From the Norwegian makers of Podride their newest offering is this e-motor version. The problem is like their Podride the Frikaris still not available. It is only in prototype and not in production. They are taking pre-orders however. They show a production startup of Spring 2022. and actual availability in 2023.
Personally I would prefer Podride’s quad version as it would be more stable.
One thing for sure, whether 3 wheels or 4 wheels the rider is protected from the weather. Of cours,e being closed up inside of a velocar is quite uncomfortable in hot weather. It does say that the canopy is removable. In hot weather I would prefer not to be inside of any body unless it has air conditioning. Hey, they may offer it at some point in the future.
Yes, strange things are happening for sure. I am talking about my eZee hub motor which is now over 4 years old and has over 50,000 miles on it. It has never given me a moment’s trouble. However, a few days ago while out riding I stopped for lunch at a restaurant several miles from my home. When I came back out to continue my ride as I took off I suddenly heard and felt something inside the motor break making a loud noise and then the motor just spun and the trike didn’t move. I kept trying the thumb throttle and every once in awhile things would work and the motor would propel my trike. So I headed home and made it back okay. Of course, I was concerned about my motor and what had happened. The next day I got my trike out and discovered that things had changed. Now the motor worked every time and always propelled the trike. However, the clutch was slipping sometimes. I rode it and it did okay. It seemed dependable and the clutch was not slipping all that much. Since then I ordered another hub e-motor. I removed my eZee hub motor conversion kit and installed the new hub motor conversion kit. It did not come with any installation instructions but I didn’t need any. I got it installed okay. It also did not come with any setup instructions and that was a major problem as I did have a clue how to program the digital display console. I found what I needed to know more less online and printed out the instructions as well as took some notes from a couple of YouTube videos I watched. I got it programmed okay but it didn’t work right. It would only do 12 mph. I contacted the seller and they had me make a change in the programming in the digital display console. With that the top speed went down to 4 mph. I contacted them back and they had me make another change. With that change the top speed went down to 2.5 mph. I was so frustrated and upset. I made the decision to to uninstall the new motor conversion kit and reinstall my eZee motor kit. I took my trike out for a short spin around my subdivision obtaining a top speed of 30 mph. I contacted the seller telling them I want to send their e-motor kit back to them for a refund as I am very disappointed in it. It has been about 3 days and I haven’t heard anything back from them. I better be hearing something soon or I will be contacting Amazon and/or my credit card company. I sure wish e-motors were available which are made here in the U.S. and there were local sellers to deal with. Everything is made in China and it is a mess dealing with China. The eZee motor is also Chinese. Strange things have been happening with it. First I heard something break inside and the motor just spun. Then it finally started to work again and has quit just spinning. Right now it seems to be working pretty good. I can’t explain it. It makes no sense to me. Yes, strange things are happening, but I guess I can say that I am glad it is still working. The brand new one I bought failed to work and the seller hasn’t helped me get it remedied. China is not known for quality control in their manufacturing. I was glad that I was able to go back to my old motor. I just hope the eZee motor keeps on working as I want to …
It is no secret … a crank drive motor is hard on drive trains. And if the rider does not know how to properly use that extra power being applied to the pedals the drive train can be destroyed quickly. Here is a video sharing advice on how to operate a crank drive e-motor.
Anyone using a crank drive e-motor would be wise to heed this advice. I was aware of what is shared here and followed this advice. My drive train was still quickly destroyed. Personally I don’t and I can’t recommend crank drive e-motors. After replacing badly worn parts of my drive train I went back to using my rear hub drive and much prefer it. My local LBS sells and services e-bikes including installing Bafang units on trikes. They say the same thing … a very simple truth … crank drive systems are hard on drive trains and they don’t recommend them.
My eZee rear hub motor came from Grin Technologies and I installed it myself. Here is a video showing the installation process on a bicycle. It is similar on a trike.
