By James McGinnis @James_McGinnis
Sales of battery-powered bicycles have nearly tripled since 2014, with one Upper Makefield entrepreneur kicking production into high gear at his Bristol Township business .
Are you ready to share the road with electric bicycles and tricycles that can reach speeds of up to 28 mph when powered by rechargeable batteries?
From an 18,000-square-foot warehouse in Bristol Township, Jason Kraft’s Electric Bike Technologies has tapped into the latest trend in transportation on two wheels with handlebars and a basket.
As the temperature begins to drop, it is important to know how to properly care for your Liberty Trike and its Lithium battery. Depending on where you live, you may be able to ride during the winter months, or you may want to pack away your trike until the weather is a little bit warmer.
Below we've answered all your most commonly asked questions about battery care, storing, safekeeping and more!
Q: Can I ride in the snow?
A: We do not recommend riding in deep snow or on icy roads. If you decide to go out in the snow, make sure you do so in the daytime when the snow is not too deep and there is absolutely no ice. We always recommend wearing a helmet and protective riding gear anytime you go out on your Liberty Trike but especially in the snow. Always make sure to have a full charge if you're riding in the cold.
Q: If I decide to ride in cold weather, how will it affect my battery?
A: Liberty Trikes use Lithium-Ion batteries (abbreviated Li-ion) which is the most common battery found in rechargeable devices. Like your phone, the battery on the Liberty Trike will experience changes in extreme temperatures. According to Battery University, cold temperature "increases the internal resistance and diminishes capacity" of a Li-ion battery. Specifically, they estimate that in freezing temperatures, a Li-ion may only deliver about 50% of its capacity.
Q: Do I have to bring my battery inside during cold weather?
A: Yes. The Liberty Trike's Li-ion battery needs to be stored in a cool, dry area that is between 30F - 100F. Allow two hours for the battery to warm up to room temperature before charging. Never charge your Liberty Trike battery when the surrounding area is below 40F. Check out our instructional video on how to remove the Liberty Trike battery: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KjnMvv9A6O4
Q: Do I have to bring my entire trike inside along with my battery?
A: As long as you bring your battery inside, the Liberty Trike frame can be stored in a basement or shed. If you want to avoid any dust or nicks to the paint, we recommend putting a cover on your Liberty Trike while it is in storage for the winter. You can purchase a bike cover from our affiliate site here. If your bike does get some dings while packed away in storage let us know and we'll send you some touch-up paint.
Q: How do I store my Liberty Trike in my garage/shed?
A: To save space, you can collapse your Liberty Trike for more compact storage. We have an instructional video on how to do this here.
Q: Do I need to charge my battery at all during the months it is not in use?
A: Yes. Your battery should be charged at least once every 30-40 days when not in use and should be stored fully charged. This is going to maintain the health of your battery so that you will be ready to ride again in the Spring!
Q: What should I do when I'm ready to ride again after the winter?
A: Give your trike a "check-up." Make sure the tires are pumped up between 28-45 PSI, charge your battery, tighten anything that might seem loose, patch up any dings/scratches that may have happened in storage, and give your trike a test ride. Make sure everything feels okay and enjoy, you're back to riding!
Six months ago, we created a Liberty Trike Owner’s group on Facebook for riders to post about their experiences on our Liberty Electric Tricycles. Since then, the group has expanded to just a few people to 329 members and counting. We never imagined that this online community would grow into such a positive and uplifting space. The Liberty Trike team could not be more grateful to our owners for demonstrating the type of attitudes that we stand for.
In addition to Liberty Trike owners, the group also welcomes interested buyers to get a feel for the e-trikes. New members can gain a wide range of information through other member’s posts, and they can also ask questions of their own. New riders are joining the conversation every day and are welcomed into the group with open arms. The Liberty riders are sincerely happy to see someone new post about their experience on the e-trike.
Because the electric trikes are only sold online and the warehouse to test ride them is far for some, many Liberty owners have offered to let interested riders test out their own. All it takes is a quick post for someone to realize a Liberty Electric Trike owner is closer than they think.
The group’s “veterans” are always quick to answer questions and concerns that others may have in regards to their trikes. Other posts, however, are very lighthearted and silly. One post even asked if anyone had given their trike a name.
These men and women have truly created a space where everyone feels accepted. By coming together in the Liberty Trike Owner’s Group, they have bonded over their mutual love of Liberty Trikes and also created a strong community along the way.
