Sortimo electric cargo trikes

General Discussion about electric bicycles.
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Re: Sortimo electric cargo trikes

Post by dogman dan » Mar 16 2018 6:55am

I think with heavier loads, the trike that tilts so it can steer and corner better at 20 mph would be worth it. But maybe not worth it, if the rider is all that young, all that strong, and speeds will never be above 10 mph anyway. Then a regular trike does fine.

So what I mean is if its a milk delivery, it might be worth it. If its packing a few sandwiches, maybe a bike is all you need.

Cool design, that is for sure. Not just redesigning the bike to show off artistic skills like some bike revisions.

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Re: Sortimo electric cargo trikes

Post by LockH » Mar 16 2018 9:12am

^^ Hehe... Watt he said. Plus, there's gotta be some place where folks nEVer get "older". :wink:
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Re: Sortimo electric cargo trikes

Post by amberwolf » Mar 16 2018 1:28pm

Unfortunately, that place is only *under the rubber*, instead of over it. ;)

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Re: Sortimo electric cargo trikes

Post by classicalgas » Dec 13 2018 11:56pm

The whole "leaning trikes are a solution in search of a problem" argument is silly. Put enough aero on a two wheeler to hit 35 mph on 500 watts (on level ground) and you'll have a scary, dangerous vehicle in a gusty side wind. Put enough aero on a tadpole to hit that same 35 mph on 500 watts,and you'll barely notice the gusts.

Leaning isn't even necessary, Morgan trikes have been cornering at absurd side forces for something like 100 years... you just need to keep the weight low and forward, and pick a decent track width.

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Re: Sortimo electric cargo trikes

Post by MadRhino » Dec 14 2018 12:13am

classicalgas wrote:
Dec 13 2018 11:56pm
The whole "leaning trikes are a solution in search of a problem" argument is silly. Put enough aero on a two wheeler to hit 35 mph on 500 watts (on level ground) and you'll have a scary, dangerous vehicle in a gusty side wind. Put enough aero on a tadpole to hit that same 35 mph on 500 watts,and you'll barely notice the gusts.

Leaning isn't even necessary, Morgan trikes have been cornering at absurd side forces for something like 100 years... you just need to keep the weight low and forward, and pick a decent track width.
The difference is that 2 wheel riders don’t care much about aero. I ride 60 mph 20 kw and don’t feel it’s scary. On a trike, not sure how I would feel feeding 20 kw accelerating out of a corner. I guess I would like a nice wide road ahead and no incoming trafic. :twisted:
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Re: Sortimo electric cargo trikes

Post by classicalgas » Dec 15 2018 1:57pm

60 mph, 20 kw isn't an electric bike, it's a motorcycle. The comparable trike would be a Polaris Slingshot...no one seems to be unhappy with the way they accelerate or corner. No real attempt at aero either.

Here, an electric bike is limited to 750 w. More is a motorcycle and requires registration and a motorcycle license.

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Re: Sortimo electric cargo trikes

Post by LockH » Dec 19 2018 6:03am

OTOH Sortimo Motor: Bosch Performance Line Cruise CX (25 km/h):
https://www.mysortimo.de/medias/Sortimo ... E0YTE2ZmZh
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Re: Sortimo electric cargo trikes

Post by classicalgas » Dec 19 2018 10:45pm

There are several good reasons that many light EV designs are trikes.
1) In most jurisdictions, four wheels makes it a car, with safety standards, licensing and registration issue most startups would like to avoid, whereas three wheels is a motorcycle or electric bike...much easier to build, license, and get approved by various government agencies.

2)It's much easier to put good weather protection on a trike than on a two wheeler, without scary handling in winds.

3) Same with aero. If the builder needs to meet some low max wattage limit, yet still offer a decent top speed, low aerodynamic drag is essential. Slippery, light two wheelers are scary in side winds, trikes much less so.

Tadpoles beat delta's in one important dynamic. Given similar center of gravity, track and wheelbase, the delta will be less safe under a combination of hard cornering and braking forces (emergency obstacle avoidance) since the forward weight shift under braking makes that platform more rollover prone, whereas the tadpole becomes more stable with weight transfer toward the front pair. Loads generated by steering inputs are less localized as well.