I did not need the torsion bar as the eZee hub motor does not have anywhere near enough power to need it. I had to spread my rear dropouts further apart to fit the unit in. The wheel my eZee motor was laced into did not hold up. I had to replace it . I bought a much stronger BMX rim and had it laced up by a professional wheel builder at my LBS. It has held up fine. After my experience with BionX and Golden Motors I have been well pleased with the eZee hub motor. And then when I tried the Tongsheng crank drive motor which greatly disappointed me the eZee was a joy to go back to. The only disappointing thing about the eZee is I don’t have pedal assist … only a hand throttle. Oh I bought pedal assist when I first got the eZee hub motor kit. I paid a lot of extra money for it and still had to pay more for a different crankset as my Catrike crankset would not work with the torque sensor. Then I paid more to have my LBS install the torque sensor for me (with my assistance) only to discover that the torque sensor didn’t work. Grin Technologies sent me a different one but it required an even different crankset which we could not find available so I never got the torque sensor installed. It was just a lot of wasted money and effort. So during the 4 years I have had the eZee hub motor I have only had a hand throttle. Now I have gotten good at using it … so much so that I can pretty well duplicate what pedal assist feels like. One thing about it just buying the hand throttle would have saved me several hundred dollars which I ended up wasting. My advice to anyone wanting pedal assist is to by a unit with it built in. The eZee motor does not have it built in and the separate torque sensor which goes into the crankset bottom bracket is not at all practical. If I knew then what I know now I never would have bought it.
I was very surprised to discover that even though the well known and popular BionX e-motor company went out of business a few years ago one can still buy their products. And the good news is the cost is about half of what it was originally. Of course, there is no manufacturer warranty or service available . How long these sources will be available is anybody’s guess. The source I was looking at came with everything except the digital display. If the customer wanted it it would have to be ordered separately.
Some parts are still available so there is a glimmer of hope for those who have a BionX system. I searched for BionX and found several sources to buy their motor kits. Some sources are even selling unlocked motors which will allow the rider to go faster than the 20 mph speed limiter built into the system. I would like that. One can also buy just the hub motor and have it laced into their own rear wheel. Both the 350 watt and the 500 watt motors are available. BionX had a good product but they priced themselves too high which led to their demise. There was a lot of competition coming on the scene for a lot less money. You can only get away with selling at much higher prices for so long before it catches up to you.
Sunseeker has been around for a number of years. Formerly known as Sun Bicycles several years ago they changed the name to Sunseeker for their recumbent line. They are considered startup quality and their lowest cost model is made of mild carbon steel. They also offer Chrome Moly steel and aluminum. Of course, the price goes up with these more expensive metals. Electric Bike Technologies offers Sunseeker’s chrome moly trike with their electric motor package installed on it for $3412. Sunseeker lists this trike (without electric motor) for $2300. Here is a video about this e-trike …
The picture above shows a common place to mount a battery. However there are pros and cons about mounting it here. The best pro I can think of is that it keeps the weight down low helping the center of gravity to remain low and thus help the trike to handle better and safer. Another pro is that the key is in easy reach from the seat. I like all of that but even so I am considering relocating the battery because of the biggest con. In this location the battery is subject to getting water and mud on it. In this picture above I wrapped the battery in plastic trying to keep it clean and dry. It definitely helped. I even taped around the plug in the front which is very susceptible to water and mud getting on and in the opening and on the electrical contacts. It gets so bad that the plug won’t plug in or if I can get it in it doesn’t make electrical contact and I have no power. I have to try to clean it out and up in order to use the battery. Like I said, placing the plastic on the battery did help but I didn’t leave it on there as it was not practical to have it on there. First of all it greatly interfered with plugging and unplugging the power cable. This is something I have to do frequently when I switch from one battery to another. I probably could come up with something else to help keep it clean and dry … like maybe a plastic bag of some kind. It definitely needs something. And I really don’t want to have to relocate it. You may have noticed the rubber tarp straps on the battery and wondered about them. The battery by itself weighs 14 pounds. That is a lot of weight sitting on the battery mount to constantly be working the aluminum metal mount and fatigue it to where it breaks off at some point in the future. The tarp straps help hold the weight of the battery and take a lot of strain off of the aluminum mount in hopes that it never fails. It may not win any fashion contest but it works … it works great. Nope, this is not a good location for an e-battery as it is constantly getting mud and water flung all over it. My other battery is up above the rear wheel on a rack. That places the weight up high but it doesn’t get messed up like the lower battery does. It is always very clean and dry. Well, enough talk … it is time to ride boldly ride. Hope you manage to do the same.
