Sun Seeker EZ-3 HD Electric Trike Review

Sun Seeker Ez 3 Hd Electric Trike Review
Sun Seeker Ez 3 Hd
Sun Seeker Ez 3 Hd Direct Drive Gearless Hub Motor 500 Watts
Sun Seeker Ez 3 Hd 48 Volt 10 Amp Hour Battery
Sun Seeker Ez 3 Hd Contoured Foam Seat
Sun Seeker Ez 3 Hd Comfort Mesh Back Rest
Sun Seeker Ez 3 Hd High Tensile Tig Steel Frame Handlebars
Sun Seeker Ez 3 Hd Sram 21 Speed Cassette
Sun Seeker Ez 3 Hd Sram X3 Drivetrain
Sun Seeker Ez 3 Hd Portable 3 Amp Charger
Sun Seeker Ez 3 Hd Electric Trike Review
Sun Seeker Ez 3 Hd
Sun Seeker Ez 3 Hd Direct Drive Gearless Hub Motor 500 Watts
Sun Seeker Ez 3 Hd 48 Volt 10 Amp Hour Battery
Sun Seeker Ez 3 Hd Contoured Foam Seat
Sun Seeker Ez 3 Hd Comfort Mesh Back Rest
Sun Seeker Ez 3 Hd High Tensile Tig Steel Frame Handlebars
Sun Seeker Ez 3 Hd Sram 21 Speed Cassette
Sun Seeker Ez 3 Hd Sram X3 Drivetrain
Sun Seeker Ez 3 Hd Portable 3 Amp Charger

Summary

  • A heavy duty electric trike designed to support up to 400 lbs of weight, powered by a 1,000-Watt peak gearless hub motor running off a 48 volt Lithium-ion battery pack
  • Open platform allows you to swap battery brands, adjust the top speed and amp flow to change performance vs. efficiency, large bright display panel is easy to work with
  • Delta layout (two wheels in the back) is easier to mount but rear-heavy, the front wheel can spin easier, there's no cargo rack and the battery covers both bottle cage bosses
  • The display panel isn't mounted as securely, the trike itself is heavy at 99 lbs, the front wheel flops to the side and requires more strength to steer at times, the suspension is basic with short-travel and minimal adjustment

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Video Review

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Introduction

Make:

Sun Seeker

Model:

EZ-3 HD Electric Trike

Price:

$2,305 ($350 Shipping, Fully Assembled Ready to Ride)

Body Position:

Recumbent

Suggested Use:

Neighborhood, Urban

Electric Bike Class:

Throttle on Demand (Class 2)
Learn more about Ebike classes

Warranty:

1 Year Comprehensive

Availability:

United States

Model Year:

2017

Bicycle Details

Total Weight:

99 lbs (44.9 kg)

Battery Weight:

9.3 lbs (4.21 kg)

Motor Weight:

12.8 lbs (5.8 kg)

Frame Material:

High Tensile Tig Welded Steel

Geometry Measurements:

59.5″ (151 cm) Wheel Base, 78″ (198 cm) Overall Length, 32″ (81 cm) Width, 18″ (45 cm) Seat Height

Frame Types:

Trike

Frame Colors:

Silver

Frame Fork Details:

High Tensile Steel, KSPEED 261 Mid-Frame Bumper Suspension

Gearing Details:

21 Speed 3x7 SRAM X-3, 13-28T

Shifter Details:

SRAM Grip Shift on Left and Right

Cranks:

170 mm Cranks, 30-42-52T Chainrings, Microshift Derailleur

Pedals:

Wellgo LU-812 Alloy Platform, Cage Style

Headset:

1″ Steel

Stem:

Alloy

Handlebar:

Steel

Brake Details:

Winzip-MM Mechanical Disc with 160 mm Rotors in Back Wheels, Promax Linear Pull in Front Wheel, Wuxing Levers with Motor Inhibitor and Parking Latch

Grips:

Flat Rubber, Locking

Saddle:

Alloy Frame, Contoured Foam Seat, Padded Mesh Back

Seat Post:

Rans Style Seat Slide

Rims:

Alloy Double Walled, 48 Hole, Stainless Nipples and Eyelets

Spokes:

Front Stainless 12G Silver, Rear Stainless 14G Black

Tire Brand:

Maxxis Hookworm, 20" x 1.95"

Wheel Sizes:

20 in (50.8cm)

Tire Details:

85 to 110 PSI

Tube Details:

Schrader Valve

Accessories:

Adjustable Angle Seat with Removable Cover, Heavy-Duty Torque Arm for Motor Mount

Other:

Locking Removable Battery, 1.5 lb 3 Amp Charger, 400 lb Max Weight Limit

Electronic Details

Motor Brand:

Electric Bike Technologies

Motor Type:

Front-Mounted Gearless Direct Drive Hub
Learn more about Ebike motors

Motor Nominal Output:

500 watts

Motor Peak Output:

1000 watts

Motor Torque:

33 Newton meters

Battery Brand:

Electric Bike Technologies

Battery Voltage:

48 volts

Battery Amp Hours:

10 ah

Battery Watt Hours:

480 wh

Battery Chemistry:

Lithium-ion

Charge Time:

4 hours

Estimated Min Range:

10 miles (16 km)

Estimated Max Range:

20 miles (32 km)

Display Type:

King Meter, Fixed, Backlit, Monochrome LCD

Readouts:

Battery Level (5 Bars), Speed, Avg. Speed, Max Speed, Power Level (0-5), Odometer, Trip A, Trip B

