Feasible doing my own trike conversion?

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kmccune

Active Member
There is always the 4 wheel build, with the aid of a "tinkerer' with a wire welder, perhaps one day we will incorporate a prime mover that will give us some gyro stability" A man has to know His limitations" "The Man who is not afraid is a fool"( paraphrase from Matt Dillion of "Gunsmoke" tv series)
 

kmccune

Active Member
Yes, that's the style I'm looking at. Here's a video I found featuring the trails where I live. Not all the trails are this specific to bikes. A lot have wider paths, but it gives an Idea of the terrain.

I did send an email to the shop in Vancouver. Hopefully they have some recommendations for me.
Watched the review, impressive- for Heavens sake put a flag on it, if you went riding like that around here, the Driver that ran over you would maybe wonder what the "bump was"
 

sobike

New Member
Region
USA
Hmm, perhaps I'm in the wrong place?

@indianajo - thanks for your input. I wasn't thinking 2 wheels in the back. I didn't even realize that was a thing, because yeah it sounds unstable. I'm looking at things like the Full Fat, Fat Tad, etc on places like Utah Trikes, which appear to be designed for what I'm looking for. The issue, as I thought I stated, is availability. I can get the trikes and I can (separately) get the electronics. My question was on the feasibility of putting the two together with zero experience. I'm not meaning like welding tubes and actually MAKING a bike from scratch.

I did manage to get hold of a guy in Canada who sells eBikes and he's offered me some tips, but he stopped short of helping me build one. He seems to think he knows what I need, but it is counter to his supplier agreements. He mentioned the Bafang BBS02, which he doesn't carry. He also suggested the SunSeeker Fat Tad. I can order A and I can order B... but with so little (none) experience, I'm just not confident I'll end up with a functional unit unless there's some guides I haven't yet been able to find.

I'm also concerned with ongoing maintenance with the BBS02. I've read various sites saying that they are far less reliable and require far more maintenance than a geared hub motor, but the guy that sort of was helping me out says "hub isn't the way to go".
Read about motors at Grin Technology-Vancouver Canada
 

sobike

New Member
Region
USA
Hello. I've been curious about e-bikes for years, but never got past the "just looking" stage. I see from my own profile here that I was posting a bit 6 years ago. Lol, oh how times change.

What hasn't changed is that I still really have no experience with bikes, electric or otherwise.

What has changed is that I got injured last year after getting hit by an inattentive driver while I was walking, and the specialist has advised getting a recumbent bike. Granted, he means a stationary bike, but I know I'd never use it. A bit of googling and I "discover" trikes! Cool! I never knew they existed. After a ton of rehab, my remaining injuries leave me with a foot that hurts when I walk but should be OK pedaling, and sciatic pain if I sit in an upright position.

I'm in Canada, and I've contacted every single shop I can find here, and nobody has a package that checks off all my boxes. I'm wondering how feasible it is to make something custom? Can I start with a non-electric trike and add the powertrain myself and expect to end up with a functioning result?

With regard to "check the boxes", this is what I'm looking for:
  • Ok with a 300lb rider (since my injury, I've gained over 30 pounds :( I'm currently at 297 with clothing)
  • Suitable for a tall rider. I'm 6'4"
  • Off-road capable. I suppose this isn't critical, but what I think I'll find most interesting is exploring the hundreds of km's of mountain bike and hiking trails that are just a 5 minute walk from my house. Quite mountainous with pretty harsh terrain in spots. I'm not looking for speed, but power to go up steep inclines and crawl over rocks and roots would be great. If that's just not doable, then I suppose I'll stick to roads.
  • Quite reclined (preferably adjustably so)

I don't mind doing research, but hoping you knowledgable folks could at least tell me "no, that ain't gonna work" or else give me a nudge in the right direction.

Cheers.
Interesting site for Trikes and Quads - trikexplor.com
 

bcsteeve

New Member
That's funny timing. I was literally writing an email to Grin when you posted. Seriously lol... I hit send then saw the notification for this post.

There's another ebike forum where I was getting quite a bit of help and advice, and someone there tipped me toward Grin. It seems ideal, but now the problem is that their motor is "known to work" with only 3 brands (terra, greenspeed and cattrike) and between weight capacity and availability, I've narrowed down the trike search to exactly one unit: The Sun Seeker Fat Tad CXS. There's one locally available and it is rated to 300lbs (I'm now at 285). So I'm trying to figure out what it would take to get a Grin (or two!) attached to a Fat Tad.
 

kmccune

Active Member
That's funny timing. I was literally writing an email to Grin when you posted. Seriously lol... I hit send then saw the notification for this post.

