E-trike for relatively short trips with some cargo capacity for 70+ year old

#1
Mission: Short trips (<10 miles, r/t) for 1) shopping, 2) transporting hobby equipment to venues (not more than 2 to 3 cu. ft/ ~40 lbs.), and 3) light recreation/workouts. A car substitute for short trips within the community.

Terrain: Some low central Florida hills within a suburban community.

Aesthetic: I don't care for the traditional "upright" look. Prefer either a semi-recumbent, chopper, or fat tire look. However, the larger tired Evelo Compass looks interesting.

Rider: 72 years old; 5' 7", 190 lbs., reasonably good health, but not fit, low endurance; but I will tend to want to drive more aggressively than the typical Old F--t.

Price: Less than $3,000; however a bit more if a perfect fit.

I've ruled out tadpoles because of their very limited cargo capacity. I owned a non-motorized tad 3 years ago and loved it but had to sell due to move to mountains. Moving back to Fla.

I've been looking at delta fat trikes, mainly these:

* Addmotor 350 and 330, but no parking brake which I consider essential. Sold on Amazon.
* GoPlus. Sold on Amazon
* Fat trike on electrictrike.com
* Fat trike on epicsontech.com

What are your thoughts about these fat trikes for my purposes?

Also, semi-recumbent and chopper delta bikes are also capable of carrying stuff. Here are a couple examples:

* Electric Eco-Delta SX
* Worksman Electric Personal Activity Stretch

And the semi upright:

* Evelo Compass


How would these compare for my purposes, especially in terms of:

* Stability
* Speed
* Range
* Convenience/comfort
 
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#2
After further research and consideration, it looks like the chopper style deltas don't meet my needs as well as the others, at least not the 2 examples I listed. They are relatively deficient in carrying capacity, speed and range.

I'm liking both the Epicsontech fat trike because of its higher amp hour battery, and the Evelo for its mid drive system, range and easy to use internal 3-speed.
 

indianajo

Well-Known Member
#3
You've done your research.
Well, 48 v 10 ah ought to give you enough range. I like being upright with a green safety vest on to be right in the eyes of people driving SUV's. Causes a lot of air drag, though. Maybe you have some offroad paths you can ride, that is the only place I would ride that low.
I can't belive stodgy old Workman came out with a layback electric cargo trike!
Some people have reported trouble with changing fat tires, but maybe only certain brands like the Shalbe Big Ben. My 26"x2.1" tires are no trouble to put a new tube in. The knobby Kendas I use get about 2500 miles before they get thin enough to risk flats from road trash.
I like hub drives instead of mid-drives. If there is a problem with the electricity, I can pedal home without a tow truck.
 
#4
You've done your research.
Well, 48 v 10 ah ought to give you enough range. I like being upright with a green safety vest on to be right in the eyes of people driving SUV's. Causes a lot of air drag, though. Maybe you have some offroad paths you can ride, that is the only place I would ride that low.
I can't belive stodgy old Workman came out with a layback electric cargo trike!
Some people have reported trouble with changing fat tires, but maybe only certain brands like the Shalbe Big Ben. My 26"x2.1" tires are no trouble to put a new tube in. The knobby Kendas I use get about 2500 miles before they get thin enough to risk flats from road trash.
I like hub drives instead of mid-drives. If there is a problem with the electricity, I can pedal home without a tow truck.
Do the knobby 4" fat Kendas make some road noise, say compared to mountain bike tires? If so, it's probably as much of a benefit as it is a "noise."

So, mid drives don't have a free wheel option? Especially the Evelo?
 

indianajo

Well-Known Member
#5
My 2.1" Kenda knobbies make a little noise. I can still hear electric cars sneaking up on me. I buy the knobs to avoid flats, not because I ride off road.
Yamaha & maybe one shimano mid drive have freewheels to allow pedaling after failure. I think court (admin) said something about the shimano. bosch is terrible. No personal experience, the only bike shop in town is a Pedego and those are hub drives. Evelo is a bike brand, you'll have to look at specs to see what drive they are using.
Note workman would not tell you how big a battery they had, and 10 mile range is a bit suspicious. Other than that I really respect their drum brakes & steel rims. I've hated rim brakes for decades, finally there are disk brakes that actually work in the rain.
 
