Need help with first e bike build using trike.

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Red_Rocket   1 µW

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Need help with first e bike build using trike.

Post by Red_Rocket » May 02 2018 12:25am

My purpose is to commute 4 miles to work on extremely flat land and maybe a few bike trails. The bike I'm looking at is a Schwinn Meridian Trike with 26" wheels or any retro/vintage looking trike. Since the speedlimit on the one and only available route is 45 mp, I would like to be able to cruise at that speed to avoid getting rear ended by 1/2 tons of stupid.

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My question is, would it be possible to have two motors at the back of the trike with one on each wheel? Also what parts do you guys recommend for this project that doesn't force me to abandon the 1960s retro look and go with an ugly plain trike? If you got suggestions for motors, tires, etc then I'm all ears. I tried to find a steel trike retro frame and some other parts but the search engine just didn't want to help me out on that. Some specific info:

Rider weight: 220 lbs

Budget: $1200 but could throw in a few hundred if it really makes a difference.

Max Speed: 45-50 mph

Range: 10 miles minimum.

Terrain: Extremely flat and boring.

Location: Louisiana, US.

Raisedeyebrows   1 kW

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Re: Need help with first e bike build using trike.

Post by Raisedeyebrows » May 02 2018 12:50am

That type of trike is safe to ride at about 10 mph as long as you don't make any turns whatsoever. If you want a trike that can handle speeds above slow safely you want something with low center of gravity, there is a reason guys on this forum build "Tadpole" trikes with motors on them, they are actually safe to ride. Those retro trikes are mainly suitable for leisurely trips to the corner grocery store and cornering them is downright scary.
Yuba Mundo w/BBSHD
Specialized Hard Rock w/9c clone, statoraid, hubsink
Trek Fuel 90 w/BBSHD
Above all run on 14s4p 52v li-ion
Ecobike folder 36v
Currie Flyer scooter 24v on 24ah of SLA

Every trip made with electric bike is one less car trip, saves money, no toxic fumes, less noise, less impact on roads.

Red_Rocket   1 µW

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Re: Need help with first e bike build using trike.

Post by Red_Rocket » May 02 2018 1:37am

Raisedeyebrows wrote:
May 02 2018 12:50am
That type of trike is safe to ride at about 10 mph as long as you don't make any turns whatsoever. If you want a trike that can handle speeds above slow safely you want something with low center of gravity, there is a reason guys on this forum build "Tadpole" trikes with motors on them, they are actually safe to ride. Those retro trikes are mainly suitable for leisurely trips to the corner grocery store and cornering them is downright scary.
The route is on straight roads with the only turns being at stop signs. Not sure how much battery will change the center of gravity but I driven a Honda ATC for a few years and didn't think anything of it. If trike isn't an option then what about regular beach cruisers with a steel frame?

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If there's no way at all to do either then this is the only other bike I found so far that I liked

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dogman dan   100 GW

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Re: Need help with first e bike build using trike.

Post by dogman dan » May 02 2018 7:06am

You sound like my very first e bike. It was the same trike, and I put a 30 mph motor on the front wheel. It was stupidly dangerous, since above 15 mph it becomes nearly impossible to steer, even to jink around a broken bottle.

Runs in a straight line fine, just won't stop doing it when you need it to. And any slope of the road, you pull like hell down into the ditch at that speed. Plus, those rear wheels last about a day at that kind of speed too.

So, that 45 mph road on a wide trike, forget about it. If you have a better route you can go, bearing in mind an extra 3 miles on an e bike is no problem, you can get a nice front wheel trike kit for that ride. Its engineered for max power, yet a top speed around 15 mph. Get it here https://www.ebikekit.com/collections/tricycle-kits

Or, on a bike, get a 30 mph capable rear motor kit. One of those 48v 1000w kits. Put it on a 7 speed beach cruiser, or any other bike with 7,14,or 21 speeds. A good set of rear baskets on a beach cruiser will carry just as much cargo as that trike.

