WHY GET ELECTRIC MOTOR ASSIST

Definitely e-assist has really caught on. Of course, there are those who still resist the idea and speak out against them. That is the way life is. People have resisted just about anything one can name in the early days of its introduction. In fact, I was not in favor of e-motors on trikes unless one truly needed one. Even until this day I still somewhat feel that was believing that if a person is able to ride without one they should not take the plunge until they really need one. But I don’t make an issue of it with anybody. I believe in just leaving people alone and let them do what they want. Anyway, this video touches on the subject of getting e-assist.

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

FREE GIFT AWAITS YOU!

You are invited to come join the Tadpole Rider Facebook Group. Please note that in order to join you must first answer the two membership vetting questions and agree to comply with the group rules.

THE FUTURE OF TERRATRIKE

From what I have seen TerraTrike is making some good smart moves. I like the idea of going with a rear wheel hub motor on their new e-trike rather than a crank drive system as I am not a fan of crank drive e-drive bikes and trikes. Here is a video about what they are up to.

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

FREE GIFT AWAITS YOU!

You are invited to come join the Tadpole Rider Facebook Group. Please note that in order to join you must first answer the two membership vetting questions and agree to comply with the group rules.

RECUMBENT TRIKES … ARE THEY FOR YOU?

You may be asking … “is a recumbent trike for me”? Keep in mind that one does not have to be old  or disabled to ride a tadpole trike. But if you happen to be old or disabled recumbent trikes are likely your answer. They are highly modifiable and can be equipped to meet the needs of nearly everybody. From a basic tadpole trike to a FAT trike to a sophisticated velomobile there are lots to choose from. When it comes to riding on thru the winter most definitely 3 (or 4) wheels are far better and safer than only 2.

That is how I got started with tadpole trikes. Winter was fast approaching and I wanted to keep riding … riding safely. I knew 2 wheels were unsafe as a bicycle goes down readily on slippery surfaces. I had already experienced that more than once. Fortunately I never received any serious injury, but I was well aware it can happen. So I built me first tadpole trike and rode it thru the winter. I fell in love with riding a tadpole trike. It is so much more fun than riding a bicycle and it is much much safer. When Spring time finally came around I tried switching back to a 2 wheel recumbent bike, but quickly discovered that I much preferred riding the trike so I sold my bike which I didn’t care to ride anymore. That was in the winter of 2007-2008. So for 16 years now I have had the infamous “recumbent smile” on my face and never a moment’s regret. Recumbent tadpole trikes are difinitely for me. I bought a 2009 Catrike Trail and sold my homemade tadpole trike.  I now ride a 2013 Catrike Trail.

Recumbent trikes come in two completely different design builds … a Delta with one wheel in the front and two wheels in the back …. and a Tadpole (originally called a Reverse trike) with two wheels in the front and one wheel in the back.

Although my personal preference is a Tadpole design you may find you prefer (need) a Delta design.  A Tadpole is like driving a sports car (Corvette) while a Delta is like driving a family sedan (Rambler). Not everybody is able to get in and out of the low seat of a Tadpole trike so for them the Delta is the only way to go. In all fairness there are some Delta trikes which are made low to the ground and built for speed and cornering.

These videos address these subjects:

As shown in the video above there is a lot of difference between a Delta recumbent trike and a Tadpole recumbent trike. I fully agree with the thumbs down for the Delta and the thumbs up for the Tadpole.

One last comment … I have found that riding a tadpole trike brings a whole lot more respect from motorists than one gets riding a bicycle. That, of course, adds greatly to the safety factor.

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

FREE GIFT AWAITS YOU!

You are invited to come join the Tadpole Rider Facebook Group. Please note that in order to join you must first answer the two membership vetting questions and agree to comply with the group rules.

ADDING LOW COST E-ASSIST TO YOUR TRIKE

Anybody who has followed me thru the years know that I have had several e-motors on my trike over the years. I started out with BionX and then gave GoldenMotors a try. Then I went to eZee which I really liked. Next I tried Tongsheng which I had heard (read) such good things about but I found very disappointing. And now I have NBPower which I like quite well. In fact, I have a second brand new NBPower hub motor sitting on the floor next to me. I bought it as a spare at a better price than I paid for the first one. I have purposely steered clear of recommending e-motor conversion kits to others but I have been so pleased with this one that I have decided to recommend it.

