Chalo wrote:That criterion sure suggests "normal bike" rather than "recumbent trike". Don't let me talk you out of something important to you, but availability is likely to be much higher with a bike that uses proven, interchangeable commodity parts rather than proprietary stuff that's being developed and vetted by you and other end users.
I've spoken with various builders of KMX frame kit trikes. Their reliability seems better than any bicycle I've ridden.
One of them has placed thousands of miles on theirs, typically moving around 25-30 mph on electric assist for miles at a time, but has seen 60 mph. He's using bicycle parts with a middrive. He also has a front suspension kit, which probably helps greatly to this end. Before installing the front suspension, he broke steering knuckles from hitting debris and potholes at 30 mph, and has had thousands of problem-free miles since installing it, still having hit debris and potholes unintentionally. His build didn't work well for mixing the human and electric power, but it moves well under either alone, and thus his chain lasts for thousands of miles in a powerful, high-revving 6kW mid-drive, and it spins the front cog well faster than any reasonable rider cadence.
My chain is due for another cleaning/lubing and shows little evidence of wear. I'm hoping it can stand up to 1.5 kW of motor plus me pedaling hard anywhere from 60-140 rpm when I put it in a KMX. I do not know how much torque the chain and components can withstand. I will probably need a thicker chain than 3/32" for this, but we'll see how durable this KMC "Gold" really is.
Availability of exotic parts to me only matter insofar as to whether the parts are "bulletproof" for my application or not. I need to find a system that isn't going to fail, and/or carry spare parts of critical systems to the vehicle's continued operation that could fail. I can only carry a limited number of parts, so the largest/heaviest components need to be the strongest, and the smaller, weaker parts need to be minimized. The Rohloff may be very specialized, and if it fails, I need to have standard components to replace it with(thus the tools to re-build the rear wheel). I will be carrying spare chains, tires, and tubes for sure, unless I go with those specialized solar car tires from Schwalbe(1 spare should suffice).
I do intend to travel long distances, after all. I might also be living out of it for a period. I had a lot of fun with my previous trike and it was comfortable enough to sleep in. If I had such a vehicle with a body shell on it that can also store tools/camping gear/clothes/food/water, I could do a lot with it.
I also don't want it to leave me stranded. Whether the parts were proprietary or not at that point may not be relevant if something critical fails ten miles out of Toadsuck, TX. I need something that is strong enough not to fail for my application.
A KMX frame is very solid. I could see myself purchasing an internal-geared Rohloff hub sometime next year or whenever the current 7spd pieces currently on the Thunderbolt break while used on the KMX, but in the meantime, I'm just going to use what I have. I'd like to add a motor/body sooner rather than later, as I figure I've waited long enough. The Thunderbolt just wasn't going to work. I really like the Cyclone mid-drives from what I've read so far.
The components that mount the wheels/brake calipers, otoh, are proprietary and not as strong as I would like. The front suspension kit with an added gas shock should dramatically reduce wear and tear on them, and so far it seems to be a very reliable system according to those who have installed it. I have yet to hear of any negatives other than cost(and you won't find anything as good for under $4k anyway), so if anyone knows of any, please share!