BIONX … OUT OF BUSINESS BUT STILL AROUND … WELL, SORTA’

I was very surprised to discover that even though the well known and popular BionX e-motor company went out of business a few years ago one can still buy their products. And the good news is the cost is about half of what it was originally. Of course, there is no manufacturer warranty or service available . How long these sources will be available is anybody’s guess. The source I was looking at came with everything except the digital display. If the customer wanted it it would have to be ordered separately.

Some parts are still available so there is a glimmer of hope for those who have a BionX system. I searched for BionX and found several sources to buy their motor kits. Some sources are even selling unlocked motors which will allow the rider to go faster than the 20 mph speed limiter built into the system. I would like that. One can also buy just the hub motor and have it laced into their own rear wheel. Both the 350 watt and the 500 watt motors are available. BionX had a good product but they priced themselves too high which led to their demise. There was a lot of competition coming on the scene for a lot less money. You can only get away with selling at much higher prices for so long before it catches up to you.

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SUNSEEKER ELECTRIC T3 CX TRIKE REVIEW

Sunseeker has been around for a number of years. Formerly known as Sun Bicycles several years ago they changed the name to Sunseeker for their recumbent line. They are considered startup quality and their lowest cost model is made of mild carbon steel. They also offer Chrome Moly steel and aluminum. Of course, the price goes up with these more expensive metals. Electric Bike Technologies offers Sunseeker’s chrome moly trike with their electric motor package installed on it for $3412. Sunseeker lists this trike (without electric motor) for $2300. Here is a video about this e-trike  …

more videos from Electric Bike Technologies

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NOT A GOOD LOCATION FOR E-BATTERY

The picture above shows a common place to mount a battery. However there are pros and cons about mounting it here. The best pro I can think of is that it keeps the weight down low helping the center of gravity to remain low and thus help the trike to handle better and safer. Another pro is that the key is in easy reach from the seat. I like all of that but even so I am considering relocating the battery because of the biggest con. In this location the battery is subject to getting water and mud on it. In this picture above I wrapped the battery in plastic trying to keep it clean and dry. It definitely helped. I even taped around the plug in the front which is very susceptible to water and mud getting on and in the opening and on the electrical contacts. It gets so bad that the plug won’t plug in or if I can get it in it doesn’t make electrical contact and I have no power. I have to try to clean it out and up in order to use the battery. Like I said, placing the plastic on the battery did help but I didn’t leave it on there as it was not practical to have it on there. First of all it greatly interfered with plugging and unplugging the power cable. This is something I have to do frequently when I switch from one battery to another. I probably could come up with something else to help keep it clean and dry … like maybe a plastic bag of some kind. It definitely needs something. And I really don’t want to have to relocate it. You may have noticed the rubber tarp straps on the battery and wondered about them. The battery by itself weighs 14 pounds. That is a lot of weight sitting on the battery mount to constantly be working the aluminum metal  mount and fatigue it to where it breaks off at some point in the future. The tarp straps help hold the weight of the battery and take a lot of strain off of the aluminum mount in hopes that it never fails. It may not win any fashion contest but it works … it works great. Nope, this is not a good location for an e-battery as it is constantly getting mud and water flung all over it. My other battery is up above the rear wheel on a rack. That places the weight up high but it doesn’t get messed up like the lower battery does. It is always very clean and dry. Well, enough talk … it is time to ride boldly ride. Hope you manage to do the same.

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A FREE GIFT awaits you!

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LOW COST E-MOTOR OPTIONS

Gary Solomon of Laidback Bike Report brings us another video offering information and help for those who would like to add e-assist to their trike.  Here is the video description … If you want to add an electric motor to your existing trike David Hall offers some compelling and inexpensive solutions. David is the founder of Eco Cycles in Nashville and shows us how you can install their motors, batteries and displays on any trike.

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A FREE GIFT awaits you!

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DON’T FORGET THE MARSHMELLOWS! (e-trike battery fires)

Many of us have electric motors on our trikes. And they require batteries to provide the electrical power to run the motors. Lithium batteries have a deserved reputation of being capable of being quite hazardous, but that does not mean they are particularly dangerous. Never the less, it is important that we know some things about our batteries and understand some basic fundamentals. We should be careful to buy quality lithium cells such as Panasonic and Samsung. The much cheaper batteries likely use no name Chinese cells and with them come an increased chance of something going wrong … especially if the batteries and/or chargers lack good battery manangement electronics built in. Any more, that isn’t much of a concern either. Basically lithium batteries are safe.

