Building a couple of 20" wheel tadpole e-trike from scratch

Discussion in 'Recumbents, Trikes and HPVs' started by voyager, 30 Sep 2014.

  1. OP

    voyager E- tadpole Triker

    The trikes are still in use but Ken has Identified a little opportunity on the blue one the current limit on the controller is limiting on steep hills ,
    This is a problem we need to address as it does not climb as well as the red one .
    The controller needs either "playing with or another with a bit higher current limit being substituted
    apart from that all is well and the new trike rack works well
    We did another couple of rides along to Ovingdean at the weekend and built the trike rack so all in all a good weekend
    ovingdean.jpg trikerack.jpg

    regards emma
    stuee147 and Scoosh like this.
  2. OP

    voyager E- tadpole Triker

    Hi Folks

    My Red 20/20 is a year old this week and finally I think I can say it is " finished " With a few bits to swap over between modes .

    I purchased a couple of "hamster bags " designed for pushchairs and equally at home on a tadpole , these bags have a carry shoulder strap as well and make excellent shopping / day out bags

    I hope to improve the battery capacity , with only a 9ah battery range using assist all the time , the range is limited to a max of 16miles and it would be good to extend that to 25-30 miles as the summer is coming ( soon )
    WP_20150618_001.jpg WP_20150618_002.jpg palacepier.jpg

    Rode out on part of the Sustran 2 route to Brighton Pier earlier this week - A nice afternoon for a ride along the coast and a cup of tea on Hove Lawns

    regards emma
  3. OP

    voyager E- tadpole Triker

    With our Southern area "zombie fest " less than a week away I found a couple of unexpected problems ( the trike was finished just over the year ago )
    The first was a naff wheel bearing on the outside of the Offside wheel ( for those that live outside the UK RH ) and the front brake kill switch stopped working , With about 10 hours tinker time before the weekend camping in Sussex , I was forced to replace the front wheels on the trike until a replacement set of bearing arrive , the hubs are only a year old and came from that Irish online bike shop , It is easier to just order a set of bearing and fit them at my leisure , The kill switch on the twin front disc brakes was a little more simple as I striped down the lever and replaced the switch from a spare switch , only a couple of hours of fun but then I needed to have a few rides to allow the front discs to settle down again ..

    The failed hubs were the first time I had used 20mm hubs and was a little concerned that the bearings had only lasted 400 miles , the rebuilt MTB/BMX hubs I converted using real bearing seem to last much longer as they have been in use for over a 1000 miles without any sign of failure ..

    Still the trike is back together using a pair of ultimate hardware , front disc hubs that the Sandman had modified with 15mm Silver steel axles and ballraced bearing .. At least the wheels match now .

    regards emma
  4. OP

    voyager E- tadpole Triker

    Hi folks

    its that time of the year again and 4 of us " Zombies " had our own mini Zombie Fest down in Lancing ) near Worthing in Sussex .
    With a combined age in excess of 255 years we still caused a stir in central Brighton with our convey of trikes .:evil:

    A weekend of Sunshine :sun: , Triking , Good company :cheers:, high spirits ( distilled of course ) and good food .:hungry: We catered for everyone by bringing the caravan to use as a base camp .

    A couple of Photos of the weekend where we cycled over to Brighton Pavilion and of course the local hostelries
    And a little video shot on the Sustran 2 route behind the Southwick Power station taken by us with a GoPro on a stick [playing pass the GoPro )


    With 3 of us on e-trikes and Danny on his still unfinished tadpole built from round tubing a mammoth task for someone who only started to weld last year .
    John's just finished folding electric touring trike (Sandman ) the orange folding trike ( fitted with a middie drive ) and our 20/20 e-trikes .
    The Adur Ferry Bridge between Shoreham Beach and Shoreham zf20151.jpg
    Lined up on the Pavement next to the Pub whilst we supped to quench our thirst
    The 20/20s Danny's trike and Sandmans e-tourer
    The Brighton I360 under construction . This is the lifting tower that will push the 450 foot tower skywards

    More photos to follow when my silly camera gives them back to me .

    regards emma
    Scoosh, Rickshaw Phil and stuee147 like this.
  5. OP

    voyager E- tadpole Triker

    Finally the camera has given me the camp and the final destination photos .

