Rover NuVinci

Just got my brand new Rover NuVinci after a 10 day wait. Had the bike shop tune it up and trick it out, but haven't been able to ride it yet because of rain and this flu bug that's going around. Will take my maiden voyage this weekend on the Long Beach ocean bike path. Can't wait to see how the NuVinci gears (CVT) work and how the bike handles. I'm 6'7" and 260lbs so I'll have a lot to report back for all of us big guys:)


  • I'm sure you are going to enjoy your Nuvinci. I certainly am thrilled with mine. Being able to seamlessly "micro-adjust" my gearing in real time for a constant pedal back pressure makes for a very pleasing riding experience.
  • I agree, you'll like it. It might take a little time to get used to, but once you do it's so easy and instinctive. I doubt I'll ever ride anything with "gears" again.
  • I like my Rambler. As to big guys, I'm 6'0"and 275 so... Big guys can ride too. I am "pushing" 53 years old, but when I think of what I was in 2011... 478 pounds... I didn't lose all of this weight riding a trike... I rode a two-wheeler and did a diet. I ride the trike to keep the weight off! Ride on!!!
  • A couple of tips regarding removing the rear wheel and chain tensioning on the Rover NuVinci.

    1) Before removing the rear wheel loosen the retaining nuts, push the wheel forward, release the shifter cables then slip the chain off the chainring at the front. That gives you plenty of slack so you're not fighting the chain trying to get the rear wheel off and back on again.

    2) Forget about the old-school BMX chain tensioner such as can be used on the Rover 8-speed. There is not enough room on the inside of the drop out to accommodate the NuVinci hub with the additional thickness of the chain tensioner. The chain tensioner cannot be used on the outside of the since it will not fit under the anti-rotation bits for the rear axle. The newer BMX of fixie tensioners look like they might work except for one important factor... they lack the flats on the inside of the axle hole and thus will not prevent axle rotation.
  • I thought about cutting the BMX tensioner down to fit on the outside under the anit-rotation block. Changed my mind when I saw how much of the tensioner would have to be cut away. Turns out that I don't need a tensioner anyway. My loose chain problem was due to me using a box to support the frame while working on the rear wheel and having the bottom chain tube resting on the box (doh! double-doh!!). By making sure this morning that the box was not pressing against the chain tube I was able to pull the wheel back by hand while simultaneously tightening the axle nut. Took it out for a ride and, voila!, no chain slap... just a mild whir when going over bumps.
  • Hey NuvinciMan.  We haven't seen any comments since your maiden voyage.  How are you doing with your Rover?  I'm 6'3" and 250 and just ordered a Rover NuVinci a couple days ago.  Is it good for us bigger guys, and how do you like the NuVinci?  Mine won't be in for a week or so and I'm very excited to get it.
  • Oh... I've floatin' and flittin' about various topics here on the forum. I'm still doing great with my Rover. I'm a puny 5'6" and measly 155 pounds but more substantial folks have no problem with their Rovers. You might check out Peter_C's postings here and on Bentrider Online. There's a photo album he created for his Rover right here.... Trike Album?sort=6&page=1

    Peter's experience with the Rover goes back to when it first came out in 2009 or thereabouts.

    The NuVinci is almost a "religious" experience ;-)
  • Ummm.... oh.... doh! I see you were asking your question of someone else. Ah, well.... I be quite good at hijacking threads ;-/

  • I have recently started uploading videos to YouTube for the first time in my life.  The theme so far has been what I called the Recumbent Chronicles-- my experiences with the various recumbent bicycles and trikes I have owned, and my rides down the paved bike trails in Phoenix, Glendale, and Peoria, mostly along the canals.

    My first recumbent bicycle was a Sun EZ Super Cruiser.

    I sold my two-wheeled Sun EZ-1 Super Cruiser recumbent bike, and decided to get a TerraTrike Rover with a NuVinci N360 IGH.  I ordered it straight from the factory.