#6
Here's an interesting short video on the Evelo drive system - it is for a different Evelo bike, but all Evelos apparently work the same way. It appears that it is a free wheeling system when there is no pedal assist, and would be so if the power went out: https://www.evelo.com/blog/video-how-electric-bike-throttles-and-pedal-assist-work/ I'm not sure what specs would assure of freewheeling without power, but here are some:

Gearing Details: 3 Speed 1x3 Sturmey Archer Internally Geared Hub, 24 Tooth Rear Sprocket
Shifter Details: Sturmey Archer Half-Grip Twist on Right Bar (Optional NuVinci Grip Twist on Right Bar)
Cranks: Bafang AC08-2 Alloy Crank Arms, 170 mm Length, 42 Tooth Chainring
Motor Brand: Bafang BBS02
Motor Type: Mid-Mounted Geared Motor
Drive Mode: Cadence Sensing Pedal Assist, Trigger Throttle; (12 Pole Sensor)

I'm also not sure whether only one or both of the rear wheels are driven by motor and pedal power. I get mixed messages between the Court's review and what Alex of Evelo wrote to me:

From Alex concerning driven rear wheels:
My Question: How many drive wheels? One rear?
Alex Answer: The 2019 Compass is 2 wheel drive with an open differential in rear axle.

But in the video at the 22:25 mark, of Courts video, and his written review, he says this: "As with most electric trikes I have reviewed, only the left rear wheel receives pedal power and motor power vs. both rear wheels, this can increase the wear on that one tire and doesn’t offer as much traction as if both wheels were connected to the drivetrain."

All of the fat trike reviews I have seen (4 brands) say that only one wheel of the fat trike is driven.

Alex says that BOTH rear wheels are stopped by the brakes on the Evolo, so there won't be the strong right pull on hard stops when only the right wheel grabs as on the fat bikes. I don't know how big of an issue this might be - but it could be in the hopefully rare emergency stop/turn scenario.

From Alex concerning brakes:
My question: How many brake wheels? Two? One front and one rear?
Alex answer: Two 180mm disc brakes, one for the front wheel, one in the rear before the differential for optimal braking performance for both wheels. (Does he mean "optimal braking performance for both REAR wheels or for both wheels mean front and one rear?" I need to clarify that.)

By the way, I have had a devil of a time getting email responses from 2 fat bike trike dealers. I've sent several emails asking questions of these companies without response:
* Fat trike on electrictrike.com
* Fat trike on epicsontech.com

That gives me pause about the potential customer service for both of these fat bike companies - or emails lost in the ether.

At least Evelo finally contacted me and pointed out that their emails were in my spam folder for some reason. There was no evidence of emails from the other dealers anywhere.
 
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indianajo

Well-Known Member
#7
As long as the bike is rolling downhill, the sturmey archer rear hub will let the bike coast freely.
If you're trying to pedal your way uphill or on the level without power, I think the bafang mid drive fights you all the way. Your force spins the motor rapidly. Something may have changed, but I doubt it.
This computer doesn't display videos and the one that did, blew up something last week.
I wouldn't worry about all 3 wheels having brakes, especially in Florida. I would worry more about tipping over a 3 wheeler, but I have high slope (12%) downhill turns in Indiana. Not going to happen in Florida.
The bike left I couldn't get any answer out of the manufacurer. Took me a year to figure out how the cargo was loaded. Yubabikes referred me to the Facebook forum. Facebook wants my birthdate to participate. They will have to pay a private detective If they want it that bad. I'm not giving it away, it is a security code to my retirement account.
DD hub drives as I have installed left slow you down pedaling without power about 25%. Geared hub drives don't slow you down at all unpowered, but it is harder than **** to buy one. Luna only had fat tire geared hubs 2 years ago, the one I got from ebikeling works sometimes. I'm not sending my debit card # overseas to reside on a server out of jurisdiction of the FBI. ebikes.com website took my order for a geared hub but cancelled it because I weigh too much at 170 lb (+65 lb bike & 60 lb supplies).
Reason I like to pedal myself, I do all my errands on the bike. The cardiologist on my pre-surgery check 2017 said my heart "had nothing wrong with it". I want to keep it that way. Read Dr. Ken Cooper book Aerobics. I don't want to ride 5.7 hours at 5 mph into a 16 mph headwind like last September, so I bought electricity for some help those days. Otherwise I ride power off.
 