    The barn camp site at Lancing and the Brighton Pavilion

    the start.jpg

    the goal.jpg

    Since our return I have rebuilt the wheel bearings and refitted the original wheels back on my trike then l striped and copper greased the front calipers behind the pads in an effort to reduce pad squeal .
    Now we need to wait and see if that helps.

    regards emma
    stuee147 and Rickshaw Phil like this.
  6. OP

    voyager E- tadpole Triker

    Hi Folks

    Both trikes are now well over the year old now and are still in constant use ,
    Our weekend rides are now from Peacehaven into Brighton.
    Usually with a stop at Ovingdean or Rottingdean for a cup of tea before we tackle that hill you see in the distance

    We have just come back from a 4 night break and again the trikes have been our main transport whist we have been away . Taking a touring holiday this late in the year meant that the site was not very crowded and nor were the local roads .

    There have been a few modifications along the way and the trikes are now more similar to each other , I have replaced the controller on Kens trike with an upgraded one which allows more power on the hills , Whilst in modification mode I have rebuilt a pair of front wheels using a pair of modified MTB quando hubs and fitted 14mm axles and fitted them into a pair of black BMX rims with stainless steel spokes .
    We also fitted a new set of tyres to Kens trike a couple of weeks before we went .

    My red trike has had the original wheels refitted with a new set of bearings and round disc rotors , The brakes after resetting up stopped squeaking for a couple of weeks but now there is an audible "sing" from one of the front brakes . this odd noise appears to be a resonating sound that stops if you touch the actuator arm so I have to investigate that next .
    The Eastern burnouts on my trike are starting to show wear and the rear has lost the wear indicator on the main tread but the indicators can still be seen on the front ones , so I hope to replace all three later this year .

    During the winter months I hope to strip and perform some preventative maintenance on the trikes ( including my tyres ) to allow us to have another year of reliable fun from the trikes .and to move my controller to another more inconspicuous place and to free up some behind the seat space to fit a larger battery for increased range . The paintwork has a few scratches to repair caused by the" car-moth" and constant task of returning the trike to the boot after use on my own .
    bunn6.jpg One trike inside and one on the roof - Have caravan - will travel bunn3.jpg
    5 days of really nice weather , good food and plenty of triking , we made friend with several people who were interested in the e-trikes . bunn4.jpg
    The nice thing is you don't need to find a seat to enjoy the scenery or eat your takeaway under the watchful eye of some hungry seagulls.

    What more can I say

    great fun for the last year and another super time away .

    regards emma

    Attached Files:

  7. OP

    voyager E- tadpole Triker

    Hi folks

    Its been several months since I last posted on this thread ,
    so since the last update
    Both trikes had their end of season maintenance checks and the front pads replaced , The brake and gear cables were replaced as there was signs of corrosion inside the cable - possibly the ingress of sea water from our route along the under cliff path .
    I also replaced my eastern burnouts ( 20 x 2.1 slicks ) as they were starting to show signs of wear . I have also fitted an 11 ah bottle battery to my trike to give me a range of 24 miles so I have the ability of a 50 mile round trip if we carry the spare batteries as well .
    Kens trike seems to be able to get this range using the original 9ah battery but \i think his controller is not quite as thirsty as mine .
    We have been away for another holiday ( last month ) back again to the same site as Billy Ocean was topping the bill on Saturday night . Sunday night "Mrs Loud " was on , The hall was packed for Billy Ocean but was only half full for Loraine Crosby ( Her claim to fame was she sang with meat loaf on his I'll do anything for love track ).
    Since our return the trikes have had a few pre-season adjustments ( mine required another wheel bearing but I think this is due to the anti-crush tube on the brand-x 20mm hub being the wrong length ) , I also replaced my rear caliper as Ken decided to use it to stop his trike as he was a little too close to me when I was forced to stop .
    With the better weather this week , I have made a new set of handle bars for the red trike and fitted them last Friday together with bar end shifters ,
    The originals internal diameter would not allow me to fit the bar end shifter . I took great care not to jam the thumb throttle with the gear cables finishing off by using road bike tape to provide a comfortable grip .
    Our ride out this weekend showed significant improvement to the riding position and to the ease of gear changing . The new bars are slightly narrower but are slightly longer .
    now for a few photos.
    regards emma
    Ready for Summer bridge.jpg
    Part of the off-road route north from Selsey . onsite.jpg
    We decided to park at the end of the touring field away from the maddening crowd onboard.jpg
    All back on board ( 1 up and 1 in ) and off until next time

