Category Archives: motorized trikes
Another new velocar is attempting to be birthed into the market place. It’s a cute little thing called a Podride. HERE is their website. Both a 3 wheel version and a 4 wheel version are planned. It will be available with or without electric pedal assist.
Their website states that they hope to have their product available in Canada and the United States by late 2017 … first in a non-motorized quad and soon to follow a motorized trike.
2 wheel drive above, single wheel drive below
eGo … not to be confused with EGO which is an ultralight trike aircraft … nor is it the electric scooter of the same name … nor is it the velocar of the same name. I sure think they should have and would have picked a different name so that people don’t have to deal with all this confusion.
It is powered by electric motor hub only. There is no chain or sprockets. However there is a crankset and it is used to pedal to charge the battery. They used an existing TW-Bents tadpole trike to create their electric trike. The frames looks the same for both the Trident and Artifice models TW-Bents offers.
There is very little information available I can find about it. The one article says that they hope and plan on building more prototypes and work to promote the trike.
I came across a blog about the design and construction of electric powered tadpole trikes. It is named tadpoletrikeman. The owner of the blog has built a homemade electric assist powered tadpole trike he calls Speed Trike. Here is a photo of it.
Although he made the frame he has used a TerraTrike seat and front wheels on it so if you don’t look carefully one may think at first glance it is a TerraTrike.
At this point in time he only has this one trike featured. Hopefully other material will be offered on the blog in the future.
As you can see in these pictures he has done a very nice job building the trike. It looks great.
As you can see he used a bolt for the front axles. That is the same thing I did when I built my tadpole trike. It is quite common and works quite well. Just be sure it is strong enough (hardened grade 5 or 8 and 5/8 inch diameter if my memory serves me right).
Underseat indirect steering was employed.
The rear view mirror is mounted on the steering head.
I encourage you to check out this blog. And by all means …
KEEP ON TRIKIN’
I recently came across an article about velomobiles which I found very interesting and well written so I am sharing a link to it HERE.
Here is the article’s opening paragraph:
“Recumbent bikes with bodywork evoke a curious effect. They look as fast as a racing car or a jet fighter, but of course, they’re not. Nevertheless, thanks to the recumbent position, the minimal weight and the outstanding aerodynamics, pedaling a “velomobile” requires three to four times less energy than pedaling a normal bicycle.“
The one thing I saw throughout the article which always bothers me when I come across it is their referring to a trike as a bike. That is like calling a truck a car … something very misleading and confusing. It is not at all “savvy”. I realize that there are velomobiles which are bikes (two wheels), but most are trikes (three wheels). Anyway, the article covers a lot of aspects of velomobiles and is informative.
Every time I see this picture it reminds me of sitting in a jet fighter looking forward thru the windshield. I bet the jet fighter cockpit is a lot more comfortable to ride inside of than a velomobile though.
Yes, once again I was having a little fun with photo editing. This is probably as close as I will ever get to looking thru the windshield of a velomobile … at least from the inside looking out. 😉
It is said that “you get what you pay for”. That is usually true. I hope it isn’t the case when it comes to cheap trikes that come from China. They certainly offer some low prices. Of course, shipping isn’t cheap ($500 – $700) so the price increases considerably over the list price of the trike alone. The fairly well known website, aliexpress.com, has gobs of tadpole trikes listed for sale. Among them are electric pedal assist trikes. They come with either 250 watt or 500 watt Bafang brushless rear hub motors.
As you can see in the pictures the batteries are positioned up high under the rear rack. They are handy to get at there, but it also means that adding that weight at that height affects the center of gravity and handling suffers. The higher the center of gravity the easier a trike can tip over.
As to quality they do skimp on components using brands which are not among the more common names we usually see on trikes. So be aware that should the cheaper components fail sooner than later you might be laying out some money to buy better quality components. If that happens, then I would say that there was no real savings realized in buying these lower cost trikes. And the components may not perform to one’s liking in comparison to brand name components.
Their 250 watt model with no suspension (shown above) sells for $1,818.76 including shipping to the U.S.
Their 250 watt rear suspension model (shown above) sells for $1,818.76. That is the same price as the no suspension model. “Go figure” as they say.
Their 500 watt rear suspension model (shown above) sells for $2,265.76 which includes shipping to the U.S.
Delivery time to the U.S. is said to be 11 to 19 days.
Their trikes come with: high carbon steel frame, choice of 26 or 20 rear wheel, fenders, neck rest, rear rack, mirrors and a flag pole. They also come with a rear V-brake for parking which can be replaced with a disc brake if preferred. The mesh seat can be exchanged for a fiberglass seat.
They say they can custom make a trike if a customer is too heavy for their stock trike (which has a weight capacity of about 264 pounds). The same is true for customers who are too short or too tall for their standard trikes.
