Bowhead Adaptive e-Bikes - Sea Otter Classic 2019

Apr 14, 2019
by Richard Cunningham  
Monterey's "California World Championships" season opener has now become the most important trade show in the country.

Bowhead Adaptive e-Bikes

Christian Bagg gives physically challenged riders a second chance to ride backcountry trails and bike parks with his battery-powered, three-wheel off-road vehicles. He's been perfecting them for a number of years and has established a reputation for reliability and ease of handling. Bagg dropped the industry's class one pedal-assist rules in favor of pure electric power for practical reasons. "I can work out anytime at home," he says. "These things get me outside, back on trails, and I want to enjoy that experience."

The key to his machines is the combination of steering and leaning that allows for a narrower track (distance between the front wheels), which gives the rider access to many single track trails that would normally be too narrow for conventional three and four-wheel adaptive cycles.

An articulating front suspension helps keep the vehicle rubber-side down without requiring widely spaced front wheels.

Another aspect of e-powered bikes that Bagg ignores is the 250-watt class one rule. Adaptive cycles are, by nature, heavier than mountain bikes and many riders who need adaptive cycles can't produce the arm power to top climbs that most would consider easy. Bowhead adaptive three-wheelers are 12 times more powerful, with 3,000 watts of power and low gearing, they mete out stump-pulling torque and a measure of security for people who cannot hop out and push their mounts uphill.

Bowhead cycles are 12-times more powerful than class-one e-Bikes.

Adaptive cycles must be extremely adjustable in order to support riders of various sizes and with different levels of physical impairment. To that end, Bagg has sliding seat, leg, and torso supports which can be ergonomically placed to maximize control and safety.

Leg, seat, and torso supports can be easily adjusted or modified by the factory to suit various levels of mobility.

After facing disability and a long recovery, I asked Christian if he worries about the inevitable crash? "I spent 20 years without being able to crash," smiled Bagg. "It feels good to crash again."


  • 117 4
 Finally an E-bike that everybody can get behind
  • 103 1
 Get behind ecommuter bikes, they're probably the future of transportation in large citites
  • 28 2
 @mnorris122: your right I should have said E-mtb
  • 11 28
flag scottzg (Apr 14, 2019 at 21:04) (Below Threshold)
 @catweasel: This is why we need to stop pretending ebikes aren't mopeds. Everyone understands that a moped is a fantastic commuting tool and not a bicycle. Its marketing and willful delusion that's creating this problem.

Me, i'm 100% pro-moped and hate 'ebikes.'
  • 9 1
 Should be called an E-trike
  • 2 3
 @scottzg: I like koolaid.
  • 3 2
 Damn everybody is being so civilized today ...I already have popcorn in the microwave what a waste.
  • 2 2
 @scottzg: I'll bite....moped pedals to start motor then controlled with a throttle.
Ebike must be pedaled or it stops moving.
  • 7 3
 @scottzg: you hate them? Like actually hate them? Like it affects your life that much? That you hate them?

People are so strange. Can’t imagine hating how someone else enjoys the outdoors.
  • 3 6
 @bonfire: yes they really hate.
They are like a biased news station with lies misconstrued information made up labels like "moped" trying to convince you that the latest "crisis" is a danger to life as we know it.
  • 4 0
 @bonfire: y'all are funny. I hate 'ebikes' the phrase. The vehicle is pretty cool.
  • 1 3
 Exactly! We have finally agreed Who belongs on e-bikes. On the opposite side of the coin I'm sure there's some badass superhuman out there that still wants to hand crank his 3 or four-wheeled machine through the woods.
  • 3 3
 @reverend27: exactly electric mopeds are Mobility vehicles for the paralyzed and the seniors who would like to spend time out on the trail or keep up with their youngsters of the family. The week and the lazy pathetically unskilled excuses of humanity that are unable to push their own weight will however still continue to push the envelope thinking they have the right to a moter assisted vehicle on a non-motorized trail.
  • 1 0
 what about Martyn Ashton's?
  • 2 1
 @oldtech: surely you’re just trolling here. You can’t honestly believe what you just wrote.
  • 2 1
 I built my own Ebike that averages about 55kmh. Everyone stays behind me
  • 1 1
 Bagg dropped the industry's class one pedal-assist rules in favor of pure electric power for practical reasons. "I can work out anytime at home," he says. "These things get me outside, back on trails, and I want to enjoy that experience."

