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.

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FREE GIFT awaits you!

 

 

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/

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A FREE GIFT awaits you!

WHO NEEDS E-MOTOR ASSIST?

The picture above is meant to be funny but it is all too real for some of us, myself included. If I ride without the aid of a motor trail walkers literally pass me by oftentimes. It is rather embarrassing. So I can truthfully say that I need and appreciate having e-motor assist. I just don’t have much strength and stamina in my knee joints. The other day I was riding alongside of my wife who was walking. She challenged me to a race (without the use of my motor) even though she was not in shape to run. She took off and got out ahead of me. I worked hard pushing on the pedals and managed to catch up to her and pass her only to hear her accuse me of using my motor which I didn’t. Yes, I beat her but I paid for it. My knees hurt the rest of the day and I was just starting my ride. I will not do that again.

Yesterday I bought a small jar of pain relieving ointment and applied it to one knee before going riding today. Much to my surprise and delight it did help. Actually I bought the ointment not so much for the ointment in the small jar but rather I bought it for the small jar itself. I want to use it to put some Watkins salve in once I empty the ointment out of it. I lost my small “tin” of the salve awhile back. I like to carry it with me at all times. I have a large size tin of the salve to use to fill the small jar. I may be emptying the pain relieving ointment quicker than expected now that I know it works as well as it does. I am still not going to have any more races with my wife or anyone else. I am just too old and out of shape. Well, I am not really out of shape. Round is a shape!

Anyway, my point is some of us really do need and benefit greatly by having e-motor assist. Without a motor helping me I ride very slow and not very far and I hurt bad as a result. It is misery for me and no longer enjoyable like it used to be. With a motor helping me I can ride much faster  … 15 to 25 mph … and much farther … 40 to 50 miles or more … and it is all fun once again.

A second point is sometimes we should not listen to our wives as it just leads to problems and trouble. But hey, I did beat her! Just don’t ask me if it was worth it. 🙂

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A FREE GIFT awaits you!

TONGSHENG … DID NOT EVEN LAST 60 DAYS

ordered a Tongsheng TSDZ2 crank drive motor March 25, 2021 and installed it in very late April after waiting to get an extension cable I discovered I needed. Yesterday with only 1365 miles on it I uninstalled it as it no longer ran. It didn’t even last two months. I am very disappointed with it and there is no way I can recommend it to anyone. It is a piece of junk as far as I am concerned. I have requested a full refund. I will be waiting to see how that goes. It was my first experience with crank drive as I have always had a rear hub motor since I got into e-motor assist over 4 years ago. I did discover that I don’t like crank drive at all. It is very hard on the drive train. A hub drive is much more practical. I think the Tongsheng motor is underbuilt and poor quality.

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A FREE GIFT awaits you!

ALL WHEEL TILTING AR-3 STEERING COMPARISON

Here is a video about steering on recumbent trikes. It explains the typical commonly found steering and the AR-3 lean steering.

Here is the video description found on YouTube:

“AR-3 Recumbent Tadpole Trike, all wheel tilting mechanism explanation. In depth description and details of standard tadpole recumbent steering, and why the AR-3 all wheel tilting steering is revolutionary.
The Patented steering design is like no other and follows the natural feel of a bicycle because of its center axis steering system cleverly angled forward, which emulates the feeling of a bicycle while banking into turns with all three wheels. KAZEbikes.com for the latest development and video.”

It sounds great to me as in I would like to have it. There is one thing I noticed that bothers me … the seat appears to be placed very far back behind the crossmember of the frame. My guess is that the weight distribution is much different on this design than it is on a regular non leaning design. I definitely don’t like the look of the seat. The part where one’s butt sits looks extremely small. Speaking of the seat there is a video about it …

For more information visit their website … https://kazebikes.com/

$3995 for non motorized version

$5995 for motorized pedal assist version. Pedal assist with 350 Watt Bafang rear hub motor and 36 Volt lithium E-bike battery.

$1595 for the AR-3 frame kit (use your own wheels and various components)

I would think that the frame kit is in high demand. I see that the website shows Out of Stock while that is not the case for the complete trike models. Only a 26 inch rear wheel can be used on  this design. It will be interesting to see a leaning trike out there. Tire wear should be improved since this pretty much eliminates tire scrub from hard fast cornering. Pushing forward on one handlebar while pulling back on the other handlebar is how steering is accomplished.