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rich c

Well-Known Member
#8
Were you around Jeeps in the military? That's what three 4" knobby fat tires will sound like. My fat bike and Fat Tad with knobbies causes people and dogs to look around on the paved trails like a vehicle must be coming. There are some nice street fat tires available now. Join this Facebook to get help from actual eTrike owners; https://www.facebook.com/groups/electrictrike/
Nearly every traditional trike rides slower than almost everything else. With the rider sitting vertically and minimal leaning, those things are very easy to dump over in a turn if pushing too much speed. Now about those hills in Florida? I thought the only grade change in the entire state was the Interstate overpass. The whole rest of the place is below sea level isn't it?
 
#9
Were you around Jeeps in the military? That's what three 4" knobby fat tires will sound like. My fat bike and Fat Tad with knobbies causes people and dogs to look around on the paved trails like a vehicle must be coming. There are some nice street fat tires available now. Join this Facebook to get help from actual eTrike owners; https://www.facebook.com/groups/electrictrike/
Nearly every traditional trike rides slower than almost everything else. With the rider sitting vertically and minimal leaning, those things are very easy to dump over in a turn if pushing too much speed. Now about those hills in Florida? I thought the only grade change in the entire state was the Interstate overpass. The whole rest of the place is below sea level isn't it?
I worked in Coral Springs for 11 years - it had levees built around it with giant drainage pumps so when it rained more than 2 or 3 inches, the giant pumps would kick on. So, right, you're not too far off with the sea level thing.

On the other hand there are some good sized inclines coming out of bike/golf cart under and over passes. And central FL has some nice hills - not like western NC mountains where I live now, though.

As I suggested earlier, the noise of the tires on a bike is not all bad - a bit of a "here I come" noise will give folks a heads up.

My limited experience with delta trikes generally is if the driver is too aggressive in turns, he will either 2-wheel it or dump over. There is a "leaning" curve (pun intended) involved in aggressive turn management. I learned that when test driving a relatively low slung pedal powered delta a couple years ago.

So which trike do you suggest as a fun hauler?
 
#10
As long as the bike is rolling downhill, the sturmey archer rear hub will let the bike coast freely.
If you're trying to pedal your way uphill or on the level without power, I think the bafang mid drive fights you all the way. Your force spins the motor rapidly. Something may have changed, but I doubt it.
This computer doesn't display videos and the one that did, blew up something last week.
I wouldn't worry about all 3 wheels having brakes, especially in Florida. I would worry more about tipping over a 3 wheeler, but I have high slope (12%) downhill turns in Indiana. Not going to happen in Florida.
The bike left I couldn't get any answer out of the manufacurer. Took me a year to figure out how the cargo was loaded. Yubabikes referred me to the Facebook forum. Facebook wants my birthdate to participate. They will have to pay a private detective If they want it that bad. I'm not giving it away, it is a security code to my retirement account.
DD hub drives as I have installed left slow you down pedaling without power about 25%. Geared hub drives don't slow you down at all unpowered, but it is harder than **** to buy one. Luna only had fat tire geared hubs 2 years ago, the one I got from ebikeling works sometimes. I'm not sending my debit card # overseas to reside on a server out of jurisdiction of the FBI. ebikes.com website took my order for a geared hub but cancelled it because I weigh too much at 170 lb (+65 lb bike & 60 lb supplies).
Reason I like to pedal myself, I do all my errands on the bike. The cardiologist on my pre-surgery check 2017 said my heart "had nothing wrong with it". I want to keep it that way. Read Dr. Ken Cooper book Aerobics. I don't want to ride 5.7 hours at 5 mph into a 16 mph headwind like last September, so I bought electricity for some help those days. Otherwise I ride power off.
I feel like I almost gave myself a heart attack pumping a pedal-only-powered tadpole up a 10% (don't know the actual grade, but it was steep!) incline coming out of a golf cart tunnel. Cardio stuff is great up to a point. Yes, electric for those occasions!
 
