E Trike conversion

Bobelon

New Member
Wife has m/s and uses a Segway. She needs to change due to balance and agility issues as she approached 65. She needs: Range, a couple of miles - slowly. Bought her a Terratrike Rover. She can't get it going from a start, she can't do the hill home after walking the dog. I'm a wrench and can fix anything. Can one of you hold my hand and cut thru all research. Hub or mid drive? Who's got the kit? Something that makes me think instead of throwing cashish at it preferred. I know, it's all here in the forum, I know.
 

MikeDD

Active Member
My wife has similar disabilities (MS) with balance and leg strength. She went with a Liberty Trike. This is a throttle only trike with one gear. You pedal as you like and use the throttle to assist and the throttle always brings her home. A 12 mile ride is easy. This trike is easy to mount and will climb steep hills. We did add a suspension seatpost and mountain bike flat pedals. This trike is only suitable for paved surfaces. This trike is very popular because of the upright riding position. There is a users group on facebook.

My wife could not get in a recumbent due to the balance problem. I would sell the trike and buy one already built with a warranty. Just my opinion and story.
 

AlanDB

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Iowa
After a bad fall last winter resulting in a spinal injury, my wife was no longer able to ride her Blix ebike. I bought her the Evelo Compass trike this summer and she likes it a lot. It is very powerful and has no problem with hills. It has a 3 speed internal geared hub shifter, mid drive motor and disc brakes. In first gear, it can be started from a dead stop using the throttle only. It can go about 15 MPH which is plenty fast for a trike, as they are easy to tip over in turns. It comes with one battery, but has the mounting for a second battery pre-wired and ready to go. My wife tends to do some pedaling with assist enabled on flat surfaces, and uses the throttle quite a bit. We ride mostly on paved rail trails, so there aren't a lot of steep hills, but on the occasions where we have encountered hills, the Compass has no trouble with them. With her typical riding method, she can go about 20 miles on a fully charged single battery. I did purchase the second battery, so that effectively doubles that range.

If you really want to modify a non powered trike, probably a front hub motor is the easiest and least expensive way to go. I think adding a mid drive motor would be quite a complex task. Also note that on many trikes, the chain drives only one rear wheel. That is one thing I liked about the Compass. It has a differential and powers both rear wheels (also brakes both rear wheels with the center mounted disc brake.)
 
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harryS

Well-Known Member
Looks like a nice trike, two wheels up front and one in back, except for being so low. Does it have the internally geared hub? If so, that would direct you toward a mid drive, since you already paid for those gears. If it is a derailleur, then you could put a motor on the rear wheel. You will need to know the width between the frame back there. Is it 135mm?

Regular motor kits are 135mm, and fatbike motor kits are 175mm in width. You can buy a bare motor and spoke it into a rim, if you cannot find a motor/wheel in the right size. I am guessing that you don't need speed, just ability to climb that hill. If you can climb it yourself now on the trike or a regular bike, I believe most 500W geared motors will suffice.

Mid drive kits - there are only two available for wrenches. Bafang BBS02 (~$500) and BBSHD (~700), and Tong Sheng TSDZ2 (~450?). I have the BBS02 and it has been fine for me. Both assume your bottom bracket (BB), the hole that the pedal axle fits thru, is 68mm. There are wider BBS kits available for 100mm BB's used on fat bikes.

I've done a few hubmotor conversions. Nothing hard to surmount except where to put the controller and battery so it looks alright. One BBS02, which was less thinking compared to a hubmotor, but it depends on your chain line.

.
 

Bobelon

New Member
Nice to tap into an active group. Thanks for the responses. For now we're headed the recumbent route for a number of reasons. Top priorities are comfort, rough road capable, e-assist, range. Plan for bigger low pressure tires for roads. Range is limited by battery. Bike has 8 sp. internal hub. Sounds like crank drive is in our future. Bafang and Tong Sheng are mentioned. Guess Panasonic and Bosch are out? Hoping to get schooled by someone that has done it. Fitment problems? Ordering the correct stuff? What and where to buy? Things you forgot to order? Look out's? Need enough power to get out of a hole but top speed not important. Sources: China, USA, or other international?
 

harryS

Well-Known Member
If it was welding you were after, and not wrenching, you might graft a production ebike drivetrain to the end of the Terratrike. The two motors I mentioned were designed for wrenchers though.

This video is a bit long, but shows a Bafang going onto a regular bike. Might be better ones.

Some trike owners have said the motor has a resonant vibration/shake out there. I don't know.
 
D

Deleted member 4210

Guest
Easiest conversion on the planet. I've done a lot of TT Rovers. I like the Tongsheng kit, with the 850 C color display. A 500 watt, 36Volt version would be plenty. Go to the Euronau website, for the kit,and a Samsung battery. If you order the Terratrike Low Rider Rack, and fit kit for attaching it to the Rover, it makes a great mount for the battery right behind the seat. I mount the battery parallel to the best back, to make it easy to access, charge, or slide off, using a Hailong style battery. You will need an extension cable for the speed sensor, (110 mm) as it's usually best to mount the sensor at the rear wheel. Also Get a handle bar accessory mount for the 850c display. I like the Minoura Space Grip SGS-400. Mount it on the left hand bar, since the right hand side has limited space, due to twistshifter. You'll also have enough room to add the thumb throttle on the left handle bar. Cut the existing grip cushion back about an inch. Place the control pad, on the vertical part of the handle bar, just beneathe where the handle is welded. You can then reach it with a thumb easily while steering. I also only use one of the kit' brakes, usually left side too, and retain the Rovers right hand brake for its 'parking function.'. The kits left hand brake will have the cut out for the motor. With torque sensing you could likely not even need the cut out brake. Your wiring harness will go to that left side and make for the cleanest wiring set up, as brake, throttle, and display will connect there.

With torque sensing, it's a dream on these Recumbents as cadence sensing can really be hard to manage, especially if you don't have the right size chain ring. Your wife will love it too. No issues either from dead stops, and can give yourself a boost with the throttle at any time. The motor is whisper quiet at the crank. You'll also end up with one of the lighter weight Etrikes on the market. 56 lbs if it's the x8.

Good luck !
 
D

Deleted member 4210

Guest
Here's some photos of recent Terratrikes with Tongsheng and Bafang mid drive (crank) conversions. One is the Traveler, which has a bafang 750 watt,48volts and 17 ah battery. (customer wanted a top speed over 25 mph, and long range.) Showing how a Hailong style battery can be mounted on the low Rider Rack. The other is the TT Gran Turismo with the Tongsheng motor, 500 watt, 36 volt. Customer had MS, and wanted softer/more gradual start and slower pace. (though the TS can easily do 20 mph). Both show the 850 C display mounting concept. The I8 on the Rover is a nice fit with a TS. Can shift anytime, even at a stop. No worries on hills or worry about getting stuck in wrong gear.
 

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