How To Guides

Welcome to the How To Guide!  Listed below is everything you'll need to get rolling on your Outrider.  If you think we should add a new "How To" or you have a question, email me at or call at 828-654-7555.  Click on the heading, and the information will appear.  Enjoy!

How To: Riding your Outrider


At Outrider we think braking and acceleration tie for high importance. Braking keeps you safe, and when used properly can improve your riding performance as well.

Here’s the simple version- The brake lever in your left hand controls the left front wheel, and the brake lever in your right hand controls the right front wheel. To brake, squeeze both brake levers firmly and evenly. The brakes are very powerful, so get a feel for how responsive they are in a safe place before taking the show on the road. 

Here’s the technical version – The braking on Outrider pedal electric trikes is independent. Left goes to left front wheel, right goes to right front wheel. Both utilize 180 mm hydraulic disc brakes. There is no rear brake because the majority of your braking power is in the front (check google or your old physics professor for details). The Shimano hydraulics automatically adjust pad clearance, so there’s no need for brake adjustment. 

Aside from bringing you to a stop, braking can be used during turning. If you are turning to the right, your left wheel is actually receiving the majority of the load. What that means when you’re out there ripping it, is that you’ll want to slightly flutter your left brake during a right turn if you need to decelerate during the turn. And then the opposite if you’re turning left. If you grab a handful of the brake lever that is on the inside of the turn (ie turning right and pulling the right brake lever) that wheel has relatively little load and will come to a stop quite quickly – not ideal. So remember, if you need to decelerate during a turn, lightly squeeze the outside brake lever. Have fun!

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Charging could be the #1 most under-rated and misunderstood aspect of electric vehicles.  We make charging your pedal electric trike easy.   Think about charging your bike the same way you charge your cell phone.  Plug the three pronged end of the charger cord into the wall (a regular 110V socket, again, same as cell phone).  There is a red dot on the end of charger cord, and a red dot on the charger plug port on your trike (the port with two prongs).  Line these up.  Then plug the cord into the trike. 

On the Alpha you can recharge to 90% in 1:45 hours, and 100% in 2 hours, assuming your battery is at 0% charged.  Unplug from the trike first, and then the wall.  

WORD TO THE WISE: Whenever you’re going to charge your trike, plug in the battery balancers (they use the 2 ports with black caps) for the duration of the charge.  Think about the batteries like cups being filled with water – the balancer makes sure they all fill at the same rate, to the same volume.

GOOD TO KNOW:  Note that the charger will become warm as it is charging, but it is fan cooled and ducted to prevent overheating.

GREAT TO KNOW: This is a little technical, so bear with us.  What we’re looking at is charge “cycles”.  If you charge your trike battery from 0% to 100% that counts as 1 (one) charge cycle.  Now let’s pretend you take your trike out for a short ride, and only use about 10% of the battery’s charge.  Just because you want to top it off, you plug it in to charge when you get home.  So, now your trike is back at 100% state of charge – BUT – you’ve only used 10% of that charge “cycle”.  So you can do that 10 more times before it will be equal to 1 (one) charge cycle.  In short, it’s a really good thing.  It means that regardless of how many times you plug it in, your batteries are rated to last at least 1,000 cycles before beginning to show decreased performance.  On a 422 Alpha that equals 100,000 miles (not a misprint).  Enjoy!

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Shifting the pedal drive on an Outrider pedal electric trike is easy. There are 18 total speeds. The rear 9 speed derailleur is actuated by twisting the shifter in the lower 1/3 of your right hand grip. Turning it to the right (closing the peanut butter jar) gives you gearing to move faster [up-shifting], and turning is to the left (opening the peanut butter jar) gives you gearing to go slower [down-shifting]. It’s essentially exactly like what you would find on a mountain bike or a cruiser bike.

Now for some fun! The Alpha is equipped with a Schlumpf High-Speed Planetary Drive for the crankset. This incredible internally geared shifter shifts with the click of a heel. If the heel button is showing on the right side of the chainring you are in low-speed. The 40 tooth chainring is at a 1:1 ratio with you cranks. So one full rotation of the cranks = one full rotation of the chainring. If you click that button with your heel so that it is showing on the left side of the chainring, you are now in high-speed. For every one turn of the cranks, the chaining is turning 2.5 times, making it the equivalent of a 100 Tooth chainring! This is particularly awesome, and useful, because it allows you to pedal at a comfortable cadence no matter what speed you are travelling at. That means you can get as much of a workout as you want, even if you’re using the throttle!

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Sitting in the Trike

Let’s be honest – getting stuck trying to sit down on your sweet new ride is just embarrassing. Here’s how to do it right. The “boom” is the piece that the crank is attached to. Stand with both feet on the same side pointing toward the boom. Then pick up the foot that is closer to the seat of the trike, and pivot on the other foot, place the inside foot on the other side of the boom. Now your back is to the trike, and the boom is between your legs (yep, we went there). Look behind you to spot your landing, bend your knees, hold onto the wheels and sit down into that comfortable reclined seat.

