Thinking about buying a Tres Terra

5 replies [Last post]
davew
davew's picture
Offline
Joined: 11/20/2006
Points: 85376

There is a new electric bike shop, Small Planet Ebikes, in my little town of Longmont, Colorado. My wife is on the hairy edge of being converted so we decided to ride up and see what he stocked. The shop currently has some small Chinese scooters that I have never heard of before. They were 20 mph bikes and as such not very interesting. Most of the rest of the stock was Tres Terra bikes. Both Ellen and I rode a Europa and were favorably impressed. Before I get to my likes and dislikes let me ask the question:

Does anyone here own one? What have your experiences been?

Pros:
- I like the lithium ion pack and how it is integrated into the bike.

- The bike seems well made judging by the heft and the fit and finish.

- The twist throttle with cruise control is easy to operate and a simpler system than Bionx. (Although I still like my Bionx better mostly because it's what I'm used to.)

- The bike has nice torque and the 20mph top limit is easily reached.

- The electrics seem well protected against the weather.

- I know where the groceries are going to go.

- I like the 2 year warranty.

Cons:
- Tres Terra was just bought by Ultra Motors. How seriously is Ultra going to treat the Tres Terra warranty?

- Ultra Motors has their own hub motor. Are the Tres Terra designs going to be end-of-lifed soon? Will I be able to replace the battery pack in a few years?

- I know Heinzmann motors are a venerable design, but I still don't like the whine.

- I really dislike the little front-wheel generator that's used to run the halogen lights. I'd rather have battery-powered, LED lights.

- I remember reading a blog a couple of years ago where many problems with the first shipped units were noted. Does anyone know if these problems were addressed?

__________________

"we must be the change we wish to see in the world"

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Drunkskunk
Drunkskunk's picture
Offline
Joined: 04/06/2007
Points: 29
Re: Thinking about buying a Tres Terra

I haven't owned one, but I've heard less than great things about them. For around the same money, or less, you can get a Schwinn electric http://www.schwinnbike.com/products/intbikes_category.php?id=110
less powerfull, but a much better thought out bike with a better range.

IB-Steve
Offline
Joined: 11/26/2007
Points: 1
Re: Thinking about buying a Tres Terra

In May of 2006 I bought two Tres Terra Europa's. My daughters (11 year old twins) take them to swim practice almost every day. That's 18 miles round trip. The rated weight limit for riders is 250 lbs, but I have a 340 pound older son that rides the bikes often. Most of the riding is on fairly level ground along the beach. They have held up better to the salt mist here at the beach then my cars. They clip right along at the (governer's)speed limit of 20 mph even with a 10 knot head wind. I had one battery failure in July it was replaced with a new one under warranty in two days. The lights are very bright and the tail lite (LED's) stays on when stopping at stop signs. We even took them to Sturgis bike week and the girls got more attention then many of the custom choppers. For a month we had them in Maine and ran them all over the islands. Maintenance has been the same as you would give a fine bicycle. Cleaning and lubrication of chain, shift and brake cable. An occasional adjustment of the brakes and derailer. I made several electric bikes back in the 70's. The problems of motor size, and battery weight and capacity have been solved. The price of $1,450.00 plus $500.00 for an extra battery may seem high (it did to me) but this bike is not a toy. From the "Thorn proof" tires to the gas pressure seat these are well engineered highly efficient "green machines" that are made to serve and last.
Hope this helps
Steve

chopper
Offline
Joined: 12/01/2008
Points: 1
Re: Thinking about buying a Tres Terra

I have been trying to contact Ultra Motor regarding warranty repair of my Tres Terra Europa for over a month now, all I get is a voice mail message. I have left numerous messages on their voicemail and still have not recieved a call back, does anyone know if they are still doing business?? I see on their website that they moved to Northern California and they have come out with a new model, so why don't they answer their phones or return calls?? Does anyone know if they are still in business and if so how do I get in touch with them so I can start riding my Europa again. This is rediculous!!!

reikiman
reikiman's picture
Offline
Joined: 11/19/2006
Points: 8444
Re: Thinking about buying a Tres Terra

Quote:

- I know Heinzmann motors are a venerable design, but I still don't like the whine.

