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Debacle, Redux

November 20th, 2021
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When Raffi first arrived, I rode only three times before the casing holding his battery in place broke. That debacle is chronicled here. I received a replacement part, and then hedged my [future] bets by strapping Raffi’s battery in place to protect the terribly-designed slots meant to hold it in place from breaking again.

This worked brilliantly — for four months. Then the replacement casing broke — this time on the opposite side from where it had broken previously.

This is pretty devastating. Obviously, I can’t replace — especially from Italy — the battery support every four months (or less!).

The new break. Opposite side
to the damage on the original part.

So I’ve contacted the people who sold me my Di Blasi R34 in the first place — who were enormously helpful before and during the sale, and in running down the original placement part — and I’m waiting to hear from them.

But it’s clear that continually replacing the battery support is no answer. The real mystery is, why on earth is this design so awful? And the plastic so weak and useless?

Raffi is an amazing design, utterly clever, and yet quite primitive in a number of regards — but I’ve ridden him well over 100 miles/162 km now, folded and unfolded him after every ride, and he is still performing perfectly. He’s a joy to ride — and an apparently marvelous tricycle! But his battery is useless without the casing that attaches it to the R34 frame.

I don’t get it. Of all the bits and pieces that could fail on an R34, how does it happen that this, theoretically simple, part, is the one that cannot last?

The electric motor adds a huge price premium to the Di Blasi R32 — but I need it, even though I rarely use the motor, due to the particular geography of my cycling area. UsingĀ  my tricycle is hugely complicated if I don’t have a motor. And I have no motor when I have no battery.

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