Most hub motor kits I have found to be 135 mm width which may be a problem on some trikes. I have a Catrike and I had to spread my rear dropout slightly to get the second hub motor (GoldenMotors) to fit. Since then the eZee and NBPower  hub motors slide right into the dropouts okay. I am not advising anyone to spread apart the rear dropouts, especially if you trike is still under  frame warranty as it is likely to void the warranty.

I do want to disclose one important thing. This hub motor wheel comes with a 7 speed freewheel sprocket which means you must give up whatever your trike presently has … 9, 10 or 11 speed. It is a bummer, but not the end of the world. I bought and changed my 7 speed freewheel for different sprockets as I did not like the gearing that came on the hub motor wheel. You can order the 11-34 freewheel HERE. And, some say that a 9 speed chain won’t work with a 7 speed sprocket, but so far it is working well for me. I can’t say if your current setup is 10 or even 11 speed. And for what it is worth, I am not a fan of freewheels vs the newer cassettes. I have found them to be cheaply made and not hold up as well as cassettes.

I purchased it on Amazon. HERE is a link to it. The 20 inch wheel currently sells for $439. It does not come with a battery so that has to be ordered separately. I recommend a 72 volt battery if you can afford it. I already have 48 volt batteries so I am using them thus far. I hope to get a 72 volt someday and take advantage of the power offered by this motor. With 72 volts it should reach about 44 mph. With 48 volts my top speed is only about 23 mph on a fully charged battery.

Even settling for a 48 volt battery the total cost is about $800 to $900. That is a lot better than $2500 or even more many people are paying for Bosch and similar high dollar systems. And this thing is a rocket compared to the underpowered Bosch system like Catrike uses. You can spend more than a thousand dollars on some 72 volt batteries, but that is still more than $1000 cheaper than a Bosch system which will wear out your drive train much sooner adding to your operational expense as sprockets are not cheap nor is the new chain. Crank drive systems are notorious for wearing out drive trains prematurely. When I had the Tonsheng crank drive system installed on my trike it wore out (completely destroyed) my expensive TerraCycle idler pulleys in only about a month.

Yes, I am well pleased with this setup and so I am recommending it. The only thing negative I can speak of is it lacks torque sensing. It does have PAS sensing. I have a fairly recent article about PAS vs Torque Sensing  for those who are not familiar with the subject.

I will say this … the assembly and setup instructions supplied with the hub motor wheel kit leave something to be desired. That being said help can be found online. And I am willing to help in anyway I can. I had to look it up online to find what I needed to get the job accomplished. BTW, the PAS parts won’t install on the crankset of a Catrike. One must use a workaround in order to have a functioning PAS. There are different ways to accomplish this.

The kit comes with a hand throttle however unless specifically requested a twist throttle is provided vs. a thumb throttle. I personally much prefer a thumb throttle as a twist throttle is very tiring on the hand and wrist to use. So if you want a thumb throttle it is necessary to request one when the order is placed. (The seller is very helpful and will work with you on any issues you may have.) If they can’t furnish you will the thumb throttle you may have to order it separately. Make sure you get the one with the longer wiring as it has to reach from your handlebar to the controller which I assume you would mount somewhere behind the seat. You can order the thumb throttle HERE.

HERE is the setup instructions for the display console. Dealing with e-motors thru the years has been and continues to be a learning experience. One thing I learned is that when my trike did not have any speed or power upon completion of the installation it was because I did not have the PAS number selection turned up. It was on only 1 of 5 … actually 1 of 6 as it starts at 0 if I remember correctly. 0 is power to motor is turned off. 1 is the lowest power setting and 5 is the highest. So if you install this motor kit and find it doesn’t seem to have any power or speed (maybe 2 or 3 mph) be sure to check the PAS setting. You can readily change it using the 3 button switch. The middle button turns the power on or off. The left button turns the power (PAS) down until it reaches the lowest setting 0 (zero. The right hand button turns the power (PAS) up until it reaches 5 … it’s highest setting. The PAS number is located on the bottom left of the display console.

