Here I am embarking on my maiden voyage on my new e-trike. I took delivery on Saturday and have ridden every day since. This beauty was bought at EVS in Melbourne.
I need a trike because I have some balance issues resulting from a bout of vestibular neuritis a few years back. I really struggle to ride a bike now. I also want to be able to carry stuff, so the basket is useful. I need the electric assist because Melbourne has hills and I am unlikely to do much cycling without. There are some studies that show people who ride ebikes or trikes get all the benefits of those who use purely pedal power. The difference is that knowing we'll have a little help if we need it, we actually use the bike or trike rather than leaving it in the garage.
The centre of balance is different from a bike. You don't lean into a corner, you lean the opposite way unless you want to go shooting off course. You have to be a bit careful taking corners fast too, because the chap who sold the trike to me warned that you can pull them over if you really try. As a trike has 3 wheels on the road, rather than 2, you want the juiciest battery you can afford. So that's the downsides.
The benefit is that I feel very stable 98% of the time, and I don't have to put my feet on the ground when I stop. I have 3 gears in addition to the throttle and find that I use them because I like to feel some resistance when I turn the pedals. The motor means that hills feel like the flat or gently undulating country. I hope to use the motor less as I get fitter, but its nice to know its there. I can now keep up with my much fitter husband when we go on a bike ride. (But he has ordered his e-bike anyway…)
The trike was not cheap - $2,700, nearly $1500 being the super-duper batter pack - but it doesn't need to be registered and it doesn't drink petrol. It gives me much of the freedom of a car, without the price tag, and with the hope of increased fitness. Best of all, it's great fun, riding along with the wind in my hair, and able to go places that aren't on a tram or train line… as long as they're within 20kms!