WITH SPEED THERE IS A CHOICE

It is summertime and the heat is on. I  remember well from my motorcycle days riding when it was quite hot outside. When it gets to a certain temperature it makes no difference how fast one rides … IT’S HOT! It is no different when riding a bicycle or a trike in my case. Even with an electric motor by which I am able to gain considerably more speed than I can via my own human power it is just plain hot. What I have noticed is this — I have a choice of riding in an oven at slow speeds or a blast furnace at higher speeds. That’s the way it was on a motorcycle too … oven or blast furnace … the only choices. Either way … either one … IT’S HOT! I do ride with a canopy in hot weather which certainly does help. And when I ride with a canopy I ride without my visor hat as I am cooler without it and don’t need it when I am seated under my canopy. But I guess I would rather feel the heat on me at 20 plus mph than at 2 or 3 mph. We have all heard it said that we lose up to 80 % of our body heat thru our heads. Science has proven that this is not true … not even anywhere close. Cooling off one’s head, however, is effective in relief from being hot. I need to incorporate some means of cooling off such as a wet towel over my head. Maybe I need to install a mister overhead or out in front of me. There is nothing I can do about hot weather so I will just have to deal with it. I am thankful for those things I have already mentioned … my canopy and e-motor do help a lot. I will manage to …

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WHAT WE HAVE HERE IS A FAILURE TO COMMUNICATE

My eZee hub motor has been going out for several weeks now. It is the clutch that is going bad. It will still run but it is noisy and slipping some. And it keeps getting noisier and slipping more. So I ordered another hub motor to replace it. I did not order another eZee motor. Instead I ordered a cheaper motor which is direct drive and twice the power of the eZee motor. I received it and installed it right away only to be disappointed. It ran very slow and had absolutely no power whatsoever. Like all e-motors it is made in China so there is a communication problem right off. I got excellent service when I bought it as I had it within a few days. However, all I got was the conversion kit. No instructions on how to install it or program it were included. I didn’t have any problem installing it but I was clueless as to how to go about programming it.  I turned to the seller for help which so far has been a waste of time. What communication I got from them was very poor English … almost laughable. Nothing they offered was helpful. I went online and found what I was in need of. I got it programmed the best I could. The Chinese seller said all the programming looked ok. But it did not seem to be  ok so I uninstalled it and had planned on sending it back since the top speed I got out of it was 3.2 mph (Not 32 … 3 point 2). This motor is suppose to deliver about 40 -45 mph with a 72 volt battery. I am running 48 volts. I have been very unimpressed with this Chinese seller as they don’t seem to know what they are doing. Anyway I gave up on in in great disappointment and reinstalled my failing eZee motor. I have been using it for several weeks now but the clutch problem is getting worse to where I made the decision to stop using it. for fear it was going to fail me completely and leave me stranded. Meanwhile I had another hub motor on order which would have to be laced into my wheel in place of the eZee motor. While waiting in limbo I decided to give this hub motor I already have another try so I reinstalled it. One thing about it … I am getting a lot of practice installing e-motors. When I first got it installed it ran about 7 mph without any load on it. I messed around in the programming of the controller and somehow got it up to 17.6 mph without any load on it. I was encouraged but when I tried riding it that 17.6 mph no load went down to 5.6 under load. I rode it that way for a couple of days. Toward the end of my ride on the second day I reached down to the control switch and pushed the up arrow. I did not know anything about it … I just pushed it. Much to my surprise my speed increased to 10.6 mph. I pushed the up arrow again and now my speed increased to 23 mph and had a good amount of power (torque). Now I am encouraged … thinking there is hope for this thing yet. If only these Chinese had the common sense and decency to include instructions that explained this none of this would have happened. That is why I titled this … “What we have here is a failure to communicate”. Yep, all of this could have been avoided if they would simply communicate. I don’t have 45 mph but even the 23 – 26 I am getting is good enough to do the job so I guess I will keep it. The total cost of this hub motor conversion kit was just under $502 without any battery and with Statoraid added to help keep the motor running cool.  It came laced into a 20 inch wheel. It will suffice for now and take any pressure or urgency off of getting the new hub motor I have on order laced into my old wheel. Besides, the controller for this new motor is out of stock at this time and I have to wait on it. I have no idea how long that will be. It is always possible that something is wrong with either this hub motor I am using now or it’s controller that is keeping it from obtaining the speed it is suppose to be capable of. Quite honestly it is probably for the best as if it could obtain those speeds I might find myself kissing a tree or wrapping myself around one. At 75.5 years old I don’t need to be doing that. The bottom line to all of this is … it is a learning experience. I have the part needed to repair my  eZee hub motor but the motor  needs to be removed from the wheel in order to open it up and replace the clutch unit. It is a good thing I already have the part as it is currently out of stock as is a new eZee motor. So when the new hub motor arrives I will have the eZee hub motor uninstalled in the wheel and the new hub motor laced into the wheel. Then I will have plenty of time to repair the eZee motor. I only have one trike and I will have 3 hub motors available. I think I will be buying another trike for my wife after she retires so I will already have and e-motor conversion kit to install on it. She will need it if she wants to keep up with me. LOL