Mass market light EV's need to offer all weather protection comparable to a car AND confidence inspiring road manners in order to have any chance at all. Tadpole trikes have been doing that for over a hundred years, it's a well proven solution the the light, efficient vehicle challenge. A 1930's Morgan will corner at higher g forces than 80% of the cars on the road ever do (granted, a large percentage of those are light trucks and SUV's)

Maintaining an average speed near your max speed with low power is only possible if you don't slow down much for corners.

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Re: Sortimo electric cargo trikes

Post by Chalo » Dec 20 2018 2:55am

classicalgas wrote:
Dec 13 2018 11:56pm
Put enough aero on a two wheeler to hit 35 mph on 500 watts (on level ground) and you'll have a scary, dangerous vehicle in a gusty side wind. Put enough aero on a tadpole to hit that same 35 mph on 500 watts,and you'll barely notice the gusts.
On the first count, why limit to 500W and use fragile aero aids, when you could use more power more easily and cheaply, and skip the aero nonsense? You did notice that the trike in the subject line is unsuitable to the treatment you're suggesting, right?

On the second count, fat chance of that. Heavy and wide construction means more power to do the same job.
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Re: Sortimo electric cargo trikes

Post by classicalgas » Dec 24 2018 12:31am

"On the first count, why limit to 500W and use fragile aero aids, when you could use more power more easily and cheaply, and skip the aero nonsense? "...because in most parts of the US, 500-750W is the maximum allowed power before it becomes a "motor vehicle" . Also because weather protection and aero are often the same part.

"On the second count, fat chance of that. Heavy and wide construction means more power to do the same job"...you've never seen a velomobile? "Heavy and wide"... yet they usually outrun all upright bikes on street type tracks in competition. Casual rider level velo drivers can catch and outrun serious roadies in peloton on the street.

Many are trikes, since the two wheel streamliners are prone to fall over in wind gusts. Look at any human powered vehicle race video, two wheel non streamliners top out at under 30 mph on the flat, while the "wide and heavy" aero vehicles are doing over 70mph on human power alone ( the current record sits at about 90mph, as I recall ...not remotely street rideable, though) The street capable trike velos, according to guys who rack up miles on both uprights and in velos, are 15-30% faster on average (over several commuting trips over the same route) than an unfaired two wheeler upright. Including hills. In practical terms, that means even a semi fit velocar driver can keep up with urban(flatland) traffic without raising much of a sweat. Add 500w of electric power to offset the extra weight, and he can climb typical street grades at traffic speed, accelerate with traffic, cruise using zero electric boost, all the while remaining more visible than a bike, with weather protection. That seems like a better use of resources than adding another 1000w of power...all in a vehicle more appealing to the casual or new rider.

Jumping on the "heavy" aspect of velomobiles just seems silly when you seem to consider pedal powered delivery ( or multi passenger) vehicles practical.

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Re: Sortimo electric cargo trikes

Post by Chalo » Dec 24 2018 3:11am

If velomobiles were viable, they'd be common. They're not even common in places that are flat and cold with excellent roads.

Adding to their expense, impracticality, and fragility is the fact that they cripple the muscle engine inside by overheating it. Regular bikes have plenty of weather protection with fenders and a rain poncho, and those things don't melt down the rider.

How would you propose to streamline the upright cargo trike at the top of the thread?
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Re: Sortimo electric cargo trikes

Post by classicalgas » Dec 24 2018 9:46pm

"If velomobiles were viable, they'd be common. " You could say the same for electric vehicles. Most of the issue(velo scarcity) is cost, you can buy a pretty nice used car, or brand new motorcycle, for the cost of a velo.Another issue is that the typical LEO will often stop one as an unlicensed motor vehicle, even without a motor...they travel way too fast to seem like a bike.

Cargo trikes are useful only where they can take advantage of pedestrian walkways, narrow alleyways for delivery, or some other little niche. Speed (aero or tilting) is not worth much at all. Weather protection? Maybe.