I would not care for the electronic digital display to be mounted vertically. That is quite impractical trying to view it. I am assuming that the battery pack has an integrated taillight of some sort although I have not read anything about it.
As to top speed and battery power endurance these trikes don’t measure up to some of the more expensive motorized trikes out there we normally read/hear about. They won’t go as fast nor as far using battery and motor power. They do have 5 levels of power including a button to push which will give full motor propulsion which does not require pedaling.
Being made of high carbon steel rather than chrome-moly steel or aluminum they will be heavier. One plus is that should there be frame breakage high carbon steel can be readily repair welded successfully by a qualified skilled weldor. Although high carbon steel offers more flexibility than aluminum is doesn’t flex as much as chrome-moly steel does.
They also sell kits to motorize trikes which, of course, is a much cheaper way to go if you already have a trike. Installing it would require considerable mechanical ability.
BTW, they also offer lots of tadpole trikes which are not motorized which are, of course, cheaper yet. And they offer at least one FAT tire trike which I will be writing about quite soon.
In closing I am going to throw this out for what it is worth. In my nearly 70 years of life on this earth and most all of those years involved in various sorts of mechanical things including a career as a weldor and metal fabricator since age 12 I have a lot of experience with metal objects. I have a lifetime of repairing them when they break. I would be very concerned about the quality of these trikes and probably would not spend my money on one myself. My gut feeling is that I would regret it and wish I would have just spent a bit more. Then I would know I bought quality and would have the assurance of a company and dealers who stand behind the products. Buying something from China pretty much leaves the buyer on their own should problems arise. Even if there is some support dealing with a company on the other side of the world doesn’t appeal to me.
Yet another velocar is making its appearance. Meet the VeloMetro, a product of Canada. Here is what they say about their offering:
“VeloMetro is creating the next wave of sustainable personal transportation. From the original inspiration that was the velocar, VeloMetro is creating a 21st century update with the latest technology and engineering: human powered, enclosed from the weather, fully networked, and assisted by electric and solar power.
Based in Vancouver, Canada, VeloMetro’s goal is to provide a completely sustainable transportation option for urban commuters around the globe that is also cool, cost-effective, environmentally friendly, and fun to ride.”
Several pictures of the VeloMetro can be seen HERE.
I have to admit that these velocars are cute and I am all for them as far as seeing people pedal them around when they are practical to use in place of a gasoline engine powered car. Whether or not they catch on and have a market is something I reckon we will just have to wait and see.
Mk. 5 Trike
Odyssey Trikes are a product of Wisconsin in the United States. They are electric motor assist and use KMX trikes for their platform. Here is their Facebook Page . These trikes do have pedals so they can be pedaled, but clearly these are designed for those who want to have a motorized tadpole trike capable of zooming down the road. I mean 50 to 65 mph isn’t exactly common place when talking about riding a non fairing tadpole trike. That just might make your lips flap around. 🙂 I understand that these trikes are shipped out to the buyer with the power turned down so that the comply with the 20 mph maximum law, but what I don’t understand is how they can advertise those high speeds without getting into major trouble with law enforcement folks since clearly the law* forbids ‘motorized bicycles’ from going faster than 20 mph. (*The federal Consumer Product Safety Act defines a “low speed electric bicycle” as a two or three wheeled vehicle with fully operable pedals, a top speed when powered solely by the motor under 20 mph (32 km/h) and an electric motor that produces less than 750 W (1.01 hp).)
Dustin Herte and Ryan Bass are the inventors of these trikes.
They had a Kickstarter Campaign which has ended and didn’t go as well as they had hoped it would. They are not giving up hope of getting their product into production and to market. One thing they are attempting is the popular television program “Shark Tank”. They have an interview scheduled hoping to get on the show. They are also making other appearances to promote their trikes.
From their kickstarter page:
The Mk. 5 trike is legally a bicycle, but has the power and speed of a motorcycle. It has a 4kW electric motor capable of powering you through your commute and a removable high capacity battery pack that makes charging simple, yet versatile. It has options for on-vehicle storage capacity, options for lighting, options for gearing, and – we may not have mentioned it before- pedals!
The Mk. 5 represents the culmination of a five year development process. We ended up with an effective vehicle design that uses the best aspects of everything between a motorcycle and a bicycle, but has the stability of three wheels instead of two. We keep pedals on these trikes to make them street legal- in every state in the US.
As an emerging form of transportation, the trikes themselves need to have options. So, we make sure that riders have access to all the capabilities they need.