For any who are interested … THIS is  what I just bought and installed. It is $469. I am quite pleased with it for the price. It does not come with a battery so the expense of a battery must be added into the total cost. It is a 72 volt motor so they are more expensive than the 48 volt I use. Of course, it will run on lower voltages. It comes with a twist throttle which I don’t care for so if you want a thumb throttle it must be ordered separately at an additional expense. Be sure to order one with a long cable.

Lastly, I made the decision to cancel the new hub motor I had on order and just use this one. I will repair  my eZee motor and have it available if I want to use it. It has to be unlaced from the wheel in order to take it apart to repair it. I don’t like that as it is expensive to have it relaced into the wheel. It seems to me that they could have made it so that it could be disassembled while laced into the wheel. Oh well,  I am still able to …

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Revolution eQuad RS – Pedal-Electric Hybrid Recumbent Quad

There is just no end to the products the craftsmen at Utah Trikes produce. They have been making quads for several years now. Their Catrike quad is very popular.  Of course, evolution is involved. For instance they went from using a hub motor on the rear axle to a Bafang crank drive motor behind the seat. I would prefer the hub motor as I am not a fan of crank drive. As I understand the hub drive is still available but only in a solid steel axle with no differential. That would wear out rear tires quicker.

For those wanting to know what my objection is to crank drive e-motors it is simple enough. Cycle drive trains were not designed to handle the extra power a motor puts on them. Of course, the same thing could be said about a wheel but I think a wheel can better handle a motor than a drive train (chain and sprockets) can. Crank drives are known to destroy drive trains and replacing various sprockets, idlers, and chain is expensive.

Understand that Utah Trikes manufactures this quad from the ground up. They are not taking a pre-manufactured tadpole trike and converting it into a quad like they have on some of their other offerings. Starting price is $6599 plus $599 shipping. It is what I call a rich man’s toy. That is more money than I paid for one of my toys  in years past … a 1968 Dodge Charger R/T 426 Hemi. 555 horsepower according to the dynamometer of ground shaking window rattling brute power.

Check out their webpage on this toy.

Their statement:

“The UTCustom Revolution eQuad is the culmination of nearly 15 years of building custom quads. The Revolution eQuad has been designed to get you where you want to go on road or off.”

Mind you I have not as much as seen one of these much less sat on one. Never the less for what it is worth the handlebars look so high to me that I would think they would be uncomfortable. That is probably because I am a short person. For a taller person that may not be true at all.

There is a choice of two different seats.  One has it own seat frame which slides back and forth. It sits up right. It is shown in the picture above. The other is a fully adjustable recumbent seat with mesh material pictured below as well as most of the other pictures.