I have found that as with all “graph” type battery power level indicators it is not very accurate. I can ride about 60 % of the miles I normally get out of a full battery charge before it drops off of the full charge display. It has 5 bars that make up the battery power display.

The picture above is from when I had the eZee hub motor and its display console. I am posting it here so you can see the way (place) where the display console mounts.

If your trike does not already have a mounting bar for the display console to mount on you may need to purchase and install one. TerraCycle sells them. Actually what I use is a combination of the top part from TerraCycle and the bottom part (called a mirror mount) from Catrike. This is what you see in the picture above. You can buy it for either the left side or the right side. If you would want to mount the display console sideways you would not need the T part on top from TerraCycle. Or you might save money by jerry rigging something out of PVC or whatever.

I wrote about a 20 inch rear wheel but this kit is also available in 26 and 700 sizes for slightly more money. The size can be selected on the same page the link to the 20 inch goes tol

If you have any questions please feel free to contact me. I am always willing to help in any way that I can.

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

FREE GIFT AWAITS YOU!

You are invited to come join the Tadpole Rider Facebook Group. Please note that in order to join you must first answer the two membership vetting questions and agree to comply with the group rules.

E-TRIKE PAS VS TORQUE SENSING

There is no doubt about it. Torque sensing is best and preferable over PAS (pedal assist sensor)(cadence sensing). That being said, not all e-motor system kits have torque sensing as part of their offering. I wish this were not so but alas it is what it is. My current e-motor came with both a hand throttle and a PAS sensor. I hooked up the hand throttle but I never messed with the PAS sensor. Just now I got it out of the box looking at it to see what would be involved in installing it. Of course, winter weather is upon us now so I don’t know if I will be messing with it before Spring when it warms up. I do need to get it installed for sure so that I will have “pedal assist”.

 

I paid big bucks for a torque sensor years ago.I had to buy a new crankset as the one from Catrike would not work with the torque sensor. I paid big bucks to install it. It didn’t work. A few months later I was having my trike worked on so I cautioned the mechanic that he needed to be very careful not to allow the torque sensor spindle in the bottom bracket to rotate as it has very delicate wires which will readily break.

He didn’t listen to me and he broke every one of the wires. It didn’t work before so it would not have mattered but I was getting ready to return it for a different type. I was very concerned about all the broken wires so my late brother in law who was a senior electronics technician repaired all of them for me. He did an excellent job on it but, of course, it was all for nothing since it didn’t work. Anyway, I got the other bottom bracket torque sensor but never installed it.  It would have required me to purchase another crankset as the one I had bought for the first torque sensor would not work with the newest torque sensor. And the local bike shop could not locate a crankset that would work so I never installed it. Now I don’t have that e-motor installed anymore so it doesn’t look like I will ever use the new torque sensor. I don’t think much of that type of sensor. They are just too delicate and too difficult to install and set up properly. Now they have a different type which is not mounted in the bottom bracket. I like that concept much better.

Here is a DIY hack some might want to consider.

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

FREE GIFT AWAITS YOU!

You are invited to come join the Tadpole Rider Facebook Group. Please note that in order to join you must first answer the two membership vetting questions and agree to comply with the group rules.

WHY GET AN ELECTIC ASSIST ON A TRIKE?

This video states that 70 % of tadpole trikes are being sold with electric motors. All it takes is a ride on one to understand why this is so.

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

FREE GIFT AWAITS YOU!

You are invited to come join the Tadpole Rider Facebook Group. Please note that in order to join you must first answer the two membership vetting questions and agree to comply with the group rules.

MOBILITY 4 LESS

Many people are looking for tadpole trikes for a lower price. If you do an online search for “tadpole trike” guess what happens … at least on some search engines. Up will pop images in ads for tadpole trikes offered by Mobility4less. They are paid ads . They offer several different products and I noticed that they also offer financing and layaway.