Specifications AR-3E (motorized version):
The E-bike version is all we have fully assembled.
Approximate Total weight: 48 pounds riding weight. (very light for a trike with motor and battery)
Steering Radius: 8.5’
The frame was FEA static tested to Rider weight of 480 pounds but we recommend 250 pounds for best riding results. I would keep the cargo balanced for a more pleasurable ride.
Width: 36”
Length: 84” (That’s a long trike.)
Height: 26” with backrest retracted. 3“ additional with backrest fully extended.
Ground clearance: 4.5”

How the AR-3 works:
Being prone also gives a great aerodynamic advantage lending itself to going further and faster with the less effort than a conventional bicycle. Obviously many of us don’t wish to or can no longer perch on a standard bicycle seat. The seat on the AR-3 is comparable to a high performance sports car bucket seat.

Articulating all wheel tilting steering for recumbent tricycle and other vehicles providing stability and controlled lean of all three wheels simultaneously.

Consisting of a single front steering yoke that rotates or steers, on a pivoting axis neck, with a negative castor angle and bearing on the stationary frame which forces the rear wheel and frame to actively tilt into the direction of the turn.

The active front wheel leaning linkage consists of, the front steering yolk with horizontal bushings on the outer ends, which only allows the front wheels axles and control arm assemblies to lean in toward the turn producing a camber to both front wheels.

Tie rods, connected to the front wheel’s spindle assembly and anchored to the frame, forward of the pivot axis, actively linking handlebars, front wheel and frame tilt together thus causing all wheels to lean together when directional force is applied.

“All the Benefits of 3 wheel recumbents, but with all the virtues of a bicycle.”                                      (their words not mine)

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A FREE GIFT awaits you!

NEW BAFANG ULTRA CRANKDRIVE MOTOR

If only I would have known about this e-motor sooner it is what I would have bought instead of the much lower powered Tongsheng unit. This Bafang is twice as powerful (twice the torque) .

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A FREE GIFT awaits you!

5 RECUMBENT E-TRIKES

Here is a video about 5 recumbent e-trikes. It is titled 5 best but I am retitling it taking out the word “best” for personal reasons.

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A FREE GIFT awaits you!

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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A FREE GIFT awaits you!

 

TONGSHENG E-MOTOR … MY 1ST IMPRESSIONS

For over 4 years now I have been using a rear hub motor. Recently I bought and installed a Tongsheng crank drive motor and have been riding it now for about a week. I have found it interesting as well as challenging and somewhat disappointing making the switch from hub drive to crank drive.

First of all, I NEED MOTOR ASSIST. My knee joints are not capable of doing the job all under human power. Riding under my own power I ride along at about 2 to 3 mph. Walkers pass me. It is embarrassing! I ride in pain and it is misery … not fun.

I had both knee joints replaced a few years ago as both were bone on bone and I was in misery. With new man made knee joints “installed” I am doing better but I still suffer much knee joint discomfort. With motor assist I can and do ride much faster and it makes the riding fun again. I am still getting plenty of exercise but it is fun again. I can’t turn back the clock. I don’t have a time machine to step into. Having motor assist is the next best thing. I enjoy my daily rides. Oh, I am still in some pain, but I am not in misery like I am riding without a motor to assist me.

A few weeks ago my hub motor system developed a problem. The electrical power keeps shutting off and restarting when ever I try to use the motor. I have tried unsuccessfully to find the cause. I have sought help from others including the company I bought it from … all without success. I don’t have the component parts just sitting on a shelf to try hoping it would fix the problem. They are expensive to buy and a bit risky as far as whether or not replacing that particular part would fix the problem. So rather than gamble on whether on not buying an expensive part would fix it I decided to just buy another motor. Yes, it costs more than the parts would have but I wanted true pedal assist … something I don’t have with my hub motor as it is not “built into” the hub motor like some brands offer.  All I have ever had with this hub motor is a manual thumb throttle to use.