You could use that other bike, but if you do, that one will need a front motor, because your only brakes are in the hub of the rear wheel.

This bike is painted ugly IMO, but it shows the good features you should look for. A very strong welded on rear rack, lots of room for a battery in the middle frame, chain guard, brakes on both wheels, and at least 7 speeds. ( avoid 9-18-27 speed bikes)

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Kent-26-Mens ... /392679122

The ideal cruiser is the Electra townie, though it won't have the rack.

Oh, btw, if you weld, then you could easily add disc brakes to those stretch cruisers. then add a bolt on 7 speed gear.

Raisedeyebrows   1 kW

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Re: Need help with first e bike build using trike.

Post by Raisedeyebrows » May 02 2018 11:55am

Good advice there from Dogman, the Townie Cruisers are solid frames, readily available, will last for a long time, I'd feel confident about putting a fair bit of weight on one. If you got one set up to go 30mph you'll feel like you're scooting right along. Trust me faster than that on a bicycle gets into sketchy riding and you'll need a bike built with high speeds in mind and it costs some real money for the components needed to do it safely.

I've been having good luck with cheapo hubmotors purchased off EBay for about $200.00. One of those sold as a 48v 1500 watt kit combined with a 52v battery purchased From Em3ev for around $550.00 would be a good beginner setup on one of those Townie cruiser bikes. Then you can add racks and all the other goodies you're going to want.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/26-1500W-Rear- ... SwKIdaZvws

https://em3ev.com/shop/50v-14s5p-rectan ... tery-pack/

https://www.electrabike.com/bikes/towni ... l-1?g=mens
Yuba Mundo w/BBSHD
Specialized Hard Rock w/9c clone, statoraid, hubsink
Trek Fuel 90 w/BBSHD
Above all run on 14s4p 52v li-ion
Ecobike folder 36v
Currie Flyer scooter 24v on 24ah of SLA

Every trip made with electric bike is one less car trip, saves money, no toxic fumes, less noise, less impact on roads.

ScooterMan101   10 MW

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Re: Need help with first e bike build using trike.

Post by ScooterMan101 » May 02 2018 11:17pm

Here ... https://www.electrictrike.com/collectio ... tric-trike

or Here ...https://www.electrictrike.com/collectio ... tric-trike

Or if a Delta ( two wheels back and one front ) , will go as fast and be as stable as a tadpole trike ( two wheels in front and one wheel rear )
Then Here ... https://www.electrictrike.com/collectio ... tric-trike

But for you it looks like the T3 CX is the one to get . Along with some flags like the ATV's use when riding up and down the sand dunes .

And with Financing the T3 CX looks very good.
My first conversion ... Sold

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=71378&p=1077497&hil ... 1#p1077497

It's 2018 already, ( now 2019 ) lets get some real , improved e-bike / e-velomobile / e-motorcycle designs .

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dogman dan   100 GW

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Re: Need help with first e bike build using trike.

Post by dogman dan » May 03 2018 6:35am

Yeah, a good tadpole trike is a whole different animal. Like terra trikes, or the sun trikes. They can go fast without the same problems as the Schwinn type delta trikes.

Look at those can am motorcycles for example.

Red_Rocket   1 µW

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Re: Need help with first e bike build using trike.

Post by Red_Rocket » May 03 2018 11:17pm

So after taking some advice and doing more research, I'll be using a Sportsman build for commute. But after seeing Scooterman's post I may have to get both lol.

But I'll keep my first build simple then move on to bigger and better things. So far the build is

Sportsman Looper frame
Sportsman Superduty Forks
Moped style rims and fat tires
If I can, disc brakes on both wheels
1500w Leafbike motor
76v 10AH 20C Turnigy RC Lipo battery
Thumb throttle
Analog gauges

Hopefully this all pans out well. If anyone knows how long it takes for Sportsman to restock their stuff, let me know.

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