INERTIA OR STORED ENERGY … TORQUE SENSOR

One thing I have noticed since I started using my current hub motor which presently is hand throttle only is that when applying electrical power to the motor it seems to store energy somehow and my trike when I let off the hand throttle will and can coast faster and longer than if I were simply pedaling under human power only. It is considerably noticeable. I am not sure what the term is for this. I titled this post Inertia or Stored Energy but neither one may be correct.

 

I have a new (never installed) torque sensor for the bottom bracket (crankset). I bought one when I bought my e-motor conversion kit from Grin Technologies. It required a different crankset than what came on my Catrike so I spent good money to buy one. With my assistance and guidance my LBS installed the torque sensor with this new crankset but the unit was faulty and never worked. Grin Technologies told me that this particular torque sensor has been very troublesome and many have not worked.  Of course, they didn’t tell me this until after I bought it and spent all this extra money to install it. It was a lot of wasted money. Grin Technologies had me send it back to them and they sent me a different torque sensor and, of course, it required yet another crankset. Consequently I never installed this 2nd torque sensor as I just didn’t/haven’t had the money to go thru all of this again. I am considering it now however. I would really like to have true pedal assist and not just a hand throttle. Some hub motors have a torque sensor built into them and are located inside the hub motor. Unfortunately mine does not. I don’t like anything about this “after market” approach as I call it. It is a very poor way to accomplish this. The unit is difficult to install and it is very easily damaged as it has extremely tiny wires which break very easily. That is my story and I am stuck with it as well as sticking to it. I spent the money for a torque sensor initially as I wanted a system that “felt natural” when pedaling. That is still my goal. I need to take the torque sensor into my LBS so they can figure out what is needed in the way of a crankset, discover one and get it ordered. As many of you know having a hand throttle only presents a problem sometimes as it violates some trail rules. Personally I think it is ridiculous but it is the way it is. Remedying this situation will help ensure that I can …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

FREE GIFT awaits you!

BEST CRANKDRIVE E-MOTORS

NOTE: Since I wrote this article I bought the Tongsheng crankdrive motor and installed it on my trike. It lasted less than 2 months so I was not impressed with it and therefore I can not recommend it. The motor quit working and while it was working it destroyed my drive train costing a small fortune to repair. The mechanics at my local bike shop agree with me that crankdrive motors are rough on  the drive train. I would recommend the 1000 watt Bafang that offers  torque sensing.

have a hub motor on my trike and quite frankly I am not a fan of crank drive systems for various reasons. However, certainly crank drive systems are quite popular. Probably the name we hear the most is Bafang. I am sure it is a good system and lower cost than most others making it an attractive option. One can spend more money … much more … and do better. Recently I visited the website of Victory Cycles in Kokomo, Indiana. I have dealt with them several times. I bought my first e-motor from them, a 350 watt BionX unit. As many know BionX went out of business leaving their dealers caught off guard. Victory Cycle sold lots of BionX units so when BionX went belly up they found themselves in a predicament. They had lots of customers who want an e-motor on their trike. Having lost BionX they had to come up with something. They started looking at what all is available. Since BionX is a hub motor system they hoped to remain with a hub motor. They tried one well known brand (which I won’t mention by name) but ran into lots of issues so they said goodbye to that company and continued their search. They looked at Bafang but decided against it. You can read about this HERE. The bottom line is they objected to Bafang saying that it is not smooth. So their search continued and led to the two systems they are selling today. Both are crank drive. You can read about these two systems by clicking on the same link above.

One is the TONGSHENG TSDZ2 750 Watt mid drive system which they sell for $1800 installed on most tadpole trikes.

The other e-motor they sell and highly recommend for Catrike is the Bosch E-Cat system which they sell installed for $2600 on a new Catrike you buy from them or you can have them install it on an existing Catrike for $2750.

I am sure that the Bosch E-Cat system is a very good system, but I personally don’t think I would want it for two main reasons. First it is only 250 watts … which just isn’t enough in my opinion. Secondly, it is e-assist only. No hand throttle is available. That is a real turnoff for me. That being said, I am sure many will love it and not have an issue.