I have had my eye upon the Tongsheng crank drive motor system for awhile now so it was what I bought. So now after using it for about a week here is the good, the bad and the ugly concerning it. As e-motor kits go it is one of the lowest in cost. That’s good … that’s very good! The pedal assist works great and I am really enjoying having it. The motor is not nearly powerful enough. I left my hub motor installed as I have found that I can use it with the power level turned down to about 40 % or less. It usually stays on with the lower power setting. Going from a 30/42/52 triple chainring set to a single 42 tooth chainring has been lousy. I lost my gear range. No more granny gear for when I truly need it and a much lower top speed as I spin out at 15 mph instead of 22 mph. I hate that! One thing I really do like about this new motor is the economy … how long the battery charge lasts compared to the hub motors I have had. Another good thing about the Tongsheng motor is that it is super quiet. The speedometer/odometer/tripometer is not accurate. Tongsheng does not provide the ability to enter the tire circumference number during setup. All that is offered is choosing tire size … 16,20, 24, 26, 700. Selecting 20 inch is apparently based on a 1.5″ width. If you use a smaller or larger tire the accuracy is off. I don’t like this. It probably would not bother some people but I like having accuracy in my computer.

I switched my hub motor controls over to the right hand side so I could have my Tongsheng controls mounted on the left hand side. Anyway, now I have thumb throttles on both sides and I can use both motors at the same time which is really nice when climbing a hill or going across a busy street. Even with both motors it is no rocket in speed or power.

I have my disappointments with this Tongsheng motor but overall I reckon I am glad I bought it. Would I do it all over again? No, probably not. I think I would buy the Bafang with torque sensing. I did not know about the Bafang with torque sensing when I bought this Tongsheng. It is said to be considerably more powerful than the Tongsheng. As a teenager and young man I had a few high performance cars including a 327 c.i. 365 hp Corvette, 383 Plymouth police interceptor with dual 4 bll. carbs and 426 555 hp Hemi Dodge Charger R/T so I got used to having power to use. This Tongsheng is like driving an American Motors Rambler or maybe a Yugo. I am sure that is quite sufficient for some folks. I will survive, I reckon. Certainly it is helping me to …

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A FREE GIFT awaits you!

Hey, speaking of Yugos … did you hear about the man who walked up to the parts counter at a car parts store and said to the employee behind the counter … “I’d like a rear view mirror for my Yugo”. The store employee was silent for a few seconds and then replied back … “You just might be able to make a deal like that”.

BAFANG 750 WATT CRANK DRIVE MOTOR WITH TORQUE SENSOR

The Bafang mid-drive (crank drive) e-motor has long been a very popular choice but the one objection to it has been that it is “unnatural”due to lack of torque sensing. Well, Bafang finally did something about it and now … maybe … it is the best offering out there. (And I just bought a Tongsheng.)

750w Torque Sensor’ed MID DRIVE

https://www.ouka-ebike.com/bafang-mm-g5107501000-750w-1000w-m620-torque-sensor-mid-drive-motor-kit-p1103472.html

Bafang BBS02, 750W mid-drive electric bike motor Kit Review

Bafang Ultra Max, the new big dog on the porch

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eZEE HUB MOTOR REVIEW

have had my eZee hub motor now for over 3 years so I thought I would write a review on  it. After my bad experiences with BionX and Golden Motors the eZee motor has been reliable and performed relatively well for me. That is until recently. I am having trouble with it so I have replaced it with a different brand. I bought a Tongsheng crank drive motor which is what I have been considering if ever I were to buy another motor. That being said I did not know about the newest Bafang crankdrive motor that now has a torque sensor. I probably would have bought it instead of the Tongsheng if I had known about it sooner. The trouble I am having with the eZee motor system has nothing to do with the motor as far as I know. Personally I think my controller is acting up. I bought my eZee hub motor conversion kit from Grin Technologies. I have emailed them several times over the 3 years I have had it requesting their help on a few things. They have replied back but they have never really helped me. Overall the eZee motor has been good but I do want to cover the few things which have not been good. The eZee motor does not have built in torque sensing so a separate external torque sensor which mounts in the bottom bracket must be purchased. It is not cheap. And what they don’t tell you is that in order to install it it requires buying a new crankset … also not cheap … meaning this is all getting rather expensive.

