Dec. 16, 2017
NOTE: Today I sent an email to BionX requesting a full refund. The new hub motor they sent still has the issue of not being able to obtain the advertised top speed of 20 mph. It also does not have as much torque as the first motor I originally had. As much as I like their designed system I am tired of all the problems and not getting anywhere getting them to resolve them. I will buy a different hub motor system later on after I get the refund.
Nov. 21, 2017
NOTE: I just got off the phone a few mintures ago. A man from BionX called me to discuss my issues. They admitted that they had sent me the wrong motor as replacement under warranty and this is why I have been having this issue with the hand throttle. They will be sending out the correct motor which has considerably more torque. This has made my day. Below is what I had written for this posting which will be published Nov. 24th. I am leaving it here so readers will know what has transpired prior to this phone call I just received. Needless to say, if they get my problems/complaints all resolved I will gladly change the thumbs down to a thumbs up as I really do love the BionX system on my trike.
As many of you know I have been having problems with my BionX hub motor kit I purchased last summer. Although BionX has taken care of some of the problems I am still dealing with the hand throttle problem and BionX is not doing anything further to help me on this despite my pleading, attempting to reason with them and even threatening them. I eventually filed a complaint against them with the Better Business Bureau hoping they would be concerned about having that on record against them, but it hasn’t made any difference. They didn’t even bother to respond to the complaint. I don’t know what is going on, but I have pretty much written them off as a company that business dealings should be avoided. I had told BionX I would be filing a complaint if they continued to ignore me and refuse to resolve this issue. I truly don’t understand why any legitimate business would not want to address this complaint and satisfy their customer rather than receive a bunch of bad publicity. They don’t seem to take this seriously nor take me seriously, but I am most serious. I paid a lot of money for this hub motor kit and I want and expect it to work right like it did when I first bought it. I don’t think that this is asking or expecting too much. It is looking more and more like I have ran out of options and won’t get this made right by BionX. They don’t seem to care. And so as a result of all I have been dealing with and continue to deal with I can not recommend BionX to anyone. They get a big thumbs down from me.
Remember – they finally contacted me and say they will take care of me and get this resolved to my satisfaction. If they do as they say I will be most happy to give them a thumbs up.
By the way, just as a side note … I have noticed that battery performance is only about 50 % in cold weather of what it is in warm weather. My friend who has an identical setup as mine says the same thing.
Here is a man who came up with a simple means of transporting two trikes using his SUV. One is inside and the other is outside. With his rig no lifting of the trikes is involved.
The product links mentioned in the video are listed below for your convenience.
Matt Shumaker used a KMX Typhoon tadpole trike modifiying it considerably, especially the frame, to create this powerful monster. There is no doubt about it … he achieved his goal in making a strong frame.
He lowered the frame 3/4 of an inch and also widened the frame 5 inches and lengthened it 3 inches to accommadate the motor and increase the handling of the trike. With two 15 hp (11,000 watt) motors powering it these modifications are a very good idea. Matt says it will accelerate from zero to forty in 4.5 seconds! That would indeed be exhilarating.
It sounds like a jet airplane going by. He says he has about $6,000 invested in it plus about 200 hours of time. He values it at about $9000. It is all wheel drive with motors for the front wheels and motors for the rear wheel. The trike does have pedals in case they are needed. The trike weighs about 90 pounds so pedaling it isn’t something one would want to do if they didn’t have to.
Matt reports that the range is about 35 – 45* miles on a charge which is a whole lot more than my 80 mile rated BionX battery gets. I am only getting about 20 miles using 80 % of a full charge on my BionX unit … not very impressive. Of course, this is a massive battery in comparison to what I have. (* one place I read 35 if it is babied and another place I read 45 with no remark about babying it.)
With all that power and speed it requires some hefty brakes. He used 203mm Hope 4 piston hydraulic brakes.
Matt reports that he sold this trike for $7500 with only one motor as he removed one.
Being a weldor and metal fabricator most of my life I have a keen interest in “homemade trikes”. I made my first tadpole trike as I did my first recumbent bicycle. Here are some videos of others who made their own trikes. I will say this … it is very important to “do your homework” before building a trike. It is imperative that you build it correctly so that it is safe to ride. The complex geometry (angles) of the front end must be correct and the rider’s weight distribution is quite important so that the trike handles properly.
