Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Rhoades Car?

Simply the finest 4-wheel bicycles in the world – and proudly made in the USA! We offer a variety of styles including 1, 2 and 4-person four-wheel bikes and have been since 1991. Plus, we ship all over the world. As a matter of fact, there are Rhoades Car 4-wheel bikes on every continent except Antarctica! Making a Rhoades Car isn’t exactly easy and we still make them the old fashioned way – one at a time, by hand – with great attention to detail.

What about warranty and repairs?

There is very little that can go wrong with the Rhoades Car. But just in case, we warranty every part for 2 years, (90 days parts and labor) and will immediately replace any defective part at no charge, outside of normal wear and tear. Any service work that should ever need to be done can easily be done by the owner or any regular bike shop. And remember, if you ever need advice, we are only as far away as your telephone.

How do I order?

If you know which Rhoades Car you want to order or if you have questions, call us at 888-938-2272 x700.

Which gearing option should I get?

Single speed gearing is included in the base price of the Industrial Line models only. This is because in the majority of industrial settings the bike will always be used on a perfectly flat floor inside a large facility. Single speed gearing is only recommended on perfectly flat terrain, indoors on plant floors, or for boardwalk rentals. The 7-speed option is the minimum recommended for typical residential usage. It gives you the top end of a single speed bike with a choice of 6 easier-to-pedal gears. The 42-speed option gives you the faster top-end speed of a regular multi-speed bike, plus super low gears that are even easier to pedal than the 7-speed setup. If you’re going to sightsee, get a little exercise, and just generally ride around, the 7-speed should be enough. If you demand the highest performance like an avid multi-speed biker would expect, plan to take long trips, or have many hills to tackle, you might want to think about the 42-speed. If you just don’t know, call us at 888-938-2272 x700, and we’ll help you with your decision.

Why an optional 2nd brake?

The standard brake that come with Rhoades Car is a disc brake system. It is located on the drivers-side rear wheel. For the highest performance and quicker stops, we suggest adding a second brake on the passenger-side rear wheel. This is especially advised if you decide to include the electric pedal assist motor kit or if you are considering a multi-seat Rhoades Car model. Each brake includes a parking brake setting as well so that you can set the brake to hold the bike in place as you are getting on or off.

Can I add options later?

In many cases, yes. For example, we have customers who like to add the electric motor option later and that is a possibility on many models as long as you are handy or have a great mechanic to help you. It makes it even easier to add the motor kit later if you include what’s called the motor axle prep when you order initially. This feature adds the pieces you would need on the back axle if you had the motor. That way when you get ready to install the motor kit, it saves you from having to disassemble the entire back axle, add the pieces, and put it back together before you bolt on your motor and cargo box containing the other motor components. It cuts down the amount of work and time involved with installing the motor kit. There are a few options that we advise not waiting to add later. This is usually due to a difficult installation process or an expensive shipping rate you would have to pay to have it sent later after the bike arrives. If you have a specific question about any of our options, call us at 888-938-2272 x700.

Does Rhoades Car offer custom options?

If you don’t see a certain option or feature on any of the basic models shown on our website, please do call and ask us about the possibility of including your custom idea. These projects are considered on a case by case basis, and whether or not we can make it happen really just depends on what your idea is, how much the customization will cost, and if you are willing to cover any additional fees that may be associated with that particular custom idea. We are usually able to customize the bikes to a large extent to meet your individual needs.

What's the difference between the heavy duty black mags, and the heavy duty alloy spokes?

The black mags are molded composite wheels with 5 large spokes, and they are virtually maintenance free. You’ll never have to worry about them rusting or coming out of true; therefore, they are slightly less maintenance than the alloy spoke wheels. The alloy spokes are more similar to a regular bicycle wheel except with heavier spokes and a different hub. There are general maintenance guidelines you’ll need to follow with the alloy spoke wheels to be sure that none of the spokes are coming loose. It’s no more maintenance than what you would have to take care of on a regular bicycle. Both wheels are equally as strong and reliable.

Standard handlebars vs. butterfly steering wheel?

The handlebar style steering is included as a basic feature on all Rhoades Car models. The handlebars are adjustable in that you can lean them toward you or away from you by loosening the screws in the hub and tightening them back down once you have the handlebars set in the desired position. The butterfly steering wheel offers a novel look and is more adjustable. It looks more similar to an actual steering wheel rather than a regular bicycle look.

What powers the headlights and taillights?

They are powered by their own AA or AAA internal alkaline or rechargeable batteries.

Will the deluxe seats hold up in outdoor weather conditions?

Yes. The deluxe seats are made from marine grade vinyl and thread.

Are the seats in the Cycle Car and SportPed models adjustable?

This is a question that was posed in our website live chat recently. In this case the husband was 6′ tall and his wife was 5′ tall and they wanted to purchase a one seat model and be able to adjust the seat to fit both. The short answer is YES, the seats are fully adjustable. We have had owners ranging in size from an 8 year old girl to a 7′ tall man. Here’s how we handle that disparity in size. There are three pre-drilled holes in each of our frames so the seat can be placed in any of those three locations (forward, middle, or rear). It’s easy to move the seat from one hole to another because there is a large wing nut on the bottom of the seat that can be loosened by hand. Once placed in any of the three range hole positions, the seat can still also be moved forward or backward in that hole location about 2″-3″. In this case, the husband’s seat location would be best in the middle or rear position and his wife would likely be most comfortable in the front position. It takes less than a minute to make the switch. But there is even a better solution – BUY A 2-SEATER and ride together!!!

What are the advantages of the Kevlar liners and thornproof tubes?

