Coaster Cycles Transit trike?

General Discussion about electric bicycles.
Post Reply
User avatar
arthurtuxedo   100 W

100 W
Posts: 102
Joined: May 16 2017 11:45am
Location: San Francisco, CA

Coaster Cycles Transit trike?

Post by arthurtuxedo » Jan 10 2019 7:21pm

Has anyone tried to electrify a trike from Coaster Cycles or a similar model?

https://www.coastercycles.com/cargo-trike/

From the pictures, it looks like a pair of rear hubs would not work due to the hub attaching directly to the cargo platform, and I am not sure about a mid-drive. Front-wheel drive would probably have too little traction with a load.

Please let me know if anyone has had luck with electrifying such a vehicle!

User avatar
amberwolf   100 GW

100 GW
Posts: 25409
Joined: Aug 17 2009 6:43am
Location: Phoenix, AZ, USA, Earth, Sol, Local Bubble, Orion Arm, Milky Way, Local Group
Contact:

Re: Coaster Cycles Transit trike?

Post by amberwolf » Jan 10 2019 9:18pm

What specifically and exactly do you need the trike to do?

What it has to do for you will drive the decisions of what it's powered with and how, because some methods won't work for some needs.


LIke anything else with a live axle in the rear, the only really easy way is a front hubmotor.

You'd have to get details from them of the BB and dimensions around it to see if any of the commercial middrives would fit.

You can always build a version of the Stokemonkey type setup to drive the pedal chain rearward of the seat; would require some fabrication.

You can use friction drives on the rear wheels if you don't need a lot of torque.

You could modify (or replace) the rear hubs with versions that allow a sprocket to be mounted to their inboard sides, and then run independent chain (or belt) drive motors to them, so that it's independent of the pedal drivetrain. (since it's a live axle, doing this even on just one side would also drive the other, but you can get twice the power if you do both sides, or work the motors half as hard). Powerchair brushed motors would work well for this and could give you enough torque to break things, if you gear them low enough. ;)

There's probably other relatively easy ways I haven't thought of in the few minutes of typing this up.

User avatar
arthurtuxedo   100 W

100 W
Posts: 102
Joined: May 16 2017 11:45am
Location: San Francisco, CA

Re: Coaster Cycles Transit trike?

Post by arthurtuxedo » Jan 12 2019 9:32am

Thanks amberwolf, you're a human encyclopedia as always! It doesn't seem like this vehicle will work for what I needed, but I'll come up with more (and crazier) ideas in the future, I'm sure!

User avatar
Chalo   100 GW

100 GW
Posts: 7284
Joined: Apr 29 2009 11:29pm
Location: Austin, Texas

Re: Coaster Cycles Transit trike?

Post by Chalo » Jan 12 2019 12:01pm

arthurtuxedo wrote:
Jan 10 2019 7:21pm
Has anyone tried to electrify a trike from Coaster Cycles or a similar model?
I haven't done a Coaster, but electrifying pedicab trikes from Main Street, Tipke, Cycles Maximus, and Precision is one of the things I do at one of my jobs. We use a Cyclone gearmotor to drive the differential casing. We've developed our own motor mounts that are versatile enough to adapt to whichever trike we are working with.
https://precisionpedicab.com/?product=p ... 16fd43adaa

Image

From what little I've seen of the Coaster flat bed, I expect it (like Cycles Maximus) may need to have a simple crossbar welded into one side of the frame to carry the motor mounts.
This is to express my gratitude to Justin of Grin Technologies for his extraordinary measures to save this forum for the benefit of all.

User avatar
amberwolf   100 GW

100 GW
Posts: 25409
Joined: Aug 17 2009 6:43am
Location: Phoenix, AZ, USA, Earth, Sol, Local Bubble, Orion Arm, Milky Way, Local Group
Contact:

Re: Coaster Cycles Transit trike?

Post by amberwolf » Jan 12 2019 10:04pm

arthurtuxedo wrote:
Jan 12 2019 9:32am
Thanks amberwolf, you're a human encyclopedia as always! It doesn't seem like this vehicle will work for what I needed, but I'll come up with more (and crazier) ideas in the future, I'm sure!
If you would tell us exactly what you need it for, we could probably help you find the one you need, or suggest how you could build it if it doesn't exist yet.

User avatar
arthurtuxedo   100 W

100 W
Posts: 102
Joined: May 16 2017 11:45am
Location: San Francisco, CA

Re: Coaster Cycles Transit trike?

Post by arthurtuxedo » Jan 13 2019 1:34pm

That looks fascinating Chalo, and almost exactly what I was thinking for the application. I'm not married to the Coaster Cycles model, that just happens to be the one that Ford GoBike uses around here so I've seen it in action. Which pedicab model have your clients had the best success with?

The application is a tough cookie, but not impossible to solve. We will be transporting lots of relatively small ~30 lbs packages all over the city of San Francisco 14 hours per day, rain or shine. Right now we use vans, which are a poor fit for what we do because of the traffic and scarcity of places to stop. We don't go up the steepest hills very often and we can use vans for those so it needs to be able to tackle moderate hills but not the famous super-steep SF hills.

We have a surplus of Li-Ion 2 kwh 72V, ~40A batteries that are just lying around and can be swapped throughout the day as we deplete them, so that's the easy part. The hard part is that there's just nothing on the market that can carry at least 10 (and preferably more like 20) of our 30 lbs packages, has a throttle, is easy to park or take on and off a center stand dozens of times per day while loaded with hundreds of lbs (which is why I'm interested in a trike or trailer), is durable and dependable, can use the bike lanes to skip the traffic and can make brief stops on the sidewalks for deliveries without people freaking out, but can still use the vehicle lanes and keep up with car traffic on streets where there are no bike lanes. By "keep up", I'm talking about initial acceleration off the line. It's OK if the top speed is below 25 MPH as long as it can get going quickly enough not to tempt drivers to make dangerous passing maneuvers.

We're currently leaning towards an electric motorcycle pulling a trailer for these reasons, but I've been trying to find a solution that can travel in the bike lanes and looks like it belongs there. Most of my co-workers are not bicyclists so they don't understand how much quicker, easier, and less stressful it is to get through a dense city in a bike lane, especially when it comes to stopping to make deliveries. However the crop of e-bike solutions are woefully inadequate, especially as they are designed for European laws where the cities have much better bike infrastructure than SF.

User avatar
amberwolf   100 GW

100 GW
Posts: 25409
Joined: Aug 17 2009 6:43am
Location: Phoenix, AZ, USA, Earth, Sol, Local Bubble, Orion Arm, Milky Way, Local Group
Contact:

Re: Coaster Cycles Transit trike?

Post by amberwolf » Jan 13 2019 10:42pm

Have you looked at the ones UPS uses?

http://www.trucktrike.com/

User avatar
dogman dan   100 GW

100 GW
Posts: 34413
Joined: May 17 2008 12:53pm
Location: Las Cruces New Mexico USA

Re: Coaster Cycles Transit trike?

Post by dogman dan » Jan 14 2019 7:33am

FWIW, E-bikekit has a front hub kit for that type of typical delta trike. It has a powerful but low rpm direct drive motor, so its top speed matches delta trikes safe maximum.

But its costly, like all the EBK kits. Don't put a 30 mph 48v 1000w kit on a delta trike. A mid drive would be a great choice though Especially for the grades of SF. You might want to look into larger cargo trailers, so you can use double hub motor e bikes as the tug.

Post Reply