If you are looking for non-motorized don’t look here as all of their products are motorized. They offer two tadpole trikes  (one regular and one FAT tire) and one FAT tire quad. The frames are made of mild steel. The e-motor systems on the regualr tadpole are 36 volts. It is a crank drive motor. The FAT tire tadpole trike and quad are 48 volt.  Strangely the safety flag is not included. The product arrives at your door shipped on a pallet. It comes with a full fender set and a neckrest. A rear luggage rack is provided which holds the 36 volt 12 aH lithium ion battery which is included. Mirrors are also provided. Below is a picture of the regular tadpole trike model they sell. It has 20 inch wheels on the front and 26 inch on the rear. Disc brakes are found on the two front wheels and a V-brake is on the rear wheel to be used as a parking brake. The trike has rear suspension and the trike folds up for storage and transportation. My guess is that the boom will need to be set for the rider’s x-seam and the chain adjusted to the correct length. I see in one of the pictures they show on their website the chain is way too long and the rear derailleur is not able to handle all the chain.

The trike comes with a hand throttle.

Main Technical Parameters:
Top Speed: 26 MPH (pedaling increases speed)
Top Range: 25 miles/charge (pedaling increases range)
Power: 550 watts or 1500 watts with PowerBooster**
Battery: Lithium 36V 12 ah
Re-charges in: 4 hours
Tricycle Length: 81″ Tricycle Width: 34″ Tricycle Height: 29″
Seat width: 15″
Ground clearance: 7.5″
Wheel base: 40″
Chain: 21 speed chain  (NOTE – their ignorance is showing as there is no such thing … it is 7 speed chain)
Mirrors: Aluminum alloy blue plated
Pedals: VP500 aluminum alloy
Max Weight Limit: 400 Lbs
Crankset: Shimano TX71 48 teeth
Front derailleur: Shimano TX51
Battery Charger: Included
Foldable: Yes
COLORS: Red
MOTOR TYPE: Brushless motor  drive
VOLTS: 36 volt
TIRE SIZE: Front: 20 * 1.5: Rear: 26 * 1.5
SHIPPING WEIGHT: 100lbs
TRICYCLE WEIGHT: 54lbs

They are currently offering free shipping according to their website.

Your Purchasing Options:

Electric Recumbent Tricycle with Lithium battery: $2,495.00
**Optional PowerBooster to get the 1500Watts: $289.50
Here is the trike folded up ….

I chose not to cover the FAT tire trike and quad here. If you are interested you can check them out on their website. I will say this much … they don’t come with fenders and they are a 48 volt e-motor system..

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

A FREE GIFT AWAITS YOU!

You are invited to come join the Tadpole Rider Facebook Group. Please note that in order to join you must first answer the two membership vetting questions and agree to comply with the group rules.

GOTRIKES, A PRODUCT OF BRASIL

 

Years ago I posted an article about another tadpole trike which is manufactured in Brasil. I am pleased to say that this manufacturer is producing a nicer looking trike. GoTrikes website is in Portuguese  so I am out of luck trying to decipher much from it. I did not see anything to click on to translate it into English. I am told that this no longer is a problem as the website now offers English. FYI, I discovered that if I use the Google Chrome browser (something I avoid as much as possible) I can read it in English as Google translates it.

They offer a couple of models and they are available non-motorized and motorized. They also offer one they call Cargo Dog which is simply a trike which comes with a trailer. The prices are listed in Brazilian Real. GoTrikes sells directly from their website.  GoTrikes is like Ford’s Model A car … you can have your choice of black or black as far as colors it comes in.

The Scorpion Mach 3 lists for 4470 Brazilian Real which currently is about US$860. The Mach3E (motorized) lists for 9480 Brazilian Real which is about US$1823. Of course shipping is extra. GoTrikes will sell to customers on credit card for 12 equal monthly payments. You can EMAIL the founder of the company, Ricardo Chede . And HERE is the company’s regular email address for contact. Their telephone number is (41) 98886-7578. Lastly, here is the company’s physical address:

Rua Felisbina Rosa Cordeiro 126 São José dos Pinhais – Paraná

They offer a newsletter via email that you can sign up for.

