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 …
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.
I have had my eZee hub motor now for over 3 years so I thought I would write a review on it. After my bad experiences with BionX and Golden Motors the eZee motor has been reliable and performed relatively well for me. That is until recently. I am having trouble with it so I have replaced it with a different brand. I bought a Tongsheng crank drive motor which is what I have been considering if ever I were to buy another motor. That being said I did not know about the newest Bafang crankdrive motor that now has a torque sensor. I probably would have bought it instead of the Tongsheng if I had known about it sooner. The trouble I am having with the eZee motor system has nothing to do with the motor as far as I know. Personally I think my controller is acting up. I bought my eZee hub motor conversion kit from Grin Technologies. I have emailed them several times over the 3 years I have had it requesting their help on a few things. They have replied back but they have never really helped me. Overall the eZee motor has been good but I do want to cover the few things which have not been good. The eZee motor does not have built in torque sensing so a separate external torque sensor which mounts in the bottom bracket must be purchased. It is not cheap. And what they don’t tell you is that in order to install it it requires buying a new crankset … also not cheap … meaning this is all getting rather expensive.
I bought the new crankset and paid my LBS to install the torque sensor in the bottom bracket. The torque sensor didn’t work. Grin Technologies then told me that they have had a lot of problems with this particular torque sensor. (It would have been nice if they would have mentioned that upfront and advise against buying it.) They advised me to try a different one which they would send to me at no additional charge. All they asked is that I mail them back the defective one which I had to pay postage on. When I received the new torque sensor I discovered that it required yet a different crankset. My LBS looked but could not find one to order. So for over three years now all I have had is a manual thumb throttle to use. I have not had a torque sensor for pedal assist. All of this mess and expense could have been avoided if only the bicycle industry would standardize the cranksets instead of making various types and sizes.
The rear wheel which the eZee hub motor was laced into did not hold up for me. It cracked open and I had to replace it. This added a lot more expense to my e-trike. I now have a rear wheel which is holding up great. But why doesn’t the supplier of the eZee hub motor provide a rear rim which is better made?
The eZee hub motor requires the older type of rear sprockets known as free wheel. Just recently the free wheel unit has started acting up spinning forward instead of grabbing to propel the trike forward. That’s not good. I went to my LBS and they looked up 9 sprocket free wheel units only to find nothing available like I have now. I would have to sacrifice my lower gearing going from a 34 tooth sprocket to a 30 tooth. My system is just too old and it is hard to find these component parts for it. The industry has gone to 10 and 11 speed. 9 speed has become an antique so to speak. Anyway, they lubricated the free wheel unit and it has been working okay since then. I don’t know for how long though. What I am getting at is it is time to move on. I have the Tongsheng motor kit installed but I am waiting on an extension cable so I can hook up the speed sensor to get it all working. That cable just arrived in yesterday’s mail so I will be installing it today.
Oh, another thing about the eZee hub motor I don’t care for is that in order to change the nylon gear inside the motor the electrical wiring coming out of the motor has to be cut in two to disassemble it to change the nylon gears. Then all those wires need to be reconnected and resealed when reassembling it. I think they made a change in this in the newer model they are manufacturing. They say the nylon gears inside the motor should last about 9000 miles I think. I had over 40,000 miles on the motor so I ordered a new gear and went to change it when I discovered this about having to cut the wires. I didn’t want to get into that. Even though I had several times more than the 9000 miles on the hub motor the nylon gear inside still looked like new so I simply regreased it and put it all back together. It is still sounding and working the same as it always has so I assume the gear has not worn out yet.
The eZee hub motor is a geared reduction motor meaning that is should be very powerful … more so than the 350 watt BionX motor I started out with which was a gearless direct drive unit. For some reason unknown to me I have never been able to get any help from Grin Technologies as to why this motor lacks power (torque on demand). It should easily out perform the BionX but just the opposite is true. From a standstill or low speed up to about 12 mph or so the BionX will easily shoot away from my eZee hub motor. Once I am up to 12 mph or so I start gaining on the BionX and pass it by leaving it far behind. It has good top end … 28 plus mph … but on hills I have to assist it as it just does not have the power to climb hills. My BionX would shoot me up and over if I used the hand throttle.
Well, that is my review. Could I recommend it to others? No, not really. If these issues I have described didn’t exist then yes, I would recommend it. But hey, they do exist and as I have stated I have not been able to get any help to resolve them. It is time to move on. I want to get this Tongsheng working and see how it does. It will be great to have a torque sensor and true pedal assist.