Display Accessories:

Independent Button Pad

Drive Mode:

Cadence Sensing Pedal Assist, Trigger Throttle (12 Magnet Pedelec Sensor)

Top Speed:

26 mph (42 kph) (Adjustable Speed, PAS Sensitivity, Current)

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Written Review

The Sun Seeker EZ-3 HD is a “heavy duty” stand alone recumbent Delta trike. That is, a three-wheeled bicycle with two wheels in the back Delta style that can accommodate up to 400 lbs of passenger weight… and most of the weight will likely be coming from the rider because there aren’t any racks and the add-on battery pack that Electric Bike Technologies added is taking up most of the seat back support arms. There are two bottle cage bosses here but they are covered up on this model. So why not have two wheels in the front and a rack in the rear? Why not mount the battery somewhere else? This design is much easier to stand over and sit down on than most Tadpole style trikes (those with two wheels up front). As for the battery, I believe this was just the best option for accessibility given that it’s easier to plug into and even remove from this spot. All in all, I’d call this an average electric bike, one that has some real trade-offs to consider in design (uncomfortable throttle placement, basic suspension, generic brakes) but keeps the price low and makes it possible for a different audience to engage. If you’re a heavier person, this is one of the few e-trikes available at all and it’s sportier and more bicycle-like than the Worksman Cycles PAV3 (also converted by Electric Bike Technologies). One thing that I really love about it is how adjustable the control settings are and how open the battery and controller are to being upgraded or replaced by third-party options.

Driving the trike is an impressive 500 watt gearless hub motor mounted into the front wheel. The side effects of having such a large and powerful motor are that it can move the heavier frame and rider… but also takes more work to steer and may spin out. Perhaps the settings on my demo bike were mellowed out however because it did not feel especially zippy. Smoother acceleration saves power and is more predictable so that’s not a bad thing. I noticed the extra-large torque arm connecting the motor axle to the fork arm and was impressed by how quiet it performed. For those who live in hilly areas (even medium weight riders), do not expect this trike to carry you up hills without helping. The motor performs best when you gather some speed going in and if you help out by pedaling. And since you’ve got 21 gears to work with, pedaling is comfortable and a wide range of speeds. There’s even an extra large ring specifically for climbing in the rear cluster.

Powering the bike is a 48 volt 10.5 amp hour Lithium-ion battery with lightweight long lasting characteristics. The cells are contained in an Aluminum box with plastic end caps and the top has a handle making it easy to carry. I’m not thrilled with how and where it’s mounted but I can’t think of a better option without some custom designed platform mount which would likely increase the price. During my rides it worked well and was actually easier to take off than some of the in-basket designes on other trikes. The key is required to unlock and remove the pack (which slides off the left side of the seat rails) as well as to operate it. You insert the key, turn it all the way to on and then press the M button on the button pad control ring. This is something I love to gripe about because the key can jingle when riding if you’ve got a keychain connected… or even snag. Thankfully, at least inthe case of the Sun Seeker EZ-3 HD, the key is behind you and very clear of feet and arm movement while riding. Note that the battery charger resembles the battery itself, having an Aluminum case. It’s relatively light and compact but might still be difficult to cart along without some sort of custom bag solution. I often wear a backpack on the front of my body when testing trikes like this but that limits airflow… Perhaps a little trailer would do?

Operating the trike is fun and interesting once they key is inserted and turned to “on” because you get lots of options and adjustments. Whether you want to limit the top speed, disable the throttle or pedal assist or adjust the Amp output (for smoother riding). Even adjust how quickly pedal assist responds! It’s all doable here and I was told that the controller was setup with a custom power curve to match the battery pack for improved power drain accuracy. This is a great update considering some of the older batteries and displays used by Electric Bike Technologies were just basic LED readouts using sensitive Lead Acid batteries. In short, this trike is more open to adjustment which results in less complex unwanted behavior, slower riding for people with balance challenges and extended range for those who are willing to sacrifice the feelign of zippiness. The display itself is beautiful, very thin but large and easy to read. It’s adjustable forward and back, to reduce glare, but is not removable. This concerned me a little given how nice it looks… consider draping a shirt over it or something when parking to deter unwanted attention? I noticed that the wires from the display, motor, battery and controller were professionall gathered and strung along the frame and love that both brake levers have motor inhibitors built in (to cut power to the ebike systems the instant you pull them) and there’s a parking brake latch system to keep the trike from rolling away when you leave it.

At 99 lbs this trike can be a handful and there’s a $350 charge for shipping unless you can drive to Pennsylvania and pick it up. The team making these is US based, does a lot of hands on work to get products setup before delivery and you should be greeted by a large box with a product that is “ready to ride” as soon as you open and unpack it. While I love the idea of suspension, I feel that the larger tires, padded seat and upright body position all contribute equally to the comfort felt with the EZ-3. The suspension bumper itself offers limited travel and very limited adjustability. I’m not a super large rider myself and might steer towards another trike from ElectricTrike.com but completely appreciate that this one exists. It could be a real life changer for someone who hasn’t ridden bikes for a while and doesn’t have the flexibility, balance or endurance to ride with others but who still wants to go along (or maybe replace their car for short trips). Yes, I’m bummed about the limited storage but that can be overcome… just like the lack of lights and flag. Depending on where you live, with a bit of creativity this could turn into an awesome platform and be a joy to ride.

