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 E-MOTOR … MY 1ST IMPRESSIONS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

A FREE GIFT awaits you!

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

eZEE … HAS BEEN A WINNER

It has been just over two years since I bought and installed an eZee hub motor on my trike. I am writing about it now as a sort of a review. I am pleased to say that I have been very well satisfied with this motor. It has performed flawlessly. It is a geared motor which means that the nylon gears are suppose to be changed every 8000 miles or so. I have new gears on hand to do so as I am well past the 8000 mile point as I usually average about 8000 miles  or more a year. Last summer I opened up the motor with the intention of changing the gears but I found the gears inside still looked like brand new so I closed the motor back up and just kept riding. I was impressed. Being a geared motor it is a little bit noisier than I would like. My first motor, a BionX, was gearless and ran quieter so that spoiled me. One thing I like about this motor is that is weighs so little compared to some hub motors. The second hub motor I had, a Golden Motor Magic Pie Edge, was a whopping 19 pounds and was a monster to lift. This eZee hub motor weighs only 8 and a third pounds. With gears it can be made smaller diameter too which I like. Although it is rated at 1000 watts it is not the fastest or most powerful but it does a good job of moving me along. It is geared and designed to top out at 28 mph and that is what it does. I have had it up to 30 mph a few times on declines. My BionX motor was suppose to go 20 mph but it topped out at 17 mph. Oh, it would be fun to have a motor capable of propelling the trike along at 50 mph, but I would probably end up wrapping it around a tree or losing control and wrecking. So I am happy enough with what I have. At 73 years old I don’t need to live dangerously taking chances like that.

I feel that I should mention that I was not impressed with the aluminum rim that came with this e-motor kit. Of course, I have to say the same thing about the rims that came from Catrike. None of them have held up for me. I had to replace all of them with heavier duty BMX rims. They have held up great so far.

I have purposely withheld from making suggestions/recommendations to others when asked what brand of electric motor to purchase. Part of my reason for doing so is to is I simply don’t want to have someone buy a motor on my recommendation and then not be happy with it. I have not changed my position on this. However, I will readily say that I am very pleased with the eZee hub motor. It is my third brand of hub motor I have had after bad experiences with the first two. I have not missed out on any riding due to any problem with this motor. As I stated, it has been flawless. I am truly blessed and am …

ENJOYING THE RIDE!

FREE GIFT awaits you!

For those who are interested I have written/posted numerous articles about e-motors in the past. Click HERE to view them.

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!