Quads are definitely more stable than trikes but as can be seen in the video below this rider is able to lift a rear wheel off of the pavement. So if one worked at it hard enough a quad could be tipped over.

I have to admit there are times I would like to have such a toy. My trike is just not practical to take off road riding. I have discovered  a few off road dirt trails just off of a paved trail I ride nearly everyday (the paved trail, that is). I have been riding on them a little bit but I would ride on them a lot more if I had a quad like this.

Let’s go off roading …

Looks like fun indeed. But at my age (mid 70s) most of my off road fun is behind me. It is probably just as well. I would probably find myself wrapped around a tree or worse. They say with age comes wisdom. I know better but dealing with temptation is hard. Here is a picture of me just a few days ago …

A trike does fine on this trail as long as it is not muddy or uneven ground. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I have ridden on it 3 or 4 more times since the first time I tried it. These dirt trails were bullt for motorized 4 wheel ATVs by a guy who lives nearby and a couple of his friends who ride with him. I have only checked out a couple of them thus far. I would love to ride on all of them but I am concerned about my trike not being up to it. I would most likely get stuck as well as tip over. I am sure over time curiosity will get the best of me. Hopefully I will be able to …

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FRIKAR E-BIKE VELOCAR TRIKE

From the Norwegian makers of Podride their newest offering is this e-motor version. The problem is like their Podride the  Frikar is still  not available. It is only in prototype and not in production. They are taking pre-orders however. They show a production startup of Spring 2022. and actual availability in 2023.

Personally I would prefer Podride’s quad version as it would be more stable.

One thing for sure, whether 3 wheels or 4 wheels the rider is protected from the weather. Of cours,e being closed up inside of a velocar is quite uncomfortable in hot weather. It does say that the canopy is removable. In hot weather I would prefer not to be inside of any body unless it has air conditioning. Hey, they may offer it at some point in the future.

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STRANGE THINGS ARE HAPPENING … BUT I AM GLAD

Yes, strange things are happening for sure. I am talking about my eZee hub motor which is now over 4 years old and has over 50,000 miles on it. It has never given me a moment’s trouble. However, a few days ago while out riding I stopped for lunch at a restaurant several miles from my home. When I came back out to continue my ride as I took off I suddenly heard and felt something inside the motor break making a loud noise and then the motor just spun and the trike didn’t move. I kept trying the thumb throttle and every once in awhile things would work and the motor  would propel my trike. So I headed home and made it back okay. Of course, I was concerned about my motor and what had happened. The next day I got my trike out and discovered that things had changed. Now the motor worked every time and always propelled the trike. However, the clutch was slipping sometimes. I rode it and it did okay. It seemed dependable and the clutch was not slipping all that much. Since then I ordered another hub  e-motor. I removed my eZee hub motor conversion kit and installed the new hub motor conversion kit. It did not come with any installation instructions but I didn’t need any. I got it installed okay. It also did not come with any setup instructions and that was a major problem as I did have a  clue how to program the digital display console. I found what I needed to know more less online and printed out the instructions as well as took some notes from a couple of YouTube videos I watched. I got it programmed okay but it didn’t work right. It would only do 12 mph. I contacted the seller and they had me make a change in the programming in the digital display console. With that the top speed went down to 4 mph. I contacted them back and they had me make another change. With that change the top speed went down to 2.5 mph. I was so frustrated and upset. I made the decision to to uninstall the new motor conversion kit and reinstall my eZee motor kit. I took my trike out for a short spin around my subdivision obtaining a top speed of 30 mph. I contacted the seller telling them I want to send their e-motor kit back to them for a refund as I am very disappointed in it. It has been about 3 days and I haven’t heard anything back from them. I better be hearing something soon or I will be contacting Amazon and/or my credit card company. I sure wish e-motors were available which are made here in the U.S. and there were local sellers to deal with. Everything is made in China and it is a mess dealing with China. The eZee motor is also Chinese. Strange things have been happening with it. First I heard something break inside and the motor just spun. Then it finally started to work again and has quit just spinning. Right now it seems to be working pretty good. I can’t explain it. It makes no sense to me. Yes, strange things are happening, but I guess I can say that I am glad it is still working. The brand new one I bought failed to work and the seller hasn’t helped me get it remedied. China is not known for quality control in their manufacturing. I was glad that I was able to go back to my old motor. I just hope the eZee motor keeps on working as I want to …

