Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Recumbent
Reload this Page >

Considering Upgrading to a Different eTrike?

Notices
Recumbent What IS that thing?! Recumbents may be odd looking, but they have many advantages over a "wedgie" bicycle. Discuss the in's and out's recumbent lifestyle in the recumbent forum.

Considering Upgrading to a Different eTrike?

Old 08-01-22, 01:57 PM
  #1  
newbert
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 99
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 21 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 7 Times in 7 Posts
Considering Upgrading to a Different eTrike?

I've only been triking since early this spring,and find that I love it even more than I expected. It also helps that it's a fun way to get exercise, which has been prescribed for me to deal with a few health issues.


That said -- I have a Catrike Villager with a cadence-based e-motor and throttle. TBH, while shopping for it, my first trike, I didn't take the time to test ride multiple models/configurations because I was "hot to trot" but had no experience to compare it to. Now I'm wondering that I may have "jumped in" too soon because I don't even know what I might be missing compared to other trikes. So I already have the itch to test ride other models but have a few questions.


NOTE: For sake of argument, let's not consider budget for now:


First, are there any eTrikes that have both a torque-based motor and a throttle override? I've been told that torque-based is a more "natural" feeling than cadence-based, but I do like to have a throttle available for emergency situations.


Second, I have far from the smoothest or consistent pedal stroke, so would "torque-based" be better for me? I plan to test ride a torque-based system,but figured that I would also ask here.


Finally, are bike/trike shops generally open to "trade-ins" of (slightly) used trikes?


I'm sure that I'll have other questions, but that's all that comes to mind now.


Any thoughts on these questions would be greatly appreciated!


Bert

Last edited by newbert; 08-02-22 at 09:37 AM.
newbert is offline  
Old 08-02-22, 09:31 AM
  #2  
linberl
Senior Member
 
linberl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 3,330

Bikes: 2017 BF pakiT & Dahon Mu Uno (both for sale); current ride - Trident Spike trike w/ e-assist

Mentioned: 25 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1258 Post(s)
Liked 301 Times in 238 Posts
I'm not super familiar with the Catrike model but have you considered whether it makes sense financially to just replace the e-assist system? I'm sure you can get a cadence based mid-drive system installed pretty easily. You might be able to sell your existing e-assist components to offset the cost of a new system. That's assuming you like the trike itself and the way it rides.
linberl is online now  
Old 08-02-22, 09:42 AM
  #3  
newbert
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 99
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 21 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 7 Times in 7 Posts
Originally Posted by linberl View Post
I'm not super familiar with the Catrike model but have you considered whether it makes sense financially to just replace the e-assist system? I'm sure you can get a cadence based mid-drive system installed pretty easily. You might be able to sell your existing e-assist components to offset the cost of a new system. That's assuming you like the trike itself and the way it rides.
That's a good thought, linberl - Thanks!

But to clarify - I'm considering a switch away from cadence-based to torque-based. If it's possible, would that make sense for me? And do torque-based symptoms also have a throttle? (FWIW, the one offered by my LBS at time of trike purchase did not.)

Thanks again.
newbert is offline  
Old 08-02-22, 10:42 AM
  #4  
linberl
Senior Member
 
linberl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 3,330

Bikes: 2017 BF pakiT & Dahon Mu Uno (both for sale); current ride - Trident Spike trike w/ e-assist

Mentioned: 25 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1258 Post(s)
Liked 301 Times in 238 Posts
Originally Posted by newbert View Post
That's a good thought, linberl - Thanks!

But to clarify - I'm considering a switch away from cadence-based to torque-based. If it's possible, would that make sense for me? And do torque-based symptoms also have a throttle? (FWIW, the one offered by my LBS at time of trike purchase did not.)

Thanks again.
I mistyped - meant to say torque, not cadence. this one has very good reviews - you can buy thru Amazon or thru several ebike/trike shops. Universal Retrofitting Torque Sensi - Eco Cycles. Has a throttle option as well.

Last edited by linberl; 08-02-22 at 10:46 AM.
linberl is online now  
Old 08-02-22, 11:33 AM
  #5  
VegasTriker
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Sin City, Nevada
Posts: 2,732

Bikes: Catrike 700, Greenspeed GTO trike, , Linear LWB recumbent, Haluzak Horizon SWB recumbent, Balance 450 MTB, Cannondale SM800 Beast of the East

Mentioned: 18 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 490 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 188 Times in 146 Posts
What exactly were you looking for in a trike when you first went to test ride them? Did you purchase the Catrike Villager e-version (eCAT) with the Bosch e-assist?