To get up, you’ll just want to scoot your butt forward on the seat and hold onto the wheels with your hands. Then stand up, and you can just walk forward over the boom and pedals. Congratulations! You are now ready to mount and dismount your Outrider trike in style.

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The fancy pants way of describing the steering Outrider uses on our pedal electric trikes is “direct, tiller-style steering”. But, it’s much easier to describe it by saying you push or pull on the handlebars depending on which way you want to turn – just like a regular bike. It works like this because the handlebars you’re holding in your hands are connected by a tie-rod, so if one moves forward, the other moves backward, and vice versa.

A small difference in steering on a recumbent trike is that you’ll want to keep your upper body relatively relaxed as compared to a traditional upright bicycle. This will become more natural the more you ride, so don’t worry if the steering feels extremely responsive on your first ride. Once you learn to relax your upper body, you’ll come to appreciate the smooth and responsive steering.

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Taking a Test Ride

If you’re interested in setting up for a test ride call us at 828-654-7555 or email us at If you can come to Fletcher, NC we look forward to meeting you. However, we have riders across the United States. If you can’t make it to Fletcher but want a test ride you should still get in touch, and we’ll see if there’s an Outrider in your area who you can meet up with you for a ride. Check out our Rider Map to see if there is already an Outrider owner near you.

First, we encourage you to familiarize yourself with the other How To sections. Knowing the ins and outs of our vehicles before your first ride will make your test ride more enjoyable. We’ll explain all the important information and tips for riding, and then we’ll be more than happy to answer any questions you might have before riding. After you feel comfortable with the controls on the trike, we’ll go out in front of the Outrider shop where there is a nice oval loop parking lot. You’ll have an opportunity to pedal as many loops around the oval as you’d like without any electric assist.

THE FUN PART: Once you’re comfortable with the handling, we’ll show you how to turn the keyswitch on to put the electric assist in standby. At this point, the power setting will be in “Low” and you are free to engage the throttle once you’ve pedaled over 4 mph. Keep in mind that “Low” is still a significant amount of power and you’ll want to only apply throttle in the straights, and then squeeze the brakes to slow down before you enter a turn.

THE REALLY FUN PART: If you are comfortable on the trike at this point, and you want to, we’ll go on a longer ride. We love Fletcher for the quick access to miles and miles of beautiful country roads. We have a couple favorite loops that will take you through great mountain scenery and include some good hills so you can experience the full capability of the trike.

GOOD TO KNOW: When thinking about what to wear for a test ride, think about what you would wear for a bike ride. No skirts, or dresses please and make sure to wear close toed shoes. Avoid long dangling clothing or jewelry. If you have a helmet you’d like to wear, please bring it. If you don’t we have several styles and sizes here that you can wear. Also, be sure to bring some sort of protective eyewear, safety glasses and sunglasses work well.

GREAT TO KNOW: Riding Outrider trike is tons of fun, and riding in traffic is serious business.

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Uncrating your Trike

If you order your trike to be delivered, it will be shipped to you full assembled in a custom made wooden crate.  The crate is approximately 78”L X 37”W X 37”H.  The carrier will arrive in an 18 wheeler with a lift gate that will move the crate from the truck to the ground.  To uncrate your trike you will want a drill, a Philips head bit, a T-25 Hex head bit and a pair of scissors.  The outer panels of the crate will all come off with the Phillips head bit.  Then you can cut each of the 6, 300 lb zip ties that hold the trike to the floor of the crate.  Once you’ve done that, you should be able to roll the trike off the crate, and onto the ground.  To disassemble the rest of the crate you’ll want a T-25 hex bit. (If you can, try to re-purpose the crate for another project!)  Be sure to check your pannier bags for your charger, balancers, keys and other fun things we might have put in there!  Feel free to give us a call at any point during the uncrating if you have questions 828-654-7555.

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Using the Throttle

There are essentially two kinds of throttle applications used in the electric bike world. The first, which Outrider uses, is very similar to a motorcycle throttle. Think of the throttle as a progressive gas pedal – except you hold it in your hand and twist it to apply acceleration. In our opinion this is the best way to do it, because it puts the rider in full control of how much or how little throttle they apply. The other way that some manufacturers do throttle is to put a torque sensor in your pedals or crank-set, and then the harder you pedal the more assistance the system gives. The problem with this setup is that the computer decides how much power to divvy out, depending on how hard you’re pedaling. We prefer to let our riders decide how much boost they want, independently of their pedaling output.

