Reliable 4 season car replacement practicalities

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coinmaster
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Reliable 4 season car replacement practicalities

Post by coinmaster » Dec 02, 2017 6:31 pm

So long story short I'm out of an official job and opportunities are 20-30 miles away minimum.
I cannot afford a car right now and I don't want to pay the costs to own and operate one anyway.
I have a job ready for me about 24 biking miles away but I cannot reliably get there currently.

I made another thread a week or so ago asking about the difference between an ebike and an etrike on winter roads and I've decided on using a KMX tadpole recumbent trike kit as a base for my new vehicle because I can fit more battery and the weight is lower to the ground.
Plus it looks more fun :D I've found my E-bike to be unfun and unpleasant on 20+ mile commutes.

However I find myself lacking confidence on the larger question at hand. Can I use an E-trike to reliably get to work in New England winters? I can always use an Uber on the worst of days but I guess since I lack lacking driving experience I can't really guesstimate how Etriking 30miles in winter would work out practically.

Can anyone bestow their wisdom and experience upon me?

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Chalo
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Re: Reliable 4 season car replacement practicalities

Post by Chalo » Dec 02, 2017 7:46 pm

Sounds to me like you have two situational problems:
1) you live too far away from work, and
2) you live in a nasty climate.

You can reconcile both those problems with the use of any bicycle, if you can make up for them with personal resolve. Or you can choose to fix the problems instead.

Or... you can do as most people do, which is to mortgage their lifestyle, future prospects, and mental and physical health by enslaving themselves to a car.

I think I'd move to a better climate and live closer to my work. Call me crazy.
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Re: Reliable 4 season car replacement practicalities

Post by MadRhino » Dec 02, 2017 7:51 pm

I guess no one can answer but you, or maybe someone traveling the same path, who has comparable experience.

Every commute is different, and riders have different requirements. All I know, is that riding 20 miles in the winter on 2 wheels is OK for me, but most friends wouldn’t do it. On a trike, I would not like it, but I know one who does it for years.
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Re: Reliable 4 season car replacement practicalities

Post by liveforphysics » Dec 03, 2017 1:15 am

On a fast ebike, 20-30mile trips take about the same time as a car, while being a lot more fun IMHO.
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Re: Reliable 4 season car replacement practicalities

Post by MadRhino » Dec 03, 2017 1:40 am

liveforphysics wrote:
Dec 03, 2017 1:15 am
On a fast ebike, 20-30mile trips take about the same time as a car, while being a lot more fun IMHO.
In nice weather yes. Winter on the north-east coast is very cold, often with bad road conditions like snow, slush, ice. 20 miles on a fast bike at -15 is not fun for everyone, and a hard journey for anyone if bad weather does hit.

Here, most bikes are sleeping 4 months a year, because most riders find it too hard and dangerous. Motorcycles are forbidden on the roads 5 months a year. I ride all winter, but I tune down my bike to less than half power and speed. Many days I have to wear snowmobile clothing.
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Re: Reliable 4 season car replacement practicalities

Post by liveforphysics » Dec 03, 2017 6:01 am

Get some adequately powered heated riding gear. I made my own from adding carbon fiber tow (spools are cheap on ebay) and using crimp connectors to join it to copper wire, use silicone rtv to bond it to the inside of your riding gear and run from a 12v DCDC.

I've riden in freezing rain over a mountain pass and was warm like a sauna in my heated riding gear.
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Re: Reliable 4 season car replacement practicalities

Post by coinmaster » Dec 03, 2017 8:31 am

liveforphysics wrote:
Dec 03, 2017 6:01 am
Get some adequately powered heated riding gear. I made my own from adding carbon fiber tow (spools are cheap on ebay) and using crimp connectors to join it to copper wire, use silicone rtv to bond it to the inside of your riding gear and run from a 12v DCDC.

I've riden in freezing rain over a mountain pass and was warm like a sauna in my heated riding gear.
You used the carbon fiber tow as a resistive heater? How much power did it consume?

What size tires should I use to be sufficiently off the ground in snow conditions on a tadpole trike?

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Re: Reliable 4 season car replacement practicalities

Post by MadRhino » Dec 03, 2017 10:26 am

Snowmobile clothings are heated already, but I never plug it.

Freezing rain here, is a warm day. This morning was -1 and I was riding with open jacket. Winter has not really started yet, and I still ride wearing leathers.

On a trike IMO, 24’’ wheels are a must in the snow. Mud tires at least, studded winter tires are best. You can’t know if you will like it, until you did it. All I can say is most are not, and this is making it worse because car drivers are losing the habit of sharing the road with bikes. Some days they have poor vision and no brakes, you are safer being faster and keep them off your tail. Every stop sign you need to have eyes everywhere.
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Re: Reliable 4 season car replacement practicalities

Post by ScooterMan101 » Dec 03, 2017 3:55 pm

24 miles is a long way , when you have to do it. Then times that by 2 for 48 miles a day of commuting on a bicycle ? on the weekend when you have plenty of time sure, but it would be hard on you 20-21 days each month.
Maybe if you lived in Southern California/Florida/Austin Texas /Newcastle Australia up to Brisbane Cairns, etc.
But in New England , You might spend allot of money and find out it is just too much.
Low trike looks good from the standpoint of being more comfortable, and more aerodynamic, but for commuting speeds I would want full suspension on that trike. And then how are the people in the cars with fogged up windshields going to see you ?