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 …
Those who have been following my e-bike motor adventures know that I am on my 5th electric hub motor and have had 3 brands thus far. With various problems in the past I finally have one I am very pleased with thus far. It is an eZee motor I purchased from Grin Technologies of Vancouver, B.C., Canada. It is wickedly fast compared to the other hub motors I have had thus far. I am 71 years old now, but when I ride my trike I am truly enjoying the faster speeds I can obtain now with the help of this motor. And the exercise I am getting has increased as it encourages and helps me to pedal at a faster cadence considerably. It is like being a kid again.
It is the start of Memorial Day weekend and that means one major thing here in Indiana …the “Indy 500 race”. So with that in mind I offer the following … 🙂
A friend I was riding with is also 71 like me. His trike has a BionX hub motor like I used to have although his works right thus far. I asked him if he wanted to race. I am talking about a drag race from a rolling start using the hand throttles and motors power only. He agreed. I figured he would be able to accelerate away from me at first … which he did … as I outweigh him by about 100 pounds so that gives him a huge advantage over me. He was only able to take the lead for a few feet however as I started gaining on him and quickly over took him shooting way out in front of him by a couple hundred feet or so like he had given up. I slowed back up letting him catch up to me. I then asked him if he was still under full acceleration or if he had let off the throttle. He said he never let off of the throttle until I was way out in front of him and he saw how badly I beat him. Ah yes, drag racing at 71 … gotta love it! Hey, I may have to look into installing a drag chute … 😉
Some of you know I have had 3 different brands of e-motor conversion kits installed on my trike. I can only speak from my experience with these three motors.
The first was a 350 watt BionX conversion kit. While it worked properly I loved it. Admittedly I didn’t love the price nor the replacement cost for the battery. Also I was not impressed that the largest battery BionX offers is only 11.6aH … only good for about 30 to 35 miles. The motor was a brushless gearless direct drive type which was relatively small yet quite powerful. It had a lot of torque for such a small motor. BionX is a proprietary system which was what I believe caused their downfall. They filed bankruptcy last February 27th. It is all such a shame as they really did have an excellent system. Everything fit and installed normally and easily.
The second hub motor I tried was a Golden Motor Magic Pie Edge. It was large and very heavy (19 pounds). It too was a brushless gearless direct drive type. It had quite a bit of torque, but far more resistance to pedaling with the power off due to the magnets. According to the dealer I bought it from it apparently had a bad controller built into the hub as the voltage from it was too low and the motor would only propel me at 14 mph top speed and that was only for a short time when the battery was fully charged. It ended up down around 12 mph once the battery power started dropping off. The motor was too large in diameter to properly fit in a 20 inch wheel. There was very little room left between the motor and the valve stem so removing the valve core and working with some tools/gauges was impaired and difficult. When I went to install my tire on the rim I found it most challenging and difficult. I had to resort to using tire levers to accomplish it. Once the tire was on the rim it would not easily center up concentric. I had a terrible time trying to get it centered and inflated. I have never had any of these issues with any other rims. When I went to install the wheel in the rear stays I discovered that the axle assembly was too wide and would not go in. (I had previously had 3 different BionX wheels and they all slipped into place quite easily.) I ended up having to spread my rear stays apart in order to get this Golden Motor wheel installed. I read that some of the e-bike wheels are made for a maximum of 7 cogs in the rear cassette. At 7 cogs they are suppose to be 135 mm. If one installs 8, 9 or 10 cogs the width increases and so the wheel won’t fit in a 135 mm space. Again, I didn’t have that problem with the BionX. Lastly, I noticed that the disconnect for the various wiring cables from the axle were far from the rear wheel meaning that when I needed to remove the rear wheel I would have to tear the wiring all apart to get to a place where I could disconnect it. That is ridiculous! It would involve cutting plastic cable ties, removing Velcro wraps, turning my trike over on its side in order to get at this wiring. With BionX and with my 3rd and current motor the disconnects are provided right near the rear wheel. I can’t imagine what it would be like trying to repair a flat tire while out riding. It was a nightmare to work with it in a shop where I had all the tools I might need as well as a means of suspending my trike up in the air off of the floor. Overall I was not impressed with much of anything about this Golden Motor and could not recommend it to anyone.
The third and current hub motor conversion kit I bought and installed is an eZee 350 rpm. As far as I know that is the only identifying information to set it apart from their other motor offering which is a 250 rpm motor. The difference is the 350 rpm is designed for 20 inch wheels while the 250 rpm motors are designed for 26 inch, 700 and similar diameter wheels. The 350 rpm means that it can propel the smaller diameter wheels about the same speed as the 250 rpm motors propel the larger diameter wheels. Unlike the BionX and Golden Motor the eZee motor is geared which means it is suppose to have more torque at low speed but less top speed. That is what I have read. However, my experience is far different. I have found just the opposite to be true. This hub motor lacks the torque the BionX and Golden Motor had, but I have a far higher top speed. The physical size of this eZee hub motor is slightly smaller that the BionX unit. It only weighs about 8.34 pounds so it is much lighter than most hub motors. I am disappointed with its lack of torque for climbing hills. The other motors would “shoot me” up a hill while this eZee motor lacks the ability by itself to climb much of a grade without my pedaling to assist it. Never the less, I am enjoying it immensely and thus far have no regrets about buying it. I would recommend it to others.