 

I bought the new crankset and paid my LBS to install the torque sensor in the bottom bracket. The torque sensor didn’t work. Grin Technologies then told me that they have had a lot of problems with this particular torque sensor. (It would have been nice if they would have mentioned that upfront and advise against buying it.) They advised me to try a different one which they would send to me at no additional charge. All they asked is that I mail them back the defective one which I had to pay postage on. When I received the new torque sensor I discovered that it required yet a different crankset. My LBS looked but could not find one to order. So for over three years now all I have had is a manual thumb throttle to use. I have not had a torque sensor for pedal assist. All of this mess and expense could have been avoided if only the bicycle industry would standardize the cranksets instead of making various types and sizes.

The rear wheel which the eZee hub motor was laced into did not hold up for me. It cracked open and I had to replace it. This added a lot more expense to my e-trike. I now have a rear wheel which is holding up great. But why doesn’t the supplier of the eZee hub motor provide a rear rim which is better made?

The eZee hub motor requires the older type of rear sprockets known as free wheel. Just recently the free wheel unit has started acting up spinning forward instead of grabbing to propel the trike forward. That’s not good. I went to my LBS and they looked up 9 sprocket free wheel units only to find nothing available like I have now. I would have to sacrifice my lower gearing going from a 34 tooth sprocket to a 30 tooth. My system is just too old and it is hard to find these component parts for it. The industry has gone to 10 and 11 speed. 9 speed has become an antique so to speak. Anyway, they lubricated the free wheel unit and it has been working okay since then. I don’t know for how long though. What I am getting at is it is time to move on. I have the Tongsheng motor kit installed but I am waiting on an extension  cable so I can hook up the speed sensor to get it all working. That cable just arrived in yesterday’s mail so I will be installing it today.

Oh, another thing about the eZee hub motor I don’t care for is that in order to change the nylon gear inside the motor the electrical wiring coming out of the motor has to be cut in two to disassemble it to change the nylon gears. Then all those wires need to be reconnected and resealed when reassembling it. I think they made a change in this in the newer model they are manufacturing. They say the nylon gears inside the motor should last about 9000 miles I think. I had over 40,000 miles on the motor so I ordered a new gear and went to change it when I discovered this about having to cut the wires. I didn’t want to get into that. Even though I had several times more than the 9000 miles on the hub motor the nylon gear inside still looked like new so I simply regreased it and put it all back together. It is still sounding and working the same as it always has so I assume the gear has not worn out yet.

The eZee hub motor is a geared reduction motor meaning that is should be very powerful …   more so than the 350 watt BionX motor I started out with which was a gearless direct drive unit. For some reason unknown to me I have never been able to get any help from Grin Technologies as to why this motor lacks power (torque on demand). It should easily out perform the BionX but just the opposite is true. From a standstill or low speed up to about 12 mph or so the BionX will easily shoot away from my eZee hub motor. Once I am up to 12 mph or so I start gaining on the BionX and pass it by leaving it far behind. It has good top end … 28 plus mph … but on hills I have to assist it as it just does not have the power to climb hills. My BionX would shoot me up and over if I used the hand throttle.

Well, that is my review. Could I recommend it to others? No, not really. If these issues I have described didn’t exist then yes, I would recommend it. But hey, they do exist and as I have stated I have not been able to get any help to resolve them. It is time to move on. I want to get this Tongsheng working and see how it does. It will be great to have a torque sensor and true pedal assist.

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A FREE GIFT awaits you!

SO TADPOLE TRIKES ARE SLOW … WHO CARES?

Yes, definitely tadpole trikes are slow … slower than a bicycle. Why woudn’t they be? They are heavier and have 3 wheels rather than 2. We are not comparing apples with apples. But WHO CARES? I rather doubt that most people who buy a tadpole trike are doing so to be able to outperform a bicycle in the speed department. No, other issues and concerns enter the picture. Sooner or later most of us come to our senses and realize that bicycles are rather uncomfortable to ride and they definitely are not safe for many of us to ride as we age. Some bicycle riders have already experienced wrecks which convinced us of the concerns for our safety. Many have suffered life changing injuries or medical/health/physical problems resulting in changing over from bicycles to recumbent tadpole trikes. No, speed is no longer an issue for most of us. We have nothing to prove to others or ourselves.

