Looking at electric assist for a rambler. Any one have experience? Are they worth the cost?

Opinions using electric assist with a rambler

Comments

  • BBS02 or BBSHD is probably the easiest and most cost effective.

    I have a BBS02 on my Rover Int-8. Love it.
  • Can you wait a little bit ;) ?
    image
    Jeff "Chonk" Yonker
    Marketing Dude @TerraTrike

    You miss 100% of the shots you don't take - Wayne Gretsky
  • Rover too? How impatient do we have
    to be????? :'(
  • edited August 2017
    Have a BBSO2 on Rover 8 ext. It is great. But a real learning experience. $1000 invested. bentonabudget.blogspot.com
  • Rambler EVO - TT's done all the hard work on design and adjustment of the electric drive.
  • Maybe a trade-up program will be put in place. Probably not, but hey, one can dream. :)

    ¬ ITL
  • @chonk has hinted that the EVO kit might be available to purchase as an addon to the Rambler and possibly the Rover in the future.

    While I lean toward the school of a mid-drive and using the gearing with the motor, it's interesting to me how well the EVO is supposed to work. It may very well be the best route to go.

    Lunacycle had the BBS02 on sale a short while back, complete kit for like $500 with a 9AH battery if I remember right. With some cable extensions this puts etriking on the map for a lot of people that can't see spending $1000 or more... (Need the extensions for the speedo cable, unless you have the boom really short and use a front wheel for the speedo.)

    Battery packs are going to run almost (or more) than the motor system itself, for a top quality pack. Budget packs can be had for half the cost, but also half the lifetime...
  • I have the BBSHD on a Rover i8, and I love mine as well. Elrique64 has had more experience than the rest of us I believe. I paid $1100 for my setup (Luna Cycle).

    That said, I believe the TerraTrike EVO system is probably your best bet. Squirrelpie0's "But a real learning experience" in reference to his BBS02 is truly an understatement, and it goes for any BBSxx model and probably any DIY trike motor installation not specifically designed for a (specific?) trike.

    Who you purchase your motor and battery from is probably more important than what you actually purchase. You want to have confidence in the company you do business with because you are going to need pre & post purchase support and advice for any DIY electric assist project. TerraTrike is just such a company with respect to trikes, and I would argue that Luna Cycle is perhaps the best source for DIY electric assist motors AND batteries. At least that's what my pre-purchase research indicated. Here is their currant BBS special offering:

    "Luna Anniversary Sale! $750 BBS02 Mid Drive Kit with Panasonic Lithium Battery
    Luna Cycle announces our 2 year anniversary sale our best mid drive deal ever available in limited quantity for a limited time.

    The BBS02 750 with a 500 watt hour Panasonic Battery for the unheard of price of $750 (Or $400 for BBS02 kit alone)

    For a limited time our best BBS02 deal ever. Save $225 over our already low ridiculous price. (For Pre-order Only) NOTE: This kit at this price will be 2-3 weeks for delivery. This is a pre-order price."
  • What do you mean when saying the BBS02 is a real learning experience?
    I am thinking of getting one from Luna for my Rambler N380. Installation looks
    quite simple. I know the EVO kit would be easier all around but the cost might
    be quite high and will it actually become available. Plus I would need a whole
    new drivetrain.
  • 'Learning experience" from the standpoint of the items that are not included in the kit. Not that they can't be acquired provided you know the questions to ask and until you've physically had your hands on one it's difficult to comprehend those questions. Take a look at my blog bentonabudget.blogspot.ca for a more detailed look at the items I encountered. Overall, I think the BBSO2 is a very reliable unit that has seen many improvements in the last years with a lot of support in the forums My experience with Luna has been very positive.

    Just understanding how PAS on the Bafang works and programming it is an in depth learning experience. On a Rover for example, you have to fabricate a battery mount. Also getting proper length cables required me to fabricate a couple of my own. Troubleshooting a battery connection and an extension cable another issue. Even proper charging takes some education.