Nuff said. weak sauce. sad for him really. and bikes like these are gonna cause massive problems both in bike parks and on all other mtb trails in the future. how disabled does someone have to be to buy or ride on of these three wheel deals....?.... does a bad hair cut and a cold count for a disability these days? some one needs to mount a huge boom box to the front of that thing so we can all hear some bumpin tunes while we ride. and i hope the trailer he has still has that margarita machiine like last time... lol. oh god.
  • 1 0
 @stacykohut: What are you talking about? Upset that you’re not on the front page? The spotlight to hard to share?

Guy built and is building some stuff, improving the design, allowing to ride more places, allowing the design to be simpler without a multi-piece drivetrain
  • 15 1
 Wonder if that motor has enough torque to pull the from end up like a dirt bike. Would be a game changer for disabled jumpers.
  • 18 1
 Crabapple here we come!
  • 4 0
 @mnorris122: I've got a buddy who would send Crabapple Hits if something like this could handle it. I'd clear my calendar for sure. Also, need to win the lotto...
  • 7 0
 Have seen this thing in action. Doesn't wheelie, but its fast AF
  • 1 0
 Well, E-Bikes in general have more torque than our first family car, so I don't see why not.
  • 11 0
 I'd love to see Martyn Ashton review one of these on GMBN.
  • 1 0
 I think he did last year some time. Or at least something very similar.
  • 4 0
 Found it. I think it’s the same bike. Hard to tell on my phone.
  • 1 1
 @Burpythehippo: Not the same brand but certainly a very similar concept and execution. I wonder if there is a base product they are both modifying or a collaboration.
  • 4 0
 @Patrick9-32: it's Christian Bagg in both, so it is the same thing, different name.
  • 6 0
 Is it wrong of me to want to try one of these on a few trails? Just asking for a friend.
  • 4 1
 I think it'd be really cool to ride (or observe) one on a test track simply to marvel at the engineering and performance. I want to see that articulation in action! This is super rad stuff! It'd be wrong if you bought one of these so you could toss a burrito in the bottle cage and fat-ass yourself around your local XC loop ringing a bell to get people to move out of your way.
  • 7 2
 One theory of designing things for the disabled is universal design. It means making things that work better for the disabled, and everyone else. Like curb cuts are necessary for wheelchairs, but nice for rolling a cart/suitcase too.

This bike looks awesome even if you have normal physical capabilities. That's just universal design
  • 1 0
 @nuttypoolog: lol
  • 3 0
 I'd love to see a clearer shot of the rear suspension and coil.....and a huck to flat.
  • 5 1
 I'd ride it
  • 1 0
 Love the fender. No, seriously. Looks MotoGPish, with how it hugs the tire, rather than hang away from the tire.
  • 1 0
 I was thinking more a hill climb moto.
  • 1 1
 Can people ride these in bike paths? I already have enough problems with e-scooters whizzing by me at 30km/h without warning.
  • 1 0
 These are pretty awesome. I had my hands on one a while back. Well built and very fast!
  • 1 0
 Previously Icon Explore ? These machines look so rad.
  • 3 1
 This is dope
  • 2 0
 nicely executed !
  • 2 0
 So frickin' rad
  • 1 0
 My kid needs one of these!
  • 1 0
 Amazing, Christians stuff keeps getting better and better!
  • 1 0
 Which trail is this gonna get through again?
  • 1 0
 Same width as any other trail bike... widest part is the handlebar.
  • 1 1
 A business based on getting paraplegics into the backcountry seems like a lawsuit magnet to me.
  • 1 0
 "It feels good to crash again". f*ck Yeah!
  • 4 6
 It's hardly a bi(meaning two)ke when it's got three wheels, is it?
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