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Re: Sortimo electric cargo trikes

Post by classicalgas » Dec 24 2018 10:01pm

Bikes do not offer "plenty " of weather protection. I commuted 30 miles a day in Washington state, year round, for years. Half the year it was frocking miserable. Rain, cold, rain and cold, snow and slush, traffic speed far above what I could manage, and few alternatives to mixing with traffic along most of my route. A velomobile would have fixed most of those issues.An upright 1500w ebike would have fixed one of them.

A velo is a lot less fragile than a rider. You see them skid down the road on their side ( in the race videos) someone stands them up and off they go.

Overheating? Maybe on a hot summer day, with full enclosure. Read some of the velomobile forums. "...no foot warmers needed", "makes winter riding pleasant" . Maybe not great in Texas, but heaven in a normal climate.

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Re: Sortimo electric cargo trikes

Post by wturber » Dec 24 2018 10:13pm

classicalgas wrote:
Dec 24 2018 12:31am
The street capable trike velos, according to guys who rack up miles on both uprights and in velos, are 15-30% faster on average (over several commuting trips over the same route) than an unfaired two wheeler upright. Including hills. In practical terms, that means even a semi fit velocar driver can keep up with urban(flatland) traffic without raising much of a sweat.
Using your 15-30% figures, the velocar won't keep up with urban traffic in the Phoenix area. Even if I grant that your velocar would be 15-30% faster than my 750 watt plus upright ebike (which I don't unless your velocar also has similar motor power), it would have to be to be 100% faster to mimic my car commuting speeds. It take me about 25 minutes to commute to work by car and about 50 minutes by e-bike. 15-30% faster velocar speed won't get that 25 minutes back. The velocar may gain in cruise speed, but it gets hurt by its weight when accelerating from a stop and low speeds.

I've been intrigued by both two and three wheeled recumbent bikes for long time. I'd love to get the aero advantage they offer, but the low profile and question of traffic visibility has always been a concern for me. Other concerns have been cost, storage, transport and lack of general nimbleness/versatility when riding in bike lanes, road shoulders, and and sometimes sidewalks.

Given the the estimates from the chart on the page linked below and the new e-bike laws here in Arizona, a two-wheeled 750 watt ebike seems to be the clearly advantaged solution from the combined standpoints of cost, practicality and versatility. That may be different in different areas where laws and weather differ, but I doubt that there are many such places.

https://www.lowtechmagazine.com/2010/09 ... h-car.html
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Re: Sortimo electric cargo trikes

Post by LockH » Dec 24 2018 10:34pm

Hehe... "If velomobiles were viable, they'd be common."... In "sailboat terms", clearly cats and tris are viable... and superior... Yah can't trust "conventional wisdom". ;)
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Re: Sortimo electric cargo trikes

Post by amberwolf » Dec 25 2018 12:11am

classicalgas wrote:
Dec 24 2018 9:46pm

Cargo trikes are useful only where they can take advantage of pedestrian walkways, narrow alleyways for delivery, or some other little niche.
I dunno--I ride almost exclusively on the roads in traffic, max speed of 20MPH, with SB Cruiser (and sometimes a big trailer, when necessary, but usually just the trike itself). Wouldn't work on major roads in high traffic, but I deliberately avoid places that I'd cause problems with faster traffic, wherever possible.


In my experience, walkways are a terrible place to ride, not least because cars/etc cross them frequently and unexpectedly at various driveways (too often without looking at the traffic that's already on the walkways), so one must constantly slow or stop to make sure no one is about to pull out (or in) in front of you, or go no faster than walking speed at best, to ensure no collisions occur.

Another problem is the driveways themselves--a trike will suddenly tilt significantly on every one of those, with the road-side wheel suddenly dropping several inches (whatever the sidewalk height is) vs the other-side wheel that stays at sidewalk height, becuase of the driveway ramps. There are often somewhat long stretches of sidewalk that have no driveway, but rarely more than a few dozen feet in many places I ride. A few hundred feet at best. Not much fun getting seasick from the constant seesawing side to side that way, and if any of your cargo is not tied down well (or you carry live cargo like I do)....