Relive your adventure? Well, yeah … sort of. Actually I am talking about a smartphone app which is pretty nifty. Anyone who watches Matt Galat’s (JaYoe) videos has probably already seen it as he uses it on his videos.
RELIVE is free and works with Strava, Endomondo, Garmin Connect and Polar Flow apps to create a 3-D mapping of the route you rode.
HERE are other videos concerning this neat app.
I am past 70 years old so I have to think back a ways to remember as a child growing up doing various things together as a family. Still I have fond memories and appreciate those times we spent together. We didn’t have tadpole trikes then. We did have bicycles and motorcycles which we rode together.My parents may be gone but friends are still around and almost daily I am making memories with them riding our trikes When I look at videos online showing families/friends riding together it brings back those memories. Perhaps it will for you as well. And if you are younger than I am perhaps you are still making memories with your own children. Anyway, here are some videos of families enjoying riding together.
HERE are more videos.
Steve Greene recently posted an article on his Trike Asylum blog about tire sealants where various brands were tested and compared. I have never been a fan of Slime and the article isn’t very flattering for Slime as it states and shows exactly what I have observed and experienced with it. In short, it is very messy and only works on very small punctures. As you can see the top performers are: Orange Seal, Stan’s NoTubes and Schwalbe’s Doc Blue product (which is made by Stan’s). Interestingly the Schwalbe product scored better than Stan’s NoTubes. None of the sealants could stop a leak of the largest size hole in the test. The Orange Seal did the best however and might have allowed the tire to be pumped up as necessary to make it home. If someone insists on running tires that easily get flats a sealant may be practical to use. As for me I think I will stick with Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires as they have never failed me. I have never had an externally caused flat tire nor a glass cut in the tread … and I used to get both all the time when I ran other tires.
Since Orange Seal scored the highest I offer this video demonstrating how well it works.
I reckon it comes down to personal preferences and the environment one rides in. I know I much prefer to ride my trike than work on it … especially alongside the road or trail. Yep, I like to …
KEEP ON TRIKIN’
ENJOY THE RIDE!
A few tadpole trike manufacturers are offering electric motorized models. One of them is TerraTrike. I applaud this as having a BionX unit installed on my Catrike I really love having it. I have a friend I ride with who has a BionX unit installed on his TerraTrike Rambler. The BionX unit is a great unit as long as everything works right (mine doesn’t), but it is expensive. This E.V.O. model is far less money although feature-wise I much prefer the BionX unit. That being said, this Falco unit is 750 watt vs. the BionX 350 watt and it offers a 2 mph reverse as well as a crawl forward from a standstill. BionX has neither. Of course, the thing about this deal which is a real turn off for me is the fact that it is a TerraTrike trike. I just am not impressed with them as I think they are poorly designed and built. I would much rather spend $500 more and get a high quality well designed trike such as Catrike. So many TT owners admit that they regret not buying a better quality trike. For me personally there is absolutely nothing about the Rambler that appeals to me. It would have been a good candidate for a book entitled “unsafe at any speed”.
From here on everything which appears in this article is someone else’s writings and not mine.
$3,499.00 … 750 watt Falco hubmotor with 2 mph reverse and crawl forward from a dead stop feature
Drive System Derailleur, Falco 750W 5 Phase Motor
Battery Type/Weight Li-Ion / 36V / 11.6 Ah / 417 Wh
Max. Assisted Speed 20 mph
Range 97 km (60 miles)/Charge
Frame Chromoly steel
Rims/Wheels TerraTrike Black Double Wall
Tires Schwalbe Energizer 20 X 1.75
Crankset Driveline Durabi 400 170mm
Bottom Bracket RPM Sealed Square Taper
Chain KMC Z72 8-speed
Front Derailleur MicroSHIFT Triple
Rear Derailleur MicroShift 8-speed
Cassette/Rear Cogs SRAM PG-830 11-30, 8-speed
Shifters Microshift Mezzo Trigger
Brake Levers Promax Linear Pull, Locking
Brakes Avid BB7 Mechanical
Pedals Comfort Pedal
(subject to change without notice)
TerraTrike’s Electric Vehicle Option (or “E.V.O.” for short) will transform the way you ride and will increase your range by degrees of magnitude. It will allow you to climb hills that were previously daunting, it will keep you spinning through rolling terrain. The Rambler E.V.O. is not intended to be an electric trike. The E.V.O. was designed to help you along your journey while you still get the cardio benefits of trike riding. You will hear and feel the motor turning on and off as it senses your need for assistance. You will still be shifting the trike as you normally would; as the hills get steeper or as you come to a stop.