We at Liberty Trike are truly grateful to have customers who are so genuinely kind. On behalf of the entire team, we wholeheartedly thank you for your continued support of our business.
A picture of me at the state park near my home. It's about a 3 mile round trip which I did on my own. Notice the cane. I use a cane and a walker to get around but I've found new freedom with my Liberty Trike. You have given me the gift of freedom! No problem moving my 6ft 1in, 240 lb frame.
I can't thank you all enough! Bless you all!
Published on Nov 18, 2016 on by Court Rye on ElectricBikeReview.com's YouTube Channel!
The Liberty Trike is a custom electric tricycle manufactured by Worksman Cycles, designed in conjunction with Electric Bike Technologies. Recently I visited Pennsylvania and got to visit the Liberty Trike factory and speak with Jason Kraft, the man behind the liberty trike. Jason is a veteran in the ebike space, he also manages EbikeKit.com and ElectricTrike.com which together, provide a wide range of electric bicycle and mobility solutions since 2008.
While on our tour Jason showed me some packaging which has their logo (an older fellow wearing a fedora riding the trike), he said that’s a depiction of his father in law. They shared the logo on social media to get feedback when launching it in 2015 using crowdfunding. In recent iterations the controller unit has been attached more securely, the battery has become smaller and lighter and the packaging is more compact and doesn’t use foam anymore. Jason also talked about the possibility of a metal rack in the future.
Worksman Cycles makes the frames and they are in Queens New York (just a two hour drive from the Liberty Trike headquarters) and this enables them to improve and fix things quickly. I was told that the paint is another area where they have made some updates and added more colors. The price on the Liberty Trike has dropped to $1,498 with a $98 flat rate delivery charge (to the lower 48 states in the USA).
Liberty Trike: https://www.libertytrike.com/
Electric Bike Technologies: http://electricbiketechnologies.com/
We make small changes in every production run of the Liberty Trike based on feedback from our customers. The biggest changes have happened since the Crowdfunding campaigns ended.
The Liberty Trike has a top speed of about 11.5 mph normally. Sometimes, this is too fast, though. It is important when you are first learning to ride the trike to go slower. It's also important to go slower through turns.
You can control your top speed by using the + and - arrows on the control pad. There are 5 levels, providing 20% increments for controlling the assist level.
When you're going up steep hills, adjust to level 4 or 5 if you've been using a lower level on flat ground - the extra power will help you get up the hill.
Some of our customers have been asking us to limit the top speed of their trike. You can do this by changing the settings on the screen to disable the higher Assist Levels. For instance, if you adjust it so that "3" is the max assist level, then you won't be able to turn it up higher than 3, and your top speed will be about 7mph. The procedure is as follows:
Limit Power Output:
If you're ordering a new Liberty Trike and need it to be adjusted, let us know and we can set it up for you during assembly, so you don't have to do it at home.
"It made me smile and went way above and beyond"
"There's something really cool about a stable platform that empowers people that need that boost the most: people who are older and want to be liberated. It's neat."
Electric trikes are not widely available - there are only 7 Electric trikes on Electric Bike Review. For Reviewer Court Rye, it was a stand-out experience:
"It's awesome to see something like this being done in the world of electric bikes"
Court also offers some valid critiques, some of which we've already addressed - we are always improving the Liberty Trike with each new production run, and we welcome your suggestions.
Read the review of the Liberty Trike to learn more.
We are having a blast with our new trikes! The only problem was getting down the street, we had so many people stopping us to ask questions.
Thanks Jason and crew.
Liberty Trike Bea, you tell us! How is your ride?
April 22 at 9:11pm
Bea Rice: It's a killer just like scenery!!
I am 4 years into my 8th decade! I cannot walk without sticks. When I do walk, I can barely walk a street block and it takes me a long time. Today the trike was put together and charged up. I spent about 45 minutes going up and down the street learning to control the trike and learning the controls. My buddy on her ebike and I set off on my maiden journey!
We intended just to go around a couple of blocks! Well a couple of blocks led to 2.4 miles of freedom!! I love my trike! I love my new found freedom and look forward to many more fun trips.
For what it's worth, I was never able to walk into or around the Palace, today I finally did it and it was great!!
Thank you Jason and all the team!
This is so wonderful that I can get to a local coffee shop and sit outside enjoying my coffee, knowing that now, I can go and do this any time I want! Another freedom, the Liberty Trike has given me back!
I love my trike! I love my new found freedom and look forward to many more fun trips. Bea in San Fran #LibertyTrike