Then there's the problem of other cyclists, and pedestrians, that are on the walkways. Can't expect them to get off the walkway for you, and the trike is likely to take up all (or at least too much of) the walkway, leaving nowhere for anyone else to be when you go thru the area. In the very few places I have to use a sidewalk, I may have to pull over at least halfway, often all the way, onto the lawn or rocks or whatever to the side of the walkway and stop and wait, so that others can get past me and I can then continue on.

Then there's light poles, signs, trees, etc., that sprout from walkways (even ones "designed" as cycleways), that a cargo trike (at least not one wider than at best a narrow-person's shoulders, sometimes not even that) simply can't pass and still stay on the walkway. (some of these problematic things in the middle of walkways block wheelchairs, too. Doesnt' seem to be a priority of any kind to fix the issues, since nearly all of the ones I can think of off the top of my head have been that way since at least the 1980s, except for the ones that have been built wrong since then).


Anyway, I (and others) can use the streets for cargo trikes easily enough, with the caveats that they need to obey the traffic rules, and avoid areas with high-speed-differential-traffic to their speed, and I'd strongly recommend DOT lighting/signals, or the equivalent or better in DIY/etc.

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Re: Sortimo electric cargo trikes

Post by Chalo » Dec 25 2018 1:28am

classicalgas wrote:
Dec 24 2018 10:01pm
Overheating? Maybe on a hot summer day, with full enclosure. Read some of the velomobile forums. "...no foot warmers needed", "makes winter riding pleasant" . Maybe not great in Texas, but heaven in a normal climate.
I lived in Seattle for six years. I only owned a bicycle and motorcycle for transportation during that time. It wasn't always fun, but it was practicable. Not that different from walking around in the same conditions.

While I was in Seattle, I knew a guy with a Leitra velomobile. He left the front half of the fairing at home during the decent weather months. How's that for aero?
When it was normal Seattle conditions (~40F and drizzling), he used the whole fairing but had to strip down to shorts and an undershirt to keep from overheating. I think that's illustrative of why a full fairing on a human powered bike might not be a great idea even in a temperate climate. If you can't wear the same clothes to ride as you need when you get there, it's hard to make a case for practicality.

Just look at what the committed year-round cyclists use-- the folks who ride because they want to and not because they're broke: regular bikes with fenders and luggage. They do it not because they lack imagination or budget, but because it works and doesn't present any deal breaking complications.
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Re: Sortimo electric cargo trikes

Post by classicalgas » Dec 25 2018 12:26pm

"It wasn't always fun, but it was practicable. Not that different from walking around in the same conditions." The wind chill on a downhill, or a motorcycle at traffic speeds, can make 45 F feel like freezing...quite a lot different than walking.

You guys did notice how that German trike is being marketed? It looks like it's aimed at getting service techs and their equipment to places they can't take their van...ie pedestrian areas with no motor vehicle access,tech campuses and the like.

Yes, low vehicles in the current traffic mix are too risky for most of us...but so are two wheel uprights. The insane two ton plus ( often single passenger) vehicles have to go before truly efficient light EV's have any chance.

My winter commuter is a Miata, my head height and vehicle height is lower than in some velomobiles.Some drives don't see it, though it's three times the volume of a velomobile. Does that mean we need to build EV's the size of a SUV?

It's entirely possible to cut the drag of a trike by a third while keeping good ventilation, and a recumbent is already half the drag of a upright (who commutes in a racing tuck?) My point of mentioning velos is that aero does have huge advantages for pedal/electric assist vehicles, especially with legally limited power.

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Re: Sortimo electric cargo trikes

Post by Chalo » Dec 25 2018 2:21pm

classicalgas wrote:
Dec 25 2018 12:26pm
My winter commuter is a Miata, my head height and vehicle height is lower than in some velomobiles.Some drives don't see it, though it's three times the volume of a velomobile. Does that mean we need to build EV's the size of a SUV?
My e-bike is a front loading cargo bike, which is much heavier than a normal bike but much lighter than a velomobile. When I'm riding it, I see over the tops of SUVs and full sized pickups, even a little better than when I'm standing (I'm 6'8"). There are times when drivers don't see me either-- but it's because they aren't looking or because they're distracted with something else.

