AND AWAY WE GO! (WITH BIONX)


It took several years, but I have finally succumbed to the concept of my using electric motor pedal assist. It is a matter of aging I think and finding it a bit more challenging climbing hills. I can still climb them, but oh so slow and if I am riding with others I just watch them ride on away from me as I can’t begin to keep up. So I bit the bullet and got myself some help. Now I can shoot up those hills and don’t have any problem keeping up with my friends should I choose to ride with them.

HERE is a webpage about Bionx products. And HERE is another one.

The electronics are quite sophisticated and pretty well thought out. The reviews of Bionx are extremely favorable. Pretty much everybody say they have the best system going. The company is out of Canada.

They have 3 different size batteries. They are all 48 volts, but their power in amperage varies providing a choice of 50 miles, 65 miles or 80 miles between charges. The one pictured below which fits under their rack is the middle one. The largest battery mounts down low behind the seat alongside of the frame.

Although with this battery mounted up under their rack means the weight is carried up high effecting the trike’s center of gravity and handling it also means that the battery is positioned so that it doesn’t get nearly as messed up from water, mud and other crud being splashed up on it like would happen if it were mounted down lower alongside the frame. Also having it higher makes it much easier to get at to charge it or remove it.

Their controller (shown above) has been upgraded as have their display console.

This display unit (shown below) has replaced the larger combination display controller they had previously.

This next video features an older version of the console and controller which has been replaced with the ones shown above. I offer it here as it still is helpful in understanding some factors of the Bionx system.

The new electronics also offers a  Bluetooth connection to their free smartphone app which among other things is a tracking and reporting info of the route,  ride and even pulse of the rider. The Bluetooth module sells for $175.

They offer 250, 350 and 500 watt hub motors. I understand that Bionx limits the top speed of 20 mph for all units shipped to the United States to comply with the law.

If your trike has a 20 inch rear wheel you are limited to the 350 watt hub motor as the 500 watt is too large in diameter to be laced into a 20 inch rim. If you have a larger diameter rear wheel such as a 26 inch or 700 the larger 500 watt hub motor is available for them although the larger motor may not be needed. The bike shop dealer told me that unless one lives someplace with a lot of steep hills to climb the 350 is more than enough power to use on a trike.

Having a FAT trike with electric motor pedal assist sounds like a very helpful addition for off road riding. It might require someone skilled at wheel lacing to come up with a wheel laced to a hub motor.

It is my understanding that the batteries can be charged approximately 1000 times. Replacement batteries cost between $900 and $1000 so they ain’t cheap.

The bike shop I am involved with is a Bionx dealer. He told me about the high tech system Bionx has in place making trouble shooting and repair easy for the dealers. They simply plug the unit into a computer with Bionx software installed on it and it connects with Bionx while running diagnostics on the system. The dealer gives permission for Bionx to remotely do various things while connected to your unit over the internet and they can remedy most problems or at least know what is wrong so it can be remedied. With this system the dealers don’t have to learn and know a lot about the Bionx system yet they can take care of the customer.

In closing I want to mention that there are more powerful hub motors made and available which can propel a trike much faster (not legally mind you) and even at 70 years old there is still a part of me that is attracted to riding along at 45 plus mph on my trike, but I am wise enough to know that when you play with fire you are likely to get burnt. I would probably wrap myself around some tree or telephone pole. Nope, I best stick with the 20 mph option. That is plenty fast enough.

With the use of electric motor pedal assist it can help us to …

ENJOY THE RIDE & kEEP ON TRIKIN’

Update (5/3/17) – I now have the Bionx hub motor system installed on my trike and I am loving it. I haven’t been able to ride it much as it has been raining for 3 days straight. I took some pictures of my trike with this unit installed. I remounted the controller from where the bike shop had located it. I like it much better now as I can see it much better and get at it much handier. I probably should paint the blue piece of steel tubing I used to place on my mirror where I mounted the controller. I need to paint it black so it is not so conspicuous. 🙂 Anyway, riding with this motor assist is amazing. For the same effort I used to exert to ride 5-7 mph I can now ride about 14-16 mph. And for the same effort it took to ride 10-12 mph I can now ride 19 mph. The battery has a built in LED taillight which is extremely bright. Above the taillight is a large red reflector. As I said, I haven’t been able to ride it much yet, but hopefully I soon will be. And it surely looks like I will most definitely …

ENJOY THE RIDE!

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About Steve Newbauer

I have a few current blogs (tadpolerider1, navysight, and truthtoponder) so I am keeping busy. I hope you the reader will find these blogs interesting and enjoy your time here. Feel free to email me at stevenewbauer at outlook.com

Posted on April 28, 2017, in electric motorized trikes, motorized trikes, options, tadpole trikes, upgrades, videos and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. I’ve been considering electrifying my wife’s trike similarly, thanks for sharing your setup. Sadly, such a trike is illegal on our local greenbelt, though I’d be surprised if the law were ever enforced.

  2. Armadillo Zack

    Hay Listen, I to have been giving a lot of thought about adding a system to my ride, and would have done so already if I just know how to add it to my ride… And I’m not sorry to say so either.. I know I am not getting any younger and there are some really hot days here in Florida to which I would love to have had a system to get me back home after I have gotten to that point where I know it will be murder on me to try and go any further, because I would only have to come home sooner or later, and by me sitting on the side of the road panting like a coon hound will not do at all…! So it is only a matter of time before I do so, I just have to find the right one for my ride, as some times having 4 wheels are just not as easy as 3, where adding a system would be as easy as changing out my back wheel…! I know that there are some mid drive systems out there I can add to my ride, but I’m not exactly sure which one is best for my needs, or how to install it once I bought one… But I wish you all the luck Steve with yours, and let me know how much you are enjoying it, as it will maybe light a fire cracker under my backside to make the move and finally get one….
    Thanks for sharing this with us…!
    Armadillo Zack

  3. Armadillo Zack, I’m also vacillating between crank drive and rear drive. The best information I’ve found so far has come from a local electric bike shop and this site: http://www.ebikes.ca/

  4. I have an older BionX 350 at 36 volts But the battery gave out. Since BionX have upgraded the motors and batteries, they will not service or replace my old battery, so now my motor is worthless. Other systems allow you to use any compatible battery, or even build your own battery pack, such as the Bafang BBSHD 1000 watt 48-52 volt middrive system. 1000 watts are legal in my state as long as you maintain the 20 mph limit. An upgraded controller will allow you to switch from 1000 to 750 watts on the fly and, as I said, you are not locked into a prioratary battery as you are with BionX. No mistake, BionX is a good system, albeit pricy compared to other systems. Check out lunacycles.com.

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