The Mk. 5 has the option to remove the battery pack bag from its sliding rack for charging and also has significant carrying capacity, in the form of saddle bags that can be attached to the side of the battery rack. Add that to the fact that you can park this trike at any bike rack, and you end at transportation that gives you the options you need to use it on a regular basis.
It’s fast. That’s the easiest way to describe the way the Mk. 5 operates. It accelerates quickly and has a fast top speed. Specs follow:
This is the fifth iteration of our trike prototype and we are proud of what the Mk. 5 has evolved into.
The model is based on a frame design with well-known operational characteristics, and is the culmination of a variety of new technologies that have matured to the point where they work, and they work well.
The Mk. 5 represents the logical evolution of transportation.
The Mk. 5 has a well-designed, sturdy frame which will take the abuse of racing, trail riding, and even skipping the trails entirely. We know this because we have been there. We tested our prototypes to the point of failure and we were surprised at what it actually took to cause damage.
In addition to superior frame strength, we integrate LiFePO4 batteries which are known for their safety compared to other lithium cells. When overcharged, the cells’ electrolytes react to render the entire cell inert instead of bursting into flame like LiPO and other Li-ion cells.
We include disc brakes, which have demonstrated the ability to stop the trike in a hurry, and a bike flag and reflector for greater visibility.
Odyssey Trikes was founded by Dustin Herte and Ryan Bass, both of Slinger, Wisconsin. Dustin is out of college with a degree in International Business and another in Industrial Engineering, and Ryan is still in school, studying IT Networking. Besides racing and trail riding our trikes, our other interests include aviation, electrical engineering and nuclear physics projects, and gaming. Take a look at our bio’s on our website: http://odysseytrikes.com/About%20Us.php
Five years ago, Odyssey built its first trike as a side project in an airplane hangar in the neighboring town of Hartford, Wisconsin, as a high school business project.
From their About Us page:
Odyssey Trikes was started in an airplane hangar back in 2008. Our first trikes were functional but lacked reliability and needed work.
We spent years re-building, re-tooling, and re-engineering our designs and eventually came up with something we found as functional as the motorcycles we used to get to our engineering space. The big day happened on the 4th of July of 2010 – Our first truly functional trike was driven 10 miles to get home from the shop, and managed the drive at roadworthy speed with no issues.
We lent several trikes out and determined there was a market for the concept, so we moved the company to the nearby town of West Bend where we found adequate space to get our work done. We now have a small but capable production facility where we are able to do all the welding, 3d printing, and assembly work to build our trikes as well as the space and resources to engineer, build, and test new concepts and ideas.
We have set both speed and range records with our standard models and have created our own battery building processes and technology. We utilize 3d printing in all our trikes and are continuing to push the boundaries of what 3d printing and our battery technology can bring to the free market.
MK. 5 TRIKE- 55 MPH TOP SPEED, UP TO 245 MILES RANGE
A motorcycle in bicycle’s clothing. Up to 245 miles range. Road and bike trail legal.
The Mk. 5 is the result of several years of engineering and testing, and the result is a 55 mph, onroad/offroad capable machine that has handling similar to a gokart. The only faster, longer range electric trike in existence is this trike’s big brother, the Mk. 5 Super.
The Mk. 5 is street legal (if you keep the power setting down, but we’re not watching) and has a respectable 60 mile range with the smallest battery, or an incredible 245 mile range if fully equipped.
This trike comes standard with a seat riser (4″ rise), a frame mounted battery, headlight and taillight package, an APM display cycle computer and a rear rack capable of carrying any Topeak rack bag – or an auxiliary battery pack for up to 90 miles of additional range. It will come out of the crate preassembled with a charged battery, ready to roll.
55 mph top speed. 72v Li-Mn battery made by Blue Line Batteries mounted on the frame. 16″ wheels in the front with disc brakes, 24″ wheel in the back. You can request an 8 speed cassette, but if you don’t we’ll ship you a single speed.
And here is the information found on their website on the Mk. 5 Super Trike:
MK. 5 SUPER TRIKE – 65 MPH TOP SPEED, UP TO 300 MILES RANGE
This trike holds records for both top speed and range in this vehicle class.
The Mk. 5 Super consists of the most extreme electronics and mechanics packages possible to build into an electric trike. This vehicle has a wide-eyed, heart-pounding 65 mph top speed and can be equipped with enough batteries to yield a record-setting 300+ mile range. This outranges other electric bikes with the Mk. 5’s charge indicator still reading full – and is able to outrange the Tesla Roadster’s 245 mile range by 55 miles when the batteries have seen their charge through. That effectively makes this vehicle the longest range electric vehicle currently on the market.
This trike comes standard with a seat riser (4″ rise), a frame mounted battery, headlight and taillight package, an APM display cycle computer and a rear rack capable of carrying any Topeak rack bag – or an auxiliary battery pack for up to 105 miles of additional range. It will come out of the crate preassembled with a charged battery, ready to roll.
