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!

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 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!

BEST CRANKDRIVE E-MOTOR?

Although this posting is about the Tongsheng TSDZ2, mini 750W crankdrive(or as some call them middrive) e-motor it started out talking about what trike I would buy if I were to get a new trike today and led into what e-motor I would choose today. So it is mostly about this particular e-motor.

I have had my Catrike Trail since 2009 although my current trike is a 2013 frame (original frame was replaced by Catrike under warranty when I discovered a hairline crack alongside of a weld on the underside of the cruciform) and nearly all of the components have been changed at least once and upgraded from what it originally came with. I have a lot of money invested in my trike so it would not be cheap to replace it today. I really love my Trail but truthfully if I were buying a new trike today I think I would get the Eola and customize it some. The newer Trail model does not appeal to me.  I have no use of a folding model nor the adjustable seat back. I much preferred my 2009 model which was the “space frame”.

The Eola has the space frame and really appeals to me. Since I have an e-motor the fact that the Eola is only 11 speed is not a concern to me as I would be motorizing it.

I have always had a hub motor and prefer a hub motor over a crank drive motor. However, if I were to buy a new trike and motorize it I am seriously considering going with a crank drive … something I did not think I would ever do. And I think I would go with a  Tongsheng TSDZ2, mini 750W crankdrive motor. I am certainly not saying it is the very best e-motor in the offering but it is one that has caught my attention.

As you can see it is fairly small in size. It has built in controller with torque sensing. I have read and heard nothing but good reports about this motor. There is one exception, however, and it concerns me greatly. It is said that one must be careful not to overheat this motor as it will get damaged all too easily. It is recommended not to try to use too large (voltage wise) of a battery because of this. 48 volts is the most recommended. Even then the rider dare not ‘hot dog’ with it.

Two chainrings can be used on this motor.

Here is the display unit that comes with it.

Yeppur, it is a very nice looking unit and is fairly low cost … about $400 not including the battery.

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

A FREE GIFT awaits you!

 

BEST CRANKDRIVE E-MOTORS

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!