    Here is a video of my ride to work Monday morning (13.4 miles).  I tried some new things with the video, like integrating the Google Earth Pro fly-by scenes to give the viewer a sense of where we are, and I fast-forwarded through the less interesting parts of the ride, condensing an hour-and-a-half ride into 19 minutes.  I would have arrived in about an hour if I didn’t have to stop and fix my chain several times (I have since fixed that problem).



    Here is another video of my ride from the office down to darn near the Cardinals Stadium (22.4 miles round trip).  I have lots of interesting commentary, especially on the return trip, where I essentially give a video tour of Rio Vista Park in Peoria.


  • @TerrellHull - Thanks for your videos! I just watched them and really enjoyed.

    A statement, then a question: I will be ordering  Rover with the Nuvinci the first week of June. What were your chain issues? Did you have to get TerraTrike involved? Thanks.

  • Thanks!  I have never made videos before, so I feel like a fish out of water.

    First of all, I did not get the automated NuVinci-- I got the manual NuVinci with a twist grip.  Instead of $1699 I paid $1499.  I left the trike outside for a week when it was torrential rains (don't ever do that), and the cables for the NuVinci rusted.  I called NuVinci directly, and they had me take the trike to my favorite bike shop.  They paid for all the repairs (new cables, etc.) and they coached the bike shop on what to do with the hub, as they were unfamiliar with it.  Great service from NuVinci!  And I have not had any further problems with it (of course I keep it inside now).

    With regard to the chain, the Rover has a horizonal drop-out (the slot the rear axle is in).  I am a big guy, and I can leg press about 1,200 lbs (4 reps to failure).  So I put a lot of torque on the pedals.  This sometimes causes the axle to come forward in the slot.  This is also a common problem with BMX bikes and mountain bikes, which also have horizonal drop-outs.  This problem can occur with any internal geared hub.

    The solution I found was to install a Surly Tuggnut Tensioner ($30), which attaches to your rear axle and has an adjustment screw that you turn to add tension to the chain (and keep it there).  Once this is tightened, the chain never comes off.  The only reason I had chain issues this time is because I recently had Lectric Cycles install an eRad 750w motor, and they had to take it all apart and put it all back together again.  When they did this, they didn't put enough tension on the chain, which needed to be re-adjusted because they used a different sized chainring.  So I just had to re-adjust the Surly Tuggnut.

    Definitely get the Rover NuVinci-- but consider saving some money and getting the twist-grip instead.  Deraileurs are a pain, but the sealed internal hub never fails, never gets dirty, never needs to be adjusted, and you have an infinite range of gears because it is continuously variable.  I think NuVinci has a 380N now?  Mine was a 360N.  Besides, it looks really cool.  But buy a Surly Tuggnut Tensioner and install it (very easy to install).  Also, I had TerraTrike swap the tires out for Maxxis Hookworms.  The black tires with the yellow lettering go great with the blue frame.  But the fact that they are 110psi, virtually indestructible, and last forever is a real plus.  For a tire with that high of pressure, they ride really smooth, with almost no rolling resistance.  I think they ride so smooth because the rubber is so thick that even with the high pressure, they absorb bumps in the road well.  Make sure to tell TerraTrike to send you the original tires as well (you paid for them when you buy the trike, right?) so you can sell them on eBay or something and recoup some of the money you invest in the Maxxis Hookworms.

    If you really want to have the most fun you have ever had with your clothes on, talk to Chris at Lectric Cycles (google them).  They installed my system when they were here in Tempe-- they have since moved to Las Vegas, but they have dealers around the country.  Their system is fantastic!  Especially if you are commuting, and have a long long ride to get to work.  You can dial it up in the morning so you get more assist, and you get to work on time and not all sweaty.  Then you dial it back on the ride back home when you want to get your workout.  My system can carry me at over 30 mph, and I am not a small guy!

    Feel free to email me at
  • @terrellhull - thanks for you input. When our Rover comes in, it will be gone over with a fine tooth comb.

    Your choice of new tires interests me for sure. Living on the Alabama Gulf coast, bike paths are mostly flat until one gets over to the Eastern Shore (of Mobile Bay) and then hills come into play. The decrease in the rolling resistance would help.

    Again, thanks.................