65 mph top speed. 88v Li-Mn battery made by Blue Line Batteries mounted on the frame. 16″ wheels in the front with disc brakes, 24″ wheel in the back. You can’t request an 8 speed cassette on this model – single speed only.
All trikes come with a helmet! Drop us a note for your helmet size when ordering, or we’ll send a medium helmet as default.
Expect 45 days between payment and shipping, but we frequently get these dispatched earlier than that. Freight shipping to anywhere in the continental US is included in the price.
Trikes ship out with a 750 watt maximum power limit set on the controller. Change this power setting at your own risk!
For questions, comments and test rides call them at 262-208-4889 or sending them a message thru their CONTACT web page.
I would encourage anyone considering buying such a trike capable of obtaining such high speeds to be extremely cautious while riding them. I learned as a young child that “SPEED KILLS”! It would not take much to wrap yourself around a tree or telephone pole attempting to ride at such speeds. As for me, I am going to just …
KEEP ON PEDALIN’
which is what I would advise everyone one to do.
Yet another solar-electric velocar is trying to make its appearance on the market. This one is called Evovelo. It is a Spanish born piece of machinery. At first glance I would have to say it wouldn’t win any beauty contest, but I think the designer has more in mind function than beauty. And besides, I think the looks of it do kind of grow on you after awhile. It incorporates a regenerative braking feature that can help recharge the battery while on the move. According to Evovelo, there is “No need to charge the battery with moderate use” (10-25 km per day)(6-15 miles per day), thanks to the solar panels and regenerative braking feature. Cost is expected to be about $4900 (4500 Euros). To my way of thinking that is a pretty decent price, especially when you stop to think that there are trike manufacturers charging that much for just a basic human powered machine.
If you are like me you may not understand a word that is said in this next video, but you can enjoy the images.
The empty weight is reported to be 187 pounds and the vehicle measurements are 55″ x 79″ x 51″ which is 4 foot 7 inches wide, 6 foot 7 inches long and 4 foot 3 inches high. Headlights have both low and high beam and if I understand correctly they also have a flashing mode available. It comes with turn signals and brake lights. A horn is provided. Either drum or disc brakes are available on all 3 wheels. The doors and trunk lock. It sounds like this vehicle has been pretty well thought out and might indeed be very practical for those looking for inexpensive transportation close to home while protected from the elements.
The wheels are supplied directly with power from an electric motor. As to the motor there are a number of options, ranging from 250W to 1500W, determined by the existing laws governing what is allowed where the buyer will use the vehicle. I read something about a 6/7-speed transmission, but I don’t know anything more about that. Battery charging comes from either the 100W solar panels on the roof or by an onboard charging port. If desired the battery can also be removed for charging.
Here is what the company’s website says about their vehicle:
A fully enclosed structure , like a conventional car, which provides greater security to their occupants and allows use in any season, regardless of weather conditions.
It can carry two people sitting in parallel (social), a variable amount of load and / or 1 or 2 chairs for children .
It has a low , almost zero environmental impact because of their efficiency and the use of sustainable materials in their manufacture.
Their cost of acquisition and maintenance are also greatly reduced .
Its technical features allow both cost savings as taxes or insurance and no special permission is required to drive.
Its small size (2m long / 1.4m width / height 1.3m) and low weight (~ 85 kg) facilitates parking and gives great maneuverability.
Autonomy in electric mode: ~ 50 kms.
Removable battery : in case of need can be charged simply by plugging the battery from the vehicle or removing it for charging at home, in the office, in the garage, etc.
No need to recharge the battery in moderate use.
Allows exercise for use thanks to pedal assistance favoring our health .
As you can see in this picture above the rear tire is considerably wider than the front tires which should be very practical and helpful when dealing with snow, etc. They advertise anti-puncture wheels. I assume they mean tires as I don’t know why anyone would be concerned about the wheels getting punctured.
I can’t help but wonder about the future of such vehicles. They seem quite practical to me. I am not “into” the “green thing”, but I have nothing against practicality. Who knows, maybe someday soon we will see lots of vehicles like this running around. I would much rather see them than SUVs getting 14 mpg with many of their drivers with their ‘get out of my way’ attitudes.
Most of us went from 2 wheels to 3 wheels and are glad we did. Some folks have developed balance issues making it necessary to make the move to a trike. Then there are those who enjoy reverting back to riding on 2 wheels while seated on their trikes. They obviously don’t struggle with balance issues. See for yourself … Take a break and ride a trike!