I like the fact that I am no longer tied into a proprietary system like BionX. The battery I have now is a 20aH and it costs about 40% or less than what BionX was charging for their 11.6aH battery. With BionX being in bankruptcy I don’t know what the future holds for BionX customers. Right now they have shut down operations and let their 80 employees go. They are looking for an investor/new ownership. I wish them success as I would hate to see all their many customers left with a hub motor system with no support nor parts to keep them operating. I have a couple of friends who have BionX. At this point in time I am just glad I returned my BionX unit and got a full refund. I am not faced with this concern like my friends are. Perhaps someone will start rebuilding BionX batteries and selling them … if that is permitted. If only BionX could survive and get away from this proprietary nonsense which got them into this trouble.
I rather imagine some of the readers of this blog are wondering what all is going on as far as my not posting much on it anymore. I had mentioned previously that I just feel more less drained and in need of getting away from it. That is quite true, but there is another factor which weighs in and all by itself has put the brakes on. My vision has become quite poor and so it is quite difficult for me to do much work at the computer. I had a stroke occur in my only good eye and it has really dealt me a blow. Previously many years ago I had a stroke occur in my left eye which left me legally blind in the left eye. There was no medical treatment for this at that time. A few years later there was so when it happened to my right eye I have been getting treatment since. That being said, things have not been going well and slowly it has worsened. Spending much time at a computer is hard on good eyes, but it is even harder on bad eyes.
As many of you know I also had a Facebook Group called Tadpole Rider Group. I was more less consumed by it spending most of my life involved with it. It was totally out of control and was really taking its toll on me. I had to make the hard choice to close it. Unfortunately something went very wrong and it didn’t totally get deleted. I spent many hours painstakingly going thru all that Facebook required to close it only to have some fluke take place and leave it up to be seen (what there is left of it). I can’t do anything about it as I don’t have access to any of it any more. It is just in limbo … stuck right where it is at appearing just as it does. I have attempted to get Facebook to delete it, but that is a near impossibility … trying to contact Facebook that is. Everything I have tried has been in vain. In short, Facebook is really one screwed up entity.
I still have the desire from time to time to post something more here on this blog, but I find it just too challenging most of the time to even attempt it. I don’t know what the future holds as far as my eyesight. I don’t know if it will get better, stay the same or get worse. There is a posting I want to do right now, but I don’t know if I will be able to. Time will tell. Again, I want to thank all the loyal readers of this blog. I am sorry things have come to this. It has been a drastic life change for me and is something I struggle with to accept and deal with.
At least for now I am still able to ride my trike. Spring arrived yesterday on the calendar anyway. I am hoping the weather shapes up soon and indicates it is aware of it.
Here is a rather poor quality image of my trike with the eZee hub motor conversion kit installed.
I am really enjoying it although I am a bit disappointed with the amount of torque it has. It is a geared type motor which is suppose to be more torquie than direct drive gearless motors. However, it doesn’t seem to have as much torque as the direct drive motors I have had. Never the less I am liking it quite well thus far and have no regrets about buying it as of yet. It is rated at 1000 watts while the BionX motors I had were rated at 350 watts. The first BionX motor I had definitely had more hill climbing ability than this eZee motor has. It would shoot me up a hill just by itself while this motor only assists my pedaling and would do rather poorly on a steep hill or a long incline.
Well, that is my story and I seem to be stuck with it … at least for now.
I went for a ride today on one of our local trails. I thoroughly enjoyed my ride thanks to the hub motor. What a difference it makes! Some say (and argue) that you don’t get as much exercise with a motor, but I say nonsense. I am fully convinced I get far more exercise using a motor. It encourages me to pedal faster and work harder to maintain the higher speed I find that there is a night and day difference when I ride using a motor to assist me. That is the key … to assist. It is all too easy to let the motor do all the work and there are those who do this. I try to keep pedaling most of the time while I am out riding. One thing I have noticed is that thanks to now having a geared hub motor with no resistance when there is no power going to it rather than a gearless direct drive like I had previously which has considerable resistance my trike really rolls good maintaining a good amount of the speed I obtained with the aid of the motor (or without it for that matter). And that makes it easier and encourages me to keep pedaling trying to maintain that higher speed … far higher than I go without the aid of the motor. I is just a whole lot more enjoyable riding going so much faster than I can go without the motor. In my opinion it is a “win-win” situation. I am loving it.