eZEE HUB MOTOR REVIEW

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.

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

A FREE GIFT awaits you!

eZee NOW – 3rd TIME IS A CHARM (ELECTRIC MOTOR ASSIST)

Those who have followed my trek concerning electric motor pedal assist on my tadpole trike know about my experiences with BionX. After returning the 3 BionX hub motor and components for a full refund I ordered a Golden Motor Magic Pie Edge hub motor conversion kit. Right off the bat I experienced problems and regretting buying it. The rim was different than any other I have ever had and my Schwalbe Marathon Plus tire was extremely difficult to mount on it. After getting it on the rim it was even more difficult to get it “concentric” on the rim. As difficult as it was to work with in a shop atmosphere I can’t imagine trying to change a flat tire while out riding. Then when I tried to install it on my trike the width was too wide to fit between my dropouts. All 3 of the BionX wheels I had went right into place like any other typical wheel. I didn’t want to, but I ended up spreading my rear stays to gain some width in order to get the wheel into place. Once I got it into place and hooked things up I test rode it and discovered that even though it had very good torque it only had a top speed of 14 mph … and that is only with a fully charged battery. It dropped off down into th 13 and 12 mph range within a couple of miles of riding. It should have been capable of at least 20 mph. It turned out that it had a faulty controller (which like BionX is built into the rear hub). The dealer would have sent me another controller that I would have had to install. That is not something I cared to get into. Then he offered to send me an entire new wheel assembly, but it would have been the same nightmare I ran into with the first one so I said no, I just want to return it for a refund. Unfortunately this dealer won’t refund the shipping charges either direction so I am out a good size chunk of money. I am not happy about it, but there is nothing I can do about it. I returned it and am waiting for a refund.

Another factor that helped me decide to return it was that there in no place near the rear wheel where the wiring can be disconnected if one needs to remove the rear wheel. I would have to cut a bunch of plastic cable ties and turn my trike over on its side in order to get at all the wiring tucked up underneath the seat to access the nearest plug connection to get it apart. That is ridiculous and I wanted no part of it.

Meanwhile I ordered yet another hub motor conversion kit. This time I ordered an eZee brand (http://www.ebikes.ca/shop/electric-bicycle-kits/ezee/ezee-rear-kit-advanced-pas.html). It is the 350 rpm version which is what the 20 inch wheel size requires so that the speed is about the same as a larger diameter wheel has. The 26 inch and larger diameter wheels use 250 rpm motors. According to what I have read about e-bike motors higher rpm is better than lower rpm. Up until now the 4 hub motors (3 BionX and 1 Golden Motor) were all direct drive (gearless), but this eZee is one with gears. It is slightly louder, but not all that bad. Upon installing it and trying it out in the street in front of my house it accelerated up to 27.5 mph. They only claim a top speed of about 20 mph so I was a happy camper to discover it goes faster. I took it out for a longer ride and so far I really like it. It doesn’t have the torque that the first BionX motor had nor the Golden Motor so I am a little disappointed in that regard, but overall I like it quite well. I expected the torque to be equal to or greater than the direct drive motors since it has a 1:5 gear reduction and the motor is rated at 1000 watts at 48 volts.  I discovered that the top speed I obtained of 27.5 mph dwindles down as the voltage of the battery goes down. Only when I had voltage in the low 50s could I obtain the higher speed. As the voltage dropped down into the high 40s my speed fell off to about 25 mph where it stayed for quite some time. By the time my battery voltage fell off down into the mid 40s my top speed reduced down to about 23 mph.  I am plenty satisfied with that.

Between this hub motor kit and the battery, battery charge and rear rack the battery mounts in the cost was less than $1800 and I am not locked into a proprietary system like BionX where they charge 2.5 to 3 times as much for a replacement battery as I can buy one for now. And I can get a far more powerful battery for less money. BionX doesn’t even offer such a battery.

As to the physical size of this eZee hub motor it is about the same as the 350 watt BionX hub motor. One thing I don’t care for with this eZee hub motor is that the wiring comes out of the end of the axle rather than out of the side plate of the hub motor like BionX and Golden Motor did. I think that is just plain stupid, but a lot of hub motors are made this way. In fact, most of them are.

Yes, I could have bought a cheaper hub motor kit, but I don’t think I would have been satisfied with it. I did a lot of research and reading about various hub motors before making my decisions. Unfortunately my choice of the Golden Motor turned out to be a bad choice and it was an expensive lesson. Now only time will tell if my last choice was a really good one. Right now I am a happy camper. I don’t yet have the torque sensor installed and working so I am only using the hand throttle. I am waiting on a new crankset to arrive as the torque sensor is the wrong spline size for my existing crankarms. Having to replace my perfectly good crankset is an additional expense I was not counting on, but if I want the torque sensor to work I have no choice. And I do want the torque sensor installed and working so it will be a true “pedal assist” unit.

FREE GIFT awaits you!