And then there are those who sort of specialize in “stunt riding” …
I would caution anybody concerning such dare devil riding … things can go wrong and you can get hurt. As for me, I am quite satisfied to ride my trike as it was intended to be ridden … on all three wheels. That way hopefully I can ..
KEEP ON TRIKIN’
Yet another velocar is trying to make it to market. The man,Eliel Rojas, who came up with it refers to it as a velomobile and technically it qualifies, but I prefer to refer to it as a velocar as I think that more accurately describes it. His design is called an Ego. And I am going to resist all temptation to make comments about a person’s ego.
All images, videos and information herein credited to Ego’s inventor, Eliel Rojas.
It is an electric motor pedal assist 3 wheel trike which can be pedaled with or without using the motor or it can run solely on the 750 watt electric motor up to about 20 mph (32 kph). (This is the legal limit for a motorized bicycle in many states in order to be considered a bicycle. Faster than that requires it to be registered and licensed as a motorcycle.) It has a claimed battery range of over 30 miles (48 km).
The Ego’s canopy is hinged at the front, which is how users get in and out of the vehicle. It has large opening in the body along the sides to allow good air circulation and help reduce the effect of strong crosswinds by allowing the air to flow thru it. There are nylon curtain closures available to eliminate much of the air flow thru these openings.
Note: Since this article published I have heard from the inventor that the sides are now enclosed.
Eliel states that although the velo body sits high similar to a car (so it can be better seen than would be the case if it were much lower) the rider is seated in a “recumbent position”. (note: recumbent means reclined, laid back, prone) I don’t understand that as when I look at the picture of this vehicle the seat back is quite vertical. In fact, it looks like he is sitting in a small car rather than a recumbent trike. There is very little angle to the seat back … not unless it is adjustable and will go down much further than what is shown in the pictures. And, I would think that if the seat is reclined back the rider would not be able to see out the front very well. Perhaps this is another one of those cases where people are calling a cycle with the pedals out in front a recumbent when that is not the definition of recumbent at all. By that definition a cruiser is a recumbent.
I don’t know what size the wheels and tires are, but they look smaller than 20 inch. I could be wrong about this as they may very well be 20 inch. They just look quite small in diameter in the pictures. Maybe it is because the body is so tall.
Note: it has begun.
Here is the Kickstarter video:
Rojas tells us that the first 20 backers can get an Ego for US$ 3,750 if everything works out, while the estimated retail price will be more around $ 5,000. He further says that although that might sound like a lot, it’s actually right in line with cost of other electric-assist velomobiles.
I recently became aware of a new website I thought I would share here. It is called TrikeTech.com and it is packed full of useful information including adding electric power assist to a trike.
Here is what the author of the website says about the website:
“While its true that the internet offers just about every piece of knowledge, the trouble is finding it.
That’s why we created Triketech. Triketech is resource providing technical information about Recumbent Trikes that reaches out to all levels of technical understanding. Whether you’re new or a veteran to riding Recumbent Trikes we hope you’ll find this site helpful.”
At the time of the writing of this article I noticed that the creator of this website does not yet have everything fully functional. None of the links in the left hand column work. I assume in time he will have this remedied. It appears to be a “work in progress” so bear with him.
Referring to itself as Recumbent Trike Information it covers both tadpole and delta trikes.
So if you are finding that you have a few weeks of your time available by all means check it out. I don’t think you will be disappointed. There is a lot there. BTW- I am only kidding about the few weeks of your time, but you could probably spend that much time there if you wanted to. Like I said, there is a lot there. And it is there for one reason … to help us all to …
KEEP ON TRIKIN’
Sunrider velomobiles are a product of the Netherlands. Yes, the Dutch are known for cycling including velomobiles and, in fact, has the distinction of having a city known to be the most bicycle friendly city per capita in the entirety of the world. Groningen, Netherlands – around 50% of the population of Groningen commutes on bicycles every day.
But I am talking about velomobiles and the Sunrider is a nifty looking machine. It is perhaps the interior of these I am most impressed with. In this video below the builder explains and displays various aspects of the design and manufacture of his product.
Wheels : 4
Length: 270 cm
Width: 80 cm
Height: 110 cm
Speed: 45 km/h
Electric motor: 350 Watt
Weight: ±65 kg
Here is what Sunrider says concerning their product:
“The Sunrider is a velomobile: a single seated, covered recumbent tricycle. Best it is used together with a electric pedal asist. The lightweight body provides high protection and comfort for all those wet and windy days. Because of the excellent aerodynamics of this spectacular vehicle you often ride faster than normal (race) bikes. Driving a velomobile is a unique experience, after one ride in a velomobile you won´t go back!