There's another ebike forum where I was getting quite a bit of help and advice, and someone there tipped me toward Grin. It seems ideal, but now the problem is that their motor is "known to work" with only 3 brands (terra, greenspeed and cattrike) and between weight capacity and availability, I've narrowed down the trike search to exactly one unit: The Sun Seeker Fat Tad CXS. There's one locally available and it is rated to 300lbs (I'm now at 285). So I'm trying to figure out what it would take to get a Grin (or two!) attached to a Fat Tad.
Try a 'Mxus" or "Bafang", redundancy has a quality all its own, for all its "Gee Whiz" Grin Tech is expensive( extremely good, quality costs)
'
 

tomjasz

Well-Known Member
Does anyone other than Grin make a single sided hub motor though?
You won’t go wrong with Grin. Mid drive kits from an American shop is a good option. There are several good dealers BTW Bafang USA is NOT Bafang corporate.
 

ERRey

New Member
Region
USA
So, I got sick of waiting out the months for my Lectric XP, i have decided to buy a 26 inch Tricycle, a 1000w 48v front wheel conversion kit, and a 20 ah battery. All told it will run me around $700 US. Does anyone have any tips or tricks to suggest?
 

tomjasz

Well-Known Member
So, I got sick of waiting out the months for my Lectric XP, i have decided to buy a 26 inch Tricycle, a 1000w 48v front wheel conversion kit, and a 20 ah battery. All told it will run me around $700 US. Does anyone have any tips or tricks to suggest?
Be aware of the potential issues with a delta trike. Cornering at the speeds a 1000W is capable of will flip the trike.
 

ERRey

New Member
Region
USA
Be aware of the potential issues with a delta trike. Cornering at the speeds a 1000W is capable of will flip the trike.
Yes, i am aware of the problems with delta trikes stability, the primary reason for getting a 1000w hub is for hauling power. I plan on getting as big of a tailer as i can to haul behind it.
 

kmccune

Active Member
Apparently, wheel sizes affect the "Ackerman" arc to some degree as well as rake, wheelbase, the motorcycle trikes do fairly well, its easy to find someone running with a wheel in the air, if "Utah" trikes would write a how-to book it would help- The thing is you have to learn how to ride the trike and be aware of its handling characteristics.
The only thing about the recumbent trikes is inattentive drivers may run you over( ever-present risk anyway) The "caster" on a trike has to be right as well, because it affects handling, pull a shopping cart backwards and you can get an idea about how the handling is affected.
Now as a matter of fact I contemplating a trike build, with a torquey 36 volt mid drive, second hub motor and maybe an "IGH"" with at least 3 spds
 

ERRey

New Member
Region
USA
OK, so, here's something i found on EBAY. I got a 50 pack of 3.7v 9900mah 18650 batteries. They look like AA cells, with the button on top. I was wondering if i couldn't just rig up a tube with 13 of them in it, to have a 9.9ah 48v battery. Then i can just switch out the cells inside and charge them each individually, with a smart charger.
EDIT. I also bought a volt meter, and fuse to protect the battery from over-discharge.
 

kmccune

Active Member
OK, so, here's something i found on EBAY. I got a 50 pack of 3.7v 9900mah 18650 batteries. They look like AA cells, with the button on top. I was wondering if i couldn't just rig up a tube with 13 of them in it, to have a 9.9ah 48v battery. Then i can just switch out the cells inside and charge them each individually, with a smart charger.
EDIT. I also bought a volt meter, and fuse to protect the battery from over-discharge.
No such thing as a true 9.9 Ah-18650 cell and I do believe you will have trouble with end to end contact, one problem is a large current draw,I wouldn't try this you are wasting your time IMHO. There are good reasons why the SP PACKS are made like they are and do not forget internal resistance.
 

RunForTheHills

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
OK, so, here's something i found on EBAY. I got a 50 pack of 3.7v 9900mah 18650 batteries. They look like AA cells, with the button on top. I was wondering if i couldn't just rig up a tube with 13 of them in it, to have a 9.9ah 48v battery. Then i can just switch out the cells inside and charge them each individually, with a smart charger.
EDIT. I also bought a volt meter, and fuse to protect the battery from over-discharge.
They aren't really 9900mah as kmccune said. Good quality 18650 cells are between 2000mah and 3500mah. Those are Chinese knockoffs that I wouldn't feel comfortable building a battery out of, unless you want to risk a fire. 13 in series would build a 48v pack, but you will want to have more than one group of 13 cells in parallel to allow for enough current draw without stressing the batteries. A 13s4p battery pack would denote 4 parallel sets of 13 cells in series. Lots of people do build their own battery packs, but you should do some research first. You will need a spot welder to weld nickel strips to the batteries and a BMS is a good idea also.
 

tomjasz

Well-Known Member
No such thing as a true 9.9 Ah-18650 cell
Buyer beware!
Screen Shot 2021-04-29 at 5.42.17 PM.png
 

ERRey

New Member
Region
USA
OK, some things i should point out. First of all, the risk is minimal, each cell will be charged individually with a smart charger. It's hilarious to watch people react like a BMS is the beginning and end of all battery architecture. A BMS has 2 functions. To protect and read each cell in the array individually, controlling charging functions, and to prevent damage from over discharge. If each cell is removed and charged individually, that covers the first function, and a fuse covers the second function. As far spot welding connections goes, talk about overkill? Sure i get that applications that involve a lot of kinetic reactions requires a strong connection but welding your battery is complete overkill.
 
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