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Building an eCatrike questions. Please help!

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    Building an eCatrike questions. Please help!

    I've got an '05 Catrike Speed that I'd like to motorize. I want it to be reliable, fast and fun. I want to only use pedal power for startup and to get out of a jam. It's a small, compact, zippy trike w/ 16" fronts and a 20" rear wheel. Very low to the ground, very stable. It's all aluminum and the boom is not that long as I have kinda short legs. Weighs about 27 lbs. as is. Iv'e got it set up now w/ a 9 speed rear (12-32) and a double up front. Because of the small wheels, the big ring is a 56 tooth, and even w/ that big ring I can spin it out in the 12-56 fairly easily.
    I've done some research on trikes being motorized but there's not too much out there. I like the idea of a hub motor but I'd have to build a 20" wheel, but I'm worried about heavy rear wheel on a trike in turns w/ trike's inherent side loads. I'd also worry about burn out on hills and, again, they are heavy. I'm in Iowa but we still have some long grade type uphills around here. Oh, I'm using this on-road only. I've heard that there can be problems w/ a mid-drive on trikes w/ torque on the boom/BB. Any thoughts?
    The Bafang BBS-HD intrigues me but I wonder if it's too much power? It's 3 lbs. more than the BBS02 but if it gives me a broader power band -it seems worth it. Any thoughts on this?
    Then there's batteries. Joe at Luna says go w/ a 13AH over a big battery. Less weight and can add another if wanted. Which of their models is the best, the shark, the water bottle one or ?????
    Also since a trike is laid out different than a bike, I'm concerned about the length of the wiring harnesses. I was thinking of putting the battery behind the seat under my back. Helps to balance the weight of the motor hanging out there on the boom/BB.
    Any thoughts ,suggestions, concerns appreciated. Thanks!

    #2
    I Bought a Catrike 700 and put a BBshd on it. It Was FAST!!! For a recumbent the BBso2 would be plenty! Enjoy! Contact me if you have further Questions!

    Comment


      #3
      marcocolo , have you made any progress yet. I've got a Catrike expedition and am wanting to motorize. I was looking at the double geared hub motor to try and keep the weight in the back a I feel fairly front heavy on my trike and think the middrive will want to pitch me forward on even a moderately fast stop. Ugh!, there are so many factors to consider. The double gear hub motor requires a wider dropout, so I've been looking at metal shops in the area that will safely expand my rear dropouts.
      I really want pressure-sensitive pedal assist and don't believe in throttles, but Luna doesn't have anything like that. I had that for 6 years on a discontinued Giant (2 wheel) ebike, and loved it for commuting to work. The harder you pedaled, the more motor support was provided--essentially evening out your pedaling with 2 levels of power assist.
      Anyway, please keep posting as you make progress on this project, or I'll do the same.

      Comment


      • tonk
        tonk commented
        Editing a comment
        Jdg239 I originally ordered the Luna dual speed hub motor already laced into a wheel. It was when it first came in and Luna believed without a rear disk brake it would fit the 135mm drop out but alas it needs a 145mm. That was a piece of art, truly my unicorn for the build but like your Cat the HPV is aluminum and cannot be bent by mere mortals.

      #4
      I'm doing a build on a HPV Scorpion FS 20. Having a BBSHD on a DF build I did last year I felt it was overkill as I rarely get out of 1 of 9 PAS and the highest I've ever needed was 4. I weigh 240# & live in hilly to mountainous terrain. I do ride for exercise so I peddle at about medium effort most of the time. The trike has a dual rear which equals 24 gears, much better than the 8 gears on my DF. I opted for the 48T front ring which I feel works well with the 20's, plenty of low end for the area I live in but I can still do about 28mph with PAS. The Cat Speed is geared much higher than the Scorpion. Should be no problem on the boom but another reason I chose the 02 over the HD was the 3 lbs difference.