All that being said, are tadpole trikes really all that slow? Not necessarily. Like any other human powered vehicle the determining factor is the motor. Some riders still manage to ride pretty fast passing up most bicycle riders. The bottom line to the question of how fast is a tadpole trike is … the same for any other type of bicycle … JUST AS FAST AS YOU CAN PEDAL IT!

Most of us don’t qualify. Some of us really slow up as we age and deal with various issues which slow us up. Without the assistance of an electric motor I am pathetic as I ride along at 2 to 3 mph most of the time. I didn’t use to be slow like I am now but after having both knee joints replaced I find that I can no longer push hard on the pedals so I have to ride along in lower gears. But, hey, when I was younger like the rider in this video above I probably could have given him a run for his money. Now at age 74, I have no interest or desire to attempt it much less the ability to do so. With e-assist I no doubt could fly by him if I wanted to. And I do tend to ride fairly fast most of the time as it makes for a lot more fun that the 2 to 3 mph I mentioned under my own power. E-assist has brought much joy back into cycling for me. Riding without it is simply misery and drudgery for me. Riding in constant pain barely moving along being passed by walkers is no fun at all. My e-assist is a game changer. I went from being a slow moving turtle to a road runner out there. So if you see a flash go by you it just might be me enjoying myself while I can. Yes, I pass bicyclists all the time on my tadpole trike, but I am cheating as some point out. Shhhh! Don’t say anything. Some of the bicyclists don’t know it.

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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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BEST CRANKDRIVE E-MOTOR?

Although this posting is about the Tongsheng TSDZ2, mini 750W crankdrive(or as some call them middrive) e-motor it started out talking about what trike I would buy if I were to get a new trike today and led into what e-motor I would choose today. So it is mostly about this particular e-motor.

I have had my Catrike Trail since 2009 although my current trike is a 2013 frame (original frame was replaced by Catrike under warranty when I discovered a hairline crack alongside of a weld on the underside of the cruciform) and nearly all of the components have been changed at least once and upgraded from what it originally came with. I have a lot of money invested in my trike so it would not be cheap to replace it today. I really love my Trail but truthfully if I were buying a new trike today I think I would get the Eola and customize it some. The newer Trail model does not appeal to me.  I have no use of a folding model nor the adjustable seat back. I much preferred my 2009 model which was the “space frame”.

The Eola has the space frame and really appeals to me. Since I have an e-motor the fact that the Eola is only 11 speed is not a concern to me as I would be motorizing it.

I have always had a hub motor and prefer a hub motor over a crank drive motor. However, if I were to buy a new trike and motorize it I am seriously considering going with a crank drive … something I did not think I would ever do. And I think I would go with a  Tongsheng TSDZ2, mini 750W crankdrive motor. I am certainly not saying it is the very best e-motor in the offering but it is one that has caught my attention.

As you can see it is fairly small in size. It has built in controller with torque sensing. I have read and heard nothing but good reports about this motor. There is one exception, however, and it concerns me greatly. It is said that one must be careful not to overheat this motor as it will get damaged all too easily. It is recommended not to try to use too large (voltage wise) of a battery because of this. 48 volts is the most recommended. Even then the rider dare not ‘hot dog’ with it.

Two chainrings can be used on this motor.

Here is the display unit that comes with it.

Yeppur, it is a very nice looking unit and is fairly low cost … about $400 not including the battery.

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BEST ELECTRIC CONVERSION KITS FOR TRIKES

 

Choices … we have them … what is the best? HERE  is an article about the matter. I see that the one they list as number one choice happens to be my number one choice as well. I will be posting about that soon.

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CRANK DRIVES – A DISASTER FOR TRIKES

I ran across this article and it backs up what I have been saying … why I favor hub motors over crank drive motors on a trike. It does not cover one of my main objections to crank drive but it does cover one important factor I never thought of … the matter of stability. Having all that weight mounted out on the end of the boom effects the handling and stability of the trike. On the other hand a hub drive in the rear wheel makes the trike more stable.

https://www.electricbicycleworld.com/blog/middrives-a-disaster-for-trikes-blind-leading-the-blind/

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