The design is dynamic and functional at the same time. Large space for driver and luggage, great view of the road and easy to use. The two air intakes on the side of the hood keep the Sunrider well ventilated. The large opening hood makes boarding or storing luggage easy. The Sunrider has a turning radius of 10 metres and is very manouverable in everyday traffic. It has the Rohloff 14 gears hub and a rooftop.
The Sunrider has a very nice and sleek finished interior. The adjustable bucket seat will provide sufficient support and a very pleasant and comfortable ride. The chain is almost completely embodied in the frame, so no more dirty pants! The very simple joystick operation in the Sunrider makes it a very nice and tight steering velomobile. Control elements such as gears, brakes and a parking brake, lights, horn and indicator lights are always within reach and easy to operate.
The Sunrider is a fully self-supporting frame of fiberglass reinforced polyester. This frame constitutes a large portion of the interior of the Sunrider. The balanced composite construction is virtually maintenance free and provides excellent stability for the vehicle.
Safety and comfort of the Sunrider was our main objective. The dimensions of the Sunrider were chosen to be well visible in heavy traffic, while the limited width allows it to be ridden also on the cycling lanes. The Sunrider comes standard with full suspension and two powerful 90 mm drumbrakes at the front wheels. For good visibility, the Sunrider has front and rear lights. Side mirrors give the rider a clear view all around.”
Just a note from me … they state 10 meters as the turning diameter as if that should be impressive. Hey, that is nearly 33 feet. I have to admit that I am very impressed, but not in the positive sense. That is a humongous turning diameter. My tadpole trike turns in about a 14 foot diameter. There is no way such a vehicle could negotiate the turns on many bike trails. We have some turns on our local trails some brands of tadpole trikes can’t negotiate.
In the Netherlands this vehicle is considered a moped and requires a moped licence or a driver’s licence to legally ride it. Here in the U.S. mopeds do not require licensing although I think they should as far too many inexperienced operators are involved in numerous wrecks resulting in serious injuries and deaths.
The Sunrider can be purchased with or without electric motor assist. Their electric motor assist is known as “Human Electric Hybrid”.
On thing I have not figured out is “how do you back this up?” since the interior is entirely enclosed. I assume the electric motor assist offers a means of backup, but I am puzzled over the non motorized version. I tried to find the answer to this online, but had no success.
By the way, the non motorized version weighs a hefty 99+ pounds so it would be challenging pedaling it uphill. So the Sunrider velomobile is sharp looking, but very heavy. That is not surprising with all that interior body added to it. The motorized version weighs over 143 pounds. Sounds a clear cut case of “battery don’t fail me now” as pedaling that weight around would get your attention.
I stumbled across this which might be of interest to some. It is a Frequently Asked Questions about velomobiles.
Ya gotta’ admit … it’s cute. I am talking about the Podride … a small motorized quad trying to make it to market … (and I am not talking about going to the grocery store). I hope they succeed as I find this one adorable. It is Swedish as far as where the builder is from.
Four-wheel (quad) HPV recumbent with cloth body suspension and auxiliary electric motor.
Height: 180cm Width: 75cm
Height: 145cm Seat Height: 50cm
Weight: 70kg Wheel: 20inch tires
Wheelbase: 88 cm Turning radius: 1.75m
Motor: 250W electric bicycle hub
Speed: 25km / h with the engine
Range: 60km with motor
Front Axle: Shared swingarm with air suspension (8cm travel), lever steering , drum brakes
Rear axle: Shared swingarm with air suspension (10cm travel), driving on both rear wheels with dual coaster
Gear System: 18 speed before electricity hub and 14 speed after
HERE is an article about this innovative vehicle.
And HERE is their Facebook page.
Yep, I can see folks using a vehicle like this to get around in … inexpensive to operate and protected from the weather.
BTW, the estimated cost is about 3000 Euros which right now equates to $3185 US.
Onboard electric drives are not the only means available to assist riders in their pedaling. The Ridekick has been around for awhile and the Brouhaha trailer attempted to make it to market, but was unsuccessful in their Kickstarter campaign. Now this new comer, Wheezy, is trying to make it to market. The key word there is “trying” as this has also been in the Kickstarter campaign. According to their Kickstarter page it has been cancelled as of Oct. 24th. I am not sure what that means as far as whether or not the product will ever make it to market.
Here is some of what they have to say about this product designed in the UK:
“Wheezy turns any bike into an e-bike in a click. No special adjustments necessary simply connect Wheezy to your existing wheel and you’re good to go!
