battery, 500 watt motor and variable speed throttle system, you control the power for speeds up to 20 mph for your bike or recumbent trike.
How far will it go?
- It will go about 8 – 10 miles on a charge with the 12 Ah sealed lead-acid (SLA) battery, and 25 – 30 miles on a charge with our 20 Ah lithium iron (LiFePO4) battery. You can use two SLA batteries for a range of 20 miles, or double up lithium for a long 50 mile ride.
How long will the battery last?
- These estimates depend on many things, but are based on a 170 lb rider on flat terrain in moderate temperature (70 degrees) with well-inflated tires on the bike/trike, and no wind, as well as proper care of the battery.
- Sealed lead-acid (SLA) batteries will support riders for about 4,500 miles. The battery must be charged at the end of each day of use. During long periods when it’s not being used (for example, extreme hot or cold weather), it must be disconnected from the controller/trailer and charged at least once per month. The goal is to keep it fully charged, but not to keep it plugged into the outlet full time.
- LiFePO4 (lithium) batteries will support riders for about 45,000 miles. The battery must be charged within a few days of each day of use. During long periods when it’s not being used (for example, extreme hot or cold weather), it must be disconnected from the controller/trailer and charged about once per month. It’s best kept charged, but not plugged into the outlet full time.
Does it “fish-tail” as it pushes?
- Delightfully, no fish-tailing. The patented design creates propulsion with un-perceptible sideways forces. You’ll be surprised at how comfortable the boost feels on your bike or recumbent trike.
Watch figure 8s in a product review.
Will it get me up the hills?
- Hills and head-wind are where you appreciate the boost the most. You’ll find that short hills with slight grades become a joy.
Getting started on a recumbent trike is a breeze with a little Ridekick boost. Gentle hills can be challenging with a recumbent trike, and the Ridekick assist makes it so much EASIER!
The 500 Watt system does have it’s limits. While it won’t motor an adult up a 10% grade hill on its own, it’ll make it easier to accomplish what you could barely pedal over before. Start with easier hills, and explore where it’ll take you on your recumbent trike.
How much does it weigh?
- It’s 38 – 43 lbs (25 lbs of frame/motor/wheels/controller, 13 – 18 lbs of battery)
How much space is in the cargo area?
- The holding capacity is 42.8 liters. That’s enough space for two grocery bags, or a briefcase, laptop, and lunch.
See what it will hold
Do I have to worry about weight in the trailer?
- The trailer can carry up to 75 lbs of weight.
Does the cargo stay dry in wet weather?
- Yes, the cargo bin is weather resistant (tested in Portland, OR!)
How long does it take to install? Can I do it myself?
- You can easily do it yourself (with no special tools) in about 20 minutes. Then you can unhitch it in 20 seconds and ride for a workout, and it’s ready to hitch on your bike or recumbent trike again in 20 seconds.
Click here to see more about installation.
I have a bike and a trike. Will it work on each of them ?
- Yes, you can purchase an extra set of hitch plate and throttle to install on each cycle. Then, it takes less than 1 minute to switch between them. It’s easy to outfit the whole household!
How can I protect myself against theft?
- The Ridekick power trailer has a steel loop welded onto the frame. It fits a cable lock (not provided). In addition, the cargo compartment locks with a combination lock (provided.) Both of these features deter theft.
Does it use rechargeable batteries?
- Yes, the Ridekick power trailer comes with a rechargeable battery (either SLA or LiFePO4) and charger that can be used in your normal household or office outlet (110 – 120v).
Why do you use SLA batteries? Aren't they heavy?
- SLA batteries are heavier than lithium. We like them because they’re 1) a tried and true technology, 2) more affordable, and 3) riding in the trailer, not on your bike or recumbent trike. This makes the balance of your bike or recumbent trike feel normal, not skewed by extra weight. A lithium battery option is available as well.
Click here to see a battery comparison.
If I get a SLA battery now, can I upgrade to a lithium later?
- Yes, you can! The controller is designed to work with any 24 volt battery, and we’ve added a feature that lets you adjust battery level feedback based on SLA or LiFePO4 batteries. If you are interested in extending your range, you can purchase a second SLA battery ($125) and Y-cable ($35) to put your batteries in parallel for a seamless 20 mile range of riding. We sell an accessory LiFePO4, 20 Ah battery for $795 that gives you 25 – 30 miles on a charge.
How long does it take to recharge the battery?
- The SLA takes about 5 hours to fully charge, and the LiFePO4 takes about 3 hours to fully charge.
How much does it cost to charge it?
- Based on average energy costs, it uses about 2 cents worth of energy to get to a full charge.
What sort of carbon footprint does it have?
- Ridekick power is ~900 mpg! When using the coal-powered electricity to charge the battery, the carbon equivalent of a gallon of gasoline boosts you ~ 900 miles. Wind or solar power improves that number. You can ride circles around a Prius.
Other electric assist systems use a 36v or 48v system. Why don't you?
- Without giving up any power performance, 24 v is better for battery management and longevity. Our battery, controller, motor combination provides great torque in a more economical system for your bike or recumbent trike.
What kind of motor do you use?
- Ours is a 500-watt brush motor.
But, brush motors aren't as good...are they?
- For this use, a brush motor is a great answer. Our motors have taken riders over 8000 miles and are still going strong!
Is it legal?
- Yes, the Ridekick power trailer is designed to meet the requirements of low-speed electric bikes [per 49 U.S.C. § 30102(a)(6)]. Some cities and states have more restrictive rules, so check your local rules.
Is it cheating?
- Cheating is driving to the store two miles away or using electric power in a pedal-power race. The Ridekick assist enables us to ride instead of drive. It also enables us to exercise at our preferred level for longer distances. Our dedicated riders tell us, “It’s not cheating, it’s having fun!”
Does it use a throttle or a pedal sensor system?
- You may have heard the terms PAS, Torque sensors, or biometric feedback. They all try to measure your exertion and add the appropriate amount of boost. It turns out that your brain is better! For example when you can see an upcoming stop sign or a hill in 100 feet, you can adjust the throttle in anticipation … the fancy systems just can’t do that as well as you do!
- The throttle can be set up on the right side, the left side, and for either finger or thumb control. You can decide what works best for you on your bike or recumbent trike!
Are the batteries safe?
- The Ridekick power trailer uses only the safest styles of batteries. The SLA (lead-acid) has NO liquid in it, so it’s safer than a car battery. SLA batteries are used in wheelchairs and can be taken on airplanes. Our LiFePO4 lithium battery is a safe chemistry. There are videos of lithium batteries catching on fire, but the LiFePO4 chemistry in Ridekick batteries is much, much safer than other lithium formulas. Lithium batteries are classified as hazardous materials so require special handling when shipping.
What is the warranty?
- 6 months on the SLA battery, 1 year on the LiFePO4 battery and 1 year on the remainder of the product.
Where can I buy one?
- You can buy direct from the manufacturer with a 30 day guarantee! www.ridekick.com/shop