Take a ride along with Sylvia and friends. The trails look so smooth and being in southern Arizona I would guess that they stay that way. A freshly paved trail up here in northern Indiana doesn’t last long before it is no longer smooth. Anyway, this sure looks inviting. There is only one problem as I see it … the comfortable weather for riding is short lived as soon it will be miserbly hot and last most of the year. Oh well, I don’t ever expect to be able to go there anyway. I will just have to enjoy it thru these videos.
Thanks Sylvia for posting this video sharing your adventure with us. I know I enjoyed it.
Gary Solomon of Laidback Bike Report brings us another video offering information and help for those who would like to add e-assist to their trike. Here is the video description … If you want to add an electric motor to your existing trike David Hall offers some compelling and inexpensive solutions. David is the founder of Eco Cycles in Nashville and shows us how you can install their motors, batteries and displays on any trike.
Performer trikes is offering a 250 watt crank drive e-motor for their trikes. It comes from Performer mounted on the end of its own boom so the original boom is replaced. simplifying the installation. It is a nice looking unit … similar to what Catrike offers. I personally would not want to be limited to only 250 watts. Here is a video illustrating how to install the conversion kit.
It is even cuter than before and a lot of interest is being shown in it. It looks like a car but it is a human powered vehicle. The developer thought they would have it in production by mid 2021 but it didn’t happen. They are working on it and are hopeful they will be able to make it available soon. They are starting out with a quad (4 wheels) and with or without e-motor pedal assist made to comply with European laws meaning only 250 watts pedal assist only (no hand throttle). Later they plan on making a 3 wheel version with a 500 watt motor and a hand throttle as well. As for me, I would want a quad not 3 wheels as a quad is more stable and practical. I wonder if one could get a quad with a 500 watt motor and hand throttle.
Their FAQ page provides quite a lot of information. They don’t know yet what the price will be. For sure it has increased considerably since I first wrote about the Podride over 6 years ago. Their FACEBOOK page is still available as well as their website.
Everywhere the Podride is shown it draws a crowd. I am sure it would be the same once they are being sold. Did I mention that they are such a cute little thing? I wonder how the material will hold up over time? I wonder if the color will fade out? I might even like having one. If nothing else, it would be nice to have the protection it would offer from the weather elements. I wonder how it would do in high winds and gusts? It is not easy or inexpensive to bring such a product to market. I sure hope they make it and it becomes very successful. It is such a cute little thing. Did I mention that?
Many of us are familiar with Utah Trikes. Here is an opportunity to get more familiar with them. This video takes you thru the process of receiving a customer order and all that is involved in preparing it … building the trike to sell it to the customer. I found it interesting. Hopefully you will too.
Do you remember the RAHT RACER? It had a pedal powered generator system to use to power an electric motor to propel a bike. I like the concept. Finally a German company, Schaeffler, has developed it in a bottom bracket crankdrive known as the Schaeffler Free Drive. As you pedal the generator sends electricity to the motor to propel you. Any excess electricity being generated is stored in the battery for later use.
Unfortunately the motor designed for this is limited to only 250 watts to comply with the stupid European law on e-motor assist. 250 watts is nearly worthless in my opinion. It is not powerful enough to propel a bike up much of a grade. The rider has to assist the motor. BTW, this is strictly pedal assist. There is no hand throttle with this rig.
The motor is capable of regenerative braking meaning that the motor can help recharge the battery. This is very inefficient however so don’t count on it accomplishing much.
There are no chains, gear reductions, belt drives, etc. involved. Instead only wires are used to conduct the electricity from the generator to the motor making a much easier task of designing bikes. I wonder how heavy these two components are. They both look like they would weigh quite a bit.
We will see what the future holds for this company and this product. I would hope that they start offering much larger motors though. 250 watts isn’t worth messing with. 1500 watts would make a good starting point.
There is nothing I am about to share here that I have not shared before. I decided to put it altogether in one article so others will know where I am coming from and help them understand my passion for tadpole trikes.
To start with all my life I have been an avid cyclist starting when I was about 6 years old I think. An older cousin helped me learn how to ride a bicycle. I never had training wheels. I just learned to balance my bike right from the start. I first rode a 20 inch bike and gradually got a 26 inch. As a teenager I bought with my own money a white Schwinn 3 speed internal hub English racer style bike. I inverted the handlebars to make it into what was called a racer type bike. I was the fastest cyclist where I grew up. I had a 52 tooth chainring installed and I could really go on that bike.