Pros:

  • You get 21 gear combinations to pedal with on this trike (along with an extra large 34 tooth sprocket in the back) which is great considering it weighs more, whether you’re climbing or striving to maintain the top assisted speed of 20 mph those gears will make it easier
  • For me, this trike was easier to stand over and mount because there’s just one wheel up front (vs. two on a tadpole trike) and the seat is slightly higher
  • In addition to the larger name brand tires (Maxxis Hookwork, nearly 2″ diameter) the padded saddle, flexible back rest and mid-frame bumper shock add to the comfort of the Sun Seeker EZ-3 HD, that’s important if you’re a larger person or just traveling faster and further than on an unpowered trike
  • I love that the seat slides forward and back to accommodate different leg lengths and that you can adjust the back rest angle for comfort, I tend to ride upright mysel
  • The wheels are reinforced with sturdy spokes (48 in the rear), reinforcement eyeletts and nipples to reduce cracking and breaking due to heavier loads and more force (especially the front wheel which has the motor spoked in)
  • Decent brakes with motor inhibitors in the brake levers and a parking latch so the trike won’t roll away, while the rear brakes are mechanical vs. hydraulic you do get two disc brakes vs. just one on the Sun Seeker Eco Delta
  • This e-trike gives you pedal assist, throttle on demand and has an open computer system allowing for integration with more after-market battery packs, you can also dial down the top speed and amp output for safety and efficiency
  • A 12-magnet cadence sensor detects pedal motion (and stops) much faster than some of the cheaper 6-magnet designs I’ve seen, because it’s cadence sensing you don’t need to push especially hard in order to activate the motor, you can just stretch your legs and pedal gently if you want but still get a boost
  • I think it’s great that you can order the Sun Seeker EZ-3 HD completely converted to electric, shipped directly to you ready to ride… but Electric Bike Technologies also sells the kits on their own so you could convert an existing trike too (they even have video tutorials)
  • I like the pedals they chose for this trike because they offer good traction, more surface area, they match the frame and just seemed sturdier
  • Given the added mechanical forces and weight at plan in the front wheel, I like that Electric Bike Technologies added an oversized torque arm to the front fork

Cons:

  • This is a heavier electric trike, weighing in at just under 100 lbs the Steel frame and handle bars are strong and lend to the Heavy Duty (HD) hame which can accommodate up to 400 lbs but as a result the bike itself weighs more too and may be difficult to transport or pedal (especially if it runs low on battery)
  • There’s no rear rack to mount a trunk bag or pannier to, it’s one of the big trade-offs I’ve seen with the Sun Seeker Delta trikes (that have two wheels in the back and one up front)
  • Electric Bike Technologies had to get creative when mounting their battery pack to the EZ-3 HD frame because there’s no rack, instead, they clamped it to the seat support arms which blocks both bottle cage mounting points
  • The trigger throttle was fit onto the right portion of the handle bars and set between the grip and twist shifter. For me, this felt uncomfortable and blocked shifting, I think it would be worth exploring a different trigger throttle design that could mount behind the grip twist and stick out further for easier use
  • The gearless hub motor they chose is powerful and seemed sturdy (they tend to be bulletproof) but adds more weight compared to geared and this impacts steering, when you let go of the bars the front wheel wants to flop to one side or the other so it takes a bit of extra arm strength to maneuver this thing
  • There are no integrated lights or flag pole accessories included here, these would be nic to have because they would improve convenience while enhancing safety… but you do get reflectors and the silver frame is more visible
  • At $2,305 you get a lot of bang for your buck with this trike but keep in mind their shipping is an extra $350 anywhere in the contiguous USA
  • The key must be left in the battery pack and switched to on when riding, it stays out of the way on this trike but might still jingle a bit if you’ve got a keychain attached
  • Because this bike uses a gearless hub motor, there is a bit of cogging (magnetic drag) happening with the front wheel vs. a geared hub motor

Resources:

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heystine
2 hours ago

An electric tricycle is perfect for the person who would love to ride but is not quite up to a conventional bike, or trike. You can sit back and let the trike do the work or pedal when you want some exercise.It's sort of the best of both worlds.

emco5
5 days ago

The Electric Shopping Cruiser Any opinions?

A 250 watt hub is minimal assistance for a lightweight two wheeler. That trike is heavy. Slight boost would be noticed on level ground but there wouldn't be much energy on inclines and zip on hills, especially with a load of stuff in the basket.

If you need a trike, get one and put a stronger mid-drive kit on it. https://tinyurl.com/yd2bjn9q

The forum host has info on the drives https://electricbikereview.com/?s=8fun+mid+drive

Skyhawk4754
1 week ago

Hi
New to the forum.
Introduction: 64 years young, male, 6'2" 280 lbs live in the Texas Hill Country.
I bought a Terratrike Allroad Rambler with BionX P350 DX20 electric assist , 24" tires about 90 days ago.
I really like the trike. However we have about 1/2 mile of a 12% increase in elevation and the electric assist just doesn't have it. What can I do to improve my situation?
Thanks

JohnT
2 weeks ago

I own a Fat Tad. I bought it a couple years ago, planning to convert it to electric, but haven’t gotten around to it. I’ve only put on a few miles but would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

It’s a big heavy trike, but the suspension and fat tires make for a nice, comfortable ride. Ride height isn’t very low, so ground clearance is good and getting in and out of the seat is relatively easy. I wobble when I pedal, but I assume that’ll go away with practice. I haven’t gone very fast on it yet.