With a generous range of up to 60 miles per charge, you will have nearly limitless potential. The lithium ion battery can be charged overnight with the included “smart” charger. Simply plug the charger into a nearby outlet, or the battery can be easily removed from its case for charging in a different location.
TerraTrike figured out the ideal torque sensor setting and assist level so that it is very predictable and optimized for assistance and range. The top speed is governed at 20 mph. The Rambler E.V.O. motor control accessories available are ‘Wired Plus Minus (WPM)’ ‘Wired Console’ and ‘Wireless Console with Plus Minus’. The trike will still be limited to 20 mph, but you will be able to adjust the level of assist (low, medium, or high) or you can put it into one of three regenerative modes which actually charges the battery on long descents.
The optional Wired Plus Minus (WPM) switch also adds a reverse gear. You will need to back pedal while it is backing up due to the drivetrain of the trike. But don’t worry, max speed in reverse is 2 mph. The WPM accessory can also help climb hills by providing a “crawl” feature. It too is limited to 2 mph and is merely intended to get the trike rolling so that you can begin your pedal stroke. After the trike starts to move and you start to pedal you can let go of the plus button and the motor assist will kick in as appropriate.
– Electric Assist Hub: The E.V.O. is available in a traditional deraillured system external hub with electric assist
– Direct steering: Horizontal handlebar position provides responsive leverage to steering inputs, and provides a tight turning radius
– Steering stack with bushing/bearing combination for smoother steering
– Chromoly steel frame is lightweight, smooth riding, and capable of supporting up to 300 pounds
– Comfort mesh seat for extra lateral support
– Simple operation, seamless experience
– Powerful 750W direct-drive hub motor
– No pedal resistance when battery isn’t used
– 5 phase motor provides more torque & power
– Up to 1000 recharge cycles per battery
– Industry-leading 5 year motor warranty
Although the following is not a very recent article it is still helpful …
What more could you want in an off road human powered vehicle? This beauty is nearly unstoppable. It is an L Trike or Camel Trike made in China and sold from China thru ZZMERCK (Zhengzhou Merck). I find their media coverage a bit confusing. One place they call it an L Trike and another place they call it a Camel Trike. It is not even a trike so I don’t know why they would call it either one. Googling “L Trike” turns up nothing, but Googling “camel trike” gets results. It doesn’t come cheap … $7500-$8500. It looks nice, but I don’t trust the quality of Chinese products. Hopefully this is well made. I will say though that this trike is definitely complex in its design which translates into … “there is a whole lot of stuff that could go wrong and cause problems”.
I said it is rear suspension and it is, but at first I thought it was full suspension, but after taking a closer look at it I guess it is not.This quad weighs approximately 110 pounds (50kg) so it is not light. The wheels are laced rather uniquely. Although I have seen this before I don’t think it is all that common. They are laced only on the inside of the rim. No spokes attach to the other side. This is covered in one of the videos further below.
The one thing I noticed is that the cables are hanging way down low where they could easily snag of lots of stuff riding off road. They created lots of road clearance only to place the cables way down low. That makes no sense! I see it all the time on people’s trikes. Some people just don’t seem to care about such things even if you point it out to them. I wonder if they would change their tune if a drooping cable ruined their day causing a bad wreck. At the very least it could cause serious damage to the cable and possibly other things.
4×4 Fat Tire Recumbent Quad
Model/Price: Model: MF426E, Price: US $7,500-8,500
Brief description: four-wheel drive system, aluminum alloy 6061 frame, Vee 26×4.8 tire, DNM air spring suspension, SRAM11 speed, 500w mid drive motor, 48v 20ah lithium battery, climbing angle more than 35 degrees. For All Challenging Terrain!
