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  1. #1
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    Electric Motor Assist Kits

    I was wondering if you have come across any electric assist kits that will work on SWB recumbents besides the ones listed below?

    Kits in general
    hub motor systems (all variations)
    roller, friction drive systems (ie zap)
    ZVO - awesome system (release for kits 2007) perhaps too much weight out front, IF it would fit http://www.zvoinc.com/
    Currie US pro drive and similar
    Stokemonkey http://cleverchimp.com/
    eLation http://elationebikes.com.au/prod01.htm
    Cyclone http://www.cyclone-usa.com/

    Kits specific to Recumbents
    eco-speed http://ecospeed.net/
    EZ-1 mid drive www.blackbirdbikes.com/electricmotors.htm

    I am interested in systems that utilize the gearing of the bicycle and a pedal freewheel so that you can assist at your own pace. Also I would love to hear from anyone who has a system other than hub or friction drive as to their experience. I have a hub motor in a DF bike so Im familiar with that system and I had a friction drive system as well as a gasoline powered system (yuck). Thanks for your input.

  2. #2
    Dr.Deltron
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    I have a couple of friends who have gone the Stokemonkey route. They both seem happy with the results so far. I am currently looking to put one on my Greenspeed tandem, I just have to fab a mounting bracket. Other than that, it should work rather well as the tandem crank is already in place. Just have to add a second ring to the stokers crank for the motor to connect to.
    As for putting one on a SWB,....Probably more fabricating than it's worth! Unless you get the XTraCycle kit. But then it wouldn't be a SWB!

  3. #3
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    You might look into Bion-X here's a link. http://www.bionx.ca

  4. #4
    Administrator Allen's Avatar
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    Heinzmann makes a huge range of retro-fit kits. Link to Ben Cooper's Kennitics site. And a Review of a Heinzmann on a recumbent.

  5. #5
    Recumbent Evangelist
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    You can freewheel with a hub motor.

    Check out the kits they have at www.jvbike.com
    www.rebel-cycles.com

    The official Canadian dealer of TW-Bents recumbent bicycles!

  6. #6
    A1A cyclist
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    I installed Largo Scooters' Go-Hub kit on a cruiser just to experiment with it before installing it on my bent. And I'm quite impressed with it. Although it's a front wheel, I can cruise at 23mph with a peak of 28mph. And this is on a DF. I'm running 48V. And with no pedalling I can go 13 miles on a charge. That would vastly increase with pedalling.

    On my bent I would use the 20" wheel with a hubmotor at 48V and probably beat 30mph.

    The rear version of any electric assist is much more expensive than the front wheel version.

  7. #7
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    Thanks, I'm looking for something that is not a hub motor or friction drive. I've had both and don't care for either. I want something better, more along the lines of a system like ZVO, the eco-speed or ez-1.
    I want to make sure I have explored all the options before I dump a bunch of money and effort into another system.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by coffeecat
    Thanks, I'm looking for something that is not a hub motor or friction drive. I've had both and don't care for either. I want something better, more along the lines of a system like ZVO, the eco-speed or ez-1.
    I want to make sure I have explored all the options before I dump a bunch of money and effort into another system.
    Just a note-
    When I decided to try a bicycle engine, I had already pretty much ruled out electrics totally because of their low-power and short range limitations--but I did some cost-per-mile comparisons anyway.

    Based on (US) fuel prices of $2.50 a gallon, the operating costs of the example Bionx system ended up being several times as expensive per-mile as a 4-cycle gasoline engine would:
    http://www.norcom2000.com/users/dcim...pisode005.html
    ~

  9. #9
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    Thanks Doug, I happen to live in Vancouver Canada. It's illegal to use a gas powered engine on a bicycle unless you licence it which is a lot of work. I want to use it for commuting to and from work on roads and bike paths. Come to think of it I still have a Stanton kit with subaru engine that I never installed on my bike. Perhaps it's time for ebay.

    I neglected to mention the following kit in my list above:

    Lightfoot cycles: http://www.lightfootcycles.com/electric.htm - specific to their bikes.