I'm not a user of e-assist on my Catrike 700 so what I say here comes from looking at the Catrike website. First, the Villager was designed as a high seating trike for those who can not get up out of a low seating trike. The big sacrifice I see with going to the eCAT is a great reduction in the gear range. The standard Villager with 20" drive wheel, 30/39/52 chainring, and 10 speed 11/36 cassette has a 15.9 to90.1 gear inch range. The eCAT has a single 44 tooth chainring and a wider range 11//42 tooth cassette. The specs do not list a gear range but you can calculate one at https://www.sheldonbrown.com/gear-calc.html. It is going to be different and with many fewer choices to get a comfortable cadence. I guess the electric motor makes up for that. The standard villager with shipping is $2825. The eCAT is $5,500 with shipping. It is definitely not an entry level trike. Unfortunately shipping a trike is not cheap, especially as an individual rather than as a business. That means you will probably be looking for a local buyer. The more expensive the trike, the harder it is to resell. Second owners don't get a warranty so getting back what you put in to it will not be likely. Test riding other models is a great idea. Don't feel bad about maybe not getting the right trike on the first try. I bought an expensive trike (at the time) from a well known manufacturer and realized after a few months that it was a big and costly mistake. The second trike, a used Greenspeed GTO, was exactly what I wanted and needed. I used it for 9 years and many thousands of miles. Live and learn.
VegasTriker is offline  
Old 08-04-22, 10:16 AM
  #6  
newbert
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 99
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 21 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 7 Times in 7 Posts
Originally Posted by VegasTriker View Post
What exactly were you looking for in a trike when you first went to test ride them? Did you purchase the Catrike Villager e-version (eCAT) with the Bosch e-assist?

I'm not a user of e-assist on my Catrike 700 so what I say here comes from looking at the Catrike website. First, the Villager was designed as a high seating trike for those who can not get up out of a low seating trike. The big sacrifice I see with going to the eCAT is a great reduction in the gear range. The standard Villager with 20" drive wheel, 30/39/52 chainring, and 10 speed 11/36 cassette has a 15.9 to90.1 gear inch range. The eCAT has a single 44 tooth chainring and a wider range 11//42 tooth cassette. The specs do not list a gear range but you can calculate one at https://www.sheldonbrown.com/gear-calc.html. It is going to be different and with many fewer choices to get a comfortable cadence. I guess the electric motor makes up for that. The standard villager with shipping is $2825. The eCAT is $5,500 with shipping. It is definitely not an entry level trike. Unfortunately shipping a trike is not cheap, especially as an individual rather than as a business. That means you will probably be looking for a local buyer. The more expensive the trike, the harder it is to resell. Second owners don't get a warranty so getting back what you put in to it will not be likely. Test riding other models is a great idea. Don't feel bad about maybe not getting the right trike on the first try. I bought an expensive trike (at the time) from a well known manufacturer and realized after a few months that it was a big and costly mistake. The second trike, a used Greenspeed GTO, was exactly what I wanted and needed. I used it for 9 years and many thousands of miles. Live and learn.
Well, to answer your questions: I was pretty sure that I would do a lot of triking when I was shopping for my first trike. I definitely wanted e-assist because I live in a pretty hilly area. Didn't want to sit too low because of the start of some mobility issues. (Exercise was prescribed for me and triking seemed to fit the bill nicely since I have some mild balance issues.) All-in-all, the Villager has met my needs, but perhaps not all my wants (which I didn't know Iad).. My choice of e-assist at the trike shop was Bosch or eBikeKit. Thet are very different. As you said, with Bosch you lose some gearing, there's no throttle, and it was quite a bit more expensive. With eBikeKit, the motor is on the rear hub and I retained all of my gearing and got a throttle and saved some $$$.

AFter buying the Villager, I read about torque-based e-motors and thought that might be better for someone like me who was an inconsistent, less-than-smooth pedal stroke. With the cadence based eBikeKit, I just often find myself between gears and power levels. So I thought that a torque-based motor might be better for me. Is my assumption correct?

Another option I'm considering is changing out the front gearing to something larger. I'm finding that I'm almost always in the largest front gear and only occasionally in the middle gear. I never use the smallest gear. - But I'll leave my specific questions about gearing in a separate thread.

Thanks for your thoughts.
newbert is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2022 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.