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EZ-Ride Electric Recumbent Bike

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Easy Racer's EZ-1 with a modified ZAPworld DX kit and extra battery
ZAPworld no longer offers the DX kit.

The EZ-Ride starts with an Easy Racers EZ-1 (pictured above) which brings comfort and ease to cycling. Think Barca-Lounger(tm) or "laid back and loving it". The long wheelbase and padded seat make bumps fun and chuckholes smoother. The seat slides back and forth along the top rail to fit most anyone. Add a six-position backrest and far-ranging handlebars and you're sure to find the fit that's "just right".

Besides dramatically improved comfort, recumbents offer 10-20% better speed and range over standard electric bikes. That's due to the reduced wind drag afforded by the reclined seating. At 20 mph on a regular bike, about 80% of the effort to maintain speed is spent overcoming wind drag, i.e. pushing air out of the way. Here's a graph showing how much energy (watts) is needed to overcome wind resistance, rolling resistance, and transmission losses on a standard bike:

Downsides? Recumbents have a lower center of gravity, so falls happen quicker. (However, you don't fall so far so there's less impact.) You're lower so tall hedges and SUVs block your view more often. The long wheelbase prevents tight turns, so it's not as easy to move around in tight quarters. (Sometimes, I'll grab the backrest framing to pick up and move the rear end). An EZ-1 is only a few inches longer than a mountain bike, but in some situations that might matter.

The Easy Racers EZ-1 Owner's Manual will show you how to assemble your new bike. Install the included kickstand. Squeeze 3.0 oz. of Slime into the front tube and 2.5 oz. into the rear. (I find that a good strong squeeze equals 1 oz.) Keep tires inflated to the maximum recommended pressure for best acceleration, speed, and range.

EZ-1 Specifications: See www.easyracers.com

After adding a ZAPworld DX drive system (to the front wheel), PowerLight, fenders, rack, and some mileage, your EZ-Hawk will look like this. Due to reduced wind drag, plan on the upper end of a ZAPworld DX kit's 15-20 mph speed range with moderate pedaling. Dual batteries provides 20 miles of range with moderate assist.

A standard ZAPworld DX Drive System is modified into an EZ-Ride Drive System:

  • Add a trike bracket to mount the motor assembly on the front wheel;
  • Notch the DX battery tray to fit within the EZ-1 frame;
  • Extend motor wires and the battery wire;
  • Install a battery rack that fastens easily to the frame;
  • Add a second Quick Release Battery and dual battery harness to double the range.

EZ-Ride Drive System Specificatons:

  • DRIVETRAIN: direct friction drive.
  • DRIVE SYSTEM: ZAPworld dual motor power-assist system.
  • MOTOR: High efficiency, ceramic, permanent magnet direct current motor. High output, .5 hp at 3,500 RPM peak.
  • MOTOR CONTROL: Dual speed, solid state/electro-mechanical system with regenerative function. Spring loaded safety on/off trigger switch shuts off motor when released.
  • SPEED: 15-20 mph in fast speed. (Higher speeds can be attained going downhill.)
  • RANGE: Level ground - 20 miles under most conditions. (Speed and range will vary with rider weight & input. Hills, wind and number of stops also affect range.)
  • CHARGER: Charges both batteries simultaneously in less than 8 hours.
  • BATTERY CAPACITY: Two sealed, maintenance-free, lead acid dry cell twelve volt, 20 amp-hr batteries are approximately 7" x 7" x 3" and weighs about 13 pounds each.
  • WEIGHT: 34 lbs.
  • Master power switch.
  • Quick release battery system.
  • ZAPworld mobile charger plugs into car's power point ($25).
  • ZAPworld mini charger to leave at work ($45).

For additional details and photos, click here.

Riding a Recumbent

When starting off, a long wheelbase recumbent (like the EZ-1) feels wobbly. At operating speeds (5+ mph), it feels like a standard bike. The motor's low speed helps a lot to make starts smoother and more graceful. Pedaling helps too. Stability increases with speed. It all gets easier with practice. That long wheelbase makes it very stable at higher speeds.

Carrying Cargo

Substituting an EZ-Hawk for a car requires you to carry cargo frequently. Generally available racks don't sit level when mounted on an EZ-1. Even with several inches of platform forward of the vertical support, the rack on the left still tilts to the rear. And only about half the Wald basket can be mounted. That's why it's important to use a rack from Easy Racers as included in the EZ-Ride and pictured on the right.

We also recommend the Timbuk2 Dee-Dog messenger bag. Use it like the saddlebags of old west days. When you head inside, sling it over your shoulder. Here's the one I use:

Tires for an EZ-1's 16" and 20" wheels

Most bikes have 26" wheels. So, when it comes time to replace your tires, options are limited:RCN “FAT” 20” Tire Favorites

  • Mitsuboshi/Tioga Comp Pool 406 20” x 1.75” 90 psi (bald slick, lowest rolling resistance of any 20” tire according to Greenspeed)
  • Continental Top Touring 2000 406 20” x 1.5 70 psi V-tread with center ridge (a great all around high quality tire).
  • Primo V-Monster 406 20” x 1.75 65 psi block tread (a great urban assault tire or for somebody who ventures off the pavement...and it hums)
  • Maxxis Hookworm 20" x 1.95"
  • Primo Comet 16" x 1.50", 100 psi, high performance tire.
  • Maxxis Hookworm 16" x 1.95"

ACCESS: Check with your local bike shop.

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