It’s a question we’re often asked, and with a significant difference in price points, a reasonable one to ask. Do you really need electric assist on your Tribe Bike? We’ll do our best at answering the question below.
How does electric assist work?
Firstly, a quick explanation on Tribe’s electric assist. Depending on your experience with electric bikes, your understanding may differ.
Tribe Bikes with electric assist have a torque sensor in the crank (the crank attaches the pedal to the chain). This sensor senses how much pressure you are putting through the pedals at any point in time. Once it passes a certain amount of pressure (or ‘torque’), it sends a signal to the electric motor in the rear wheel which then helps to turn the cog attached to the rear wheel.
This all happens almost instantly, so as soon as you hit the predetermined level of resistance, you’ll get a little push along from your electric assist. The control panel on your handlebars will show you how much assist you’re getting. From the control panel you can also adjust how early the electric assist kicks in, with 6 settings. One being hardest to pedal and 6 being the easiest.
The only way to make the electric assist work is by pedaling. Tribe Bikes aren’t motorbikes, there’s no throttle allowing you to ride the bike without pedaling.
When does electric assist help?
We find there are two key moments when electric assist really helps.
1. When going up hills
You’ll know you’re on even the smallest hill with a 70kg bike loaded with a couple of kids. Whilst the 7 speed gears allow you to quickly go back to a low gear to help with hills, the electric assist make a small hill barely noticeable and makes a large hill attainable, when it would unlikely to be without the electric assist.
2. When taking off from a standing start
Once your bike is up and going, its easy to ride on the flat without the electric assist, however getting a heavy bike up and going without the electric assist can be a real heart starter! Additionally, the 3 wheel nature of the bike makes it difficult to ride ‘out of the saddle’ as you may be used to doing on a 2 wheel bike when you need a short burst of extra oomph.
So do you really need electric assist?
Our advice is, if it is within your budget, get it. It will help remove the doubt about getting out on your bike. There’s less need to plan routes (to avoid traffic lights and hills) and you’ll likely get longer rides in.
However, we know it is a large extra expense. If you are riding predominantly on flat cycleways, you can definitely get away with a non electric version of the bike. Additionally, electrics can be added later if you change your mind (see below).
What's the difference in cost?
The non electric version of the bike is priced at $1,990, with the electric version priced at $3,290. This puts a $1,300 price difference on electric vs non electric.
We do sell the electric kit separately for $1,500. There are a number of parts that must be replaced if upgrading to the electric version, such as the rear wheel and the rear rack. You will also need to have an e-bike mechanic install your electric parts, which is likely to cost around $200-$300. Therefore, it’s more cost effective to purchase the electric version up front if you are unsure.
Regardless of what version you choose, your Tribe Bike is sure to bring more fun to your family! Happy riding!
Ready for Family Adventures on 3 Wheels?
Tribe Bikes are available now. Priced from $1,990, delivered fully assembled and ready to ride. This includes free delivery to NSW, Victoria, Queensland and ACT.