SWB Recumbent conversion

NwRecumbentRdr

New Member
Region
USA
Hi everyone!
Hoping someone here can provide the benefit of your experience, to help me design a recumbent ebike conversion.

I recently acquired a used second recumbent (Bacchetta Giro 20, with a Chromoly frame) for the express purpose of doing an e-conversion. In all options, I'd use a Terratrike battery mount, which positions the battery mid-frame. I'm 220lbs, and am a really cautious rider on the road who adjusts to weather/conditions as needed. The bike has more weight on the rear wheel (26") than the front (20") though it's a short wheel base recumbent (not the classical long recumbent with the front wheel WAY out there).

My 2 options:
1) 500w geared hub on the front
-easy conversion (pro)
-cost (pro)
-between chain & motor, both wheels are driven (possibly a pro, at least when going straight on soft surfaces)
-20" front wheel too small for that much torque? e.g. potential traction issues? (especially when NOT going straight, potential con, not sure)
-spinning motor weight effects steering? (Potential con, not sure).

2) 750w Bafang mid-drive.
-great power for the hilly area I live in (pro)
-cost (con)
-drivetrain wear (con)
-flats are easier to service (pro)
-installation is less straightforward, so I hear.

Anything I'm missing or have incorrect? Recommendations? Other thoughts?
Much appreciated!
 

Timpo

Well-Known Member
Hi everyone!
Hoping someone here can provide the benefit of your experience, to help me design a recumbent ebike conversion.

I recently acquired a used second recumbent (Bacchetta Giro 20, with a Chromoly frame) for the express purpose of doing an e-conversion. In all options, I'd use a Terratrike battery mount, which positions the battery mid-frame. I'm 220lbs, and am a really cautious rider on the road who adjusts to weather/conditions as needed. The bike has more weight on the rear wheel (26") than the front (20") though it's a short wheel base recumbent (not the classical long recumbent with the front wheel WAY out there).

My 2 options:
1) 500w geared hub on the front
-easy conversion (pro)
-cost (pro)
-between chain & motor, both wheels are driven (possibly a pro, at least when going straight on soft surfaces)
- e.g. potential traction issues? (especially when NOT going straight, potential con, not sure)
-spinning motor weight effects steering? (Potential con, not sure).

2) 750w Bafang mid-drive.
-great power for the hilly area I live in (pro)
-cost (con)
-drivetrain wear (con)
-flats are easier to service (pro)
-installation is less straightforward, so I hear.

Anything I'm missing or have incorrect? Recommendations? Other thoughts?
Much appreciated!
What do you mean by "20" front wheel too small for that much torque?"
What motor are we talking about?
Each hub motor has different winding (T), so you can pick one that's meant for small wheel.
 

NwRecumbentRdr

New Member
Region
USA
I have not chosen a specific motor yet. Bafang maybe? I have not researched the field beyond exploring general configurations. I've heard people in other forums warn that (generally speaking) 500w is probably the most power you'd want to put on a front fork, for structural reasons. No idea if that's true today, but that's why my next step up is mid-drive. Re: torque. Well ... for any given motor, force at the pavement increases as the wheel radius decreases. Sure, I could down spec a motor to keep it 'safe', but the lower power hubs I've ridden seem anemic (probably partly due to my size).
 
Last edited:

NwRecumbentRdr

New Member
Region
USA
Maybe I can ask differently. Anyone have experience with a front hub motor with a little power (about 500w)? What was your experience? What was the wheel size?