On Outrider pedal electric trikes the throttle is located on the left handlebar. The top 1/3 of the grip is stationary, and the lower 2/3rds of the grip are able to be twisted. Twisting your wrist to the left (like when you unscrew the lid to some tasty peanut butter) will apply more throttle. Twisting your hand to right (close that peanut butter up!) will apply less throttle. There is a handy icon on the far left of your trike’s display screen that shows you how much throttle you’re using. Remember that throttle is NOT an on/off switch. You have everything from 0-100% so take a few test laps in a safe riding environment to get a feel for the scale of the throttle. Also, keep in mind that Outrider USA uses the highest performance electric bike drive system in the world so have respect for the power you have at your command.

GOOD TO KNOW: Every Outrider trike comes with three power modes- Low, Medium and High. It is shipped to you in Low mode. Note that the top speed, power, and acceleration, and responsiveness of the throttle increases with each mode.

GREAT TO KNOW: Every Outrider trike also comes preset with a 4 mph safety. This means that the throttle will not engage until you pedal the trike to 4 mph. This prevents accidental acceleration while stopped (think about crowded sidewalk situations), and also reduces excessive jarring load on the high performance electric drive train on your sweet new Outrider trike.

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Using Electric Assist

Using Electric Assist We’ve taken care to design the riding experience to be as enjoyable and simple as possible. That is why the electric assist on an Outrider is engaged by twisting a throttle.

It’s a similar motion to twisting a throttle on a motorcycle - the more you twist, the more assistance you get. This also opens up the ability to pedal without electric assist. It’s a common misconception that riding an electric bike means you always have to be engaging the electric assist. But thankfully, that’s not true on an Outrider.

You can pedal to your hearts content without any electric assist at all. But when you want assistance, all you have to do is twist the throttle on the handlebar and you’ll have an incredible amount of power at your command. Have you ever taken a bike ride and had a great tailwind that made you feel like a superhero?

The Alpha requires you to pedal to 4 mph before you can engage the electric assist, but once you’ve exceeded 4 mph you can stop pedaling all together if you want to and just let the electric assist carry you along. It’s easy! Just pedal to 4 mph, twist the throttle, stop pedaling if you want to, and away you go down your favorite trail or backroad! In total there are three ways to ride an Outrider - pedal power only, electric power only, pedal and electric together!

There’s no switches or buttons to press to change between them, just pedal and use the electric assist to the degree you want, when you want. The ride IS the experience, so we’ve done everything we can to make it an easy and fun one. Curious to learn more about the difference between “torque based” and “throttle based” electric assist - click here.

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Maintaining your Outrider is very easy. The majority of the maintenance you (or your local bike shop) will want to perform is similar to what you would do on a traditional bicycle.

Keeping Your Chain Lubricated

Timing on this is personal preference, but at least every 200 miles is a good benchmark.  We typically recommend a dry wax based lubricant that you apply and then immediately wipe off such as Rock N Roll Gold which you can buy as part of the Tune Up Package sold here.

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Tune Your Derailleur

You want to make sure it is responding to each turn of the shifter in your hand. There are many helpful guides and videos available online if you need a refresher on how to do this.


We recommend that you change your tires every 2,000 miles or when the tread/rubber shows wear that will compromise performance. The Alpha line uses Maxxis Hookworm 20" tires. You can purchase them here as part of the 2,000 mile Tune Up Kit that we've put together to make maintenance easy.

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If you are experiencing reduced braking power it may be a result of excessive wear on the brake pads. Again, this is an inexpensive, and quick replacement.

Balancing Your Batteries

To ensure the longest life and best performance from your batteries, you should use the battery balancers each time you charge your trike.

There are two ports on the battery box of your trike that have black caps on them. Remove the caps and take note of where the notch is on each port. Grab your balancer, match the notch to the cutout in the balancer and plug both in. Think about balancing your batteries like filling cups with water. The balancer makes sure they all fill at the same speed, to the same volume. You’ll want to balance your batteries when you’re charging. See the How To on Charging here.

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Electric Drive Train

The motor is brushless, and the belts used are automotive grade, so you should not need to service either of these items. However, if the belts are too loose or too tight, you run the risk of damaging the system. When you receive your Outrider we have tensioned the belts appropriately and you should not adjust them without consulting one of our staff. WARNING: NEVER SERVICE YOUR ELECTRIC DRIVE SYSTEM WITH THE POWER IN THE ON POSITION. TURN THE POWER OFF. DO NOT WEAR CLOTHING THAT COULD BECOME CAUGHT IN THE SYSTEM, AND DO NOT PLACE HANDS OR FINGERS IN PLACES WHERE THEY CAN BECOME PINCHED BETWEEN THE BELT AND PULLEY OR OTHER PLACES THEY MAY BECOME INJURED. SERIOUS INJURY MAY OCCUR.

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Storing Your Trike

If you will be storing your trike for any extended period of time you should ensure that it is fully charged, the key is in the off position, and it is in a climate controlled area. Intense heat and/or cold will damage your trike if exposed for too long.

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