    Not difficult, just lots of things to learn. And it was interesting.

    Installing the BBSO2 unit itself is not difficult. Pretty straight forward.

    I put mine on in April/May and use it every day riding 30-70 km/day. I love it and would encourage anyone to give it a try. But it is not like going down to the lbs and picking one up that is ready to drive off the lot.

    I think coupled with an N380 would be very interesting and smooth.

    On the Rambler EVO, I am surprised there have not been any updated reviews on the unit beyond the first flurry on announcements. I am waiting impatiently
  • edited August 2017
    Had an edit and lost the whole darned thing. So going to redo it.

    There is a small learning curve with the Bafang system, but it's mostly research and good to know info. I'll outline them below:

    Mounting the battery: Get the Low Rider Rack found here: http://shop.terratrike.com/product-p/tt600361.htm Mount the battery on one side or the other. If you get two battery packs, mount them on opposite sides and swap. Don't wire them in parallel, since the higher charged one will try to charge the lower. Safer and easier to swap them.

    Measure the distance from your Bottom Bracket to half way between the axle and the rim on the rear tire. When you order your motor tell Lunacycle that you need a speedo cable to make this measurement. (Mount the speedo on the rear, as this is where you are putting power. Front wheels can turn at different rates based on your turning or lifting one or the other...)

    I got the brake sensors that aren't built into the brake handles. You can find them here: https://em3ev.com/shop/hwbs-ebrake-sensor/ This allows you to keep your locking brake levers. This cuts the motor out when you hit the brake lever on either side. You WANT this!

    Get the right gear shift sensor for your rear hub. If you buy the right kit from Lunacycle you may already have the special plug on the motor for it, if not you will need to get a "Y" cable for the brake sensor. These can be had from Lunacycle, EM3V or ebay. I have the IGH version and it cuts out the motor for about 1/2-3/4 of a second every time I shift the rear hub. Keeps me from "mashing" the gears. This is NOT REQUIRED for the NuVinci!

    Figure out the distance you want to ride, then double that. Then figure out the battery pack that can give you that range. (There are a bunch of sources for this on the internet.) I have used a 20AH battery and gotten 50-60 miles range on it. My 11AH is giving me over a 20 mile range now. Use this as a basis for your research if you want.

    While you are ordering this, also get the programming cable. For $25 it's just too handy to have. It allows you to fine tune your PAS modes to fit your riding, or tweek the settings to fit your riding. It's also required if you want to use the full 9 PAS modes with some of the displays. Some of them are crippled to 3 or 5.

    While we're talking displays, get the color one. The USB port on it is just too handy for keeping your phone powered up as you ride. Then you can use programs like RideWithGPS or MapMyRide to track your riding without having the battery go dead on the phone half way through it.

    The Bafang is one of the best motors to mount on a trike, since it uses the gearing on the rear wheel for helping you move. Hub motors on the rear have issues which I just didn't like. (Doesn't use the gearing, puts the weight where I didn't want it and requires an external geared hub and more.)

    The Bafang is truly one of the easiest systems to mount on a trike (or bike) but it does take some measurements... The "Learning Curve" with these is the same you would need to do with any motor system that isn't already installed and functioning. And then you STILL have some learning as you figure out the assist modes, etc.
  • Elrique64 wrote: »
    Had an edit and lost the whole darned thing.

    Happens to me a lot. For future reference: Edit what is needed, Ctrl+A to select All, Open Notepad, and Ctrl+P to paste it. Don't have to save it.
    Should the edit fail, you can select all and copy it back. Since the Russian spam event the forum has gotten buggy. Could be a latency or security issue.

    ¬ ITL
  • bone up on this stuff at http://www.triketech.com/Drivetrain/PowerAssist/PowerAssist.html

    if you need help getting up the slopes, maybe time to put on an mtb crankset. re-consider the idea of using a motor-driven n-380 - browse the web for folks who tried ebike and etrike with the n-360.

    rambler evo is a game-changer. as The Man said: wait.
  • Hmmm so much to answer....

