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Old 03-07-10, 03:47 PM   #1
PJIII
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Talking new CYCLONE electric trike project

I am asking for any insights for potential problems and anything I might have overlooked---I have not purchased the trike or parts as of this post but SOON intend to. Thanks!

The trike will be a GOMIER 6-speed. I chose the Gomier for its heavy-duty rating and its gears as my CYCLONE kit 500 watt 24 V motor mid-mounted will be able to take advantage of and use the gearing.----I have some hills to contend with (bridges) as I live on the beach on an island. Note: Gomier makes a 24 V single-speed 450 watt trike but it uses a belt drive and I am concerned about slippage. It also only carries 2/ 20amphr SLA batteries.

The battery case will hold 4 series/ parallel wired 33 amphr SLA batteries (lithium batteries are not an option due to cost) will mount centered both ways on the rear axle. The case itself is an off-the-shelf metal tool box from WW Grainger. The only modification is to shrink the length down to fit between the rear wheels by drilling the spot-welds out from one end, cutting the body to length and pop-riveting the end back on.

I need both power and extended range as I have a 16 to 20 mile round trip to do.

SOOOOO!!!, what are your thoughts---will it work as intended?
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Old 03-07-10, 10:47 PM   #2
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My thoughts? I don't like chain driven e-bikes. They are more noisy and more prone to break and the motors are more prone to overheat. Why not just put a hub motor on the front of your trike?

I'd go with a hub motor preferably from e-bikekit.com or hightekbikes.com . Put it on the front of the trike. Then put 24v20AH of Thundersky lithium on the back or wherever you put your batteries. You can get 24v of thundersky for $208 plus shipping from elitepowersolutions.com . They'll last a lot longer than SLA and give you way more distance. Just make sure you learn how to use lithium, they are different than SLA. You have to make sure they are balanced when you use them. ...oos, if you go with a hub motor, you'll need 36v, not 24v. So the battery will be $312 plus shipping. Shipping is about $25 if you live in the USA.

If you want a really powerful hub motor, you'll have to do more research. If you want a powerful hub motor, try http://ebikes.ca
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Old 03-08-10, 09:06 AM   #3
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Thanks for your input. I do not know but have heard of problems using a front-mounted hub-motor to pull the load rather than push it and of overheating problems. Another issue I have w/ hub motors is that I cannot use the gears on my trike & I will need them climbing the hills of the bridges around here. If I use a rear mounted hub-motor on one side it will pull to the other side.

I looked at http://ebikes.ca
and they also had some mid-drives w/ conventional motors but they seem out of my league in both price and complexity---I could not understand their different mounts. Bear in mind this is my 1st electric bike build so I tend to lean toward a kit so I have some instructions to work from.
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Old 03-08-10, 11:37 AM   #4
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I like chain driven motors because I live in a very hilly area. I haven't heard of the motors overheating. Many trikes are only driven with one of the rear wheels being powered anyway so I don't think a hub motor is a problem for that, just put it in the non-driven wheel, then you would have two wheel drive in the rear. If you only have bridges as 'hills', the hub motor would be fine and they are very quiet. Is this trike a recumbent? By the way I have 3 of the 500 watt Cyclone style motors if you want to buy them cheaper than retail.
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Old 03-08-10, 07:05 PM   #5
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Cyclone 500

Oh boy!!! I messed that up & put my comments under the quote!!! Now to type it again.

My hills are bridges over the intercoastal waterway built for sailboats. They are tall & steep. My trike is a standard adult type. Do you have the complete cyclone 500 kits?---that is what I need. What do YOU think of Cyclone---do the motors hold up?

Last edited by PJIII; 03-08-10 at 07:11 PM. Reason: typos
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Old 03-09-10, 10:48 PM   #6
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My son has a 500 watt cyclone on a recumbent. It has a lot of power for the hills in Denver. It has never heated up even in the summer. I like the 24 volt set up because you can use the bigger battery for large amps and longer range. The 24 volt chain drive 500 watt cyclone will pull up hills better than all but the biggest heaviest hub motors.
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Old 03-12-10, 05:52 PM   #7
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My son has a 500 watt cyclone on a recumbent. It has a lot of power for the hills in Denver. It has never heated up even in the summer. I like the 24 volt set up because you can use the bigger battery for large amps and longer range. The 24 volt chain drive 500 watt cyclone will pull up hills better than all but the biggest heaviest hub motors.
Good to know it does not overheat and is good on both because I have both here in Florida with the bridges on the beaches
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Old 03-25-10, 12:25 AM   #8
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I've had the cyclone 500W for about 2 months now and love it. Mine does overheat from time to time but only under specific circumstances.

1) Riding full throttle with little to no pedaling up a 4 mile hill (no problems with 1.5 mile 6% grade though)
2) Riding full throttle with a stiff headwind with no pedaling for over 10 miles on rolling hills / flats.

