RoadRACE Power Pod: Electric Assist for Hand Cyclists! [VIDEOS]

This is pretty cool!  Invented by a former road motorcycle racer, the RoadRACE Power Pod easily adds electric assist to a hand cycle or tricycle.  It is also easily removable.

Why would a hand cyclist want electric assist?  The inventor, Mark Brereton, explains why:

“Handcycles are great fun whizzing down a flat road, as they take advantage of their flat aerodynamic shape cutting through the air.  However, as soon as they hit a hill, gravity has a major say in slowing down your fun.

Whereas a normal cyclist has those two big thighs to power over hills, and the ability to really get out of the seat and apply all their bodyweight over the pedals; the poor handcylist has no such tricks up their sleeve.

 

 

The handcyclists body weight becomes a hindrance, rather than a help, and those two biceps are worked to the absolute limit just to maintain forward motion.  Of course, the elite handcyclists can manage such hills.

But even an elite handcyclist can be beaten on a hill by a decidedly average regular cyclist.  The RoadRACE Power-Pod sets out to flatten out these hills and even out the disparity between handcylists and their bicycling friends.

Because you are not hitting your “red-zone” and busting a gut on each and every incline, you will find you are able to stay out on the road for more hours.  You will cover more miles and ride on roads you would not have tried otherwise. ”

Here is a video that will give you an idea of what the RoadRACE Power Pod is all about:

The RoadRACE Power Pod uses the direct drive electric bike kit from E-Bike Kit.

As you can see in the video the RoadRACE Power Pod can also be used to easily add electric assist to a tricycle.

 

Mark added that “the off-road performance (of the RoadRACE Power Pod) was a pleasant surprise   I have also made a chin operated throttle so that quadriplegics can control the power with their chin….this has really opened cycling up to some folks who could only dream of it…”

And here is a little background on Mark Brereton; he was a road motorcycle racer until he had a horrific crash at around 140 mph! Check out this video to hear from Mark about the crash and see him get back on a motorcycle 4 years later. Definitely an inspiring guy!

Make sure you check out the RoadRACE Power Pod website for more information, pictures, and videos!  And please share this with your friends.

If you have any comments or questions for Mark, please post them in the section below.

Thanks!

-Pete

P.S. Don’t forget to join the Electric Bike Report community for updates from the electric bike world, plus ebike riding and maintenance tips!

 

Comments

  1. Lynn Ellsworth says

    Fantastic idea. Fortunately I don’t need a hand cycle but I have tried 2 recumbents and enjoyed the comfort but hills are no fun on a recumbent even with two legs.

    • Mark Brereton says

      Hey Lawrence, No purpose. The rear frame comes from a kids mountain bike. If I took the shock off I would have to replace it with a manufactured part the exact same size. I have started to simply take the spring itself off the shock to lose just a bit of weight.
      If I move to getting a frame specifically manufactured for this application I would not have a shock, obviously.

    • Mark Brereton says

      Simple answer is that most handcyclers like the ability to take the motor on and off within minutes. Also, converting a handcycle for electric involves some involved serious modifications and is a one way process. With this you can buy and sell handcycles without mod’s. Another reason is wheelchair users can manage lifting the separate parts in and out of their van. Once the bike is all modified is can be too heavy to handle alone.
      Additionally, when cycling off-road, the front wheel tends to spin on gravel going up hill. The back powered wheel doesnt spin – it just digs in and helps distribute the power up the hills. The performance is like night and day.
      Finally – this is a cheaper alternative and faster than the others.

        • says

          No problem!
          Also, not easy or practical to fit the motors on the 2 back wheels since they are supported on just one side of the axle. Would require complete re-engineering of the rear axle and some ways to transfer the torque of the motors etc…

          Finally, punctures are a real issue with handcycles. You need to be able to remove the handcycle wheels to repair a flat. If the front wheel were a motor it would not be quick-release and if it got a puncture, you would not be able to fix it at the side of the road. Wheras the Power Pod driving wheel only has about 20lbs weight on it and about 15psi – it never gets a puncture, and if it did you would either carry on riding or unclip it and leave it in a hedge while you ride home (to recover it later…).

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