There's a guy I know in Palo Alto who's been building electric recumbents for years. He'd been specializing in Heinzmann but I talked with him in April and described his shift to crystalyte motors. The heinzmann motors are rock solid but they don't do well with climbing mountains. He's been experimenting for years with pushing the limits to how far he can travel with just his electrified bicycle and one goal he's been working on is to travel to/from Santa Cruz from Palo Alto. If you know the Bay Area you know there's a 1500 foot mountain range between here and there, and that going up Page Mill Road is an essentially straight up climb from about 200' to 1400' altitude within ?9? miles of road. He said with the heinzmann making that climb he'd have to stop 3+ times to let the motor cool down, but with the crystalyte x5 motor he could go straight to the top without stopping.

__________________

- David Herron, The Long Tail Pipe, davidherron.com, 7gen.com, What is Reiki
- Electrified Electra Townie, 1971 Karmann Ghia (since sold), Kia Soul EV

rockyromero
Offline
Joined: 08/12/2009
Points: 18
Re: Thinking about buying a Tres Terra

davew wrote:

Pros:
- I like the lithium ion pack and how it is integrated into the bike.

- The bike seems well made judging by the heft and the fit and finish.

- The twist throttle with cruise control is easy to operate and a simpler system than Bionx. (Although I still like my Bionx better mostly because it's what I'm used to.)

- The bike has nice torque and the 20mph top limit is easily reached.

- The electrics seem well protected against the weather.

- I know where the groceries are going to go.

- I like the 2 year warranty.

I just bought a fairly new Europa bike and I concur with your thoughts on the Pro side.

It does what it's supposed to do from all that I've read on other sites, although I'm unable to find any description of this discontinued model on their site http://ultramotor.com/

It does have a quick pickup and with the pedaling, this bike cruises very nicely on the street and bike paths.

The looks are phenomenal, even compared with the newer A2B models. I especially like where the storage area is for the battery.  I have bought a spare battery case for upgrading to LifePO4 batteries, once I can understand what can fit in that space.

I have yet to test out the range of distance on the standard Lithium Ion batteries.  I expect that it will give me a comfortable 20 mile range, although I would like to double that range.
 
 
 

davew wrote:

Cons:
- Tres Terra was just bought by Ultra Motors. How seriously is Ultra going to treat the Tres Terra warranty?

- Ultra Motors has their own hub motor. Are the Tres Terra designs going to be end-of-lifed soon? Will I be able to replace the battery pack in a few years?

- I know Heinzmann motors are a venerable design, but I still don't like the whine.

- I really dislike the little front-wheel generator that's used to run the halogen lights. I'd rather have battery-powered, LED lights.

- I remember reading a blog a couple of years ago where many problems with the first shipped units were noted. Does anyone know if these problems were addressed?

I don't expect any warranty from the manufacturer, however, the only thing that may expire on the Europa should be the battery after 300 to 500 charges.

The Heinzmann motor has a whiney sound and now I'm accepting it.  The sound is probably more of a concern for others that are around me as I pass by them.  So far, no angry looks, and I have received more of inquisitive looks.  I do prefer some sound so that people know that I am approaching.

My bike came with halogen lights rather than a front wheel generator for the lights.  I'm ok with this.

I don't know of problems that may have occurred with this bike in the past.  So far, I'm still excited with the newness of the bike and the world of biking on the lake front that has opened up for me.

My wife will also ride it to work, alternating with her regular bike, and especially on inclement weather.

I would like to know experiences that others have had with the Europa.
 

 
 
 

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

style="display:block"
data-ad-client="ca-pub-2401070691062219"
data-ad-slot="2079401426"
data-ad-format="auto">



Who's new

  • GBUCKLEY
  • msb
  • WV BIKER
  • weedytj
  • vivitern

Customize This