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.
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.
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.
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."