Help! Advice on Ebike for chronically ill human

TravisTea

Just Joined
Jul 8, 2020
1
1
Hello, my name is Travis :)

I have musculoskeletal chronic pain syndrome along with dislocating hips and Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (aka chronic fatigue syndrome).
I have recently found that walking is near impossible but riding a bike is becoming increasingly difficult especially uphill however I can still ride a bike... therefore I don't feel the need for stabilisers or a trike, and would much rather avoid a wheelchair (which I couldn't get along with in the past).

I'd much rather a bike that can assist me uphill... I am just wondering if anyone has any recommendations for a bike model and also potentially for funding/grants that may assist me in buying such a bike. I specifically need a folding (because no matter how hard I try sometimes my legs just fail and would need to get it into a car) electric bike preferably mountain bike (as that's all I know how to ride and I find big wheels helpful in my area where the terrain can be a bit rough).

I also struggle with balance and have had a couple of topples trying to turn corners and was wondering if anyone knows of any adaptations that can ease the sensitivity of the turning (maybe making handlebars stiffer or something) just so I turn less sharply as I basically turn in on my self and go flying.

Oh also any advice for pedal straps? I think as I did in my wheelchair it would be helpful to have some sort of straps on the pedals to stop my feet from slipping off and consequently my legs being attacked by flying pedals... however I am of course concerned I wouldn't be able to unstrap fast enough to stop and balance as obviously when two-wheel bikes are still they tend to topple... I hope this makes sense I am not entirely sure what I am looking for I just know my current bike is not working for me... however my current mountain bike is 11years old 26kg only has 1 working gear and stiff breaks plus the pedals spin under your feet so part of the problem could just be my suprememly dysfunctional bike :') honestly thank you for reading this and I look forward to hearing back from you

Travis
 
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Benjahmin

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 10, 2014
1,950
1,336
67
West Wales
Hi Travis and welcome.
Whatever bike you eventually end up with I would recommend that the control system is pas based. PAS = peddle assist sensing.
What this means is that the system senses the rotation of the peddles and provides power at the level set on the display. You can, if needed due to fatigue, just rotate the peddles not putting any weight on them and still get power.
This different to torque sensing systems where you only get power as a proportion of the weight/effort you put in.
Most crank/mid drive bikes are torque sensing. The majority of hub motored bikes are pas - we can advise.

Reading your post I would think that a tadpole trike would best suit you, these have two wheels at the front, one rear, so are inherently more stable than the trad delta trike. They are, however, more expensive. They are generally recumbents which means your back would be more supported and you can't really fall off them. Getting on and off may be an issue though, only you would know that.
Just read it again - the folding requirment c/w big wheels makes it tricky, most folders are 20" wheel max. Would a step through/dutch style help?
A hub motored bike can be fitted with a throttle as a get you home back up don't know if that helps or if your balance goes with fatigue.
From your description of your present bike seems not a good place to start for conversion.
 
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jimriley

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jun 17, 2020
287
184
I use toe clips with straps but never tighten the straps, they are just loose enough to fit my foot in and out easily.
 

joelectric

Pedelecer
Feb 22, 2019
90
57
Motherwell
If there is a potential your condition is going to worsen over time and you will be unable to offer any or little pedal assist then you might be best going for the most powerful mid drive with throttle.
This folding BBSHD bike will get you up 99% of hills without any assistance.

 

stevenatleven

Pedelecer
Apr 18, 2011
198
136
Fife
Hi Travis, welcome to the forum and hats off to you for persevering. Coincidentally I met a chap in perhaps the same position health wise as yourself. He was on a Trice 3 wheel recumbent with a Bafang BPM hub motor and a double battery on the rear rack giving him a good range plus hill climbing power.
he had clipless pedals as falling over isnt an issue on a recumbent.
These bikes arn't cheap but a quick google search threw up disability grants for specialized bikes.
Good luck and keep us posted how it goes.
 
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Nealh

Esteemed Pedelecer
Aug 7, 2014
15,137
5,889
58
West Sx RH
Sadly Travis you has too many requirements for your needs and you will have to compromise on some, the balance issue and folding issue being the main two I believe. With balance then any clipping in in on the pedals is a no go I believe and folding option often means small wheels.
I'm with Ben and think you may need to look at a e-recumbent tadpole trike or a converted one but these will limit some off road riding, their advantage should give you more comfort and the stability you require but as always you need to try before you buy.
 
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tonyw

Pedelecer
Jun 21, 2019
28
13
It might be worth looking at buying a new hybrid bike - you might find with working gears on a lighter bike you find you can cope ok (26kg bike with only 1 gear working? that's gonna be hard work for anyone), then look at fitting a conversion kit if necessary. Otherwise think more carefully about your needs - e.g. do you need a folding bike to get it in a car - you could use a rack on the car, or some cars will take a bike as is, or with the front wheel off. There are other pedal options, e.g. studded pedals, or 'half-clips' that help keep your feet in place, but are easier to get out of when you stop.
 

vfr400

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jun 12, 2011
9,822
3,945
Basildon
I use toe clips with straps but never tighten the straps, they are just loose enough to fit my foot in and out easily.
Yes, but you can keep your feet on the pedals. If they need straps to hold their feet on the pedals, how are they going to get them in and out of the straps?
 

jimriley

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jun 17, 2020
287
184
Yes, but you can keep your feet on the pedals. If they need straps to hold their feet on the pedals, how are they going to get them in and out of the straps?
Stops feet moving forwards or sideways, the op knows what his feet do and whether it would work for him.
 

Fat Rat

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jun 7, 2018
1,897
719
UK
Hi
I would have to agree with the 3 wheel solution
I was reading your first post thinking the same thing
Hope you find your solution soon
 
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Nealh

Esteemed Pedelecer
Aug 7, 2014
15,137
5,889
58
West Sx RH
Both of the last posts reported.
 
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Grebacwhite

Pedelecer
Aug 9, 2020
63
49
West sussex
My Woosh Rambletta sounds like it would be worth recommending. It's a folding bike with 20" wheels, under £900 with a powerful rear hub motor and a throttle on the handlebar which once you start pedalling, can be used to take over the pedalling, i.e you can stop all pedalling and control the speed by varying the amount of throttle once on the move.
5 power modes, battery range up to 36 miles with about 20% battery left, or let the bike motor do all the work I'd estimate around 24 miles with 20% battery power left.