It doesn’t roll though standard doorways and is heavy and awkward to carry. Im hoping it’s not too much worse when converted with the battery removed. I wouldn’t want to have to carry it twice every time I rode. I have it I my garage.

Most of the components are acceptable quality. I don’t think I’ll be swapping them out for better ones. I’m not that picky.

Overall, I’d recommend it, but it’s obviously not the right ride for everyone.

rich c
3 weeks ago

This summer I started riding my full suspension mtb along the Hennepin Canal. It's like 75 miles of basically a straight line and little elevation change. We also have a crushed rock rail trail that goes about 30 miles in a similar fashion. I'm thinking a Fat-Tad from Electric Trikes on slicks would be the perfect nature cruiser for those rides. Heads up and a relaxed position for the miles. The canal ride is so enjoyable with birds and water views the entire distance, I think the heads-up ride would let me enjoy the view better. Any opinions about the recumbent trike?

ScorpionKing
4 weeks ago

I have successfully modified a tool to pop pins out of white connectors so I can do unplanned things behind the axle nut. I put fork stiffener struts on made of aluminum angle. So I took a pick from big lots store ($2.89), and ground the tip down almost needle fine, using a bench grinder. use Safety glasses. Don't overheat. Then I could push on the tabs of the pins to flatten them, and let the pins back out of the block. When putting the pins back you have to rebend the tabs out to pop out a bit again and hook the connector body.
The reason you can't use an actual needle, they are not long enough and you need a handle to hold the needle with and apply force.Sears also used to sell a .050" thick pick in a handle. Also General Tool. The big lots one was so fat it was almost scrap to start with.
Good luck on the uncooperative vendor.

You really should not need a tool or at least we shouldn’t have to pop any pins out or remove any plug. Prior to the sale I was told specially we needed to use two torque arm kits by this company. The reason given was the cassette version of the axle was 12mm vs the freewheel version which is 14mm.

That should have been reason enough to ship the Motor without the small wires in the contacts mounted in the White Plastic Plug causing a problem for the buyer.

In addition, instructions were never sent with shipment. We were finally send an email after being told their “One Drive was down” (maybe this is there file sever), from there own company in emai, that clear states in writing on page paragraph 6, that until the motor is fitted to the Bike the White Plastic Plug should not be fitted on the contacts on the end of the electric wire, because it will prevent the Nuts and Washers from sliding off and on.

Those are not the exact words as written but I have printed the email and can scan and upload it if necessary. I am past this point unless PayPal or American Express wants it for evidence.

Point being, Motor should have been shipped end user ready from this vendor. There are a lot of first time builders out there like us. It does not mean we are stupid just because we might be inexperienced at building or converting to an E-bike/Trike at this time. This is only our first attempt. Many of us own multiple bikes s/Trikes. I personally own 5. What that means to this vendor is that by treating me poorly as he did he at least lost 4 potential future sales. Also I am not likely to say good things about this vendor to others on the forums I regularly participate in, or when I am out riding events like Ragbrai.

Lastly it should not have been assumed I was going to purchase a controller or other parts from this vendor. Motors have the capability of using various controllers. This company was told up front I was not using their controller. I will have to check my email but I believe I told them I was using a Phase Runner.

Seems there were and are enough reasons to have left that White Plastic Plug off instead of shipping the way they did.

Jason

RobMatthies Vancouver
1 month ago

Look at the YouTube video of an unedited ride through the rain puddles. The EFF rider screams as he gets his pants soaked. Anybody contemplating purchasing an electric trike should watch that video.

That was exactly my thought when I saw an ELF yesterday in Vancouver (nickname: Raincouver), BC.

All my e-rides have been heavily modified, and all (10+ easily, maybe even 20, since 1998) of them were working well when I either sold, gave away, or stolen.

If I owned an ELF electric trike, here's how I would mod them, for reliability:

- Install water splash shields by cutting coreplast and installing with zipties

- Make a partial floorboard of some kind. If would be a partial cover due to the components that would prevent building a complete floorboard.

- Liquid Tape in specific areas (a lot)

- Spray MG Chemicals Super Contact Cleaner where needed

- Add lockwashers on nuts

- Create a splash shield for the motor and other components underneath that are vulnerable to salt/rust

- Install two chain-cleaning wells as oil baths

- Get an air-bottle air horn

- Prevent the rubber grommets (where cables enter the ELF trike's body) from loosening, as seen on the one I saw yesterday.

For a future ELF trike re-design, or mod:

- Change to a gearless, brushless hub motor on the rear wheel, preferably a QSmotor with a matching sine-wave controller.

For those new to electric trikes: This "industry" has a history of failure. Look up the "cemetery" of electric bikes and electric trikes, at EValbum.com

For 10-year, daily drive durability, an ELF owner will need to do what I did to my electric rides. There are very few electric bikers in Vancouver with a working 8+ year electric rides. I still have all of my electric scooters in working order.

Dewey
2 months ago

Wondering if anyone has or thought of leasing an E-Bike? It would be nice to use the bike for two years then either buy it out or up it

Bicycle Blue Book use local bike shops with their trade in program, it covers ebikes. All Performance Bike stores use it. If it’s in good mechanical condition you will get a certain % of what you had paid towards a new model.

https://www.bicyclebluebook.com/partnerdirectory.aspx

I’ve also seen independent stores/chains offer their own trade in programs, locally a chain called Conte’s offers up to 40%. Some brands like Woom and Trek offer a loyalty/buy-up program on children’s bikes which seems a good way to help your child ride a bike that fits them.