Both of these options are flat tire insurance. The Kevlar liners go inside, between the tube and the tire to prevent top-side punctures going through the tire and reaching the tube. Kevlar is the same material they make bullet-proof vests out of. The thornproof tubes are heavy-weight tubes designed to withstand more road abuse than regular tubes. The combination of these two options give you peace of mind on a long ride.

What are the details on the electric assist?

The PD-750 is a 24-volt 750-watt electric motor. It’s a heavy duty (40 lbs. without batteries) system designed to provide pedal assistance when you need it. The motor comes with an onboard charger, electronic thumb throttle, overload protection, and lockable battery box with master controls. It requires two 12-volt deep-cycle batteries which are not included, so you will need to purchase those locally when you receive your Rhoades Car. The batteries need to be at least 80 amp hours each to power it, but not much more than 90 amp hours. The motor does not engage until you push the throttle. The harder you push the throttle, the more it engages. The motor is chain-driven via a freewheel to the rear axle, so it just freewheels with no added resistance when not being used. All speeds & ranges given are estimated and your results ultimately depend on the size and specifications of the batteries, weight of vehicle/occupants, terrain, and amount of pedal-power being supplied by the riders. The electric motor option is not anywhere nearly as powerful as something like a golf cart or ATV – it is ultimately meant to be used as a pedal assist to give you a boost up a hill or help you pedal when you get tired. It will move you on its own on flat paved ground, but the less you pedal, the faster it will drain your batteries. In a perfect world, on flat paved ground with a minimal weight load (if you NEVER pedal), it should take you about 20 miles at anywhere between approximately 10-14 mph max. They are made to stay under 20 mph so as to avoid being considered a motorized vehicle by law. They should go by the same local laws as a regular 2-wheel bicycle.

These previously mentioned specs are all for the standard motor unit with the wall charger. If you include the solar charging feature, it’s the same exact motor system, but the charge comes from the sun as you ride instead of having to always plug it into the wall to charge the batteries. There is a limit at some point if you just continuously use the motor that the batteries will drain faster than the solar will charge. If your batteries are completely drained, you will probably get a faster charge by plugging it into the wall overnight, but if you allow the solar panel to completely charge the batteries from dead you may be looking at a 12-18 hour charge time depending on the amount of direct sun available. If you are using the motor as an assist on a sunny day though, as soon as your batteries start to drain, the solar will start to charge them back up. Using it in this way with more pedaling and using the motor periodically as an assist when needed, the batteries will stay charged much longer, so there’s no telling what sort of range you can get out of it with the solar charger.

Once I order, how do I get my bike?

Each bike is shipped via freight service fully assembled and ready to ride. Some people pick up their bike at our Nashville, TN factory as well rather than have them shipped. When we ship, we actually build a wooden pallet around the base of your bike, strap it down tightly and then encase it with heavy-duty compressed cardboard and shrink wrap plastic. The end result is a very strong crate that is then picked up by the trucking company we use to ship the bikes and delivered to your door. This service includes a lift gate on delivery if needed. All you have to do is uncrate it, read the owner’s manual and you’re ready to ride.

Does the Rhoades Car come fully assembled?

Yes, all Rhoades Cars are shipped fully assembled from the factory. All you have to do is unpack the crate and drive it away. If you order a canopy top, then you simply attach the clips to the already-mounted brackets on the frame.

Will I constantly be shifting gears with the 42 speed?

Not usually. You only have 2 shifters just like a regular 10 or 18 speed bike. Typically you would leave one shifter in a middle gear, and only use it for super low gears, or as an overdrive for faster straight ways. And, another special feature of the Rhoades Car is that the driver and passenger have their own gears and pedal independently of each other. So if one person is tired, they can take a break without having the pedals moving like on many other 2-seat bikes.

Are the Rhoades Cars legal to drive on the road?

Yes, they all fall into the same category as a regular bike in most states.

Are the Rhoades Cars easy to pedal?

Actually, the Rhoades Car can be easier to pedal than a regular bike, because you are sitting down, not standing up on the pedals. Plus, you don’t have to maintain a minimum speed when you’re going up a hill. You are never going to turn over because you have four wheels! Ultimately top end speed is going to be the price you pay for easy operation. The law of physics is just not going to let you have more rolling resistance and more weight without paying for it. While the Rhoades Car can do 15-18 mph, the reality is more than likely you will go slower than on a regular 2-wheel bike (but you’ll have a lot more fun on a Rhoades!).

Who buys Rhoades Cars?

People just like you! You may or may not presently ride a bike, but you sure do like the idea of having a stable riding machine like the Rhoades Car beneath you. Most of our customers use their Rhoades Car for pleasure and fun, such as scenic rides or long trips. Other customers have more serious uses, such as a fun way to get exercise, or as a way to commute to work, or even AT work. Some of our customers because of physical limitations or balance issues just cannot ride a regular bike. They need the ease of use and the stability of a Rhoades Car.

All kinds of people drive a Rhoades Car, including:

  • an eco-friendly family in Greensburg, KS who recently gave up their gas-powered family car for a 4-person Rhoades Cycle Car with electric motor
  • Grandparents in NC who “had the best vacation of their lives” with their teenaged grandchildren
  • An undertaker in Texas that needed a novel way to advertise his business.
  • A lady in Ohio, that waged a political campaign from her 2 seat Rhoades Car.
  • A guy in Florida starting his second trip around the state by bike.
  • A lady from Rochester New York who rode a Greyhound bus to our plant in Tennessee to pickup her 2-person Cycle Car — and then rode it home.
  • The state Governor of a Mid East oil country who had two 4-person Rhoades Car bikes flown over to him. (We’re really not sure what he’s using his for!).