Stingray style bicycles became popular in my teen years so I made my own 20 inch bike with high apehanger handlebars and banana seat. I could ride wheelies until I decided to end it (literally miles)… far longer and farther than anyone else in town.
When I was in the Navy I bought a lightweight Gitane racing bike … a 10 speed which was all they had at the time. It was a pretty sky blue but it was a prima donna . I swear that spokes would break if I looked at them crosseyed. Over the following years I had several different bikes and continued to ride. It was not unusual for me to ride 50 to 100 miles in a day when I had the time to do so. I was still doing this into my late 30s. I moved to Georgia and found that there was no safe and practical place for me to ride so more than 13 years passed by when I did not ride. I moved back up to Indiana and soon after started back cycling. I found out that there are local bike trails available to ride where I live so I started riding on them. That was almost 17 years ago during which time I have accumulated well over 120,000 miles on them.
As time passed by and my body aged I got tired of dealing with all the discomfort involved in riding a diamond frame bike. It greatly took away from the fun and enjoyment of cycling. I had heard of recumbents and seen a couple of them. I had heard that they are comfortable to ride so I decided to make a recumbent bike.
I used “donor bikes” and bought a few things like a recumbent seat but I managed to come up with a recumbent bike I started riding which eliminated all the discomfort I had been experiencing on a conventional diamond frame bike. I was really enjoying riding a bike once again. After putting a couple of thousand miles on my homemade recumbent I bought a Sun recumbent bike. In fact, I bought two of them … one for my wife who used to ride with me. They were better bikes than the one I made so all was going well. I put a couple of thousand miles on my Sun recumbent.
However … winter was approaching and I wanted to keep riding. I was concerned about attempting to do so on two wheels as it would be quite risky and dangerous. I had heard of tadpole trikes so I decided to make my own. I was still working full time so it took me about 3 weeks to design and build my trike. I cut up my homemade recumbent bike and used parts of it to make my trike. It was made out of mild steel so it was heavy. It rode and handled great though as I had done my homework and got everything right in the construction of it.
I rode it thru the winter and was so happy to have it as it was so safe and so comfortable compared to my recumbent bike. I did not have to concern myself with “going down” riding in snow and on ice. I made it thru the winter and as planned I switched back to my Sun recumbent bike come Spring only to discover that I much preferred riding the tadpole trike. So I switched back to the trike and never looked back. My recumbent bike just sat around so I decided to sell it. I had my wife’s recumbent bike I could ride if I wanted to. She had stopped riding it and it just sat around.
After I put a couple of thousand miles on it I was able to buy a new 2009 Catrike Trail and I sold my homemade trike to a guy who said he planned to motorize it. As things have always gone for me I was not even able to get the cost of the various components I had purchased to build it.
I loved my 2009 Catrike Trail and it’s “space frame” as they call the solid all one piece frame. After about 3 plus years I discovered a “hairline crack” along the edge of a weld on the underside of the cruciform crossmember. Being a professional weldor I understood what I was seeing and the concern of future failure of the weld so I contacted Catrike sending them this picture to show them what I was seeing. They replaced the frame under warranty.
I was thankful that I received a new frame however, I was not happy that I could not get another space frame. This was 2013 and Catrike had changed the design of the Trail model. The new frame featured an adjustable seat back angle and the frame design change added 2 pounds of weight to the trike. Ever since then I have wanted to find a used space frame to buy and go back to it. I have no use of the adjustable seat back and definitely don’t like have the trike weigh more. I was hoping Catrike would still have a space frame around that they could send instead of the new design but no such luck. I did not think about it at the time but I wonder if I could have got an Expedition frame and paid the difference. In hind sight I wish I would have checked into it. My 2009 frame was silver but Catrike told me I could have any color they were currently offering so I went with green. All of my old components off of my 2009 trike were reused with this 2013 frame. That is why I have a silver boom with a green frame.
