Thoughts on my 8 different ebike motors

hugh

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Okay this is my opinion only and may not reflect anyone else's experience. My first e bike was a BionX equipped road bike using 700c tires. Very reliable and being torque sensing quite nice to ride. Used that one for a few years, wound up putting the motor which was a direct drive 500 watt on the back of a homemade tadpole trike. After a few years the battery started to degrade then Bion X went out of business. I still have the motor hanging in a shed.
Bike number 2 is a KHS fat bike that I put a BBSHD 1000 watt mid drive on. Still have that bike and it get's used summer and winter but once the temp drops below minus 20C it is parked. The nice thing about this motor is it's reliability and the fact any 48V battery works on it. This bike is going on 7 seasons now.

Bike number 3 and motor number 4 was the road bike that had the Bion X motor, it got a 750 watt Tongsheng motor and was for my wife. After a crash it was sold and I assume it's still working. When I bought the Tongsheng I ordered 2 motors on Ali expresses singles day, Nov 11. That's the Chinese equivalent of Black Friday. That motor sat on the shelf, was sold to a friend and his son is currently using it on a Trek bike.

Number 5 was a Bafang BBS02 put on an enclosed delta trike equipped with 26 by 4" tires. It performed flawlessly but being enclosed while great for rainy days was just to hot to take on any long rides unless the temp was below freezing. That motor was removed and put on another homemade delta trike equipped with 20" wheels. Still in use and has been reliable for several thousand km's. However this fall the motor has been removed because I want to try it on a 2 wheeled full suspension recumbent currently being built.

Number 6 was a geared hub rear motor 500 watt used on another enclosed delta trike. The trike was way overbuilt because our roads are not in the beast shape and I felt the weight was too much for the motor. This trike had 26" rear and one 24" front wheel. That motor was sold to a friend who put a bike together for his adult son, still working good as far as i know.

Number 7 was a Magic Pie 1000 watt direct drive put on the previous enclosed delta. It was very nice for about 1000 km's then it died. I think because of the weight of the trike and the rough roads. It's going to get a teardown to see if if can be repaired.

The BBS02 is to be installed on my 2 wheeled full suspension recumbent based on an Atomic Zombie plan for a Voyageur long wheelbase.

Number 8 was just ordered and is a 500 watt geared front hub motor. It will be put on my delta trike with the 20" wheels. With me powering one rear wheel and the front with e assist it will be 2wd

My takeaway from all this is that while e bikes are fun it seems the mid drive versions are more reliable than the hub motors but i havn't given up on the hub drives just yet.
 

"A"

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Have you got pictures of each ebike?
 

hugh

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I have some pictures. The first one is my homemade tadpole, that had the BionX motor. It went through a few incarnations one of which was a yellow coroplast body
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Next is the fat tire delta that was good but a bit to hot inside

this is the BBSHD equipped fattie

A picture of my first ebike but with a tongsheng added to it

another picture of the first enclosed tadpole version, I made a 2nd but my friend remarked it looked like a coffin so it was dismantled
 

hugh

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And a picture of the magic pie equipped delta, also now recycled, it was pretty good for 1000 km's but way to overbuilt

the picture of the homemade tadpole didn't load so here it is again

this picture is my other homemade delta with the 20" wheels, it had the BBS02 but now will be peddle power at the rear and front geared hub motor front wheel, just ordered that motor yesterday
 

hugh

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The sculpture is at the forks site in winnipeg and was designed by a chinese artist. It was supposed to be sent to another city after 2 years but due to covid stuck around for 3 years. It's slated to be moved later this week. In the picture above the red trike has the BBS02, a very good motor. It is slated for some upgrades over the winter such as a better mesh seat plus a few more items.
 

hugh

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I learned a lot from the enclosed yellow trike build. Mainly that I tend to overbuild re weight. The Magic Pie motor worked great for around 1000 km's then it failed. The frame for that trike was made of 1/8" thick walled square tube, the support for the panels was 1/2" electrical conduit. The zinc was ground off every welded joint before welding on the EMT tubing. The body work was very good at offering rain protection and it was open enough that a good airflow kept me from overheating. Carrying a rainsuit took care of any water from the sides. With no suspension and our poor roads coupled with the weight, I think thats what killed the motor. Another takeaway was aerodynamics really help, usually requiring less power to move versus an open style. However the addition of the mostly vertical windscreen on the yellow trikemade it lose most of it's streamlining advantadge.
 

socialfilter

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I learned a lot from the enclosed yellow trike build. Mainly that I tend to overbuild re weight. The Magic Pie motor worked great for around 1000 km's then it failed. The frame for that trike was made of 1/8" thick walled square tube, the support for the panels was 1/2" electrical conduit. The zinc was ground off every welded joint before welding on the EMT tubing. The body work was very good at offering rain protection and it was open enough that a good airflow kept me from overheating. Carrying a rainsuit took care of any water from the sides. With no suspension and our poor roads coupled with the weight, I think thats what killed the motor. Another takeaway was aerodynamics really help, usually requiring less power to move versus an open style. However the addition of the mostly vertical windscreen on the yellow trikemade it lose most of it's streamlining advantadge.
I've been looking at a few Chinese models because I don't have anyone to build the body and have no room, tools, supplies or knowledge to do it myself. I live in a densely populated urban area and between parking and insane traffic I sold my car and now just use my ebike.
One issue with the trike is charging. I live on the 11th floor and there's no way for me to get it inside and management already bitches about ppl charging their ebike outside because it's "their" electricity so I guess I'd have to buy ALOT of extension cords plus pay for a parking spot monthly. I don't want it just as a novelty so I will have to do a deeper cost/benefit analysis so I guess we'll see but I still think the fact that you built your own and it worked so well, 1000km's isn't bad imo, is really cool
 

hugh

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If I were to do a version of the yellow trike again I would change the frame. The yellow one had one one main beam leading to the front fork. It would be better to go to a different style of frame. Think of a rectangular box with a few cross braces, one at the front for the forks and one at the seat area to allow shorter pieces in order to provide mounting locations for the 2 rear wheels. Another center brace running up the middle for the crankset to be mounted. That way the outside perimeter frame gives you a good place for mounting body panels.
The frame could be made out of lighter thinner steel (in my case because thats what I use)
A friend of mine who also builds trikes and quads uses aluminum and since he doesn't have access to welding Al everything is bolted together. He is a trained in Switzerland millwright and is very good builder. He is always after lightness and speed.
 

briiian

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hugh

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Thanks. I love experimenting with different builds. Currently working on a dual battery BBS02 equipped long wheelbase recumbent. It has 2 1/4" wide by 26" wheels both ends. And although it is full suspension the components are from a lower priced bike.
 
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