Originally Posted by jeanw
I bought new this year the Trek PURE trike. It has three speed.
I would love to have it motorized or assist. I am not sure of which. I just know its not that easy to pedal esp on small hills.
Saw the HOME POWER magazine issue 134 Dec 2009 issue.article where a guy used a 1 HP Scott motor on his mothers trike.
I still have my little folding Sun bicycle for backup. I dont feel as secure riding it as I get older.
Any and all suggestions please
Welcome, that's a nice trike that you bought. You could buy a conversion kit or design your own system using individual parts. You have a steel fork so you could use a hub motor, which is laced into a bicycle wheel, on your front wheel. (It's a no-no to mount a hub motor, the kind of motor that's laced into the bicycle wheel, on a an aluminum fork--their dropouts are cast and subject to failure due to the torque of the motor.) You'd need to use torque arms for safety.
You also could use a non-hub motor. Non-hub motors tend to have greater torque, which is needed if you live in a hilly area. I retired to northwest Montana, west of Glacier National Park. There are very few flat areas here and many of the hills are very steep. My knees were bothering me enough when I cycled that I found I wasn't riding very much. I added the Currie conversion kit, which is a non-hub motor kit, to my bike last summer and love it. I've put more miles on my bicycle than my truck since installing the kit.
There are many affordable hub motor kits. You can get a decent hub motor kit and is wired and ready to connect to the included controller, throttle and e-brakes for around $400. You can get non-hub motor kits for around the same price. You will still need to get batteries. Although you may have sticker shock shopping for LIFEPO4 batteries (they may cost almost as much as a conversion kit, if not more, depending on the power specs), they do provide stable power and have a very good life cycle that's much longer than SLAs (sealed lead acid). LIFEPO4s are lithium batteries that have a safer cathode (Iron Phosphate) than other lithium batteries and aren't subject to exploding or catching fire. If you buy a battery that is already built, rather than build your own, you will need to know the specs of your controller to ensure that the battery management system that is wired to protect the LIFEPO4 battery from being over charged or too deeply discharged is compatible and won't cut off when you hit the throttle.
Since you're just beginning your research, I'd suggest that you check out endless-sphere.com/forums
. The forums there focus on electric vehicles and battery technology. The only bikes they discuss are electric bikes and they have a lot of information on hub motors and non-hub motors.
Take your time and you'll find the right system that meets your needs at a price you're comfortable with. Good luck.