If you sell privately I’ve noticed some higher end cargo ebikes hold their value, I saw a fairly new imported electric Nicola trike on sale on CL recently in my city for 2/3 of its new cost. But those are the exception, buying used ebikes you’ve gotta assume you’ll have to replace the battery.

Wormburger
2 months ago

By my math, I would have gotten less than 40% back, after I pay for all the shipping.
As it stands now, I have the trike, I will rip off all their electronic crap, bring it down to the frame, and just rebuild it somehow, as motor kits are becoming cheaper now.
It is literally just a normal trike, that was modified to become a "purpose-built electric". you can see the where they added holes to bolt in the motor and battery cage.
luckily I think I can use the same holes to mount a different motor. possibly even a gas lawn mower. turn it into a hybrid electric/gas. lol

yeah, they have my money, and it would cost me more to fight them. But I can warn others away from them, and that I can do for free!

SomeGuy
2 months ago

About me:

The biggest reason for wanting an electronic bike is to help me get over hills. My price range is no more than $2,000 ($2,199 absolute max) (but not including accessories or shipping/tax). I'm 5'11", weigh 190 lbs (with a 10-15 lbs variance over time). Eventually, I'll live somewhere in the outer Boston area and will commute into Boston, (mostly on roads/sidewalks) possibly 6 - 18 miles one way (16- 36 both ways), 5 days a week. This bike will be my primary source of transportation.

I will be riding in the rain and snow. Eventually I’ll either buy or make a rain/snow shield. (which will increase drag). I’d also rather buy snow tires than a fat bike.

Features I want:

Mid-drive with throttle (prefer a trigger throttle, and that the mid-drive and throttle can handle being used together)
Class 3
Riser bar
Rear rack to be able to carry groceries and things.
Removable Display in center of handlebars
high step
Prefer a 28mph bike (the speed demon in me)
Long lasting battery (I’ll charge the battery at work, and eventually will buy a 2nd one)
Durability to handle New England weather (hot and cold temps, rain, snow)

Features I do NOT want:

Twist throttle
Half-twist throttle
Low step
Drop handlebars
Small tires
Small frame
Tandem
Trike
Fat bike

What frame size should I buy? Any suggestions on which electronic bike to purchase with these guidelines? I do understand that there won't be a perfect bike for a low price. Thank you.

Dewey
2 months ago
Kim S
2 months ago

Something like this: http://www.ebay.com/itm/332133596775 (Not electric,but a trike)
Or this: http://www.riderungu.com/shop/product/2017-kilimanjaro/ (electric trike)

Dewey
2 months ago

The Sunseeker Eco Tad would be about $2300 with shipping, it doesn't have suspension but it is a recumbent tadpole trike with a mesh seat.

ReallyGoodEbikes
2 months ago

Based on your particular needs, I would strongly recommend taking a look at the electric trike from Priority Electric Transportation. They build a high quality etrike that is quite affordable. Call me if you have any questions.

FlaDeziner
2 months ago

I am a casual rider who now needs to be concerned about stability when riding. I'm in Florida and it's flat, flat, flat. I have tried riding a regular trike and find it very uncomfortable and unstable because the trike does not tilt on turns. I want the ability to bike to the store and get some power if needed.

I'm convinced a trike with 2 wheels and some type of suspension in the front will work for me, but I'm not in the market to spend $6k on a Butchers & Bicycles trike or even $2,300 on a PFIFF

Certainly, there is a source in the USA to purchase this China Made trike I have posted above or something similar. Can someone direct me to a source? Thanks in advance for the assist.

1/1
BreakAes
3 months ago

Hi all,

I'm going to be getting an Azub Fat trike: http://azub.eu/recumbent-bikes-and-trikes/trikes/26-wheels/fat/ and I'll need an electric conversion kit with both a throttle and pedal-assist.

It seems like the best motor option for me is a 750 watt Bafang mid-drive motor. I'd like to have a torque-sensing motor, but I understand that Bafang is behind on releasing theirs, and they only have a cadence-sensing system at the moment.

I'm wondering what the difference in practice would be between a 48v and 52v battery. I also want at least a 17 amp hour battery, and if it's not too heavy, something around 20 amp hours or more would be nice.

I'm looking for suggestions on where the best place is to get the kit. And how hard would it be to install it? Should I have a shop do it, or is it easy enough to do it by one's self?

Here are the stores I know of for electric conversion kits:

https://www.eradkits.com

https://lunacycle.com

http://www.ebikeco.com

http://www.rosecityrecumbentcycles.com

Let me know what you think, thanks!

bob armani
4 months ago

I have a Hilltopper 250W 24V front wheel on my 7-speed Schwinn. I don't use it for sport, just for day-to-day transportation. (I almost never use my car any more.) My terrain is flat city roads, and my typical trip is 2 to 4 miles one way.My kit has no throttle, just a push button to kick in the motor.

Most of the time I pedal in gear 5, and just use the motor for assist when I get below 10 MPH, and usually only goose myself until I'm back up to 12-14 MPH. Even pulling a bike trailer loaded with 20 pounds of groceries, I have no trouble cruising along at 12 MPH or so, although I do use the motor more when I'm fully loaded. (I'm only 150 lbs myself.) I don't need more speed than that since, at age 72, my reaction time isn't as quick as it used to be, and I find 15 MPH to be very comfortable, and 20 MPH to be a little on the "break-neck" side for me. hehe.

