Here is an idea for the ages. One smart person has come up with an idea as fresh as can be. I have to admit that I envisioned this well before I saw and heard of one, but that is a moot point. I have seen two styles of E-trailers, one by Pat, at San Diego Electric Bike, and this Ridekick. I will test Pat’s in the future, but today’s subject is this mass-produced Ridekick.
This very well engineered and nice appearing E-trailer could be the answer many cyclists have been looking for. It is fully independent of the bike, so it can be used when needed, and requires no modifications to your standard, everyday bike. It will fit most bikes, so as long as the trailer hitch will bolt up to the rear axle, it can turn your cycle into an E-bike. This could be the perfect solution for a person who doesn’t have the funds or the space for two different bikes (an E-bike and a regular bike).
My desire to test one has been burning, so I went on the Ridekick website to find my nearest dealer. They have it available in many shops, so the nearest one was not far away. Beach Bikes and Beyond here in San Diego generously offered me a chance to test one out. I spent some time with Nick getting the run-down on the specs and operation, and I was on my way. As luck would have it, their shop has a very hilly neighborhood just east of their location.
So off I went on this cool contraption called an E-trailer. Hooked to a nice 3-speed Townie bike, the Ridekick followed me everywhere I went. And like a strong tailwind, it offered power to spare at the push of a button. Truth be told, I knew just what to expect, but you might not. Every Ridekick dealer is prepared to let potential customers have a free demo ride, and I suggest you take them up on it.
I have ridden many E-bikes and used my own trailer enough times to envision the effects of an E-trailer. The trailer pushes the bike at the axle, similar to the way your own leg power does. There are no adverse affects of being pushed in this way. The bike tracked perfect, and even under full power, the ride was stable and secure. I rode many tight circles and zigzags with full confidence. Even with the additional weight, the braking coming down the hills was solid. The Ridekick is narrow and low, making for no worries of interference with obstacles.
I found the power and speed more than sufficient. I powered up those hills with only mild pedaling needed. The acceleration was not severe, and the top speed felt like the claimed 19 MPH. The throttle button on the handlebars has a nice design and was easy to operate. It gives nice proportional control of the motor’s power. The electric assist was smooth and quiet. The total E-bike effect was easy to experience and enjoy.
What we have here is a self-contained power unit. The 500 watt brushed motor drives one wheel with a chain and sprocket set-up. The 24 volt, 12 Ah SLA battery is enclosed in a nylon bag and strapped securely inside the trailer. The ECU has battery charge info and a simple on / off switch. The cover has a locking latch and room inside for groceries or other cargo. The tow arm can be disconnected to cut down on the room needed to stow in in your car, house, or garage. At 40 LBS, it is not too heavy to move or lift into your trunk. It even has a flashing tail light built-in.
The installation is quick and simple. The trailer hitch is secured with the one left axle nut. The throttle unit and connecting wire hook to your bike with Velcro straps. At the trailer hitch is one connection plug and a pin that are easily disconnected when needed. Simple, strong, and smart, this Ridekick E-trailer is easy to hook-up and use for even the least mechanically-inclined rider. You could also purchase a second throttle unit and hitch so it could be used on more than one bike.
There were a few things about the Ridekick that I thought could be better. One is a larger cargo area. I could easily see a larger top or a luggage rack adorning the cover. Turns out that Ridekick has had the same thoughts. They offer such things to customize it to your needs. Also, I thought the 12-15 mile range of the battery could be more. Once again, they will soon offer a Lithium battery up-grade that can almost triple the distance between recharges. I am all for that, as I have kind of given up on SLA batteries for a couple of reasons.
So here I am, pedaling the Ridekick all over town. Smiling up the grades, Feeling the smooth, quiet electric assist, thinking that everyone should be so lucky. And you can. This electric-assist trailer is priced so reasonably. The ease of using it couldn’t be much simpler. The quality is easy to see and the performance is rock solid. This could be the perfect accessory for the bicycling world.
If you can’t find a local dealer (which would surprise me, as they have many), this is one item I fully think an online purchase would make sense. Unlike a complete bike, there is little to go wrong with it. I am always concerned about the everyday person ordering a E-bike online, with the worry of size, feel, and potential problems. The Ridekick E-trailer is as close to maintenance free as it comes. With an occasional lubing of the chain and recharge of the battery after each use, it should prove to be a thrill that could outlast the bike it pushes. What a great product.
So hit your local dealer, check the Ridekick website, and move into the world of easy cycling, Turbo Bob.
“The grace and charm of the bicycle lend added warmth and contour to the persons of the lovers it joins.”—James E. Starrs, The Noiseless Tenor.
Beach Bikes and Beyond
Ridekick Electric Trailers
Here is a video I posted on my more recent test of the Ridekick E-trailer