I'd rather they were in velomobiles, for sure. But there are plenty of reasons that won't happen:
Parking
Locking
Doorways
Stairs
U-turns
Fragility
Cost
Overheating (addressable by e-motors)
Right-of-way width and/or lateral slope
Non-versatile rider fit
Impaired range of vision for the rider (maybe addressable by mirrors and cameras?)

Bikes existed before cars. Something within the performance envelope of a bike has to be better than a bike, without major additional drawbacks, before it supplants bikes. Velocars have been around more than 70 years now; if they were capable of becoming a quasi-mainstream transportation option, they would have done it already. They have a worse set of intrinsic problems than open body recumbents, and those have failed in the exact same way.

I think we'll see a brief burst of velocar development after cars are banned or they become unaffordable. But it will be propelled by resistance to change from former car drivers, and they'll eventually figure out why it doesn't work.
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Re: Sortimo electric cargo trikes

Post by markz » Dec 25 2018 6:12pm

I'd rather have a EV that looks stock, like a Suzuki Sidekick (Curb Weight 2400lbs), or a European style crew cab Ford Ranger(3.6klb for ext cab) Fiberglass body panels, and custom frame and roll bar for safety. Getting the curb weight drastically lower and extending the range for the battery pack. Then buy up good used battery packs, find your power train (Fork Lift Motors, DC, AC whatever your budget allows). Then you wont have range anxiety for your daily commuter.

With Velomobiles they are a strange sight to behold from the public. I have seen a few, the low to the ground recumbents with their 8' flag is also a rare sight. They just giver.

For myself, I like to be able to hop on the train, or put my ebike on a bus. In British Columbia Canada every single bus has a bike rack on it. From the short bus that runs once every 1.5hrs on a small island, to the double length buses. Every single bus has a rack. Calgary is not so lucky, even train replacement buses, which are double length do not have bike racks. Where is our Carbon Tax money going, sure as fucknot helping people find alternative methods of transportation.

Chalo wrote:
Dec 25 2018 2:21pm
classicalgas wrote:
Dec 25 2018 12:26pm
My winter commuter is a Miata, my head height and vehicle height is lower than in some velomobiles.Some drives don't see it, though it's three times the volume of a velomobile. Does that mean we need to build EV's the size of a SUV?
My e-bike is a front loading cargo bike, which is much heavier than a normal bike but much lighter than a velomobile. When I'm riding it, I see over the tops of SUVs and full sized pickups, even a little better than when I'm standing (I'm 6'8"). There are times when drivers don't see me either-- but it's because they aren't looking or because they're distracted with something else.

I'd rather they were in velomobiles, for sure. But there are plenty of reasons that won't happen:
Parking
Locking
Doorways
Stairs
U-turns
Fragility
Cost
Overheating (addressable by e-motors)
Right-of-way width and/or lateral slope
Non-versatile rider fit
Impaired range of vision for the rider (maybe addressable by mirrors and cameras?)

Bikes existed before cars. Something within the performance envelope of a bike has to be better than a bike, without major additional drawbacks, before it supplants bikes. Velocars have been around more than 70 years now; if they were capable of becoming a quasi-mainstream transportation option, they would have done it already. They have a worse set of intrinsic problems than open body recumbents, and those have failed in the exact same way.

I think we'll see a brief burst of velocar development after cars are banned or they become unaffordable. But it will be propelled by resistance to change from former car drivers, and they'll eventually figure out why it doesn't work.

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Re: Sortimo electric cargo trikes

Post by classicalgas » Dec 26 2018 9:20pm

" Velocars have been around more than 70 years now; if they were capable of becoming a quasi-mainstream transportation option, they would have done it already." Cyclecars (velocars without pedals) have been a significant percentage of road vehicles in a few times and places..usually when fuel cost was high, or fuel availability extremely limited. If large and heavy vehicles weren't so profitable , or fuel costs were to pass $20 a gallon, we'd see more velo/cyclecar types on the road. Not likely otherwise, people like their rolling houses.

But that doesn't diminish the value of aerodynamics for light EV's. The brute force approach (want more speed? add power!) is sadly similar to the impulses that have filled our roads with trucks as daily drivers with a single occupant. There does need to be a low power limit on non licensed vehicles. When power is extremely limited, aero, (even at 25 mph) is where you gain efficiency and cruising speed.