Now add those costs, I think it would be better/cheaper to find a ride-share / carpool . someone near you who has a nice big car of van or truck that could use some extra cash each month ?

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Re: Reliable 4 season car replacement practicalities

Post by barnaby81 » Dec 03, 2017 5:08 pm

I've got a trike that I would be happy to make that journey on but... in order to look legitimate it would take me an hour each way and more importantly my trike costs more than a second hand car. In order for you to convert any trike to your specification with any degree of comfort will cost more than a second hand car, sorry. You could convert a bike for a lot less, and it's not very difficult.

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Re: Reliable 4 season car replacement practicalities

Post by coinmaster » Dec 03, 2017 5:31 pm

I've got a trike that I would be happy to make that journey on but... in order to look legitimate it would take me an hour each way and more importantly my trike costs more than a second hand car. In order for you to convert any trike to your specification with any degree of comfort will cost more than a second hand car, sorry.
True, but the upfront costs of a second hand car are quickly outweighed by the costs of ownership. The KMX kit should be only $599 on sale, a bit over a grand completed that's not much that much considering.
What are the benefits of full suspension on a trike for road use other than a slightly smoother ride?
You could convert a bike for a lot less, and it's not very difficult.
I have a cyclone 3000 on a mountain bike right now.
My problem is it's unenjoyable to ride on 20+ mile rides and the rear rack weighs almost as much as the rest of the bike, I don't want to know what happens if I lose traction in snow with a back heavy two wheeler.

Plus according to the ebike simulator I should save a significant amount of battery by using a recumbent which is something I sorely need considering how far I have to go. Right now I have about 2300wh of battery and that gets me about 35 miles @ 25mph. The ebike simulator shows a near doubling of range using a recumbent vs a bike.

What do you consider sufficient to convert a trike to my "specification with any degree of comfort"?

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Re: Reliable 4 season car replacement practicalities

Post by coinmaster » Dec 03, 2017 5:52 pm

I've got a trike that I would be happy to make that journey on but... in order to look legitimate it would take me an hour each way and more importantly my trike costs more than a second hand car. In order for you to convert any trike to your specification with any degree of comfort will cost more than a second hand car, sorry.
True, but the upfront costs of a second hand car are quickly outweighed by the costs of ownership which for me would be over $400/month. The KMX kit should be only $599 on sale, a bit over a grand completed that's not much that much considering.
What are the benefits of full suspension on a trike for road use other than a slightly smoother ride?
You could convert a bike for a lot less, and it's not very difficult.
I have a cyclone 3000 on a mountain bike right now.
My problem is it's unenjoyable to ride on 20+ mile rides and the rear rack weighs almost as much as the rest of the bike, I don't want to know what happens if I lose traction in snow with a back heavy two wheeler.

Plus according to the ebike simulator I should save a significant amount of battery by using a recumbent which is something I sorely need considering how far I have to go. Right now I have about 2300wh of battery and that gets me about 35 miles @ 25mph. The ebike simulator shows a near doubling of range using a recumbent vs a bike.

What do you consider sufficient to convert a trike to my "specification with any degree of comfort"?

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Re: Reliable 4 season car replacement practicalities

Post by spinningmagnets » Dec 03, 2017 6:19 pm

Whether you get an ebike-kit for a trike or not...you need to move as close as possible to your work. I would even go so far as to liquidate as many of your assets as possible, and use the money purchase a van to sleep in. Join a gym that's open late, so you have a hot shower available (wash clothes at a laundromat). At that point, you might consider a folding electric bike, but...when it comes to icy roads and cars slip-sliding around the lanes, I'd go to extreme lengths to avoid riding in that cold of a winter.

I've been in Las Vegas and Phoenix during the winter, and those places were very pleasant during those seasons...

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Re: Reliable 4 season car replacement practicalities

Post by Marin » Dec 03, 2017 9:11 pm

You should have a pretty good lighting set up too so you can be seen easily, some roads can get narrow with the sides piled with snow.
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Re: Reliable 4 season car replacement practicalities

Post by wturber » Dec 04, 2017 3:30 am

spinningmagnets wrote:
Dec 03, 2017 6:19 pm

I've been in Las Vegas and Phoenix during the winter, and those places were very pleasant during those seasons...
The weather is. But the "climate" created drivers you must share the road with ... not so much.

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Re: Reliable 4 season car replacement practicalities

Post by amberwolf » Dec 04, 2017 4:14 am

Especially during hte holidaze season, when people are rushing about buying things they don't need or even really want, just because the ads are telling them to. :/

But not paying even as much (or little) attention as usual to anything else, like others on the road or near it.

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Re: Reliable 4 season car replacement practicalities

Post by dogman dan » Dec 04, 2017 6:50 am

Once you are in a job, try like hell for a winter car pool. Trike to his/her house, then ride in the car to work. Shorten that winter ride by at least 20 miles one way. Of course you will pay, but not as much as Uber. Ideally, get rides with several people so you can use other rides when the person is sick, on vacation, or needs to do other stuff in town after work.

Days that are merely cold can be endured with proper gear, but when the roads are very bad, you need a car ride.

Next year, maybe a winter beater car. Insure for liability only, we are talking about a car worth perhaps 2-3 thou. No need to insure it in summer when it sits unused.

Summer, your range is still very far for a daily ride. But its not impossible. Cheaper in summer might be a gas motorcycle or scooter though. Again, insure a cheap ride for liability only, not talking about a new bike you cant afford to have fall over.

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