    First let me say again that we looked at ALL the solutions and chose the Falco for many reasons. I just finished 2 days of training from Falcos CEO Rakesh Dahwan here at TerraTrike and asked many of these questions to him and have become even more certain that we've made the right choice. I'll try to explain them below.

    Secondly, we will be offering a retrofit Falco solution for upgrades very soon. We are working out the details as we speak. However, as I've stated before, this is not the optimum solution. The E.V.O. is purpose built, meaning that the frame has been beefed up, the components selected precisely to handle the e-motor forces, our low rider rack was specifically designed with battery storage in mind and the algorithm has been specifically designed to take into account for the unique torque and forces that recumbent trikes exert (unlike uprights), wheel diameter, tracking and geometry (unlike uprights) and functionality (unlike uprights). Simply purchasing an after market e-motor kit that was designed for uprights and putting it on a trike is not the most optimum solution. Our retro fit kit will not have all the advantages that the E.V.O. will have but will still be light years better than most other solutions out there.

    Mid drive and crank based e-motors are in my educated opinion not as good as the hub motors for many reasons. In the case of crank based motors like the Shimano Steps or Bafang etc. it puts the weight all out front in probably the worse spot. One quick stop or mis calculated braking and you will plow the motor into the ground or wall and damage it. Second, mid drives are quite noisy and contain gears that are designed to be replaced. They are a wear item and cost quite a bit to replace. They also do not have regenerative capabilities.

    However the two biggest disadvantages are that they are closed systems. You MUST use their batteries with their systems. When the battery wears out, you will be forced to purchase THEIR replacement battery at THEIR cost ($$$$). What if they no longer make that battery or the company is out of business? Our system is open and doesn't care what kind of battery you use. With the rapid rate that battery technology is changing, who knows what capabilities or advances batteries will achieve in 1-2 years. The second and most important issue is the zero resistance pedaling feature. What happens when your battery runs out and you are 10 miles from home? You will need to pedal the trike with a drag on the pedals. It will be like riding with one brake semi engaged. The Falco 5 phase motor we use is the only one on the market that allows for zero resistance when not in use. So with the exception of the little added weight, you will notice no difference in pedaling when the motor is not engaged.

    Now, I also have graphs and charts that shows the advantage of the E.V.O. over others with the aspect to torque limits, power distribution, efficiency, range etc. and will be putting those up online soon, but again, our trike out performs everyone in those areas.

    The last advantage I think gets overlooked is it's simplicity. Just turn it on and ride. You don't need a console. You don't need a throttle. You don't even need the Wired plus minus switch or the phone app. For most of our customers THATS what they want- Simple - hell we've built our company around that philosophy. Now, you can purchase all those accessories separately to give you more functionality but in it's basic ecosystem all you need is the trike, battery and motor.

    And lets not forget the price.

    The E.V.O. will be at the Philly Bike Show in Sept, and at Recumbent Cycle Con in October for those that can attend. Rakesh will even be giving an in-depth seminar on the different e-motor choices out as well.
    image
    Jeff "Chonk" Yonker
    Marketing Dude @TerraTrike

    You miss 100% of the shots you don't take - Wayne Gretsky
  • Oh and I forgot that we're the ONLY ones offering a 5 year warranty
    image
    Jeff "Chonk" Yonker
    Marketing Dude @TerraTrike

    You miss 100% of the shots you don't take - Wayne Gretsky
  • Also, I just posted the slides from my training in the "Fireside Chat with Chonk" thread
    image
    Jeff "Chonk" Yonker
    Marketing Dude @TerraTrike

    You miss 100% of the shots you don't take - Wayne Gretsky
  • I didn't intend to turn this into a debate over the merits of the EVO or the Bafang. I was replying to the "Learning Curve" comments made, and offering my insight as one of the pioneers on this forum in using a motor on a trike.