  10. #10
    Senior Member geebee's Avatar
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    Check out www.visforvoltage.com the forums have extensive info on bottom bracket drives and every other type of drive you can think of.
    I have built a bottom bracket drive bike that utilized the deraileur gear train, it only had a 250 watt motor but with pedal assist could cruise at 40 kph and prolonged sprints well into the 50 kph bracket and this was on a 17 kg frame plus 2 kg motor and 6 x 7 amp hour sla batteries (15kg?), at that speed air drag is the biggest issue as power consumption sky rockets to over come it. There are pictures of the beast on the above forum, it has the steering/pedal/seat relationship the same as a Toureasy but looks like a chopper and is lower.
    Imagine what a 500watt bottom bracket drive could do.
    Greenspeed GLR trike
    JC-70 trike
    Avanti Atomic Disc mtb
    Custom electric chopper

  11. #11
    Senior Citizen lyeinyoureye's Avatar
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    If you use off the shelf components, assemble your own system, use an efficient vehicle, and cruise slowly (25mph compared to 50mph average speed) the cost per mile for an electrified setup can drop down into the 2 cent per mile range.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by lyeinyoureye
    If you use off the shelf components, assemble your own system, use an efficient vehicle, and cruise slowly (25mph compared to 50mph average speed) the cost per mile for an electrified setup can drop down into the 2 cent per mile range.
    Are you counting the cost of replacing batteries?
    According to my figures the cheapest Bionx setup only manages about seven cents per mile, but they have some very expensive batteries. Their Li-Ion batteries are essentially overpriced compared to the NiMHs; the Li-Ion performance is not proportional to their higher cost.

    I'd have run other setups but it was difficult to find any figures for them--how far they go on a charge/how many discharge cycles they last/how much they cost.
    ~

  13. #13
    Senior Citizen lyeinyoureye's Avatar
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    Yup yup. I've seen some NiMHs that will go for 1000+ cycles at 80% DOD for ~$500/kwh iirc. The problem with them is that the rate for the 1000+ cycles is .1C, which is a PITA because any increase in that hurts life if the rider wants to pull anything significant from them to go ~50mph, like 1000W. At the .1C rate, 250W is doable because at .1C rates, ~1A*1.2V=1.2W, the rider only needs ~200-300 batteries, depending on controller/motor efficiency.

    Now the pack will go ~200 miles per charge, cost ~$1750, and at 10 cents a kwh, electricity should be ~$300. So the price of the pack is ~1 cent per mile, but no one will drive 200 miles per day at 25mph, so in reality, using discharge rate of ~.25C and going with a smaller pack would be pragmatic, even if the number of cycles to 80% DOD drop down to 500.

    The price of the smaller pack (.25C) should be ~$700, with a range of 80 miles per charge at 25mph. 500 cycles should net 40000 miles, and require ~$50 in electricity, so we're at ~2 cents per mile. Which seems a bit mroe reasonable. The problem with all the packs you compared is that they are priced in the ~$2000/kwh range, so the cost of a home built off the shelf pack should be a third or fouth of that. Btw, I was assuming a WAW velomobile for the test bed. A WAW with a honda gx25 should be much cheaper, but due to the large displacement of the engine (a whopping 22c), would end up going ~50mph on average to see the best egine efficiency. This is where it gets dicey, because to take the WAW from 25mph to 50mph cuts vehicle efficiency in half, but since the honda engine isn't smaller, we have to take that cut in order to optimize it's efficiency, because we may find that with the Honda, fuel efficiency is the same at 25mph compared to 40-50mph. Electrics are different because the efficiency doesn't change much with load, so we can build a slower velo without the need for a smaller gas engine optimized for those lower speeds.

    Ultimately it's a YMMV deal, and if you are at the mercy of those outrageous pack prices, are better off with a gas kit for ~$200-700, but they are really going overboard with those battery prices.

  14. #14
    Senior Member
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    Check this out! http://www.orilliapacket.com/webapp/...entid=219572&c
    atname=Local

    Great news for riders in Ontario, Canada who may be ready for some "assist". Have tried a Catrike "Speed" with Bionx and it is truly an incredible experience. Just like a mega tailwind on demand!

  15. #15
    Recumbent Evangelist
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    Yep, it's fantastic news that Ontarians (such as myself) can now legally add electric assist to their bikes.

    I'd rather have a second bike, though.
    www.rebel-cycles.com

    The official Canadian dealer of TW-Bents recumbent bicycles!

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