Wanting to convert recumbent trike


New member
Local time
8:12 AM
Oct 17, 2022
I recently ordered a Kent Cavalier recumbent trike from Walmart. I am looking to convert it to an electric bike soon after I get it. I have limited mechanical ability, and am looking for suggestions as to how to go about the build. I was considering both mid-drive and a hub motor until I found out that the hub motor would be a much less troublesome install. I would like to find a kit that pops in easily without any advanced modifications if possible. Any advice would be appreciated.
You are on the right track to go with a hub motor. There are 2 types, geared and direct drive. I have installed two hub motors with internal gearing in recumbent bikes, 2 wheelers. Both bikes are older recumbents, about 20 years old.
There is also less wear and tear on your drivetrain, because the motor power does not run through your chain and cassette, it goes from the motor/wheel directly to the pavement.

My first install was trouble free. My second install was ok, but I had a problem with the motor pulling the axle out of the frame drop outs, after 30 miles of riding. The axle did not seat deep enough in the drop out slots to get a good enough grip with the locknuts clamping the wheel to the frame. I had a welder us a die grinder to deepen the slots a few mm to get a better fit. I also got some serrated washers to use to dig into the frame more when tightening the axle nuts.
I still have to test it out in the spring to see if it is fixed.

You do have to fiddle with the axle to get it to fit in the dropouts, as it it is a larger diameter than the stock axle. The axle is round, but has two flat surfaces machined on opposite sides of the axle so it will fit into standard droupouts. And there are special washers that fit against the flat surface to keep the axle from turning in the dropouts and rounding them out. There is also a small torque arm to mount that helps keep the axle from turning.

The ebikekit.com web site has an online video of their manual and various how to videos for their products.

Suggest you view their online info. They explain their kits very well online.

I use their kit, and they have excellent customer service.
Here is an update:
I got the bike and the conversoin kit in the mail recently. Luckily everything went together smoothly for me.
The kit is a 36volt 250 watt unbranded rear wheelhub kit. I am using a small 36 volt battery with this. Everything is working good so far, my only issue thus far is though the kit says it will go 30 km/h it only gets up to 15 mph for me. My recumbent trike is certainly much heavier than your average bike which is no doubt the reason for the discrepancy.
Now I know a 250 watt motor isn't amazingly powerful, I am wondering whether or not the display is a limiting factor though.
It is a Sw-810led display, the throttle only works when the display is on and in one of the 3 PAS modes with each higher setting giving me more power. So I am not sure if I am already getting max power on the highest PAS setting or not? Otherwise I may move up to a 350 watt.