GoTrikes videos

Got any questions? HERE is their FAQ page.

Well, I reckon that’s all I\ve got to say about that.

**********

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

A FREE GIFT AWAITS YOU!

You are invited to come join the Tadpole Rider Facebook Group. Please note that in order to join you must first answer the two membership vetting questions and agree to comply with the group rules.

7th MOTOR IS A CHARM

am on my 7th e-motor on my trike as my 6th one has the clutch going out in it. I had never heard of this company before. It is an NBPower and is rated at 2000 watts at 72 volts. I don’t have a 72 volt battery however. I am using what I already have which are 48 volt batteries. I hope someday to get at least one 72 volt battery to take advantage of the potential this motor offers. With 48 volts it is still the most powerful motor I have had yet. My 6th motor (an eZee) was faster at top speed by about 6 mph, but not nearly as powerful. Of course, with 72 volts this NBPower motor should be much faster … by at least 16 mph. I really like the price of this motor conversion kit … only $469 plus tax. That includes everything but the battery. Oh, and the wheel does not come with a tire or inner tube. (The eZee motor did.)

I don’t know how strong the rear wheel is. My eZee motor came laced in a wheel that did not hold up to the torture the streets, roads and trails of Fort Wayne, Indiana dish out. I replaced it with a heavy duty BMX rim which has held up great. Anyway, I would recommend this NBPower rear hub motor to anyone looking for a motor for their trike. Amazon charges my State’s Sales Tax.  BTW, this is for a 135 mm rear dropout. I had to spread my rear dropout further apart  to accept a 135 mm width. I did that several years ago for another motor so it was already to go when I installed this one. This does have a cadence sensor for e-motor pedal assist, but it is not torque sensing. It also comes with a manual throttle. It is available in many different wheel diameters.

For those interested here are the e-motors I have had installed on my trike thus far:

3 BionX  motors (had problems with all 3)(finally took  it back and got a full refund)

1 Golden Motor (faulty from factory)(sent it back for full refund)

1 eZee motor (ran it for about 4 years before clutch started going out)(the repair part is currently unavailable as is a new eZee motor)

1 Tongsheng crank drive motor (quit working in less than 2 months)(it destroyed my expensive idler pulleys)

1 NBPower motor (working great with lots of power)

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

A FREE GIFT AWAITS YOU!

You are invited to come join the Tadpole Rider Facebook Group. Please note that in order to join you must first answer the two membership vetting questions and agree to comply with the group rules.

GOT QUESTIONS ABOUT E-ASSIST?

Are you more less uninformed about e-assist and wanting to learn about the subject? Glen Aldridge has compiled a webpage that has lots of information to help others learn. Glen is not only a fellow triker but he has his own business involving bikes and trikes. He rents out such cyclery as well as sells and services customers with e-motors, batteries, etc.

https://mid-islandadventures.weebly.com/electric-assist-kits.html

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

A FREE GIFT AWAITS YOU!

You are invited to come join the Tadpole Rider Facebook Group. Please note that in order to join you must first answer the two membership vetting questions and agree to comply with the group rules.

SW900 LCD DISPLAY CONTROLLER — INSTRUCTIONS WOULD HELP

I make no claim of being an expert on e-motors. That being said I have had seven different e-motors on my trike thus far. The first three were all BionX which the dealer installed. Even with them I had the experience of uninstalling them and reinstalling them myself. And all of the rest of the motors I installed myself. What I am trying to say is that by now I have had quite a lot of experience installing and uninstalling e-motors. The clutch went out on my last e-motor so I started looking at what is available to replace it. I don’t care for crank drive motors so didn’t bother looking at any of them.