    There is no more learning curve with the Bafang than there is with any other motor system. Before you invest in a system, you should research it. And the things that I suggested above are those things I personally needed to research the most. I offered my insight in setting up my system.

    There isn't a closed battery system with a Bafang. Any chemistry will work. The only requirements are that it be the correct voltage, and that the pack be able to handle the amperage that the motor is capable of drawing. (For the BBS02 this means you need a pack able to handle 30A to be safe.)

    The Bafang has 2 freewheels in it. One is to prevent the pedals from turning when the motor runs. (Think about it. When you use the throttle to speed through an intersection, you don't want your feet to be spinning at some horrendously fast pace.) The other freewheel is there to keep the motor from spinning when the pedals are turning, if you don't have the motor on. You can't feel the motor if you don't have it powered up, so there isn't any additional resistance like you would have with most hub motors.

    The Bafang doesn't have regenerative braking. This is due to the double freewheel as I mentioned above, and that the controller isn't designed for it. I'm sure the controller could be modified for regen braking, but the double freewheel would defeat the whole effort.

    For those that feel this is a requirement, here is an excellent article on the merits of regen braking: https://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=7891 Basically it shows a gain of 10% to 14% for riding in a town or city, where you are doing a lot of stopping. If you are just out riding a MUPS, the gains are single digits. That means you may gain a couple of extra miles during a city ride, and a few hundred yards if you are riding on a dedicated bike path. Depending on where you live, you might be better off using solar to charge as you ride. (You will never charge faster than you use, but you will extend your range.)

    My system isn't installed in the traditional manner. But that's not the issue. The issue is how easy it is to make this motor fit a trike, and the options it can give you. With over 65# lost in the past 2 years, and over 3000 miles under me while using the BBS02, I have an insight into how easy it is to install, use and maintain.

    Is the Bafang the best option? Maybe. It is going to depend on your needs. Is the EVO the best option? Again, maybe. And again, depending on your needs.
  • I still think it boils down to plug and play vs. build, tinker, plug and play with occasional tinker.
  • TCEd wrote: »
    I still think it boils down to plug and play vs. build, tinker, plug and play with occasional tinker.

    Plus all the other reasons ;)
    image
    Jeff "Chonk" Yonker
    Marketing Dude @TerraTrike

    You miss 100% of the shots you don't take - Wayne Gretsky
  • Perhaps you are correct TCEd. But I believe the more you tinker with your trike and its equipment, the more you understand both the equipment, and how it's function effects your trike and trike riding. Likewise, the more you understand your trike's equipment, and how that equipment effects your trike and riding demands, the better trike owner and rider you become. And, perhaps best of all, the better trike related decisions, one is likely to make.

    I believe there is no such thing as plug & play, without tinkering, for any E-trike.

    Oh sure, someone could simply plunk there money down and buy a beautiful EVO turn-key E-trike and ride away. But if they never look at their owners manual, and know little about bikes or lithium batteries, how long are trike & battery likely to last? At the very least, owners need to learn (and tinker?) with lithium battery related questions- how to charge, how much to charge (80, 90, 100%), what amperage to charge at (advantages & disadvantages of charging at various amperage), where to charge, what type charger to use, seasonal storage, etc., And who among hasn't at least learned and tinkered with our trike brakes, tire pressure, cables, seat, chain, etc.