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Re: Sortimo electric cargo trikes

Post by Chalo » Dec 26 2018 11:51pm

classicalgas wrote:
Dec 26 2018 9:20pm
When power is extremely limited, aero, (even at 25 mph) is where you gain efficiency and cruising speed.
Until you come to a hill, or are pulling away from a stop. Then the "aero" makes you even slower.
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Re: Sortimo electric cargo trikes

Post by classicalgas » Jan 01 2019 11:46pm

"Until you come to a hill, or are pulling away from a stop. Then the "aero" makes you even slower."...and then you more than make it up on the next long flat or downhill where the draggy bike will hit terminal speed.

"ALL" high efficiency vehicles put an emphasis on areo...even those where the test cycle includes stops and starts, and the upper speed limit is under 40 mph.

Low drag (recumbent and streamlined) pedal bikes set records any time the rules don't disallow them, and have been doing so for close to 100 years.

The only times an aero e-bike will lose out to a non areo one of the same power is if the route never lets either of them hit 20mph, or the route is all uphill at a grade that won't let either of them hit 15mph.

Look at it this way. Roadies will go to absurd lengths and cost to trim their aero drag a percent or two, within the restrictions allowed by their race rules. Would they do that if it was a losing game?

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Re: Sortimo electric cargo trikes

Post by wturber » Jan 02 2019 9:17am

classicalgas wrote:
Jan 01 2019 11:46pm

The only times an aero e-bike will lose out to a non areo one of the same power is if the route never lets either of them hit 20mph, or the route is all uphill at a grade that won't let either of them hit 15mph.
15 mph uphill? That kills it for my commute. BTW, the one contest where they don't seem to ever win is in the open free market where cost/benefit generally rules.
classicalgas wrote:
Jan 01 2019 11:46pm
Look at it this way. Roadies will go to absurd lengths and cost to trim their aero drag a percent or two, within the restrictions allowed by their race rules. Would they do that if it was a losing game?
Road ride bikes that are generally uncomfortable and impractical. Roadies also go to absurd lengths to trim off a few ounces and ride on thin, high pressure tires. And as you say, these are essentially "race" vehicles and are not designed for general purpose practicality.

There's a fellow on this forum who has designed a very practical ebike that employs aerodynamics and is highly practical from a functional standpoint. It is a very interesting design and I wish him well. But he's going to have a hard time finding success with a price range between $4,000-$6,000. And this is what I see over and over. some aspect of the "better", more aerodynamic vehicle becomes the sticking point.
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donn   10 kW

10 kW
Posts: 503
Joined: Aug 13 2018 10:30am
Location: Seattle

Re: Sortimo electric cargo trikes

Post by donn » Jan 02 2019 9:56am

wturber wrote:
Dec 24 2018 10:13pm
I've been intrigued by both two and three wheeled recumbent bikes for long time. I'd love to get the aero advantage they offer, but the low profile and question of traffic visibility has always been a concern for me. Other concerns have been cost, storage, transport and lack of general nimbleness/versatility when riding in bike lanes, road shoulders, and and sometimes sidewalks.
I just now got to this thread and saw this. I made a comment in another thread yesterday about over-sensitivity to risks inherent in things we don't do. That low profile visibility issue was going to be an example, but I deleted it for brevity. It comes up enough among non-riders, that I suppose practically every non-rider who might care about my welfare would eventually get around to worrying on my behalf. I've had an upright cyclist stop and lecture me about not having one of those flags ... when he could see with his own eyes that I'm as tall as the average car.

Now, those tricycles where you're practically laying on the ground - that's crazy. Naturally I have never ridden one of those.

I've had only two recumbents, a really long one and a "compact" long wheelbase design. The latter is not only a bit shorter, it's taller, naturally because there isn't room to get you down between the wheels - and that makes a big difference in maneuverability under way. The down side is that that you can't use your weight on the pedals, of course, and that's aggravated a little by the pedals being kind of high up, so you're at a disadvantage not only on hills but starting up even on a mild grade. But of course the electric motor changes the game there. A delta tricycle would be pretty similar, I guess, except for the need to slow down for turns.

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