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HOW TO OPERATE A CRANK DRIVE E-MOTOR

It is no secret … a crank drive motor is hard on drive trains. And if the rider does not know how to properly use that extra power being applied to the pedals the drive train can be destroyed quickly. Here is a video sharing advice on how to operate a crank drive e-motor.

Anyone using a crank drive e-motor would be wise to heed this advice. I was aware of what is shared here and followed this advice. My drive train was still quickly destroyed. Personally I don’t and I can’t recommend crank drive e-motors. After replacing badly worn parts of my drive train I went back to using my rear hub drive and much prefer it. My local LBS sells and services e-bikes including installing Bafang units on trikes. They say the same thing … a very simple truth … crank drive systems are hard on drive trains and they don’t recommend them.

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INSTALLING A REAR HUB MOTOR KIT

My eZee rear hub motor came from Grin Technologies and I installed it myself. Here is a video showing the installation process on a bicycle. It is similar on a trike.

I did not need the torsion bar as the eZee hub motor does not have anywhere near enough power to need it.  I had to spread my rear dropouts further apart to fit the unit in. The wheel my eZee motor was laced into did not hold up. I had to replace it . I bought a much stronger BMX rim and had it laced up by a professional wheel builder at my LBS. It has held up fine. After my experience with BionX and Golden Motors I have been well pleased with the eZee hub motor.  And then when I tried the Tongsheng crank drive motor which greatly disappointed me the eZee was a joy to go back to. The only disappointing thing about the eZee is I don’t have pedal assist … only a hand throttle. Oh I bought pedal assist when I first got the eZee hub motor kit. I paid a lot of extra money for it and still had to pay more for a different crankset as my Catrike crankset would not work with the torque sensor. Then I paid more to have my LBS install the torque sensor for me (with my assistance) only to discover that the torque sensor didn’t work. Grin Technologies sent me a different one but it required an even different crankset which we could not find available so I never got the torque sensor installed. It was just a lot of wasted money and effort. So during the 4 years I have had the eZee hub motor I have only had a hand throttle. Now I have gotten good at using it … so much so that I can pretty well duplicate what pedal assist feels like. One thing about it just buying the hand throttle would have saved me several hundred dollars which I ended up wasting. My advice to anyone wanting pedal assist is to by a unit with it built in. The eZee motor does not have it built in and the separate torque sensor which goes into the crankset bottom bracket is not at all practical. If I knew then what I know now I never would have bought it.

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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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RECUMBENT RIDE THRU SAGUARO NATIONAL PARK -TUSCON, AR.

Take a ride along with Sylvia and friends. The trails look so smooth and being in southern Arizona I would guess that they stay that way. A freshly paved trail up here in northern Indiana doesn’t last long before it is no longer smooth. Anyway, this sure looks inviting. There is only one problem as I see it … the comfortable weather for riding is short lived as soon it will be miserbly hot and last most of the year. Oh well, I don’t ever expect to be able to go there anyway. I will just have to enjoy it thru these videos.

Thanks Sylvia for posting this video sharing your adventure with us. I know I enjoyed it.

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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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PERFORMER-MOTINOVA ASSEMBLY GUIDE (FRONT CRANK DRIVE SYSTEM)

Performer trikes is offering a 250 watt crank drive e-motor for their trikes. It comes from Performer mounted on the end of its own boom so the original boom is replaced. simplifying the installation.  It is a nice looking unit … similar to what Catrike offers.  I personally would not want to be limited to only 250 watts. Here is a video illustrating how to install the conversion kit.

