New to forum/query re: my Rhoades Car

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by foxpawpress, Oct 21, 2011.

  1. foxpawpress

    foxpawpress New Member

    Hi, I'm new to the list, and have questions about what's going on with my Rhoades car.

    I have the original model, and bought it several years ago. It is a quadricycle, seats one person, and is motorized, and runs with two marine 12 volt deep cycle batteries. The bike has two derailers, and multiple speeds--at least 15; frankly I haven't counted, as it appeared to have more than I needed. I initially had problems with the circuit board, and then problems getting it installed right once it was repaired. Recently, I finally took it in to a local shop and got it working.

    The only concern I had when I test drove it was that the brakes seemed soft. It works fine on more or less level ground for a few miles. I've kept it in the garage with the charger plugged in between rides. I took a few rides on the new local bike trail, and all went well.

    However, I couldn't find my car keys yesterday, so I decided to ride it to the UMD campus (Duluth, MN) which is uphill, and about two to three miles away at the most. Things went well the first half of the trip, then the batteries were no longer giving me an assist; I ended up going about a mile out of the way to take a route without any steep hills. Going home, the batteries were working again, but I had a new problem--I was coasting fast downhill, braking, without much effect, and when I reached a major intersection with a stop sign, I couldn't stop. I had the brakes fully applied, but they were no match for the weight and momentum of the bike, it seemed. Fortunately, there was no one going through the intersection as I blasted through, so I survived.

    The last part of the trip was on level ground, and again, I wasn't getting any assist from the batteries. Finally, one block from home, attempting to ride it up a slight grade, the batteries weren't helping at all, and I couldn't move it forward. I literally had to get off the bike and push it. Once I was back on level ground, I got a slight assist again from the batteries for the remainder of the ride home.

    Comments, suggestions? Besides the obvious, don't ride it except on the level! The technician who worked on it locally said Rhoades has changed to a different braking system. Safety being of paramount concern, I will be giving the company a call, but I'm posting to find any one else who has this bike and what their experience has been.

    This bike is not performing as I need it to; clearly the brakes need to work.
    I also was underwhelmed by the stability of the bike when freewheeling at high speed.

    I've traveled hundreds of miles on various two wheel bicycles on four RAGBRAIs, and without a single accident, so I am not a novice rider.

    I'd like to sell it, frankly, given the problems I've had with it, but not before making it safe to ride!


  2. loquin

    loquin Active Member

    Hi. Welcome to the site.

    The best place to post technical questions would be in one of our 'garage' forums; We have a section there for electrical bikes, and another for generic bicycle issues (not drive related.)