What is a Sidecar?
A sidecar attachment is a ride-along auxiliary driving unit that attaches to either the left or right-hand side of an electric bike. The attachment has its own set of pedals, electric motor and battery pack that’s used for propulsion. It can also be thought of as an independent bike with its own steering wheel on the back end. Sidecar for ebike are a relatively niche product, but have seen a recent surge in interest, due to the fact that the rider can use the vehicle for their own daily rides, or simply attach it to their electric bike and turn it into a motorized scooter. There are various types of sidecars on the market from companies like Bullseye Motors and Quarg Electric.
How Does a Sidecar Work?
The user stands on the pedals of the sidecar attachment while holding on to both an attached steering wheel and an attached handrail. The sidecar’s electric motor then provides propulsion through a drivetrain connected directly to the rear wheel or wheels of your ebike. The brakes and throttle are typically attached directly onto your existing ebike controller.
Sidecar attachments are often favored by motorcyclists who want to take their bike on all sorts of adventures, but can’t or don’t want to ride in the sidecar themselves. Sidecar riders can go off-road, hit the beach, and a whole lot more without having to worry about the safety and responsibility of driving.
Sidecar models have been around for quite some time and have come in a variety of styles. Depending on your riding style and where you plan on taking your ebike, you’ll find a sidecar attachment that suits your needs perfectly.
How do Sidecars Work?
The way that a sidecar e bike works is by using an auxiliary electric motor and battery pack that are powered separately from the main bike battery. Like most other types of ebike motors, sidecar motors use brushless DC motors to power their drive systems. The size of the sidecar motor will depend on the size and style of the ebike it is attached to. A smaller 250W motor could be used on a smaller, lighter bike while a larger 1,000W motor could be used on a larger ebike with higher-powered batteries and drivetrain components. Some sidecars are even capable of including two motors, doubling their power output.
The batteries on your ebike will need a separate plug from the main battery to power the sidecar motor. The majority of sidecar systems use one 110V / 24V or 12V plug and socket configuration. Luckily, most e-bike manufacturers are now including this type of connector on their ebikes. However, if you already have a battery that didn’t come with one of these types of connectors, you will need to purchase one separately. Sidecars also work in reverse; if you are riding your bike in reverse, your side car’s power is also fed by the main battery.
1. There Are Two Types of Sidecar For Ebike
Firstly, there are two different types of sidecar for ebike. One type is a side-by-side configuration that attaches to your bike’s left or right hand side. The other type is a three-wheeled trike design that attaches to the rear of your bike and follows behind it. Sidecars can also come with their own set of pedals on the back end in addition to the existing ebike pedals on the front end.
The two-wheeled trike allows for easier turning and better parking capabilities but tilts dangerously when going faster than 15mph. Whereas the side-by-side is safer to ride at higher speeds and can also be equipped with its own set of pedals, making it a fully independent bike.
2. Sidecar For Ebike Is Basically an Independent Bike Attachment
In essence, a sidecar is just like a regular bike except that it doesn’t have its own pedals. Instead the pedals are onboard your ebike and are used in conjunction with those on the sidecar to propel both vehicles forward. It can be ridden as an independent vehicle or attached to your ebike for increased range or for off-road expeditions.
3. Sidecars Are Great For Taking Trips Off-roading
Sidecars are great for taking trips off-roading or up steep hills. You can drive up to 30MPH on most sidecar models and the dual-motor setups are capable of reaching up to 45 MPH. Riding your bike with a sidecar attached is also fun, allowing you to make quick stops, take corners safely at high speeds, and bring along a full passenger without having to worry about how your ride will handle the extra weight.