I was quite excited about doing a review on an e-trike, having seen a good few in Hawkes Bay and the fact that they seemed to be a good option for mobility impaired riders. The trike in question looked nice in red (reminded me of the trike that I had as a child and my kids did too) and was nicely appointed with a big cage on the rear and a smaller basket up front.
Wheeling it out of the shop was a bit of a challenge as the wheel wanted to run over my foot. Then I realised that it needed to be parked on the level as there is no park brake and you can’t lean it up against a wall. It has a reverse setting too so you can manouever a bit.
However when I tried to actually ride it, I struggled. Firstly it wanted to run over my foot if I had one on the ground (bicyclist habits die hard). But worst was that it wanted to veer off to either side, really strongly. This is the problem if there is any camber at all on your road or path. I tried on a flat car park and didn’t feel much better. I nearly rode into a few parked cars. I felt powerless to resist the pull to either side.
100m later, I returned the trike to the shop. “I’m not riding that thing, it’s too dangerous”. Disappointed nods from the shop staff, but they kinda agreed that it was sketchy.
Conclusion: I’m not going to lie, I have to say that this was the most disappointing test ride ever, because it was over within minutes. If you thinking about buying an etrike for yourself or a relative, please try one first. Your terrain, trike’s geometry and mileage may vary, but for me it’s a “don’t buy”. You might just be better off with a purpose-made mobility scooter.
This would be a good place to insert the Top Gear episode where Jeremy drove a Reliant Robin. It is how I felt, and the same geometry problems.