The cost of the conversion kit is $1750. https://www.performercycles.com/front-drive-system-ebike/

 Performer also offers rear hub motor conversion kits for $1400.. They are ACER brand and are 350 watt.

Both front and rear kits include a 36 volt 14aH battery and battery mount.

Performer E-Trike Models

Performer on Facebook

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PODRIDE UPDATE 2022

It is even cuter than before and a lot of interest is being shown in it. It looks like a car but it is a human powered vehicle.  The developer thought they would have it in production by mid 2021 but it didn’t happen. They are working on it and are hopeful they will be able to make it available soon. They are starting out with a quad (4 wheels) and with or without e-motor pedal assist made to comply with European laws meaning only 250 watts pedal assist only (no hand throttle). Later they plan on making a 3 wheel version with a 500 watt motor and a hand throttle as well. As for me, I would want a quad not 3 wheels as a quad is more stable and practical. I wonder if one could get a quad with a 500 watt motor and hand throttle.

https://www.mypodride.com/

Their FAQ page provides quite a lot of information. They don’t know yet what the price will be. For sure it has increased considerably since I first wrote about the Podride over 6 years ago. Their FACEBOOK page is still available as well as their website.

Everywhere the Podride is shown it draws a crowd. I am sure it would be the same once they are being sold. Did I mention that they are such a cute little thing? I wonder how the  material will hold up over time? I wonder if the color will fade out?  I might even like having one.  If nothing else, it would be nice to have the protection it would offer from the weather elements. I wonder how it would do in high winds and gusts? It is not easy or inexpensive to bring such a product to market. I sure hope they make it and it becomes very successful. It is such a cute little thing. Did I mention that?

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UTAH TRIKES … PREPARING A CUSTOMER ORDER

Many of us are familiar with Utah Trikes. Here is an opportunity to get more familiar with them. This video takes you thru the process of receiving a customer order and all that is involved in preparing it … building the trike to sell it to the customer. I found it interesting. Hopefully you will too.

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A NEW INNOVATIVE E-MOTOR SYSTEM

Do you remember the RAHT RACER? It had a pedal powered generator system to use to power an electric motor to propel a bike. I like the concept. Finally a German company, Schaeffler, has developed it in a bottom bracket crankdrive known as the Schaeffler Free Drive. As you pedal the generator sends electricity to the motor to propel you. Any excess electricity being generated is stored in the battery for later use.

You can read all about it HERE.

Unfortunately the motor designed for this is limited to only 250 watts to comply with the stupid European law on e-motor assist. 250 watts is nearly worthless in my opinion. It is not powerful enough to propel a bike up much of a grade. The rider has to assist the motor. BTW, this is strictly pedal assist. There is no hand throttle with this rig.

The motor is capable of regenerative braking meaning that the motor can help recharge the battery. This is very inefficient however so don’t count on it accomplishing much.

There are no chains, gear reductions, belt drives, etc. involved. Instead only wires are used to conduct the electricity from the generator to the motor making a much easier task of designing bikes. I wonder how heavy these two components are. They both look like they would weigh quite a bit.

We will see what the future holds for this company and this product. I would hope that they start offering much larger motors though. 250 watts isn’t worth messing with. 1500 watts would make a good starting point.

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MY PERSONAL STORY CONCERNING CYCLING & RECUMBENTS

There is nothing I am about to share here that I have not shared before. I decided to put it altogether in one article so others will know where I am coming from and help them understand my passion for tadpole trikes.

To start with all my life I have been an avid cyclist starting when I was about 6 years old I think. An older cousin helped me learn how to ride a bicycle. I never had training wheels. I just learned to balance my bike right from the start. I first rode a 20 inch bike and gradually got a 26 inch. As a teenager I bought with my own money a white Schwinn 3 speed internal hub English racer style bike. I inverted the handlebars to make it into what was  called a  racer type bike. I was the fastest cyclist where I grew up.  I had a 52 tooth chainring installed and I could really go on that bike.