So as far as power is concerned, I seem to have all I need. What I'm wondering is, is there any efficiency advantage to a higher voltage, or higher power motor? Could I maybe get more range, or less battery wear by using a system that has more power than I really need, rather than pushing my 250W motor harder? I see that so many bikes use higher voltages and wattages, even when they are still topped out at 20MPH, so I assume there must be some advantage.

I'm also looking into these issues because I'm thinking about making a home-built trike just for fun, and as a better grocery-getter.

Gary-I agree with Mark's comment. You are only 150lbs and with a 250 watt motor, sounds like it is pushing you just fine. I asked the same question when purchasing my ebike. I am at 135lbs and my 350 watt motor on my ebike pushes me along at fast and furious speeds that are more than adequate. I can top out at 22.5 mph without a whole lot of exertion I asked about a 500 watt motor and they indicated it is too much power for someone in my weight class.

I like the concept of the Hilltopper. I was thinking on making one of my mtn bikes into an electric with the kit. Sounds like it is performing well! Ride safe!

BreakAes
4 months ago

I need some help finding the best electric conversion kit for my needs.

I'm probably going to end up buying a Sun Seeker Fat Tad trike, since it seems to offer the best bang for the buck when it comes to fat tire trikes for off-roading.

My questions are, what's the best electric conversion kit for this trike? And should I have it done professionally, or attempt to do it myself to save money?

So far I'm aware of the E-Bike Kit company from the EBR video on the Fat Tad e-trike. They sell a completed, ready to ride out of the box e-trike here: https://www.electrictrike.com/collections/electric-trikes/products/fat-tad-cxs-tadpole-electric-trike

And I called Utah Trikes earlier and got their pricing: Fat Tad CXS: $1,899, with 500 watt Bafang mid-drive motor: http://www.utahtrikes.com/PROD-11619645.html - $795, and 36v 13.5 amp hour Panasonic battery (I believe it's this one: https://lunacycle.com/36v-panasonic-bottle-battery-sondors-compatible-upgrade-replacement/ but I'll need to confirm on Monday): $389 - Total: $3,083. And I'll need to get installation charge, and shipping pricing.

There's also a somewhat local company that could do it. I'd need to call them for specifics.

I want to get the absolute best products for the best prices that I can, so are there other recommendations for converting the Fat Tad trike to an e-trike?

Let me know, thanks!

BreakAes
4 months ago

Today I was able to try the Rad Mini, and a step-through Electra. It's not safe for me to ride a bike, at least for now. I am thinking about getting a scooter that I can go off-road with, for traveling with a truck camper though. Any thoughts on what would be good for that? Something like a scooter version of a Rad Mini might be cool.

I was able to try a Catrike Trail, non-electric version. For working out my legs, I'm strongly leaning towards getting something like the Sun Seeker Fat Tad e-trike: https://electricbikereview.com/sun-seeker/fat-tad-electric-trike/

I want the fat tires for off-roading, so is this the e-trike to get? Or are there competitors?

If I want it, should I get it from here: https://www.electrictrike.com/collections/electric-trikes/products/fat-tad-cxs-tadpole-electric-trike

Or should I buy a battery and motor kit elsewhere, and do a custom electric conversion?

Ideally I'd like to find a used one in excellent condition to save money. Any ideas on where these might pop up for sale? I'll ask at the Bent Rider Online forums as well.

Thanks.

Robert W Green
4 months ago

So I'm about to pull the trigger and buy an e-bike (yay!). However, I am concerned about service. I'm OK traveling 30 or 40 miles to an e-bike shop once or twice for the initial purchase, but not basic maintenance year after year.

Do you have any suggestions for finding a local e-bike mechanic (Long Beach, CA) competent to work on (my) bike? Questions to ask, things to look for when visiting the shop, etc.? Are the differences between e- and non-e bikes small enough that skilled bike mechanics can work on everything other than the motor and battery? Does it matter in this regard whether the bike's mid-drive or hub drive? ... Sorry for all the Q's!!

Beeline bikes will come to you in their awesome mobile bike shops and fix your nonebike issues and depending on the tech some of your ebike issues. Also Southern California is the ebike capitol of the USA, do a google search and I bet you'll find a lbs that will help you. Things have have changed since I bought a recumbent trike and a ridekick power trailer. Back then I was a double heretic for the recumbent nature of my bike and the electric motor in my trailer. Now my lbs has an entire section for ebikes and recumbent and erecumbents. Is that a word?

MikeDD
7 months ago

My wife has a Liberty trike. I would not let the smaller wheels stop you from buying. It has plenty of power and is able to climb very steep hills.

One thing you do not get pedal assist, the hand throttle is how you control the electric assist. My wife has MS and the low height of the Liberty makes it easier to climb on since she has to lift one of her legs with her hands

Good luck in your search.

Bicyclista
7 months ago

Have you considered electric trikes? Court has reviewed a number of them. Personally, I would go for the "tadpole" style, where there two wheels in front and one in back. The tadpole configuration is more stable in turns. (I remember as a child being thrown off my trike because I took a turn too quickly!) Yes, most of the tadpole trikes are recumbent, and that may or may not appeal to you.

Matt A
7 months ago

So, Rohloff Delite GX HS it was. I reached out to Chris Nolte of Propel and (at my prodding) he was kind enough to offer a modest discount on his floor model, but with the proviso that I had to wait for him to take delivery of another one before he sent the demo to me. Fair enough. Chris was good to his word re: estimated delivery time. Three weeks passed and sure enough, he got the new demo in and made arrangements to have the bike brought to my office on a Sunday afternoon (I live in a small city an hour or so north of NYC). Nice of him to go out of the way and offer to deliver as I had some personal things going on that would have kept me from picking it up within the next week or so.