#11
I was able to get in touch with somebody from electrictrike.com after my filling out their online form and having it disappear. I just wrote to support@electrictrike.com and got an answer right away. I let him know he was probably losing business by not monitoring the inbox for those forms. Of course he said he had never gotten any complaints about it before. Anyway if you use that email direct rather than filling out the form you will get an answer. It seems like the whole industry is kind of a mess right now. E bikes have been around for a few years now but it seems like nobody is really taking the ball and running with it except maybe Pedigo and their stuff seems underpowered and over priced to me. I'd really be interested in where you come out on this. I've been looking at the same trikes as you. It shouldn't be so hard to gather all the data you need to make a decision but that seems to be the norm. I think if somebody could come out with a really good trike and market it heavily and aggressively they could do pretty well. Happy hunting
 
#12
I was able to get in touch with somebody from electrictrike.com after my filling out their online form and having it disappear. I just wrote to support@electrictrike.com and got an answer right away. I let him know he was probably losing business by not monitoring the inbox for those forms. Of course he said he had never gotten any complaints about it before. Anyway if you use that email direct rather than filling out the form you will get an answer. It seems like the whole industry is kind of a mess right now. E bikes have been around for a few years now but it seems like nobody is really taking the ball and running with it except maybe Pedigo and their stuff seems underpowered and over priced to me. I'd really be interested in where you come out on this. I've been looking at the same trikes as you. It shouldn't be so hard to gather all the data you need to make a decision but that seems to be the norm. I think if somebody could come out with a really good trike and market it heavily and aggressively they could do pretty well. Happy hunting
Yes, thanks. I finally did that and got a response. Now dealing with trying to get answers out of epicsontech.com. No reply from their admin@epizontech.com (same as Cozy Trike) or through their website form for several days. I wanted to know why on their main fat tire trike page they advertise 48 volt, 16 amp/hour lithium but for the same trike on their layaway page they describe the battery as a "lead acid" without any further spec. Either tricky or careless.
 
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#13
I was able to get in touch with somebody from electrictrike.com after my filling out their online form and having it disappear. I just wrote to support@electrictrike.com and got an answer right away. I let him know he was probably losing business by not monitoring the inbox for those forms. Of course he said he had never gotten any complaints about it before. Anyway if you use that email direct rather than filling out the form you will get an answer. It seems like the whole industry is kind of a mess right now. E bikes have been around for a few years now but it seems like nobody is really taking the ball and running with it except maybe Pedigo and their stuff seems underpowered and over priced to me. I'd really be interested in where you come out on this. I've been looking at the same trikes as you. It shouldn't be so hard to gather all the data you need to make a decision but that seems to be the norm. I think if somebody could come out with a really good trike and market it heavily and aggressively they could do pretty well. Happy hunting
He got a complaint from me about 3 days ago.
 
#15
Perhaps they will get the hint
Bear, have you looked at the Addmotor M-330 on Amazon HERE. $2,599 and free shipping (and a $200 off coupon? Not certain about that.)

One of my concerns about the fat trike was its rear brakes. Most similar trikes only brake one rear wheel. Coming to fast emergency stops with ONLY ONE (right) rear wheel braking will cause the bike to veer right and potentially tip over left. It appears that the model 330 now has BOTH rear wheels with brakes. I have a question into them to confirm if this is true.
 