Stingray style bicycles became popular in my teen years so I made my own 20 inch bike with high apehanger handlebars and banana seat. I could ride wheelies until I decided to end it (literally miles)… far longer and farther than anyone else in town.

When I was in the Navy I bought a lightweight Gitane racing bike … a 10 speed which was all they had at the time. It was a pretty sky blue but it was a prima donna . I swear that spokes would break if I looked at them crosseyed. Over the following years I had several different bikes and continued to ride. It was not unusual for me to ride 50 to 100 miles in a day when I had the time to do so. I was still doing this into my late 30s. I moved to Georgia and found that there was no safe and practical place for me to ride so more than 13 years passed by when I did not ride. I moved back up to Indiana and soon after started back cycling. I found out that there are local bike trails available to ride where I live so I started riding on them. That was almost 17 years ago during which time I have accumulated well over 120,000 miles on them.

As time passed by and my body aged I got tired of dealing with all the discomfort involved in riding a diamond frame bike. It greatly took away from the fun and enjoyment of cycling. I had heard of recumbents and seen a couple of them. I had heard that they are comfortable to ride so I decided to make a recumbent bike.

I used  “donor bikes” and bought a few things like a recumbent seat but I managed to come up with a recumbent bike I started riding which eliminated all the discomfort I had been experiencing on a conventional diamond frame bike. I was really enjoying riding a bike once again. After putting a couple of thousand miles on my homemade recumbent I bought a Sun recumbent bike. In fact, I bought two of them … one for my wife who used to ride with me. They were better bikes than the one I made so all was going well. I put a couple of thousand miles on my Sun recumbent.

However … winter was approaching and I wanted to keep riding. I was concerned about attempting to do so on two wheels as it would be quite risky and dangerous.  I had heard of tadpole trikes so I decided to make my own. I was still working full time so it took me about 3 weeks to design and build my trike. I cut up my homemade recumbent bike and used parts of it to make my trike. It was made out of mild steel so it was heavy. It rode and handled great though as I had done my homework and got everything right in  the construction of it.

I rode it thru the winter and was so happy to have it as it was so safe and so comfortable compared to my recumbent bike. I did not have to concern myself with “going down” riding in snow and  on ice. I made it thru the winter and as planned I switched back to my Sun recumbent bike come Spring only to discover that I much preferred riding the tadpole trike. So I switched back to the trike and never looked back. My recumbent bike just sat around so I decided to sell it. I had my wife’s recumbent bike I could ride if I wanted to. She had stopped riding it and it just sat around.

After I put a couple of thousand miles on it I was able to buy a new 2009 Catrike Trail and I sold my homemade trike to a guy who said he planned to motorize it. As things have always gone for me I was not even able to get the cost of the various components I had purchased to build it.

I loved my 2009 Catrike Trail and it’s “space frame” as they call the solid all one piece frame. After about 3 plus years I discovered a “hairline crack” along the edge of a weld on the underside of the cruciform crossmember. Being a professional weldor I understood what I was seeing and the concern of future failure of the weld so I contacted Catrike sending them this picture to show them what I was seeing. They replaced the frame under warranty.

I was thankful that I received a new frame however, I was not happy that I could not get another space frame. This was 2013 and Catrike had changed the design of the Trail model.  The new frame featured an adjustable seat back angle and the frame design change added 2 pounds of weight to the trike. Ever since then I have wanted to find a used space frame to buy and go back to it. I have no use of the adjustable seat back and definitely don’t like have the trike weigh more. I was hoping Catrike would still have a space frame around that they could send instead of the new design but no such luck. I did not think about it at the time but I wonder if I could have got an Expedition frame and paid the difference. In hind sight I wish I would have checked into it. My 2009 frame was silver but Catrike told me I could have any color they were currently offering so I went with green. All of my old components off of my 2009 trike were reused with this 2013 frame. That is why I have a silver boom with a green frame.