First impressions: Sweet! Only 22 demo miles on the odometer. I already had a few alterations and additions in mind (guess that is the male version of "accessorizing") , but the essential core was all there - substantial frame, nice components, obviously well thought out, maybe a bit over-engineered - if that is even possible. Being purpose built exclusively as an e-bike, nothing about it has that "aftermarket-afterthought" feel. Solid as can be. No pretensions of being anything but a steady road warrior, capable of taking hard knocks and shrugging off the usual daily insults from the two ton motorized behemoths one encounters on the daily commute. Yeah, kind of a motorcycle feel, but still very much a vehicle that requires human input to motivate. Pretty heavy, but I had spent a lot of time in another life piloting touring bikes loaded down with four panniers and 50-69 additional lbs of gear, so I knew I wouldn't be phased by the weight that the two batteries and Bosch motor entailed. This thing knows it's purpose: built to bull through most stuff, on or off road, without the rider wondering if something is going to crack, snap off, or otherwise make things unpleasant.

As things go, the first week that I had it turned out to be nasty weather-wise. Record low temps, mixed precipitation. I think I clicked maybe 15 miles total over the over the first few days. On the first nice day, the following Sunday, I put 30 + miles on it. Super happy with it. Went on road and on trail. The brakes, suspension, beefy 27.5" tires, and power package all work well together. It's not a "pocket rocket", as we used to refer to certain motorcycles way back when, but the whole package works as advertised. I am liking it a lot. The Rohloff gives it an awesome low range, though I would like to get a bit more headroom at high speed ie. have pedal input over 30 mph. I did get the bike over 40 mph, but that was going down a big hill with inertia being the only motivator. In day to day riding, that really isn't a factor and I guess I could always put a smaller cog on the Rohloff at some point (but probably won't). At high speed, I had total confidence and the suspension ably handled a surprise pothole around 35 mph. Why potholes in NY in the spring should be a surprise, I don't know, but it was a substantial one nonetheless and the bike pretty much took it in stride. Power assist is just about right. At first you find yourself obsessing over the (4) available ranges, but I find myself pretty much either running it on tour or turbo mode. You definitely know that all those micro adjustments for shifting and human pedal effort are going on in the Bosch brain, but for the most part it just does that job well and it works rather seamlessly. After the first 100 or so miles, I was over any second thoughts about not having gotten a "throttle" type e-assist or opting for more power. Despite the added weight of the electric assist components, the pedal effort vs. a non-electric bike is reduced by maybe 50%, Works for me. The Intuvia controller is pretty straight forward. Almost like a typical bike computer but with power functions added. It took some getting used to not having the wealth of detailed data that the Cycle Analyst produces on my EcoSpeed trike setup, but simplicity is a good thing too. I am curious, Matt, how your Nyon is working out for you.

Time to start using the bike on a daily commuting basis. And then a few hiccups occur . . .
I enjoyed reading everything you wrote. I am glad I got the NuVinci, but only because of my riding stlye. The Rohloff is definitely better. I use the bike for going to a number of destinations around the city and I like to get done quickly, so I am constantly shifting as I ride around very quickly. If I owned a Rohloff, I'd likely get used to it but when I tried a demo I just hated it. I have been testing the limits of the bike a lot, and have crashed a number of times. The bike never gets hurt really, and the Nyon back is scuffed up from a couple spills but still works great. It is very detailed and I like looking at my rides afterwards. I ride almost always in Turbo, I only ride in Tour if I will be running out of battery. Hard to believe I know, but I frequently do over 60 miles on the bike at once. I am really looking forward to upgrading the suspension on the bike and having a set of MTB tires for off-roading. I have been testing the limits of the bike and have fallen off a number of times, so once I upgrade the rear shock and fork, I want to avoid scratching them lol.

There are a lot of paved trails near me and also some dirt and gravel trails too. I went up a steep climb on a 6 inch wide dirt path covered in roots and boulders like it was nothing. Coming back down was a bit scary with the Super Moto X tires that have 1500 miles of wear on them, I am sure I will feel much more confident with some nobby nics on like the GX has I believe. I never did any trail riding before, but I really had a blast trying it out and will be doing a lot of it in the future.

More on the Nyon, I really am glad I upgrades. It just looks so much cooler and gives you a ton of information. I know the exact battery percentage as well which is a plus since steep sections of a ride can really distort the range for the overall ride. You can see a map of your path and can see your altitude, cadence, speed, and power output and any point along the ride. I like the navigation, but it is not as good as Google Maps. It is just like using a tomtom or garmin sat nav. The directions are fine but the city has a lot of close streets, it would be nice to see the street names on the map but it just shows the roads with no names. Sometimes of course navigation lags a little, so it would be nice to see the name of the roads on screen. It does not show the names of random streets around you on the map, nor the name of the street you are supposed to turn onto next, and also not the street you are currently on. No street names, just an animation to follow. I really just like the Nyon for how it looks, the Intuvia works fine but it is such a simple display on a bike that has so much more to offer (not to mention it looks high tech).

