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.

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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..

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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. However, 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.

GoTrikes videos

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

**********

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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)

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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

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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

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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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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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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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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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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!

 

 

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!

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. 🙂

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

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.

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

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)

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

A FREE GIFT awaits you!