The video below shows a battery on a bicycle catching fire and the guy dealing with it. It is quite likely that he did something he should not have done that caused all this.

This man is living dangerously approaching the burning battery that close and spraying water on it. With the explosions taking place it could shoot out and hit him. And as you can see spraying water on a lithium battery is not exactly safe or effective.

This next video educates us some about lithium batteries and helps us to understand “proper battery management”.

BMS … BATTERY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM is the all important element of safe operation. Batteries must be properly managed. Most of us pay no attention to the recommendation to only charge our batteries to 75% instead of fully charging them. The man mentioned fully charging our lithium batteries limits them to only about 300 charges while charging to only 75% will increase their life to around 12,000 charges … some 4 times longer. I have known this for sometime but I admit that I charge my batteries to a full charge everyday. The good news is both the batteries and the chargers have built in BMS to ensure battery safety. In the early daysit was not always so. Things have improved considerably since then.

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HOW TO TROUBLESHOOT & FIX ELECTRICAL PROBLEMS ON E-BIKES

I can personally identify with this as last Saturday I started having problems with my e-motor on my trike. Power to the motor keeps cutting out so I need to go thru things in an attempt to find the cause and fix it. I am hoping it will turn out to be something simple and inexpensive but I am fearful that it may be the controller. I have a new battery ordered as my present one is old enough to start showing major concerns. It should be getting near the end of its life. Like many others, I am pretty much on my own as there are no e-bike shops anywhere near me that are experienced and know much about working on e-bike motor systems.

This video is nothing profound … just everyday common sense.

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5 BEST RECUMBENT E-TRIKES

I came across this video and found it interesting although I noticed these guys are not doing much pedaling … just using their e-motors to propel them.

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NOT ALL E-MOTOR BATTERIES ARE CREATED EQUAL

My first two lithium-ion batteries I bought for my trike after returning a BionX system for a refund were identical batteries which performed the same … about 60 miles on a full charge. I ruined my original battery riding thru flood water that got deeper than I anticipated (DUH!) That was a costly mistake.

Consequently I ordered a third battery to replace my first one. I did not order the same battery I already had. I checked to see what all was available and chose one that looked and sounded good. It has some extra features that I liked. It has a built in taillight and a 5 volt USB port. It also has a docking head on the front end so it simply plugs in to make electrical contact/connection. I assumed that it would be the same performance-wise. I was mistaken. It is rated the same … 48 volt 20aH … but it doesn’t provide 60 miles of riding like my first two batteries. Fully charged 37 miles is “as good as it gets”. From 60 down to 37 … that is quite a difference. Very disappointing. I contacted the seller about this but got nowhere. It charges up to where it should so as far as he is concerned there is nothing wrong with it. Needless to say if and when I buy a 4th battery I will likely get another one like the first two I bought. My second battery I bought now has deteriorated to where it only provides about 37 miles of riding. That happens as batteries age. So I will likely have to replace it at some point in the future. A friend who has a BionX system older than mine (the one I use to have) tells me that his battery is no longer performing like it used to. He can get his BionX battery rebuilt and in doing so it should be better than it was when brand new providing more miles on a full charge as it will increase from 11.6aH to 14aH. BionX batteries were very high priced. He can get it rebuilt for 1/3 of what BionX charged for it new … and, like I said, have a better battery. I can buy a brand new battery for less than what it cost to rebuild it. Well, that is the truth of the matter. I learned in all of this that not all batteries are created equal. Of course, I don’t know how one can possibly know unless others share their experiences … which is what I am doing here. We all want the best quality we can get for our money. I need to go online to write up a review and rating of these batteries so that others will know. To my way of thinking I got ripped off when I bought this third battery and since the seller won’t stand behind what he is selling it doesn’t bother me to rate him poorly. Summer is nearly over. I hope you have been able to get out and …

ENJOY THE RIDE

despite this PLANdemic we are dealing with.

FREE GIFT awaits you!