The 1.5 amp battery charger is built into Wheezy’s frame so you can charge the 166 Wh battery pack easily in the office, at home or anywhere you like. . Pull its cord out to plug it into the wall for charging. Fold it back into the frame when the charge is complete. A full charge can take anywhere from 2.4 to 4 hours, depending on the battery capacity. You can travel 12-31 miles (20-50 km) per charge with Wheezy, depending on the rider’s weight, the air pressure of the bicycle tires, riding conditions and the model’s battery capacity (Wh). Three models are being offered:
Originally the company hoped to start shipping this product by the middle of next May. I don’t know where things stand now since the Kickstarter campaign did not go well. They offered lower prices ($400, $490 & $740) on the product to backers, but didn’t get much response. All I can say is … if those are lower prices I would hate to see what their normal price will be. I think those prices are plenty high.
Wheezy is an electric auxiliary all-terrain wheel. It operates on a brushless wheel hub motor that is entirely enclosed, protected from erosion. This means high efficiency, reliability, no noise, no maintenance and a long lifetime.
Wheezy runs on a small lightweight NiMH battery pack used for hybrid vehicles. NiMH is much safer and lasts longer than the lithium (Li-ion) batteries used for standard e-bikes.
It comes with a smart microcontroller, creating for smooth operation and utmost battery efficiency.
Wheezy is encased in a lightweight steel chassis, a frame and running gear, making it much stronger and durable than its aluminum counterparts. Its zinc coating even prevents rusting.”
Setup is fast and easy … Generally, you need to do 3 simple things;
1) Replace the left rear wheel nut. 2) Add install Pedal Assist Systems (PAS) or Hand Throttles. 3) Connect Wheezy.
Here are various items available for use with this product:
Wheezy videos on YouTube.
The Wheezy unit weighs about 26 pounds (12 kg). It can be wheeled easily using the tongue to hold onto so that it doesn’t have to be carried. A key-based power switch and battery lock system adds security. The unit can be operated as a pedal assist system or manually with a thumb throttle.
Obviously this is designed for a bicycle. However, with some adaptive ingenuity I would rather imagine that it could be made to work on a tadpole trike. Of course, first it would have to come to market. We’ll see what happens.
Now here is something you don’t see everyday although the people behind it no doubt would like to see this change. Right now this is in the Kickstarter program in an attempt to launch it into full production. For those who are into “classic cars” this is indeed a novelty.
I have no idea if there will be a maket for something like this. I guess only time will tell. One thing for sure, it looks too wide to be ridden on bicycle trails.
It is available with various options … wooden, aluminum or stainless steel dashboard, exterior paint colors , upholstery, and electric assist motor are among the options.
The Picar is obviously designed to look “classic”. As you can see, it has a fake engine in the front. The starting price appears to the $4999 according to their website.
At 130 pounds it is not light so it would be challenging to pedal around and uphill would be a real workout. To make matters worse it only has 3 speeds. Uhhh! This tank is strictly for flat lands. It definitely needs better gearing … say a 14 speed internal hub and at least a two speed crank such as a Patterson. Even with all that the rider would get a workout climbing a hill. 130 pounds … that’s 3 times heavier than most tadpole trikes.
Dimensions: Length – 8.2′ wheelbase – 3.9′
Weight: 130lbs / 154lbs with electric motor.
Finish: panel – wood, veneer, edge trim – leather.
Extras: LED lights, reflectors, mp3 system with speakers, USB port to charge your phone or tablet, and a micro SD card slot.
Seat: automotive synthetic leather. Adjust the seat to from 51″ to 72″.
Load: weight up to 250lbs
Drive chain, three-speed planetary hub Shimano Nexus; In addition, there is an electric assist option: Electric motor: 750Watt
Brakes – Disc brakes on all 3 wheels for production versions.
Battery: 7AH for electrical system. Electric motor version includes a 48v, 18AH LifePo4 battery.
Who knows. perhaps one of these days we might be seeing these listed among the “classics”. They might even be among those we see “out there” which are trying to …
KEEP ON TRIKIN’
We are living in the Last Days prophesied in God’s Word (the Bible) and one of the prophecies tells us of the great increase in knowledge. History proves this out. We are seeing such amazing technology and it just keeps increasing at an incredible rate unlike anytime in previous history. Here are some videos showing some high tech inventions designed for the cycling world.
I really like the concept of this next one as it would sure simplify removal and reinstallation of the rear wheel … the HUB DOCK:
“FAT trikes” are becoming more and more popular and various trike manufacturers are offering them in their model lineup. The latest of those offerings I am aware of is the Hartlander. It is a product of the Netherlands. It also folds. The price I found online in the Netherlands is 2799 Euros ($3139 U.S.). It is also available with electric motor assist. I have not been able to find much information about this trike online thus far.
As you can see in the image above the trike comes with a hard seat which is removable to enable the trike to fold. Below are the specifications on this trike.
Although on the specifications shown above it shows Tektro brakes this sure looks like Avid BB7 brakes in the image below. My guess is that the hydraulic brake is an option. The trike has direct steering … something which makes good sense on a trike designed for relatively slow speed use and off road use where there would not be any reason to have indirect steering.