Front derailleur: Sram NX11
Rear derailleur: Sram NX11
Crankset: Flywheel crankset
Flywheel: Sram NX11 11 speed 11-42T
Chain: Miche 11 speed
Chain tube: Nylon
Pedal: Exustar clipless pedals
Novatec bearing secondary drive hub
Customs Aluminum alloy 7075 secondary drive
Customs power divider
Customs shaft, hub, shaft hub, cardan
Front brake: Avid E3 hydraulic disc brake
Rear brake: BB7 disc brake
Spokes: 304 stainless steel
Tires: Vee 26-4.8 foldable tires
Front hub: Novatec customs hub
Rear hub: Customs shaft hub
DNM air spring suspension (double chamber)
48v 500w mid drive motor
48v 20ah lithium battery
Frame: Aluminum alloy 6061 T6
Seat: Nylon mesh
No way could I do this on my tadpole trike. I would find myself in a real predicament. This quad goes right up it …
The next video definitely demonstrates that it is all wheel drive …
This next video is suppose to be a demonstration of the quad riding thru snow, but there is very little snow on the ground so it isn’t much of a test. A standard trike with standard tires could go thru most of the snow shown, but probably not all the uneven ground, etc. as there would be traction problems …
The next 4 videos are about the design and bulld of the quad. You may have to pause them to read the English captions in order to follow what is being said.
That is a lot of money to lay down to attempt some off road fun, but hey, if you have it to spend you might as well go for it. You can’t take the money with you when life is over. BTW, you can’t take the trike with you either. We can only enjoy them here in this life … so do your best to …
KEEP ON TRIKIN’
As many of you know a fellow tadpole triker by the name of Matt Galat is currently on a 5 year long trike journey around the world which started in China and is to end in Los Angeles, California, U.S.A. Matt is a videographer and creates excellent videos of his journey and life. He posts them on variouls social media … Matt’s FACEBOOK page, JaYoe FACEBOOK page, Matt’s YOUTUBE channel, Matt’s JaYoe website, and more.
HERE is a map of Matt’s planned route.
Sometime back Matt added a drone to his video tapiing and it has added a lot to the quality of his videos giving them an altogether new perspective. His videos were always good and interesting, but with the drone footage added in they are even better.
Most of us could never take such a journey, but thru Matt’s videos we can truly enjoy and “live” his adventurous journey vicariously.
Matt rides a yellow HP Velotechnik Scorpion FS20 recumbent tadpole trike. He started out pulling a trailer, but decided to discontinue that and just haul those things he needs on his trike.
Matt had a set back in his trike journey. He had started it as planned riding a different trike pulling a different trailer when while still in China he was hit from behind by a big truck. He received a broken shoulder (collar) bone as a result and his trailer and trike were pretty much totalled. He had to convelest for quite some time during which time he got reoutfitted in preparation of starting his world journey all over.
Matt has also experienced some knee joint pain which threatened his journey causing him to interupt his ride for awhile. Fortunately now that he is back underway so far his knee has held up pretty good and he has been able to continue his journey.
Matt has coined the Chinese words (phrase) “JaYoe” for his journey … as it means “to add fuel”. As time goes along more and more people are discovering Matt and his trike journey. Great interest is building and his story continues to capture the attention of local news media.
I have written articles about Matt previously:
HERE is an interview with Matt on Laidback Bike Report’s YouTube video which was streamed live on July 16, 2017.
If you have never watched any of Matt’s videos I invite you to do so as they just might grab your attention and not let go. That is the effect they have on me. Like Matt, we all need to …
KEEP ON TRIKIN’
With ongoing eye sight problems I am forced to end my writing new articles … at least for now. I am not saying I am leaving forever, but I need to give my eyes a break in hope of adding time to their usefulness. Looking at a computer screen as much as I do is very hard on my eyes. This will be my last posting. I can’t say what the future holds. I may be back, but I may not. I have enjoyed the journey thus far and trust many of you have as well. Thanks to all of you who have helped make this blog as successful as it has been. I will miss participating in this blog, but as the saying goes … “all good things must come to an end”. Perhaps we’ll meet up again. Goodbye for now my friends. Happy trails to you … maybe we will meet up again. I hope so.
BTW, there is a FREE GIFT waiting for you.
And if you like the song above HERE is another rendition of it I really like.
Here is a video showing in detail the assembly of a couple of models of Performer tadpole trikes. It starts out showing what comes in the box the buyer receives and then proceeds on how to put it all together.