About to buy a new trike and require e-assist.

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Joe.B
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About to buy a new trike and require e-assist.

Postby Joe.B » 16 Sep 2014, 10:24am

Having sold Mrs B’s ICE Sprint just over a year ago when times were a little tough we are now in a position to replace it :D The likely purchase will be a 26” rear wheeled ICE Sprint with electric assist.

I need to have a good chat to Neil at ICE (he’s off this week) about their current electric offering however I’m not going to rule out buying and fitting a third party kit.

On the last trike we had a Hainzmann motor supplied by the Electric Transport Shop, this was a jolly expensive system and I was rather disappointed with the reliability, not the mention the high levels of noise. My wife is currently using a BuddyBike tandem for the school run and such and I’ve fitted this with a cheap ebay system from Germany costing £200 (without battery). While this has nothing like the power of the Hainzmann it does provide the help required and has been reliable since being fitted just over a year ago.

On the other hand a bottom bracket driven system might allow the fitting of hub gears, but then would it be wise to subject a hub gear the extra torque of the motor? I suspect a Rohloff would cope but they are too expensive and why would you need all those gears and that range when you have a motor for the tough bits. An eight speed hub would probably do.

I know that a 20” rear allows for a neater fold and that less spare tubes need to be carried but out main reason for wanting the 26” is to provide compatibility with the IslaBike rack hitched tag-a-long (picked up on ebay last night) :) which will be used behind three different bikes. Furthermore we always used to have grip issues up hill on lose surfaces with the 20” Sprint, I might be wrong but I suspect that the 26” tyre might offer more grip in this situation. If we do end up with a wheel hub motor another big reason for the 26” is that hub motors never seem to be geared for small wheels so top speed is rather truncated.

Anyway I be grateful to hear about other people’s electric trike experiences, particularly with mid or bottom bracket mounted motors.

Cheers
Joe

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: About to buy a new trike and require e-assist.

Postby [XAP]Bob » 16 Sep 2014, 10:30am

Beware putting a rack mounted tag along behind a trike - the trike doesn't lean, so the tag along won't either.

As for e-assist. I'm currently adding a (second hand) motor to my wife's trike, and it's a bit clunky, but it will work. I have tried the ICE offering, and have since had a couple of rides on other systems.

The ICE system is VERY good. It detects torque applied to the pedals (rather than trying to fling you forwards as you backpedal into position) and provides lovely smooth power, with assistance from the gearing at the rear of the trike.

If I were going that way I'd get the ICE kit up front and a CSRK3 hub on the rear (SA 3 speed hub with a conventional 9 speed cassette) to get better gearing range for "normal" usage (and cheaper replacement cassettes), and to provide a mechanism to drop the gear at a standstill (i.e. after stopping for lights).
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Joe.B
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Re: About to buy a new trike and require e-assist.

Postby Joe.B » 16 Sep 2014, 10:16pm

Hi Bob,

That’s two very good points. I’ll have to take a good look at the hitch on the trailer bike and make sure it allows it to lean independent of the trike.

The SA cassette hub is a terrific idea, I know a guy who has one on his tandem but had forgotten all about it. If we end up with a BB mounted motor it would certainly give us back the full range of gears but I’d need to be sure that it would handle the combined torque of the rider and motor.

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: About to buy a new trike and require e-assist.

Postby [XAP]Bob » 17 Sep 2014, 6:18am

SA told me they'd snapped the chain before damaging the hub.

That's a pretty strong claim.
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

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squeaker
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Re: About to buy a new trike and require e-assist.

Postby squeaker » 17 Sep 2014, 10:24am

Joe.B wrote:Furthermore we always used to have grip issues up hill on lose surfaces with the 20” Sprint, I might be wrong but I suspect that the 26” tyre might offer more grip in this situation. If we do end up with a wheel hub motor another big reason for the 26” is that hub motors never seem to be geared for small wheels so top speed is rather truncated.

IME grip is more to do with the wheel loading, ie where the CoG is relative to the axles, than wheel size. Grip on bumpy wet hills used to be an issue with my long wheelbase Trice 'S', but has never been a problem when I borrow my wife's short wheelbase 'T' (both with similarly tyred 406 rears).
With an E-trike I'd be slightly worried about the effects of motor / battery positioning, but unless one is very light then I guess it would only have a very minor effect. The ICE (Sunstar?) BB drive does sound a good solution, especially with an SA 3 x 8 (I'd prefer the robustness of 8-speed if suitable bar end shifters could be found).
"42"

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: About to buy a new trike and require e-assist.

Postby [XAP]Bob » 17 Sep 2014, 10:45am

The boom motor isn't too heavy, and the battery sits behind the seat (in the obvious void) without restricting seat angles.

I'd not think that a larger wheel would affect traction significantly - the tyre choice would though (and I'm partial to the Tryker tyres, assuming you don't go over flints)
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

notme2
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Re: About to buy a new trike and require e-assist.

Postby notme2 » 17 Sep 2014, 12:49pm

Hi

Don't know if this site is of any help

http://www.ecospeed.com/electrify-your- ... le-trikes/

seem a bit expensive for add on electric assist

Ian

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: About to buy a new trike and require e-assist.

Postby [XAP]Bob » 17 Sep 2014, 1:31pm

Also not road legal in the UK - 1300W as opposed to the permitted 250W
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

Joe.B
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Re: About to buy a new trike and require e-assist.

