What you need to know about electric trike suspension
Suspension systems on electric tricycles improve the riding experience. They also minimise wear and tear and improve manoeuvrability. electric trike suspensions may seem like a complicated topic. However, they are an important part of any vehicle.
This is mainly because they help to improve the riding experience by minimising vibrations caused by rocks and uneven terrain. They also serve other purposes and require a lot of maintenance for optimal performance.
In this article, we’ll discuss more about suspension systems for electric tricycles, how they work and how to make the most of the system.
Why suspension is important for electric tricycles
There are several reasons why suspension is an important part of an electric tricycle. At first glance, it has to do with rider comfort, manoeuvrability, and maintaining the longevity of the bike’s frame and other components.
Let’s talk about these in more detail.
The main reason for prioritising suspension in electric tricycles and bikes in general is to provide a comfortable riding experience.
A proper suspension system can help minimise the impact felt while riding in rough terrain. Whether it’s off-road, cobblestones, asphalt, or stairs, the suspension system absorbs most of the vibrations and dissipates them effectively.
As a result, riders enjoy a smooth ride. They won’t tire too easily or suffer from injuries such as joint pain or back pain.
HOTEBIKE electric tricycles excel in this regard. They are designed for both adults and seniors, and everything from the tricycle frame to the suspension and seat is designed to provide maximum comfort and ergonomics.
So, if you’re wondering what the best electric tricycle for seniors is, HOTEBIKE is the right choice for you.
Maintaining stability and manoeuvrability
Aside from the obvious: keeping the rider comfortable, the suspension is also responsible for maintaining the traction and responsiveness of the electric tricycle.
This is especially important when riding on uneven terrain such as unpaved roads and off-road trails. The suspension system will absorb vibrations from rocks and other obstacles while providing enough traction to make the trike easy to control.
Minimising wear and tear on components
Another overlooked aspect of electric trike suspension is its ability to minimise degradation of other parts of the trike, mainly the aluminium frame.
Similar to the way suspension protects the rider and cushions impacts, suspension also minimises unwanted vibrations and stresses applied to other parts of the bike.
The bike’s frame, drivetrain, battery and other components are less likely to move and wear out. This minimises the frequency with which you need to carry out repairs and replacements.
What is the suspension of a bike or trike?
Now you understand why a suspension system is important. However, it’s also important to understand what a suspension system consists of and how it cushions impacts.
In most electric tricycles, the suspension system sits between the bike frame and the wheels. They absorb the impact forces absorbed by the wheels and try to dampen these forces before they reach the bike frame and rider.
Suspension systems are made up of several components. This includes:
The front fork consists of two tubes that can be compressed and retracted. This helps absorb shock while still maintaining steering control. These tubes connect the front wheel to the frame or head tube.
There are different types of suspension depending on the specifications and use case of the trike. Inside the front forks, you can find springs and dampers.
Rear shock absorbers
This consists of a single telescopic tube or piston usually encased in a metal spring. The rear shock absorber is usually located between the rear top fork and the down tube and helps improve overall traction and comfort.
Springs are used to absorb shock and dissipate it back into the suspension system.
When the wheel is pushed upwards while travelling on uneven terrain, the spring contracts to absorb the impact. It then pushes back on the wheel, rather than allowing these forces to enter the frame or rider.
It contracts and retracts quickly to absorb and counteract these forces. This can cause the spring to oscillate, causing the rider to lose control.
This is where the damper comes into play.
As the name suggests, dampers help to “dampen” the shock absorbed by the spring. It prevents the spring from slamming back and forth when it is absorbing particularly heavy vibrations and shocks.
In a nutshell, a damper consists of a piston and a chamber, usually filled with liquid. When the spring is compressed, the piston absorbs the extra force and pushes into the fluid chamber.
The fluid then travels through several other smaller chambers that help dissipate the force more efficiently.
When the spring retracts, the opposite happens and the fluid changes course.
Different types of suspension systems for electric tricycles
Bicycles and trikes use different types of suspension systems. These depend on the type of terrain it should be used on.
Installing the best suspension system on any bike or trike is not always the best thing to do. Suspension systems add weight, cost, and the ability to accelerate and turn.
For electric tricycles, the most common types of suspension setups are full suspension tricycles or front suspension only.
Rear suspension only trikes and bikes are hard to find and rigid trikes do not provide a comfortable and smooth ride, especially for heavier riders.
Front Suspension Electric Tricycles
Most electric trikes come with front suspension. They utilise different types of suspension forks to keep the rider comfortable and still maintain good steering precision when tackling rough terrain.
Full Suspension Electric Tricycles
Full suspension tricycles are rare. However, they still exist to provide maximum comfort for riders and heavy loads.
The only caveat to full suspension trikes is that they tend to be heavier and harder to climb. As a result, you’ll need to do more work to push up a hill than you would with a front-only suspension or rigid trike.
How to maintain your electric trike’s suspension
Repairing or replacing your front forks can be expensive, and even more so for your rear suspension. For this reason, it is important that you regularly service your forks and ensure that they are clean and functioning properly.
A well-maintained fork and suspension system will keep everything running smoothly and extend the life of your electric trike.
So here are some quick tips to help keep your electric trike’s suspension system clean:
1. Clean any dust or dirt that has built up inside your boots
It’s a good idea to make sure the rubber boot (also known as the “boot”) is clean after every ride or every time you wash your bike.
Simply wash off the dirt and wipe it down so that it is completely dry. Also, be sure to fold it up and check underneath for dirt, dust and debris.
2. Wipe down the struts
Once you have cleaned your boots, be sure to pull them up and wipe the pillars with a clean, dry microfibre cloth. This helps to remove stubborn dust particles that could damage the telescopic pillars.
Also, don’t forget to clean the seals on the crown and keep them free of dust. Dry and dirty seals tend to wick away lubricant.
In turn, this can lead to scratches on the column tubes and it can be costly to replace them.
3. Regular Calf Maintenance
Ideally, it is recommended that the fork’s lower legs are serviced every 25 riding hours. This involves removing the calf, cleaning it, checking for any signs of damage and refilling it with lubricant.
You can perform calf care at home. It takes about 5 minutes once you get the hang of it.
Wrap it up
A suspension system improves overall comfort and helps prevent premature wear and tear.
The system absorbs sudden forces and vibrations from uneven terrain. They then dissipate these forces and prevent them from affecting the frame and rider.
There can be different suspension systems, but the main ones are full-suspension trikes and front-only trikes. Front-only suspension is the most common and full suspension is usually used for two-person electric tricycles and mopeds.
If you want to know more about electric bikes or have any questions about our cycling clothing and their components, please feel free to reach out to our customer service. We are always here to assist you.
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