As you can see in the image below the seat is adjustable and removable. The chain has the commonly used soft plastic pieces connecting the commonly used chain tubes so that the chain stays managed inside of the tubing when the trike is folded.
Notice in the image below the rear derailleur hanger is part of the frame and not a separate hanger. That could be a problem should that part of the frame break off or get damaged to where it can’t be used any more. Shy of a skilled weldor/fabricator repairing it a new frame would be required. Hopefully owners will never experience this getting damaged. It is something to be aware of and be careful not to allow it to get damaged. It is true that these are made to bend easily to help protect the rear derailleur from getting damaged, but they can also break off or get damaged so badly they can’t be reused. A separate hanger is the only way to go. Only cheap bikes and trikes go this route. This trike comes with a 5 year frame warranty, but I don’t know if the hanger area would be covered under warranty. Since the hanger is designed to bend and it is all too common for damage to happen I would think they would not cover it under warranty, but I could be wrong.
As you can see in the image below the trike comes with locking brake levers. That is a nice feature. Twist shifters are also used.
With the trike folded it is somewhat smaller of course, but being a FAT trike with large size wheels and tires, it is still rather large so don’t get your hopes up about folding it up to fit in places a regular tadpole trike would fit.
FAT or not … TRIKE ON!
Are you mechanically inclined? If so, here is a DIY (do it yourself) project to motorize your tadpole trike. If you have money to burn you could hire a bicycle shop/independent mechanic to install this for you. This is a 750 watt brushless electric motor. That is the maximum size allowed by law for bicycles in the United States. Like so many electric motors designed for bicycles it doesn’t come with a battery so the battery must be purchased separately. Batteries are not cheap. One can expect to shell out about $1500 total for this kit with a battery. This is both a pedal assist and motor only rig so it pretty much fits the bill. Probably the one main “con” is the fact that it doesn’t sense shifting gears meaning that it will maintain power resulting in mashing gears. That is not a good thing. Of course, one can get around this by simply turning the power way down/off while shifting.
In this next video a KMX trike is shown. I want to include the video description here as it contains some information about this rig. Note the top speed claimed in this vs. the speed obtained on a bicycle equipped with this which was shown in an earlier video. Notice I said “obtained” as there was no mention of top speed. If I remember correctly the fastest I saw on the display was 22 mph.
“48V 750W BBS02 MAX Speed 32 MPH. 1. LCD Panel with FULL features: Speed, distance, 9 levels PAS, FULLY programmable without any patch cables, All done on screen. Motor with built Controller. Full set of new Bottom bracket mounting parts for bikes with 68mm BB Plus Chain ring (will work with 73 mm BB with longer hardware and spacers). Full instructions for installation and LCD set up and programming instruction book. Full set of quick release Wire harness with E-brake levers, throttle, PAS wires, etc. 6. Awesome acceleration, Hill climbing, Top speed of approx. 32 MPH. In the USA is classified as a fully legal 750 Watt Nominal motor by regulations. Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico shipping fee is $100.00.”
Here is a video showing and explaining how to install this on a DF bicycle. It would be quite similar installing it on a tadpole trike.
Click HERE for YouTube video search results of the electric motor kit.
Amazon sells the kit with a battery for less than $1200 including shipping.
Ebay sells the kits. They also offer one that comes with a battery. I just discovered something while looking at these on Ebay. You have to be careful as there is tricky selling going on. I saw one of these shown as only costing $70. I thought “WOW!” … and wondered how that could possibly be. Then I scrolled down further and discovered that the seller is charging $410 shipping … bringing the total up to what most of the others are selling for.
Alibaba also sells the kits and is probably the lowest priced. They also sell other wattage models. And they too sell the kit with a battery.
From Alibaba website:
1) Has small current, high efficiency and long riding distance;
2) Light, energy-saving and protective for the battery;
3) Free of maintenance and has a long service life;
4) Produces small noise and is of soft start-up;
5) Has great output power, quick starting and powerful climbing capacity;
6) Gears are made of high strength and abrasion resistant high temperature nylon
7) Reasonably structured and durable in use.
For the 48v 750w motor, we recommend:
48v11.6ah (samsungcell 18650 2900mah,13s4p) dolphin battery
Notice that on the KMX trike the motor is up on top of the boom and behind the crankset while on the ICE trike shown further above the motor is out in front of the crankset and boom. With this unit the front derailleur is not used. The front derailleur mounting tube on the ICE prevents the motor from being placed like it is on the KMX. One could remove the tubing and position the motor on top of the boom, but if you ever wanted to go back to using a front derailleur a new boom would be required.