      I'm having some issues with the build & have it torn back down but I did get a cpl rides in for a total of about 35 or so miles. Two things I can relay. First the BBS02 is more than enough motor and I never felt the motor was stressed. Although my road time is limited the battery usage was definitely more efficient albeit the trike is slower at the same human effort. That doesn't mean the trike is slower if you want to use more PAS or throttle it just means that if your using assist minimally, average speeds are slower. I average 16mph on the DF and only 12 or so on the trike because uphill kills a trikes speed. Have fun

      Comment


        #5
        I have an Aluminum frame with 170 mm rear dropouts. The first time I pulled the wheel off they sprung open about 10 mm or more. I needed to go to 135 mm but that is to far to bend Aluminum. Long story short my dropouts had some alignment problems so I squared and lined them up with a pipe clamp and some muscle. I went from 180 mm to 165 with out any problems. 10 mm is nothing. Your dropouts probably have that much spring in them. Just spread them and put the hub in. This isn't rocket science.

        Comment


        • tonk
          tonk commented
          Editing a comment
          Interesting, wish I had that info when I got the dual drive hub from Luna. When you spread/compress the drop outs do they hold the new position or are they under under stress. In other words if you spread 10mm or so to fit the dual drive hub when released does it spring back to it's original because that would make changing flats a major PITA especially on a suspended trike.

        #6
        Yeah it would spring back and the smaller wheel on the trike would make your frame stiffer. I still think it could be done. It all depends on the heat-treat the frame got. Some will be softer than others. You have to rely on your senses. If you start to hear creaking and pinging, stop. That is why I mostly use muscle power when doing things like this. It gives me a margin of safety. Flats would be worse but I tend to ignore stuff like that because I have very strong hands. That is from being a farmer first and a mechanic second.

        Comment


          #7
          Originally posted by marcocolo View Post
          I've got an '05 Catrike Speed that I'd like to motorize.
          I just finished installing a Luna BBS02B 750w kit on a '08 TerraTrike Zoomer tadpole trike with 26" rear wheel conversion. Originally had 3 chain rings in front and 8-speed 11-30T cassette in the rear. I used the 46T Bafang chain ring, and the gearing seems pretty good for my casual riding style. The kit installation was pretty easy. I replaced the front twist shifter with the left-side twist throttle. I had to lengthen one e-brake lever wire and the wire to the speed sensor. Otherwise the wiring harness worked fine. I used a 48v 13.5Ah Dolphin battery pack - mounted it on a cargo rack behind the seat.

          I decided on the BBS02 over the BBSHD to reduce the weight hanging out front on the boom. With the motor up front, and the battery on the rear rack, I think the weight distribution is about the same as "stock". No apparent problem with the motor torque trying to twist the boom. I can't really imagine needing any more power - the trike will easily run up to 40 kph on throttle, and I can spin out in PAS 3 (out of 5) and 8th gear. We don't have any big hills where I live, so can't comment on the climbing ability.

          I'll get some photos taken in the next few days, if anyone has any interest. Good luck on your build!
          Last edited by cajk; 04-24-2017, 08:10 PM.

          Comment


          • calfee20
            calfee20 commented
            Editing a comment
            Thanks very nice! How does that long chain running through those tubes stand up to the BBS02?

          • cajk
            cajk commented
            Editing a comment
            My trike does not have the plastic tubes guiding the chain - the chain is totally exposed. I do have two sets of idler wheels that guide the chain as it passes under the seat, and they provide some support to the long chain run. This is all new to me, so I'm just learning. I am trying to be careful to apply some pedal tension to the chain before the motor engages, thinking this might reduce the "shock" felt by the chain. I have not noticed any signs of chain distress, and the derailleur seems to be shifting very smoothly. When riding in PAS, I stop pedaling just before I shift, then start pedaling again before the motor comes back on line. Seems to work great!

          • calfee20
            calfee20 commented
            Editing a comment
            You are shifting the same way I do on my bike. I feel the is no need for a shift sensor for a street bike. It is the mountain bike guys that beat up their drive trains. They have to because of the situation they are in.
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