I rode my Catrike for about 7 or 8 years I think before I made the decision to motorize it. BionX was the big name in e-motors at the time so I went with BionX. That turned out to be a big mistake as it was not only expensive but it didn’t hold up and I went thru a big mess trying to get another motor that worked right … which I never did. So I asked for and received a full refund. This was just before BionX went out of business so it turned out to be good timing. I then tried a Golden Motor and it was faulty right out of the box. I got a refund on it as well and then went with an eZee hub motor which has been great … until about 6 months ago when a problem developed. The power would shut off just like I was turning it off with the battery key switch. I checked various things but could not find anything wrong. I suspected that the problem was in the controller which is a rather expensive item to replace. Consequently I did not jump on replacing it. I just dealt with the problem in frustration until finally recently I decided to take the gamble and buy a new controller. I was elated to discover my hunch was right. The new controller fixed the problem and now I am once again enjoying my e-motor assist.
Yes, I am sold on tadpole trikes. I new have about 100,000 miles on my Catrike. It is truly a well engineered and built machine which I highly recommend to anyone looking for a recumbent tadpole trike.
Well, this is my story and I am not only sticking to it but I am stuck with it.
It has been some time since I first started having a serious problem with my e-motor system on my trike … about sic months now. Whenever I would apply power to the motor using the hand throttle the power would shut off just like I turned it off at the switch on the battery. Then I would have to wait for it to “reboot” only to keep having it go back off most of the time. Once in awhile it would remain on and I could actually use it. I contacted Grin Technologies where I bought it asking them what they thought the problem might be. They said that it most likely is the battery but I have 3 batteries and it does this with all 3 and one battery was brand new at the time. Then they said that it is probably a bad wiring connection. I went thru everything and found nothing wrong. That was the end of their help. They were at least on the right track. The problem had to do with the battery power being interupted. All the time I was suspicious of the controller. Replacing the controller is not inexpensive so I did not jump on it. It use to cost $130 plus shipping but now it is $160 plus shipping. It was like gambling since I did not know for sure that the problem was the controller. Recently I took the plunge and ordered it from Grin Technologies. It only took less than two days to receive it … amazingly quick … about 24 hours from the time they shipped it. I installed it the same morning I received it and went for a ride. The gamble paid off. It works great once again. I sure wish I would have played my hunch much sooner. Anyway, I am rejoicing as I have a properly working motor back again. I have turned to Grin Technologies a few different times previously for technical help and never once did they actually help me. If I can figure this out knowing next to nothing about electronics I would think they should be able to be of help. Oh well, with this working right now I can …
BTW, I want to give credit where it is due. I received an email from Grin Technologies offering to see if they could repair my old controller and have it covered under warranty. It appears that the battery power has an issue somewhere inside of the controller. I would, of course, have to return the new controller I just bought. I truly appreciate their offer but there exists two issues. One, I would have to be without my motor for quite some time. I would not care to do that. And two, I doubt if I could return the new controller as I had to modify it to hook the battery power up to it. Oh, and another thing to their credit. I selected and paid for the least expensive shipping when I purchased the new controller but I received it super quick meaning that they must have shipped it the most expensive way … overnight. That was really nice of them.
Some of us follow this fellow tadpole trike rider. He has interesting videos which are always well done. Here is one of his recent ones. The new trike he ordered has arrived. Needless to say he is a happy camper … or maybe I should say happy triker. He went with e-motor assist on this trike and is really enjoying and appreciating it. May you enjoy many thousands of miles of trike riding on it David.
The picture above is meant to be funny but it is all too real for some of us, myself included. If I ride without the aid of a motor trail walkers literally pass me by oftentimes. It is rather embarrassing. So I can truthfully say that I need and appreciate having e-motor assist. I just don’t have much strength and stamina in my knee joints. The other day I was riding alongside of my wife who was walking. She challenged me to a race (without the use of my motor) even though she was not in shape to run. She took off and got out ahead of me. I worked hard pushing on the pedals and managed to catch up to her and pass her only to hear her accuse me of using my motor which I didn’t. Yes, I beat her but I paid for it. My knees hurt the rest of the day and I was just starting my ride. I will not do that again.
Yesterday I bought a small jar of pain relieving ointment and applied it to one knee before going riding today. Much to my surprise and delight it did help. Actually I bought the ointment not so much for the ointment in the small jar but rather I bought it for the small jar itself. I want to use it to put some Watkins salve in once I empty the ointment out of it. I lost my small “tin” of the salve awhile back. I like to carry it with me at all times. I have a large size tin of the salve to use to fill the small jar. I may be emptying the pain relieving ointment quicker than expected now that I know it works as well as it does. I am still not going to have any more races with my wife or anyone else. I am just too old and out of shape. Well, I am not really out of shape. Round is a shape!