If I reduce my speed even to 3/4 throttle both of those issues go away, tested several times.
Bear in mind that I am a larger rider too at 270 pounds. I believe all my problems will go away once I install the heat sinks. Plan on doing that sometime next week, will post my results.
I believe that a cyclone will work great for your situation, 16 miles round trip isn't really that far once you have the motor. I go 30 miles everyday with a large 6% grade hill at the beginning and end of the ride. If you find that your motor is overheating at all just limit yourself to 16 mph on the hills and you should have no issues. I do recommend getting the heat sinks cyclone sells, at <$10 it's worth it.
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Old 03-25-10, 06:41 AM   #9
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I would question the use of a front hub motor on a trike to be used on a steeper grade. I believe the weight distribution would be oriented to the rear of the unit and reducing the grip of the front wheel.

As to the belt drive issue, the technology being introduced to the bicycle industry(primarily from Gates Rubber - Carbon Drive) is a toothed design as opposed to a smooth belt. This will greatly decrease the potential for slippage.
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Old 03-29-10, 06:08 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoCal Commute View Post
I've had the cyclone 500W for about 2 months now and love it. Mine does overheat from time to time but only under specific circumstances.

1) Riding full throttle with little to no pedaling up a 4 mile hill (no problems with 1.5 mile 6% grade though)
2) Riding full throttle with a stiff headwind with no pedaling for over 10 miles on rolling hills / flats.

If I reduce my speed even to 3/4 throttle both of those issues go away, tested several times.
Bear in mind that I am a larger rider too at 270 pounds. I believe all my problems will go away once I install the heat sinks. Plan on doing that sometime next week, will post my results.
I believe that a cyclone will work great for your situation, 16 miles round trip isn't really that far once you have the motor. I go 30 miles everyday with a large 6% grade hill at the beginning and end of the ride. If you find that your motor is overheating at all just limit yourself to 16 mph on the hills and you should have no issues. I do recommend getting the heat sinks cyclone sells, at <$10 it's worth it.
Well, I only weigh about #160 but I will have #100 of SLA's to drag around so we are about equal there. I have been thinking about the hear sinks but I cannot
understand how the attach ---they need to have a tight fit---do you know?

Last edited by PJIII; 03-29-10 at 06:09 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 03-29-10, 06:21 AM   #11
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I agree on nix to the hub especially because I have a #100 load of SLA's directly centered over the rear axle and these draw bridges have a steel deck on the draw spans although now a days they fill in the steel with concrete which helps. Thanks, I did not know of the new belt technology.
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Old 03-29-10, 06:48 PM   #12
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I've had the cyclone 500W for about 2 months now and love it. Mine does overheat from time to time but only under specific circumstances.
Are you aware that you can buy heat sinks for the 360w and 500w Cyclone motors? I wish I could remember where I saw them but I can't. Maybe try looking on the Cyclone TW site or contacting them in TW via email. I know I have seen a writeup on the heat sinks and seen pics of them mounted on a 500w motor...very cool lookin. they are claimed to be a big imporvement for the heat problem.
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Old 03-29-10, 06:52 PM   #13
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We all have our thoughts and opinions about hub and nonhub motors. I like a hub motor for it's quiteness. But I also love the idea of a gear driven system provided you are actually drive the motor through the bikes gearing system. In my opinion I will live with the noise in favor of the higher torque and speed potential provided by being able to alter as needed using the bike's gear system.
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Old 03-30-10, 11:31 AM   #14
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Are you aware that you can buy heat sinks for the 360w and 500w Cyclone motors? I wish I could remember where I saw them but I can't. Maybe try looking on the Cyclone TW site or contacting them in TW via email. I know I have seen a writeup on the heat sinks and seen pics of them mounted on a 500w motor...very cool lookin. they are claimed to be a big imporvement for the heat problem.
Yes, I know of the heat-sinks --they are available on the CycloneTW site---cheap too!
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Old 03-30-10, 11:40 AM   #15
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I have decided to go w/ the Cyclone 650 watt 24 V triple chain-ring in lieu of the 500 watt 24 V single chain-ring. In this way I can use a front derailleur to shift between a 44 tooth & 34 tooth combined with the 6 speed rear cassette which gives me a lot of gearing flexibility.
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Old 03-30-10, 06:53 PM   #16
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Cool

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I have decided to go w/ the Cyclone 650 watt 24 V triple chain-ring in lieu of the 500 watt 24 V single chain-ring. In this way I can use a front derailleur to shift between a 44 tooth & 34 tooth combined with the 6 speed rear cassette which gives me a lot of gearing flexibility.
I think your making a good decision. You can never have enough power and the underhung motor can be a PITA too. I agree with the idea of keeping the front derailer too. But you may find you have to many gears that you don't use. I have several ebike and on one of them I had a 360w Cyclone single chain ring with a Nuvinci hub. I went up a short but very steep hill with no problem. This hill was on a trail and no one else was able to stay mounted climbing this hill. Most wouldn't even try and those that did gave up 1/4 the way up. There were even signs posted on the down run warning to walk your bike down the hill. I didn't do that ether which was almost a big mistake. I had bad brakes and almost didn't make the turn at the bottom. The only problem I had climbing back up was I shifted the hub to low and I couldn't peddle fast enough to keep up with the motor. So that little 360w motor pulled my fat ass (220# plus 65# bike) up that hill without a problem. I was really worried I'd snap my chain under the load.
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Old 04-05-10, 01:15 PM   #17
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I wouldn't worry too much about snapping chains. After reading about the guys on Endless Sphere sending 6k watt through chains with their RC gear, I don't have much fear for the low end cyclone stuff.
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