  • Some people ride their trikes and others are critics
  • davidezekiel, have you taken the bridge across Mobile Bay yet?  Are bicycles allowed?  It was scary in a car sometimes.  I would probably not take it on a trike.  

    But, if it was the only way I could get to the outlet mall in Foley or to have some throwed rolls at Lambert's Cafe, I'd do it.  Foley was a favorite spot of mine while living in the Florida panhandle.
  • I'm inclined to believe both James and Elrique make some valid points.

    The torque produced by a 750 watt motor will be maximum at stall speed (i.e., when it is first starting). If pedelec is employed, particularly at a low setting the torque required to overcome startup resistance is considerable reduced because a) you are already moving so startup resistance is minimized and b) the motor will not be receiving maximum power thus will be developing much less torque than if it was hit with max power to begin with. The amount of torque necessary to exceed the NuVinci 360s ratings would probably not be encountered if the e-assist is used intelligently. My reservation concerning the Bafang is the additional weight at the end of the boom.

    As far as the speed vs high roll center... as you know I recently hit 28mph on a downhill run with excellent stability. There were some sweeping turns which Honu took well in stride letting me know just how much lean I needed to use and doing so in a gentle, predictable manner. It should be mentioned that I no longer have my seat in a mostly upright position. Currently I am reclining at roughly 50 degrees from the vertical. There is a big difference in the handling characteristics at this angle than there is if I bring the seat even one notch further upright.

    As far as speed itself goes... yeah, 30mph is a bit much especially as a regular diet and even more so when it is engaged in on a shared usage trail. I am thoroughly in agreement with Honolulu's speed limit of 8mph on sidewalks and advocate a limit of 15mph on MUPs with perhaps 20mph on lightly used trails. Anything over that should take place on the public roads.

    Rolling resistance of tires? Yeah, I agree that narrow, high pressure tires will have lower rolling resistance on good pavement. My Big Apples do tend to be marginally faster at 60 psi than at 37.5 psi but the ride is much rougher. Rough enough that I don't feel the marginally lower rolling resistance is worth the while. As far as hill climbing goes... rolling resistance is of little to no importance compared to adequate traction... not to mention that virtually all the effort in hill climbing is concentrated in overcoming the combined weight of rider and trike against the force of gravity. I don't see rolling resistance really playing any part until you start the downhill run when it will help with acceleration and final speed.

    .... and dat be my rant ;-)
  • edited May 2016
    Forget it
  • Nothing wrong with saying Electric Trike... it's a subset of e-assist used on other vehicles also.
  • Hi Folks...old fart and rover owner for 6 years..first gen with the thru bolt s instead of the set screws..
    Have 5000+ miles on the rover..added nuvinci 360 in 2014..added bafang 250 in 2015...have also put 250 KW mac hub motor on wifes cat trike trail for comparision.

    For the rover I welded the cruiciform to the rear frame to minimize flex ...also stiffened the rear seat stays   and added xtra stiffness to the rack/seat mount.

    Bafang PAS was a bit "peaky" so I reprogrammed it with a cable from Lunacycle...tremendous difference ( I think this is one of the value added services that Lecrtric cycle offers ) . Check endless sphere web site to learn how to do this. ( it easy ..if you own a windows pc)

    Rover is easy to ride , but not as sporty as the cattrike trail.  The bafang/Rover is a great first etrike ;lots of tips and techniques on setup available on this interweb thingy. 
    With a 15 Ah battery and pedal assist we have gone 45+ miles @ 10mph average..and still had juice in the can.
  • @florida_bound - I would not ride a bike, trike or tank from Baldwin County to Mobile!!! There is no bike lane yet. There is talk about building a new bridge to replace the I-10 tunnel and providing a bike lane. My wife and I have lived in Loxley for almost 4 years now and have been to Mobile only 5 times. It simply is not worth the risk. And I don't mean just the Causeway or Bayway!!

    We left the Birmingham area to get away from crazy drivers. I think they followed us here.

    The only place we ride is inside Gulf State Park, the park here in Loxley and 2 of the county roads out where we live.

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