The Bosch Active Line Plus electric-assist system features four power assist levels: Eco – 40%, Tour – 100%, Sport – 180% and Turbo – 270%. Each level also features a maximum drive torque to ensure smooth, gentle acceleration. The Bosch Active Line Plus delivers assist up to 20 mph and a cadence of 105.

That is the straight skinny from this dealer. This is what they recommend and sell to their customers. I ponder over the question of “would I consider going with a crank drive system” if i were wanting to buy a new e-motor for my trike. Right now if I had to answer that I think I would say no, I will stick to a hub motor system. But again, that’s me. Many like the crank drive system. If you are interested in why I prefer hub drive you can read about it HERE.

Having an e-motor on a trike most definitely helps us to …

ENJOY THE RIDE

(especially when climbing a hill.)

FREE GIFT awaits you!

E-ASSIST … SOME DON’T GET IT

Frequently the subject of the use of electric motor assistance on a trike comes up on a Facebook group discussion. And sadly there are always some folks who attack and criticize and pass judgement on anyone who dares to use e-assist. In doing so they usually boast about themselves being able to ride their trikes unassisted. It gets old even though I would rather imagine those same people have heard/read others say that with the use of e-assist they are able to ride further, faster and with no or greatly reduced discomfort while getting far more exercise than they can possibly get trying to ride without the help of a motor. And they greatly enjoy riding thanks to their e-assist. I know from personal experience that all of what I am saying is true. Having e-assist has made a huge difference in my life.

Anybody who has been following me thru the years and reading what I have written about motorizing a trike knows that I am against it if one doesn’t need it. That hasn’t changed one iota.  Motorizing a trike defeats the purpose of a human powered vehicle … namely getting exercise. I rode for as long as I could pedaling along and as time passed I suffered more and more in pain and discomfort. Many others have the same testimony.

Those that pass judgement on those of us who have turned to e-assist need to be thankful that they are still able to ride “unassisted”. I just hope that if ever they come to the point where they too need to turn to e-assist they will wake up and understand just how wrong they have been in their stance against those who use e-assist. Hopefully they will REPENT. And may we all just …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

FREE GIFT awaits you!

TOURING WITH E-ASSIST

Sylvia Halpern with Moto-Myrtle

(A 700 watt EcoSpeed mid-drive electric motor assist tadpole trike)

Myrtle the Turtle, known far and wide among the recumbent trike world. (Myrtle is actually the name of the trike.) Sylvia Halpern is the owner’s name and she is well known among the recumbent trike world. And if you don’t yet know the name now is your opportunity to meet this world traveler. Travelling by tadpole trike many thousands of miles and sharing her adventures online we have the privilege of being/getting acquainted with Sylvia. She is on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and her own website and probably other social media I am not aware of.  Among her articles is one about touring with e-assist. It is well written and I recommend it to you. Click HERE to do so. She has titled it “Why not use electric assist?”.

Whether you ride with or without e-assist …

ENJOY THE RIDE!

You can get better acquainted with Sylvia via Gary Solomon’s interview with her when she was featured on the Laidback Bike Report …

FREE GIFT awaits you!

E-ASSIST … A LOOK AT WHAT ALL IS AVAILABLE

E-assist … becoming more and more popular is something which ideally should involve some research before making the plunge. HERE is a webpage which offers help.

It is a comparison of the different electric bike motor systems to help you determine which configuration is best for your riding needs.

In this article by Electric Bike Report.com there are the pros and cons of each system: the hub motors (front and rear), the mid drive motor, the friction drive motor, and the rocket drive! (I wonder why it is named that. Do you suppose it is super fast compared to the others? Just FYI, rocket drive has nothing to do with electric motor assist. It is as the name implies … a rocket engine mounted on a bike. I assumed that somebody has already made a rocket engine propelled recumbent trike, but when I searched online for such an animal I came up empty.)

So if you are considering motorizing your tadpole trike this may be of help to you in doing your homework. 🙂

I took the plunge about a year and a half ago and have no regrets. I really love having the e-assist even though I had some problems finding a system that worked out okay for me. I have a few different articles I wrote about all I went thru with the three different companies I have dealt with thus far. HERE is one of them. HERE is another. And HERE is another.  And anotherHERE is an article I wrote on hub motors vs mid drive motors. The hub motor I have now is serving me well and I am very pleased with it. Most definitely e-assist can help us …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

FREE GIFT awaits you!