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Re: [rootsradicals] Re: Stoked Urban Assault Xtracycle

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  • todd fahrner
    ... You must pedal in time with the motor whenever you engage it, yes. You can, of course, coast as usual, but there s no powered coasting. The assist
    Message 1 of 18 , Jul 14, 2006
      On Jul 14, 2006, at 5:44 AM, BlueFrogPrpleDog@... wrote:

      > I did some reading on that Stoke Monkey at the cleverchimp.com web
      > site and
      > I think it's really neat that it's designed so that you are
      > constantly
      > pedaling and must constantly pedal and that the battery really
      > only kicks in to
      > help with tough hills and so forth... am I correct?

      You must pedal in time with the motor whenever you engage it, yes.
      You can, of course, coast as usual, but there's no "powered
      coasting." The assist doesn't "kick in" of its own accord: you turn
      the throttle to get help whenever you want/need it. The rest of the
      time, it's just dead weight on the bike, with no effect on normal
      pedaling efficiency or technique.

      > So, technically, you can go
      > at your own power at will and then let the battery kick in when
      > you need it
      > most? Is this correct?

      You control when and how much help the motor provides. You can use it
      continually if you want, or spread it out over a long day; it's up to

      > This is fascinating to me because it could be a
      > great answer for folks with bad knees who still love touring!
      > Plus, it's
      > fascinating to me because I'm not as young as I once was and when
      > my FreeRad is
      > fully loaded, and my youngest is on the snap deck, and we're
      > pulling a loaded
      > trailer (plus my huge butt alone) and we come upon a hill that is
      > sandy, I'm
      > struggling! I've never been able to master gears too well. Am I
      > correct? Is
      > the Stoke Monkey designed to just give you that extra umph when
      > you need it
      > most?

      I designed it to let me haul my family around San Francisco hills
      without destroying my sketchy knees. It works that way, yes. But you
      can also use it to go fast, with little or no load, and arrive
      without being covered in sweat.

      I'm not sure I'd recommend it for touring, at least not for what I
      understand by touring (multiple-day treks, camping, long days, no
      hurry). It takes a lot of discipline not to use the motor semi-
      continuously. For this reason I think it is somewhat at odds with the
      ethos of most recreational riding, where your own strength and pain
      tolerance limits the pace in a way that's ultimately enjoyable, and
      that makes you stronger. Beyond a certain range, the added weight and
      bulk of the system becomes a liability. I wouldn't want to plan my
      tour around recharging opportunities, though I could see it for fast
      solo "credit card" touring, maybe.

      I think it shines brightest for utility trips up to a couple hours,
      where you need to cover more ground or carry more stuff than you
      could really enjoy without help, or a car. I definitely wouldn't
      recommend Stokemonkey for your only bike, because it's overkill for a
      lot of riding that could be enjoyed more simply on a regular bike,
      and while it's fun, it's fun in a different way than regular riding,
      and you'd miss the old fun. Part of that old fun is social -- riding
      with others -- and Stokemonkey puts you in a different headspace than
      unassisted riders; either you go too fast for them, or you hardly
      work at all just matching their pace.

      Todd Fahrner
      Instigator, Cleverchimp LLC
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