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Jan 23rd, 2013
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Freedon Drive VS Hobie Mirage drive #13416908 01/26/20 08:50 PM
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RealBigReel Offline OP
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I have 3 mirage drive kayaks but only 2 Mirage drives. Although none of kayaks are actually Hobie kayaks. Was looking to purchase a 3rd drive when I came across the Freedom Drive by Lightning kayaks. The Hobie Mirage Drive with ST Turbo fins is now listed at $681.00 at ACK. The Freedom Drive is only available in standard fins but the list price is $299.00 I called Lightening kayaks and ask about compatibility. Got a nebulous answer. Since my kayaks are not actually Hobie I thought why not buy a Freedom Drive. I thought I can mod either the drive or the kayak if necessary to make it work.

[Linked Image]


[Linked Image]

You can see from these pictures, the Freedom drive is not compatible with a Hobie kayak. The freedom Drive has a lower flange and a protrusion that will keep it from fitting a standard Hobie Drive slot. Although it appears the Freedom Drive could be easily modified to fit a Hobie. But if you are building a pedal kayak the Freedom drive is much less expensive. And it looks to me like the Freedom Drive dimensions are compatible for a Hobie Turbo fin upgrade, which would still be less expensive than a Hobie with same configuration.

The Freedom Drive came "some assembly required". Seems really tight. Think I am going to modify the kayak rather than the drive.

Lightening kayaks also sells their version of the Click"N"Go for 35 bucks each.
Hobie Click"N"Go is now over 100 bucks for the pair. Hobie has left themselves open with exorbitant pricing.
It would be interesting if anyone else has any experiences with the Freedom Drive.


RealBigReel
My kayak STRIPER2. I don't go too fast but I go pretty far.
Re: Freedon Drive VS Hobie Mirage drive [Re: RealBigReel] #13417501 01/27/20 01:19 PM
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I've never seen the Freedom drive in person. I did take a look at the Hy-drive or whatever Pelican called their version of the original Hobie V1 drive and it was really cheap. Hopefully the Freedom drive is better quality. It is a 10 year old design. Hobie let the patent on their original V1 drive expire not their latest versions (GT drive, 180, etc.). It is tried and proven but as you can tell it's not going to be as effecient with the shorter fins.

I don't think Hobie is worried about leaving themselves open. Hobie let their patent expire on this version of the drive so other kayak manufactures would essentially continue to chase their tales if you will by putting out a 10 year old version of a product Hobie has improved a number of times since releasing the V1 drive. Yes Hobie stuff is expensive. But I do believe in most cases you get what you pay for. Hobie's engineering and the amount of testing they put into their products is top notch.

How much are you really saving by purchasing the Freedom drive then spending a good amount of time and money modifying a kayak for something it probably wasn't designed for then not knowing how long it's going to work? I do like to DIY when I can but I also try not to step over a dollar to save a dime.

Just my 02.

Keep us posted on how your project comes along.


You get out of it what you put into it!
Re: Freedon Drive VS Hobie Mirage drive [Re: RealBigReel] #13418098 01/27/20 09:21 PM
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RBR: Been waiting since Sept. for an update on your foam/solar/peddle kayak. Is it working good for you? Catching fish? Enjoyed your build pics. The Lightning pedal setup looks functional. And affordable.
IslandJim


I'm an Eighth Day Adventist. On the Eighth Day, God went fishing!
Re: Freedon Drive VS Hobie Mirage drive [Re: IslandJim] #13419297 01/28/20 08:43 PM
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RealBigReel Offline OP
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Originally Posted by IslandJim
RBR: Been waiting since Sept. for an update on your foam/solar/peddle kayak. Is it working good for you? Catching fish? Enjoyed your build pics. The Lightning pedal setup looks functional. And affordable.
IslandJim

Striper 3 (foam/solar/peddle kayak) works moderately well. It is a little slow but no worse than any boat with all of it's features.


RealBigReel
My kayak STRIPER2. I don't go too fast but I go pretty far.
Re: Freedon Drive VS Hobie Mirage drive [Re: RealBigReel] #13419355 01/28/20 09:16 PM
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RealBigReel Offline OP
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Today I modified my kayak STRIPER2 (the one in the picture) to fit the Freedom Drive. Had to cut a notch for the protuberances. And my Drive slot needed to be widened slightly. But once the Freedom Drive was seated it looks to be fully functional. Need to paint surfaces in the kayak that were modified.
As far as quality, the Freedom drive appears to me to be at least as good as the Hobie drives that I have. No slop in fit or function. Fit the modified slot just like Hobie.


RealBigReel
My kayak STRIPER2. I don't go too fast but I go pretty far.
Re: Freedon Drive VS Hobie Mirage drive [Re: RealBigReel] #13431393 02/08/20 01:14 AM
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Today I tried the Freedom Drive for the first time. First impressions were that it was not quit as fast as a Mirage with Turbo fins. Requires a higher cadence but also a less difficult pedal. Had no trouble reaching 5 MPH on the downwind run. Much tighter mechanism than the Hobie. A more pleasurable pedal.


RealBigReel
My kayak STRIPER2. I don't go too fast but I go pretty far.
Re: Freedon Drive VS Hobie Mirage drive [Re: RealBigReel] #13431627 02/08/20 04:56 AM
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Mike@972 Online Content
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I wonder if you can put Hobie Turbo Fins on the Freedom Drive? If so, you might get the best of both worlds???

Re: Freedon Drive VS Hobie Mirage drive [Re: Mike@972] #13438243 02/13/20 03:13 PM
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RealBigReel Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Mike@972
I wonder if you can put Hobie Turbo Fins on the Freedom Drive? If so, you might get the best of both worlds???



Looks doable but according to ACK it is not possible. Tempted to try it since I have both drives.

Have to say though if I was building my own pedal drive kayak from scratch, I would go with the Freedom Drive. A lot less money and adequate performance. And actually a better drive mechanically as well as better design. And their Click-N-Go costs a lot less.


RealBigReel
My kayak STRIPER2. I don't go too fast but I go pretty far.
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