I rode my Catrike for about 7 or 8 years I think before I made the decision to motorize it. BionX  was the big name in e-motors at the time so I went with BionX. That turned out to be a big mistake as it was not only expensive but it didn’t hold up and I went thru a big mess trying to get another motor that worked right … which I never did. So I asked for and received a full refund. This was just before BionX went out of business so it turned out to be good timing. I then tried a Golden Motor and it was faulty right out of the box. I got a refund on it as well and  then went with an eZee hub motor which has been great … until about 6 months ago when a problem developed.  The power would shut off just like I was turning it off with the battery key switch. I checked various things but could not find anything wrong. I suspected that the problem was in the controller which is a rather expensive item to replace. Consequently I did not jump on replacing it. I just dealt with the problem in frustration until finally recently I decided to take the gamble and buy a new controller. I was elated to discover my hunch was right. The new controller fixed the problem and now I am once again enjoying my e-motor assist.

Yes, I am sold on tadpole trikes. I new have about 100,000 miles on my Catrike. It is truly a well engineered and built machine which I highly recommend to anyone looking for a recumbent tadpole trike.

Well, this is my story and I am not only sticking to it but I am stuck with it.

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

FREE GIFT awaits you!

 

 

E-MOTOR PROBLEM RESOLVED

It has been some time since I first started having a serious problem with my e-motor system on my trike … about sic months now. Whenever I would apply power to the motor using the hand throttle the power would shut off just like I turned it off at the switch on the battery. Then I would have to wait for it to “reboot” only to keep having it go back off most of the time. Once in awhile it would remain on and I could actually use it. I contacted Grin Technologies where I bought it asking them what they thought the problem might be. They said that it most likely is the battery but I have 3 batteries and it does this with all 3 and one battery was brand new at the time. Then they said that it is probably a bad wiring connection. I went thru everything and found nothing wrong. That was the end of their help. They were at least on the right track. The problem had to do with the battery power being interupted. All the time I was suspicious of the controller. Replacing the controller is not inexpensive so I did not jump on it. It use to cost $130 plus shipping but now it is $160 plus shipping. It was like gambling since I did not know for sure that the problem was the controller. Recently I took the plunge and ordered it from Grin Technologies. It only took less than two days to receive it … amazingly quick … about 24 hours from the time they shipped it. I installed it the same morning I received it and went for a ride. The gamble paid off. It works great once again. I sure wish I would have played my hunch much sooner. Anyway, I am rejoicing as I have a properly working motor back again. I have turned to Grin Technologies a few different times previously for technical help and never once did they actually help me. If I can figure this out knowing next to nothing about electronics I would think they should be able to be of help. Oh well, with this working right now I can …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

A FREE GIFT awaits you!

BTW, I want to give credit where it is due. I received an email from Grin Technologies offering to see if they could repair my old controller and have it covered under warranty. It appears that the battery power has an issue somewhere inside of the controller. I would, of course, have to return the new controller I just bought. I truly appreciate their offer but there exists two issues. One, I would have to be without my motor for quite some time. I would not care to do that. And two, I doubt if I could return the new controller as I had to modify it to hook the battery power up to it. Oh, and another thing to their credit. I selected and paid for the least expensive shipping when I purchased the new controller but I received it super quick meaning that they must have shipped it the most expensive way … overnight. That was really nice of them.

 

THE WAIT IS OVER–NEW TRIKE HAS ARRIVED

Some of us follow this fellow tadpole trike rider. He has interesting videos which are always well done. Here is one of his recent ones. The new trike he ordered has arrived. Needless to say he is a happy camper … or maybe I should say happy triker. He went with e-motor assist on this trike and is really enjoying and appreciating it. May you enjoy many thousands of miles of trike riding on it David.

Here is a link to all of his YouTube videos … https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCHLiC0Jo0lsF4YHimM4qkHA/videos

David has a website … http://davidridesatrike.com/

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

A FREE GIFT awaits you!