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indianajo

Well-Known Member
#16
I feel like I almost gave myself a heart attack pumping a pedal-only-powered tadpole up a 10% (don't know the actual grade, but it was steep!) incline coming out of a golf cart tunnel. Cardio stuff is great up to a point. Yes, electric for those occasions!
One has to ease into cardio health. Bingeing is bad. Dr Cooper covers this in the book. Like, do something to get pulse up to 75 for 15 minutes every other day for a week. Then next week extend to 20 minutes. Then to 30. Then if no symptoms, pulse 80. Shovelling snow after months of doing nothing kills a lot of people. Warning, muscle pain is normal the day after. Chest pain is not. I frequently take ibuprofen for the muscles the morning after. Some people react badly to ibuprofen, I don't. Talk to your DR. although most will tell you to sit in your chair and take your drugs. The cardiologist told me to never get my heart rate over 200-(my age). Ha, I go 168 some times. I stop up hills because I run out of breath, not for heart problems. But I've been doing it since 1969 when my draft # was 37 out of 366. A normal summer commute for me is 120 bpm for 3.7 hours. I'm easing into the routine now, did 14 miles Friday. I take hypertension medicine but I don't let it put me in a recliner like my Dad. His retirement was only 8 years, 6 of them awful. I'm 11 years off work already & I feel great (except my knees).
amazon won't let me look at the admotor without bouncing to a ***-**** coupon. See if it has a hubmotor, direct or geared? Those are not so much like a electric wheelchair.
 
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Mike's E-Bikes

Well-Known Member
#17
The Sun Baja is an awesome trike...

http://www.sun.bike/trikes/baja-trike/

Use the Tongsheng kit that Court reviewed here not long ago. It's perfect for trikes, as it has a torque sensor, so the motor won't get ahead of you. (Eliminates 'ghost' pedaling). Very important for a trike, since they don't go at high speed, and you don't want them to go fast either.

You'll have a better trike than 90% of the OEM builds out there, and it'll be below $2000 easy, so it won't 'break the bank' either. ( It's ridiculous what several OEM makes are priced at. )

36 Volt, 350 watt motor would be plenty as these are high torque motors. The 7 speeds on the trike will be very useful too. Put a 14 ah battery on it and you'll go a long way,since you will be at lower speeds (less wind resistance), have torque sensing to minimize power draw, and the efficiency of a mid drive.

The fat tires on the Baja are perfect for pavement. Probably could try them on the beach too, if sand is packed and lower the tire pressure. Also one of the better looking trikes on the market. 24" tires give you a lower center of gravity.
 
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#18
I just came across the not yet released "crowd funded" Motan Addmotor M360 "chopper" trike HERE. Really cool looking, has the features I'm looking for and the price is great: $1,599. Is anyone familiar with this product development/sales tactic? I have an inquiry into Motan and hope for a reply soon.

HERE is a website that discusses the various forms of and cautions about crowd funding. In the case of Motan, a deep discount is given to those who pay for the trike several months before its release and delivery, providing start up capital for that new line of bikes. That is my guess at it, anyway. The risk to the purchaser? I don't know the company's record or its history of successful product development and marketing. For those who are confident about the brand and seeking a sharp looking trike, this appears to be a great opportunity. I imagine some "in the know" bike dealers would be snapping some of these up.
 
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#19
Bear, have you looked at the Addmotor M-330 on Amazon HERE. $2,599 and free shipping (and a $200 off coupon? Not certain about that.)

One of my concerns about the fat trike was its rear brakes. Most similar trikes only brake one rear wheel. Coming to fast emergency stops with ONLY ONE (right) rear wheel braking will cause the bike to veer right and potentially tip over left. It appears that the model 330 now has BOTH rear wheels with brakes. I have a question into them to confirm if this is true.
I had not seen that one. I like the looks of it. I'm a fairly big guy though so I'm really looking for something with a 750W motor. My wife is also looking though and I think that would be perfect for her
 

rich c

Well-Known Member
#20
I just came across the not yet released "crowd funded" Motan Addmotor M360 "chopper" trike HERE. Really cool looking, has the features I'm looking for and the price is great: $1,599. Is anyone familiar with this product development/sales tactic? I have an inquiry into Motan and hope for a reply soon.

HERE is a website that discusses the various forms of and cautions about crowd funding. In the case of Motan, a deep discount is given to those who pay for the trike several months before its release and delivery, providing start up capital for that new line of bikes. That is my guess at it, anyway. The risk to the purchaser? I don't know the company's record or its history of successful product development and marketing. For those who are confident about the brand and seeking a sharp looking trike, this appears to be a great opportunity. I imagine some "in the know" bike dealers would be snapping some of these up.
Those "crowd funded" scare the hell or of me. Send us your money and we'll order a container of pre sold bikes when enough people send us money. You'll get it at the end of summer if you are lucky.