Ridekick Child Trailer gives a boost to the bike pulling it
The electric motor-powered Ridekick Child Trailer
Remember the Ridekick? It’s a little bicycle trailer that carries things like groceries, but that also provides a power boost to the bike towing it, thanks to its integrated electric motor. Well, now there’s a new version of the Ridekick that carries kids, too.
The Ridekick Child Trailer contains a hub motor in one of its two wheels, which is powered by a swappable battery pack located in the back of the trailer. One battery should allow the rider to cover at least 15 miles (24 km) without pedaling, reaching a top speed of 19 mph (30.6 km/h). Of course, most riders would likely use the motor intermittently, relying on their own pedaling power for much of the ride. Recharge time for the battery is about three hours.
Speed is controlled using a handlebar-mounted throttle. The trailer reportedly works with any bicycle, which is one of the neat things about the system – you have an electric-assist bike when you need one, that converts back to a standard bike simply by unhooking the trailer.
Production funds for the Ridekick Child Trailer are currently being raised on Indiegogo. A pledge/deposit of US$249 will put you in line for a trailer of your own, at the reduced total price of $749. The planned retail price is $899.
The trailer can be seen in use in the video below.
About the Author
An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away.
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Does it recharge when you brake?
Having power to only one wheel is bound to cause a 'torque steer' effect- not at all helpful if the vehicle towing it is a two-inline-wheeled bicycle. However, powering both wheels of the trailer would most likely cause the whole bike-and-trailer rig to understeer when under power.
It would be much better to have the power assistance on the bike itself, where it would be far less likely to cause stability issues. Plus, the electric assist is still there when the trailer is detached.
As for the recharge when braking question: I just read about a German company that retrofits bicycles that their tests have shown the range increase to be only 2%, in other words not worth the trouble.
2% of 24 kilometers is .48 kilometer. Of course if some of the energy recovered was generated by the riders legs you will get greater boost range as well. For me half a click is worth the effort.
The regenerative braking may extend the life of disc brakes which currently wears at a rapid rate on electric bicycles. That alone may be worth the added feature.
The replies regarding regenerative are right on. It's technically feasible to create regenerative braking, but the math and physics behind it don't justify the extra expense and parts.
Regarding "torque steer", propelling the bike with a trailer works very well. The first generation Ridekick trailer has been ridden at demo events and used by customers for years with fabulous reports. Check out the customer posts on facebook.com/ridekick
It's not intuitively obvious why it works so well. The fact that the Ridekick trailer hitches to the bicycle axle is key to its success. Propelling the bike at the wheel eliminates the under-steer or over-steer. As highlighted in the video, it's stable even in rain or snow.
Electric bikes do work well. But the e-bike alternative Ridekick power trailer allows anyone to use their favorite bike to easily carry heavy loads, and then simply unhitch the trailer to ride without electric assist.
i'll be glad when this gets mass produced and the price comes down. nice unit.
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