I found a complete motor conversion kit for only $469. That does not include a battery but I already have a few batteries so $469 was an attractive deal. Of course, it comes from China and there are no helpful instructions that are provided. Installing it was not a problem but getting it to work without instructions was quite challenging. Fortunately I was able to find instructions online which was a big help. I got it running but the top speed was quite slow. I was ready to send it back for a refund when I sort of accidentally stumbled across the problem and got it resolved. If only the Chinese would include instructions all of this could have been avoided.  For what it is worth, I just now found one user manual which covers what the problem was and why I wasn’t getting much speed or power out of this new motor. Anyway, I am writing this article in hopes it will help others in getting their self installed e-motor system up and running.

My new system uses the LCD-SW900 display console controller which is a common display console controller various e-motor manufacturers use. I did not use the cadence assist hardware component in my installation. I may install it sometime in the future. I only have a manual thumb throttle hooked up. Upon completing the installation using a 48 volt battery (this motor is made for 72 volts) my top speed was only 5.6 mph and had no torque available at all to climb the slightest incline. I rode it that way for a couple of days.That is a mighty slow ride but still better than I can do on my own without any e-motor assist. About 2/3 of the way into my second day of riding so slowly I just happened to discover the answer to more speed and power. I pushed the UP ARROW button on the 3 button control which caused it to go from power level one to power level two. (PAS — power assist — level is displayed at bottom left corner of SW900 display) Simple enough but without any knowledge and understanding of how it works … well … I was stuck at 5.6 mph as when first turning the system on PAS 1 is what it starts out in by default. If only they had provided instructions. Anyway, I knew that 5 levels of e-motor assist were programmed into the SW900 display console controller so I continued to press the UP ARROW button watching it change up to assist level 5 and experiencing more speed and power with each level of increase. Hallelujah! ! Happy days are here again! Definitely this is the most powerful e-motor I have had installed yet. It is not as fast top speed as my former e-motor but I am really liking it as it is whisper quiet and far more powerful. I am tempted to buy a 72 volt battery just to see if this motor will perform as advertised … about 45 mph top speed. I am nearly 76 years old and probably should avoid the temptation as I would likely find myself careening off of a tree unless I wrapped myself around it. BTW, to go down in the assist level pushing the DOWN ARROW button lowers it one level at a time. Turning power on and off is accomplished by holding the middle button down a few seconds. So if you find yourself in the same situation I was in hopefully this will help you.

Speaking of help:

SW900 manual

SW900 manual

SW900 manual with the error codes for troubleshooting

SW900 manual with the error codes for troubleshooting

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

A FREE GIFT AWAITS YOU!

You are invited to come join the Tadpole Rider Facebook Group. Please note that in order to join you must first answer the two membership vetting questions and agree to comply with the group rules.

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 …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

A FREE GIFT AWAITS YOU!

You are invited to come join the Tadpole Rider Facebook Group. Please note that in order to join you must first answer the two membership vetting questions and agree to comply with the group rules.

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.

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

A FREE GIFT AWAITS YOU!

You are invited to come join the Tadpole Rider Facebook Group. Please note that in order to join you must first answer the two membership vetting questions and agree to comply with the group rules.

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.

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

A FREE GIFT AWAITS YOU!

You are invited to come join the Tadpole Rider Facebook Group. Please note that in order to join you must first answer the two membership vetting questions and agree to comply with the group rules.

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

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

A FREE GIFT awaits you!

You are invited to come join the Tadpole Rider Facebook Group. Please note that in order to join you must first answer the two membership vetting questions and agree to comply with the group rules.

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.

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

A FREE GIFT awaits you!

You are invited to come join the Tadpole Rider Facebook Group. Please note that in order to join you must first answer the two membership vetting questions and agree to comply with the group rules.

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.

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

A FREE GIFT awaits you!

You are invited to come join the Tadpole Rider Facebook Group. Please note that in order to join you must first answer the two membership vetting questions and agree to comply with the group rules.

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

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

FREE GIFT awaits you!

You are invited to come join the Tadpole Rider Facebook Group. Please note that in order to join you must first answer the two membership vetting questions and agree to comply with the group rules.

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?

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

FREE GIFT awaits you!

You are invited to come join the Tadpole Rider Facebook Group. Please note that in order to join you must first answer the two membership vetting questions and agree to comply with the group rules.

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.

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

FREE GIFT awaits you!