Has anyone used Swinging Wheels stabilisers on e-bike?

boltby breeze

Finding my (electric) wheels
Mar 28, 2012
9
1
I am now giving up with two wheel e-cycling because of balance issues. I'd like to keep doing some sort of cycling and am wondering whether to add (if they fit) the Swinging Wheels stabilisers which are sprung www.swingingwheels.com They are not in contact with the ground all the time and they allow for leaning into corners. My riding area is in the North York Moors National Park so mostly up and down including a 1 in 4 hill. Has anyone had experience of Swinging Wheels? My alternative is to move to an e-trike although I am aware the transition can be quite challenging in terms of riding style. Comments on this and other suggestions for safe riding would be very welcome.
 

cyclebuddy

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The maker highly recommends you take a test ride, and I can see why. It's quite a step-change in how a bike may handle and may not suit you at all. Have you talked to their UK dealer in Eastbourne? They may already have customers in your area (or at least closer) who might be happy to let you have a go?
 
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Saracen

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Aug 24, 2023
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I was going to laugh but that is not a bad idea for older etc riders
 

boltby breeze

Finding my (electric) wheels
Mar 28, 2012
9
1
I might have laughed at one time but once medical balance issues hit, it's not so funny falling off a two wheeler . Going up a 1 in 4 hill is pretty slow even with an e-bike
The maker highly recommends you take a test ride, and I can see why. It's quite a step-change in how a bike may handle and may not suit you at all. Have you talked to their UK dealer in Eastbourne? They may already have customers in your area (or at least closer) who might be happy to let you have a go?
That's a great idea. I have been in correspondence with the UK dealer but not thought of asking if he had any northern customers. Thank you
 
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flash

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Apr 1, 2009
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When my father reached his late eighties, his balance became a problem. He had cycled all his life, it was his great passion. He changed from human power to ebike at 81. so with the balance problem, he decided he would buy an E tricycle, but could never control it. Over 70 years of balancing on 2 wheels, he just could not get used to 3 wheels and kept going straight on at corners. He was bitterly disappointed. I would certainly try and get a test ride before you buy. It's a shame we did not know about Swinging Whels he may have been OK with those.
 
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saneagle

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Oct 10, 2010
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I have reservations about those stabiliser things. The moment a stabiliser wheel touches the ground, your steering effort reverses, as it changes from a bike to a trike. When you change from a bike to a trike, you have to steer the opposite way, which is why people like the guy mentioned above have problems. You have to re-train your brain. Doing it several times in the middle of a ride is going to confuse a lot of people.

I think a recumbent trike would be much better because the steering is completely different, like switching from a bike to a car. Your brain knows they're different vehicles, so it loads up the appropriate program before you start.
 

Saracen

Esteemed Pedelecer
Aug 24, 2023
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I might have laughed at one time but once medical balance issues hit, it's not so funny falling off a two wheeler . Going up a 1 in 4 hill is pretty slow even with an e-bike

That's a great idea. I have been in correspondence with the UK dealer but not thought of asking if he had any northern customers. Thank you

I am 66 but have no issues, yet, this is one choice I may not like to make BUT, if it is a choice between cycling and not, there is NO choice :)
 

saneagle

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Oct 10, 2010
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Have you ever tried oner ?
No, but I have a pretty good understanding of physics, and I have ridden several trikes - recumbent and upright. A recumbent trike with vertical bars is fairly intuitive regarding the steering, but you have to retrain your brain to ride an upright one because of the steering effort reversal.

When you're on two wheels, you push the bars to the left to turn right, and harder to the left to tighten a turn. On three wheels, you turn the bars to the right to turn right and harder to the right to tighten the turn. A bike with sprung stabilisers behaves as a two wheel bike when you initiate the turn and a three wheel one when turning. You'd have to turn the bars to the left to initiate a right turn, then right to tighten it at some undefined point of lean.

You can learn to ride any bike or trike, including a bike that has a reverse steering mechanism that you see at shows. It just takes time, but you're very vulnerable during the learning period.
 
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boltby breeze

Finding my (electric) wheels
Mar 28, 2012
9
1
Thank you all for your comments and suggestions. Swinging Wheels are from the Netherlands and the only supplier in the UK that I have found is in Eastbourne. He was very helpful and showed me with photos all the measurements to take of the rear of the bike to discover if the SW would fit. This, I am about to do. I also found a YouTube video Swinging Wheels - training wheels for adults and children - YouTube Your comments after seeing this would be welcome. To me, the fact that the height of the wheels can be adjusted and don't have to be on the ground permanently could be an advantage. There may be a relationship between confidence and wheel height as I get back to riding.
 

guerney

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At 1m 17s, the daredevil stuntman wearing sunglasses doesn't appear to need to countersteer, for those small turns at least. I wonder how a bicycle would handle with stabilisers either side of both front and back wheels?





Looks like he'd have to countersteer for this sort of turn (after the 18 second mark).


 
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MikelBikel

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lenny

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guerney

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You don't and can't counter-steer a trike. That's the problem cyclists have with them.
The solution is for the rear axle to temporarily reduce in length according to trike tilt while going around the bend, bringing the rear wheels closer together?
 

matthewslack

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Nov 26, 2021
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This strategy seems to work quite well, but I don't know of any commercial versions. Focus on the rear wheel mechanisms, the solar and motor systems are by the by for the original question.

 

saneagle

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Oct 10, 2010
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I wonder if there are any trikes with the two wheels at the front which makes them much more stable.
Many recumbent trikes are like that, and they have the vertical bars that prevent your brain from trying to steer them like a bike.
 

georgehenry

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Nov 7, 2015
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There have been motorcycles that had two wheels at the front and one at the rear that could be lent over into a turn that I believe worked very well.
 

sjpt

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I wonder if there are any trikes with the two wheels at the front which makes them much more stable.
I think quite a few others as well. Interestingly, they don't mention '2 wheel-like' steering as one of the benefits.
A tricycle with two wheels in front has many advantages:
  • You can easily estimate the width
  • It can be a good alternative if you have difficulty getting on and off your current bike.
  • On a tricycle it is not absolutely necessary to get off when you are (almost) standing still; you can safely cross the road while sitting on the saddle.
  • Have you come to a stop? Then a tricycle does not tip over as is the case with a bicycle.