Anyway, my point is some of us really do need and benefit greatly by having e-motor assist. Without a motor helping me I ride very slow and not very far and I hurt bad as a result. It is misery for me and no longer enjoyable like it used to be. With a motor helping me I can ride much faster … 15 to 25 mph … and much farther … 40 to 50 miles or more … and it is all fun once again.
A second point is sometimes we should not listen to our wives as it just leads to problems and trouble. But hey, I did beat her! Just don’t ask me if it was worth it. 🙂
I ordered a Tongsheng TSDZ2 crank drive motor March 25, 2021 and installed it in very late April after waiting to get an extension cable I discovered I needed. Yesterday with only 1365 miles on it I uninstalled it as it no longer ran. It didn’t even last two months. I am very disappointed with it and there is no way I can recommend it to anyone. It is a piece of junk as far as I am concerned. I have requested a full refund. I will be waiting to see how that goes. It was my first experience with crank drive as I have always had a rear hub motor since I got into e-motor assist over 4 years ago. I did discover that I don’t like crank drive at all. It is very hard on the drive train. A hub drive is much more practical. I think the Tongsheng motor is underbuilt and poor quality.
Here is a video about steering on recumbent trikes. It explains the typical commonly found steering and the AR-3 lean steering.
Here is the video description found on YouTube:
“AR-3 Recumbent Tadpole Trike, all wheel tilting mechanism explanation. In depth description and details of standard tadpole recumbent steering, and why the AR-3 all wheel tilting steering is revolutionary.
The Patented steering design is like no other and follows the natural feel of a bicycle because of its center axis steering system cleverly angled forward, which emulates the feeling of a bicycle while banking into turns with all three wheels. KAZEbikes.com for the latest development and video.”
It sounds great to me as in I would like to have it. There is one thing I noticed that bothers me … the seat appears to be placed very far back behind the crossmember of the frame. My guess is that the weight distribution is much different on this design than it is on a regular non leaning design. I definitely don’t like the look of the seat. The part where one’s butt sits looks extremely small. Speaking of the seat there is a video about it …
$5995 for motorized pedal assist version. Pedal assist with 350 Watt Bafang rear hub motor and 36 Volt lithium E-bike battery.
$1595 for the AR-3 frame kit (use your own wheels and various components)
I would think that the frame kit is in high demand. I see that the website shows Out of Stock while that is not the case for the complete trike models. Only a 26 inch rear wheel can be used on this design. It will be interesting to see a leaning trike out there. Tire wear should be improved since this pretty much eliminates tire scrub from hard fast cornering. Pushing forward on one handlebar while pulling back on the other handlebar is how steering is accomplished.
Specifications AR-3E (motorized version):
The E-bike version is all we have fully assembled.
Approximate Total weight: 48 pounds riding weight. (very light for a trike with motor and battery)
Steering Radius: 8.5’
The frame was FEA static tested to Rider weight of 480 pounds but we recommend 250 pounds for best riding results. I would keep the cargo balanced for a more pleasurable ride.
Length: 84” (That’s a long trike.)
Height: 26” with backrest retracted. 3“ additional with backrest fully extended.
Ground clearance: 4.5”
How the AR-3 works:
Being prone also gives a great aerodynamic advantage lending itself to going further and faster with the less effort than a conventional bicycle. Obviously many of us don’t wish to or can no longer perch on a standard bicycle seat. The seat on the AR-3 is comparable to a high performance sports car bucket seat.
Articulating all wheel tilting steering for recumbent tricycle and other vehicles providing stability and controlled lean of all three wheels simultaneously.
Consisting of a single front steering yoke that rotates or steers, on a pivoting axis neck, with a negative castor angle and bearing on the stationary frame which forces the rear wheel and frame to actively tilt into the direction of the turn.
The active front wheel leaning linkage consists of, the front steering yolk with horizontal bushings on the outer ends, which only allows the front wheels axles and control arm assemblies to lean in toward the turn producing a camber to both front wheels.
Tie rods, connected to the front wheel’s spindle assembly and anchored to the frame, forward of the pivot axis, actively linking handlebars, front wheel and frame tilt together thus causing all wheels to lean together when directional force is applied.
“All the Benefits of 3 wheel recumbents, but with all the virtues of a bicycle.” (their words not mine)