First thing first, Flexibility. The trailer can be shared between bikes in your family in 30 seconds! (Try that with a hub motor.) Use your hybrid bike with the power trailer to and from work. Then switch it to your cruiser for going downtown on a summer evening.
Hitch it up to your partner’s bike for a trip to the store. With Ridekick you get versatility! Get your bike back to normal in seconds. After your commute or trip to the store, unhitch the power trailer and take your pedal-power only bike for a trail ride.
The trailer has 3 power levels:
(a) most power and max assist to 20 mph (it will freewheel at higher speeds.)
(b) moderate power and max assist to 20 mph (good for extending the battery range.) (c) low power and max assist to 15 mph (well-suited for kids and upright trikes.)
A throttle control is the most natural, and provides the best control for anticipating stops and upcoming hills.
Unlike an e-bike and some motor wheel conversion kits, the trailer has a large cargo area to support a variety of battery styles and chemistry. Start with the low-cost SLA battery (8-10 miles) which is good for most commutes and local errands. Add a second SLA battery for an inexpensive way to double the range.Simply upgrade to one of the LiFePO4 batteries for 25 to 40 miles of range, or more! Just strap it in place and connect it; the controller works with any battery chemistry.
Is it better to add weight to your bike OR use a trailer instead?
Adding an extra 20 lbs. of electric assist to your bike affects how it handles. Making turns will feel different, and the bike will be more top heavy. On the other hand, a Ridekick trailer carries all the motor and battery weight. Even with 30 extra lbs. of groceries or other cargo, your bike will feel nimble and stable. A heavy motor wheel is hard on tires and spokes (see example spokes hub motor). Plan on extra maintenance in that area. Also, be sure the front forks of your bike are stout enough to manage the torque (they are generally not designed or tested for a motor wheel https://electricbikereview.com/forums/threads/dangers-of-front-wheel-drive.8365/)
Many Ridekick trailer riders like how the trailer can be separated into three 20-lb parcels for ease in loading into the car for transport. Instead of having to lift the entire heavy bike and wheel and battery together (60+ lbs), simply unhitch the bike (20 lbs) to load that first, then the battery (20 lbs), and then the trailer (20 lbs).
For the low price of $799, the trailer includes everything needed to start extending your rides. As a bonus, there is plenty of capacity for your work gear or groceries on the return shopping trip.
There is a wide variety of pricing for motor wheels ($350 to $1250). The right choice demands research to get one with the right motor specs and battery chemistry that will meet your needs. As an example, the Ridekick batteries are high value: the LiFePO4 type will recharge over 1500 times, while other li-ion batteries will lose capacity after 300 recharge cycles (that’s about a year before needing replacement.)
Worried about the task of installation? Don’t be, the Ridekick trailer installs in less than 15 minutes (strap on the throttle and cable, and clamp on the hitch plate.) The instructions for hub motors look like “simply adding a wheel.” Many require you to route the wires, mount the battery, figure out how to remove your handlebar grip and place the throttle on the handlebars. This can be challenging when you need to work around the brake lever and gear shifters. The Ridekick throttle is a patented system that lets you strap on the throttle without removing any grips or levers or shifters. The versatility makes it easy to mount on handlebars for cruisers, fat tire bikes, recumbent trikes, and most others.
The Ridekick trailer system is designed for longevity. It may outlast your current bike and hitch up to your new one. Likewise, hub motors can be designed for many miles of reliable riding. Check reviews for the brand and model you are considering. Ridekick trailers go well over 10,000 miles – some riders have reported over 25,000. Over the last 10 years supporting riders, the trailers with over 10,000 miles need replacement tires and chains. No need for replacing the motors or electronics, as they are very robust. SLA batteries need replacement or upgrade to lithium.