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Thread: Clean Republic Reviews
Clean Republic Reviews
Clean Republic Reviews:
Other Names: Electric Bike Kit
Products: Electric Bike Kits
Please reply to this thread only if you have purchased something from this vendor, and only reply once with your review. Make sure you take a look at the Vendor Reviews Rules.
06-07-2012 #2MBc Member
- Join Date
- Dec 2011
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- Rep Power
Hilltopper 250W & Clean Republic
I had thought out for a very long time which way my trike project should go. Gas, electric or something else? Should I have left it alone? My decision on that project is posted in the Trikes section of these forums documenting it plus I'll probably duplicate comments here.
I decided to get the Hilltopper 250w kit as speed was not necessary for a trike, because of their tip over factor. But I had hoped for a ten mile battery. I purchased the product originally online through Jim Welsh at http://www.electricbicycle-outdoor-store.com/ I thought the sale would go smoothly as I am used to these days seeing something shipped out right after I pay for it which is about 24 hours unless the vendor notifies me on their site it takes longer, which Jim's sit did not. He didn't get it shipped from Clean Republic for about a week later. Oh, by the way, I didn't honestly need a middle man as Clean Republic also ships their own product. Amongst them the Hilltopper bills as a less than 5 minute installation, unless of course you have what many millions do, which is an older bike with older forks. I found no mention of this. So a week goes by, then another week goes by and then three weeks later I get the kit in a cardboard box, but it was missing something which Clean Republic forgot to pack with their product. A battery charger. I looked and looked and looked and though is it enclosed in the battery pack? How do I charge the battery? Ooops, they forgot to pack it. I quickly got Anthony and he shipped one out which would come almost a week later bringing the grand total from purchase to being all there at close to a month.
I discovered the 5 minute advertisement issue and spent an entire day taking forks apart with a great neighbor who used to own a bike shop. Tried to get replacement forks but nothing doing for an older American neck and frame. So what to do? Dave recommended (I love all American's as my fellow countrymen are so brilliant) we take out only a bit where the fatter axle can fit in the fork slot. I got my Dremel and did that. It took much work and a second day later I had this back together. It was not the advertised 5 minutes.
SLA with a 10 plus mile battery. Try 5.6 mile battery at best! The ten mile battery is on a trike, but guess what. The weight of it ain't much more than my Currie Ezip Trailz Diamond Frame which gets far more miles on the 6 month old battery than what came with the Hilltopper kit.
Little Red Button, forget PAS and TAG and a twist throttle. It's made as cheaply as possible and may be a potential health threat to buyers as well. I checked with Clean Republic's Chris and no dice. There is no twist throttle cable replacement. What I found was that the red button at times can uh, err, stick, especially when you take your finger off of it and the trike goes full throttle towards the light. It actually sticks at times which can put riders in jeopardy of serious hazards, possibly even death. If I was Clean Republic, I would take serious action to make a twist throttle that costs a few more bucks available to upgrade their stuff. It's their lawsuit if something happens, but in this review, they and those selling their products should be potentially alerted to this very dangerous flaw. In my case, I reached to the battery and hit the off switch then stopped the trike short of thousand pound cars. The switch does sometimes stick and it wiggled free. I was able to go from there okay, but didn't hold it in so much and pedaled as much as possible.
Even with all of the negatives here are my final impressions. Jim Welsh was cordial as were Chris and Clean Republic. Their service for the most part spot on and they did make good on all of my issues. The Hilltopper kit moves my trike at 19mph on a full battery and the speed falls off after about a mile then goes down from there. The motor is brush-less and on modern forks should be a less than five minute job, older bikes require what I went through.
Areas where Clean Republic and their affiliates where applicable can fix things. Post a notice that mileage can vary greatly on your batteries. Post a notice that your kit is for very modern forks and older ones may require extensive modification. Post on site, the actual ship time with confirmation of shipping number automatically as the shipper gets the package. Try to find cheaper longer amp batteries, that may solve the distance issues. Chuck the red throttle button. CHEAP,CHEAP,CHEAP. DANGEROUS!!!!! Supply a cable upgrade for existing owners as a safety and other enhancement. A twist and Go Throttle or sturdier throttle system is preferred. Make sure new kits get the safety upgrade. One lawsuit can shut you guys out of business for good, serious and you generally seem like nice folks trying to make it happen. I commend that and your service but remember a bit more expense can also yield a better system. Give your customers great products not the cheapest junk that can be shipped. For everything I have gone through and the end result I give everyone here and their product 3 out of five smiles.
For me it was a learning experience dealing more third party.
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