The Nyon display does take a few extra seconds to load up, and sometimes restarts during a ride (not often). The good thing though is that the power assist works from the second you hit the power button, even though the display is loading. And when the Nyon restarts mid-ride for no reason, the assist never stops, so really doesn't bother me. One other thing is that the Nyon does not allow me to turn on the High Beam of my Supernova M99 Pro. The Intuvia light button worked for the high beam and also for turning it on during the day, but with the Nyon connected, the headlight is completely independent. It won't turn on when the sun is out, and won't turn off at night nor turn the high beam on, the light button is useless even though the light icon appears when I click it. Perhaps I need it to be changed to switchable from a shop, I have not checked yet. Worst case scenario I will have to attach the high beam button that came with the light, but it will not reach my handlebars since the light is mounted on the fork crown. I like it better there, the lighting is perfect and cars can see my lights better in their mirrors because it is at the same level as car headlights. I will have to epoxy the button onto the actualy light or something lol.

Hugh
7 months ago

I have decided to use the brakes and electrics on my Bionx 500 equipped EVO road bike and build a 3 wheeled electric recumbent trike. I bought the plans, got the steel tube and have started the project. The style is called a tadploe trike which means the 2 wheels are in front and 1 wheel in back It is called the Warrior and i got the plans from a site called Atomic Zombie. The frame is made from 1/16" or 16 gauge 1 1/2" square tubing. You need a few parts from discarded bikes. The headsets from 3 old bikes are cut down and used in the steering assembly. A bottom bracket from one bike is also used. After i bought the plans there was the annual police bicycle auction where stolen and not claimed bikes are auctioned off. It just happens to be less than a block from my home. So i picked up 3 old bikes for $20 apiece. A grinder with cut wheels and a flap disc was used to cut them up and polish the pieces i needed. I also have a small 110 volt welder which is more the sufficient for the job. The BionX wheel is 28" in diameter and will be used as the rear drive unit. The EVO has 2 180 mm Tektro disc rotors which fit the front wheels. The front wheels were the most expensive components so far. You need 20" rims BMX style rims so I used my LBS and ordered 2 20mm disc ready hubs, 2 double wall 36 spoke 20" rims and had them lace the wheels up. Two 6" long 5/8th" fine thread bolts will be the front axles, those needed some 5/8ths" bronze bushings and one wrap of .010 shim to make them fit the 20mm hubs nice and snug. So far I have the main part of the frame built, the wheels all ready and will be making the front arms that hold the wheels and steering. It is a step by step process. The reason for this build is one - comfort and two- i like building things and 3 - bikes, in particular electric bikes are great.

1/3
Michael Workinger
9 months ago

Any motorized bike should have pedal gearing that allows the rider to add power at the full speed potential of the motor.

Michael Workinger
9 months ago

--I can pedal with it up to a about 25 now and it top ends at about 43mph. If I could pedal with the motor up to 40 mph, the bike would hit 50mph not problem.

Michael Workinger
9 months ago

--This simple low-tech concept will make every electric bike 40-80 % faster / more efficient. Just a matter of re-working the gear system for motorized. I put a 52t front sprocket on my ole school 43cc motorbike so I can pedal with the motor past 18 mph for instance.

augsburg
10 months ago

Great review. We ride The Loop multi-use trail in Tucson and see a lot of similar recumbent trikes, both pedal power and e-bike versions. They appear to be a great option for older riders and who knows, maybe I will need one some day.

George Herman
10 months ago

Man I really like this trike.

gareatouai
10 months ago

I got this bike 6 years ago with a Bionic motor setup to walk/run my big 110 pounds Malamute dog during the summer. Since the tires are very sleek, having the motor in front provide a bit more traction (2 wheels drive) to help you on a steep uphill on loose gravel, wet leaves or light snow. However, the need for a control arm on one side means that you need to keep control of the front wheel at all times and should never let go of the handle. I am very rough with it going off road and it still hold up. The middle bolt on the swing arm needs to be checked and tightened from time to time. Rear disc brakes are a must. The center of gravity is high on that bike, so you need to be careful to slow down to take sharp turns especially if a dog is pulling on the outside. I would recommend a rear derailleur with a shorter arm and adding a chain tensioner in front so that the chain hangs higher from the ground in the lowest gear and prevent it from scraping or bending it on uneven terrain, catch rocks or pack full of long grass or leaves.

Stouxsie X
10 months ago

hello looks like the pedals only drive 1 of the rear wheels am i correct?

Rob K
10 months ago

Court... Yes the Delta trikes (1 front 2 back) are comfortable...Yet..you have to be very careful when turning and braking as they tend to be unstable and tip over. The Tadpole (2 back 1 front) are very stable because your weight is lower and in between the front wheels. Hope you and Mony are doing well. :)

R D
10 months ago

Very well explained 👍🏻🇨🇦

David Macdonald
10 months ago

that trike is fantastic.

NovaColonel
10 months ago

Are there no sidewalks?

Seb K
10 months ago

Not a fan of front drive and even moreso and electric bike with RIM BRAKES !!!

Mike B
10 months ago

Two wheels in back is known as a Delta.

John Moura
10 months ago

Cool trike - - Great review! I have seat envy.

Enrico Kitzler
10 months ago

please make a video about the Haibike sduro allmtn 8.0
😀

eph5121
10 months ago

really cool, built for me.. nz 3200.00 .. i'd need to build a trailer for it tho.

/Pol/ack The Polack
10 months ago

First

Seb K
10 months ago

Last (sigh) !!!

Jordan Smith
10 months ago

Second

Tom Thumb
10 months ago

99 pounds, WOW. Would it break if I rode it?