Postby Joe.B » 17 Sep 2014, 9:32pm

Yes, the relative positioning of weight in relation the rear wheel must be the biggest factor effecting grip. Since writing my first post I’ve recalled how the rear grip of my wife’s first trike improved once the motor was fitted. While the system we used did place all of its weight over the rear I think that the improved grip came from the linear power delivery of the motor. A peddling action will provide motive force in discrete pulses of power, loss of grip occurs as a new pulse is ramping up towards peak power. A motor, applying its power in a much smoother fashion seems the suffer much less with grip problems.

Joe.B
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Re: About to buy a new trike and require e-assist.

Postby Joe.B » 28 Sep 2014, 10:44pm

Well, Mrs B hasn’t purchased her new trike, as there are obvious problems in towing the trailer bike that wants to lean round corners behind a trike that doesn’t we are going to delay the new trike until next year (thanks to Bob for being the first to point this out). I had a good chat with Neil at ICE though and the NeoDrives system they now use on the electric assisted trikes sounds like a class piece of kit.

Although Mrs B won’t be back on a bent this year I will be :D A secondhand Challenge Seiran 26. I’ve not ridden such a high bent before so I expect that it will take a little getting used to, I’ll post more next weekend once I’ve got the bike.

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RickH
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Re: About to buy a new trike and require e-assist.

Postby RickH » 28 Sep 2014, 11:33pm

With a rack mounted tagalong - I think, unless I've got this horribly wrong, it may be possible to get it to lean if the mount is lower than designed. I'm picturing our old Islabikes trailerbike which had the "head tube" (that mounted to the rack) vertical and making the assumption (possibly foolishly) that others are similar. In this scenario, if the mounting point is lower than expected (smaller wheels and/or modified rack height) then as the trailer moves out of line it will also lean into the corner slightly. Whether it can be made to lean enough, I don't know.

Rick.

Geoff.D
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Re: About to buy a new trike and require e-assist.

Postby Geoff.D » 29 Sep 2014, 4:34pm

RickH wrote:With a rack mounted tagalong - I think, unless I've got this horribly wrong, it may be possible to get it to lean if the mount is lower than designed. I'm picturing our old Islabikes trailerbike which had the "head tube" (that mounted to the rack) vertical and making the assumption (possibly foolishly) that others are similar. In this scenario, if the mounting point is lower than expected (smaller wheels and/or modified rack height) then as the trailer moves out of line it will also lean into the corner slightly. Whether it can be made to lean enough, I don't know.
Rick.


I get what you're saying, Rick, and I can see it in my mind's eye. But, rationally, I think there has to be three mutually perpendicular axes of rotation to allow the trailer bike to take up every possible attitude as it rolls along, goes round corners, deals with adverse cambers, allows the rider to shuffle around on the saddle, etc. On the Isla bike I had, at the rack mounting, there was the vertical "head tube" axis that you mentioned (taking care of turning round corners) and a horizontal, transverse axle (taking care of the ups and downs. The third axis of rotation was the line of the points of contact of the tyres with the road (which allowed the leaning).

Your idea sounds right, but I don't know how to explain that I don't think it would give complete, unrestricted movement. The best I can say is that the idea would take care of the straight line ups and downs, but that an attempt to turn would produce a relationship between turning and leaning which was determined purely by the geometry, and would be fixed. So, it couldn't account for the dynamic changes of your speed, road camber, body position, etc. I rather think that the idea would work if it was for an outfit on a plane, smooth road, at a known speed, You could factor the correct angle that would allow it for exactly these condition, but no others.

Having said that, I really don't know. I rode a motorcycle and sidecar for many years and getting round corners was always a compromise., with weight shifting, opposite lock steering, throttle control, etc being part of the wrestling match. But, it got round (on most occasions!). Perhaps this would also defy conventional wisdom.

stevew
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Re: About to buy a new trike and require e-assist.

Postby stevew » 30 Sep 2014, 10:14am

Have you looked at the pedelec site? Loads of e bike and trike info there. I run a ICE Classic with a rear hub motor which is just a little over legal spec so it does about 20mph. Runs well and is reliable. Built it with advice from the pedelec forum.

http://www.pedelecs.co.uk/forum/
1999 ICE Classic NT
Fort s/s
Brompton
26" Thorn (converted to E-Bike)
The opposite of bravery is not cowardice, but conformity. Robert Anthony

Joe.B
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Re: About to buy a new trike and require e-assist.

Postby Joe.B » 30 Sep 2014, 7:01pm

Thanks for the input folks. I agree that there might be ways to overcome the trike + tagalong lean problem. The problem is that any solution will probably require the rider to constantly remain mindful of the physics and mechanics involved, fine for many of us here but not the way Mrs B wants to ride.
I’ve not used the pedelec forum before, I probably ort to as I’ve done a few conversions now. I’ve actually had very good results from one of the cheap motor kits that are all over ebay, no bag-fulls of torque like some of the more expensive kits but it does what’s required and has been reliable for more than 12 months. Complete opposite of the Hainsmann kit we had on the old trike, loads of torque but often out of action.

cyclome2
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Re: About to buy a new trike and require e-assist.

Postby cyclome2 » 22 Feb 2015, 4:40pm

Hi,

I'm coming far too late to this. I have an elderly ICE QNT with 20" wheels and have just purchased (very expensive) an ICE with Neodrive and 26" wheels. I have had quite a few problems with it but do not want to criticise what is, in many ways very nice kit, on a public forum. Neil at ICE has been very helpful on these. If you do want to get in touch please contact me at hundchen123 at gmail.com