    Don't get me wrong, I have test ridden the EVO and it is EVOlutionary and awesome. It will certainly be the best solution for many. But an experienced bike shop can order, install, and program a Bafang for someone wanting a plug & play type e-trike solution. While TerraTrike has the complete ***and paired*** TOTAL solution in the EVO, the lbs ordered, installed, and programmed Bafang can get pretty close to plug & play too, if one is willing to do just a bit of study. ;)
  • agree with TrikeBirder all aspects particularly the care and feeding of batteries. battery chemistry, voltage and capacity, charging method, driveline configuration, rear wheel hub variables are what it takes to make an etrike fit your style. off the shelf turnkey packages are in the same category as off the floor trikes - one size fits all [not],

    i chose lead-acid batteries, which i tote on a trailer, because i dont see any point in charging lithiums in the oven, a barbeque grill, or the great outdoors. no need for a battery management system which is a very serious fail-point, and no need for a $300 80% charger or $120 battery monitor on the trike.

    folks that get the usual lithium powered wheel are going to find out that at best the number of rated charges [only in the lab does that happen] is 50% of what is stated and real range operating on battery only is half the stated minimum, even less if you start out with a proper 80% charge. a 5-phase motor compensates for some of these issues compared to 3-phase.

    why and wherefore is part of the learning curve. browsing triketech, grintech, luna, battery university, golden motor is one part of the process, tinkering is the other. if an electric trike is going to fit, you absolutely need to be able to tinker with controller parameters. the average trike shop is going to be unable or unwilling to do this - requires tinker and test repeated many times.

    bad knees, couldnt turn the pedals on a currie ebike so ran that treacherous thing as an electric scooter for a year. for the record - 10 Ah at 24 volts with a sealed lead-acid was good for about 4 miles. was prudent to carry a second battery on the beast although its treachery increased doing so.
  • I have a Rover with a BBS02 and N360 that I love I got in installed 3 weeks before the Rover EVO was released, I would have waited for it had I known it was coming. I have spent as much money on it and the EVO is a much better solution and cleaner install. To answer the original question of this thread Yes its worth the money
  • edited August 2017
    Perhaps you are correct TCEd. But I believe the more you tinker with your trike and its equipment, the more you understand both the equipment, and how it's function effects your trike and trike riding. Likewise, the more you understand your trike's equipment, and how that equipment effects your trike and riding demands, the better trike owner and rider you become. And, perhaps best of all, the better trike related decisions, one is likely to make.

    I believe there is no such thing as plug & play, without tinkering, for any E-trike.

    Oh sure, someone could simply plunk there money down and buy a beautiful EVO turn-key E-trike and ride away. But if they never look at their owners manual, and know little about bikes or lithium batteries, how long are trike & battery likely to last? At the very least, owners need to learn (and tinker?) with lithium battery related questions- how to charge, how much to charge (80, 90, 100%), what amperage to charge at (advantages & disadvantages of charging at various amperage), where to charge, what type charger to use, seasonal storage, etc., And who among hasn't at least learned and tinkered with our trike brakes, tire pressure, cables, seat, chain, etc.

    Don't get me wrong, I have test ridden the EVO and it is EVOlutionary and awesome. It will certainly be the best solution for many. But an experienced bike shop can order, install, and program a Bafang for someone wanting a plug & play type e-trike solution. While TerraTrike has the complete ***and paired*** TOTAL solution in the EVO, the lbs ordered, installed, and programmed Bafang can get pretty close to plug & play too, if one is willing to do just a bit of study. ;)



    I'm looking at the EVO as being the trike version of a Tesla E car. By plug and play I mean once the battery is charged you ride it and shouldn't need to tinker, troubleshoot or program the E portion of the trike. It seems with the various versions of owner E installs there's an amount of tinkering/T/S necessary to get things right.
    I just think there are a significant number of riders out there that want the trike to ride period.
    Look how many cannot figure out front track alignment or adjusting a derailleur or gear inches or the correct tire. Those people just want to ride, not tinker that's why bike shops make money charging $60+ and hour labor. Those same riders will not want to mess with the E portion of the trike either.
    They want plug and play. I have friends that have E bikes (not trikes) and trust me all they want is a charged battery, air in the tires and a place to ride tinkering free. None of them have a multimeter, jumpers, wire crimper etc and wouldn't know what to do with them.
  • Bentrider Online finally has an in depth review of the Rambler EVO. Very positive. Has anyone else had some in depth experience with the Rambler EVO?
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