    take care and thanks for viewing
    Rickshaw Phil, raleighnut and Scoosh like this.
  8. OP

    voyager E- tadpole Triker

    After 2 years of use we have finally replaced the original handle bar changers with bar end changers on both trikes .
    Unfortunately 7x3 sets are no longer available and I changed a couple of pairs of 8x3 speed into friction types and have fitted these ,

    Kens went on dead easy but I had a problem with the inner size of the bars on my red trike so I manufactured a set of replacement bars as well .( as last post )

    We also swapped the twist throttle on Kens to a thumb throttle to allow the throttle lever to work without fouling the gear cable.

    We have had a very intermittent problem with the electrics on Kens trike and finally located it to the controller , Just ordered a replacement and hopefully it will be fitted before we go down the New Forest for a long weekend.
    I have just replaced the chain guide pulley on mine after 2 years of use it was still usable but started to wear and get noisy with the chain on the nylon .

    kens barends.jpg

    Next month will be our third Zombie fest meeting in Lancing - photos to follow .

    regards emma

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: 13 Jun 2016
    Scoosh and raleighnut like this.
  9. numbnuts

    numbnuts Legendary Member

    North Baddesley
    Cracking photos well down
  10. OP

    voyager E- tadpole Triker

    Hi Folks

    here is the update on fitting the new controller with LCD

    Well Wednesday was interesting and very frustrating .
    The replacement new controller installation should have taken about 3 hours but due to the lack of technical support from the supplier the configuring took all day .

    They had an online chat system that after no one from their end responded it disconnected me from the system twice after 30 minutes of sitting in front of a computer screen ( no wonder I have had a headache for the last 30 odd hours that has not gone yet ! )

    So far the clever black and white bear supplier has not offered much in the way of apologizes , compensation or support in providing a permanent fix for the problem - Don't get me wrong this controller kit was their top of the range offering at 125 gbp with overnight delivery . a controller from BMS china for a similar unit would have been almost half price, if I had the time to wait for it to arrive but because we are taking the trikes away to the New Forest soon I needed it now !

    Quickly after stripping the original system off the trike and fitting the new throttle and a rather large 12 magnet pedelec sensor ( a 2 piece disc held together with a very large circlip ) I needed to re-position the sensor and controller so the cable was just long enough ( behind the seat support worked well for the controller ) I modified the brakes with a conversion cable so I did not have to remake/ redrill yet another set of brake levers for dual front braking ( a legal requirement in the UK - all wheel braking on a e-trike ) The new controller powered up and the setup was very easy - maximum speed and wheel size ) and the system ran first time .


    no speedo output . after another drink and calming down through the frustrations of the support incident , the new controller I found eventually after several minutes of head scratching had 6 wires in the hall sensor connector rather than the normal 5 in this case the 6th white wire was the speedo sensor input , I modified an old bike computer sensor and magnet (( fitted magnet onto a spoke on the rear wheel ) and ( chopped wire off at the computer end and connect this between the white wire and 0v)) suddenly I had the speedo working

    The new system with the speed limit set to maximum would give me a max speed of 23 mph with the motor running without load
    After a short road test I have put the trike away until the weekend .

    The new controller seems very smooth and the pedelec system kicks in after 3/4 of a turn and the controller has 6 levels of assist and a 0 position for zero assist but the use of the speedo and odo meter the ordinal brake levers have kill switches fitted ( EAPC requirement ).

    I will update you with the final outcome from the supplier once I have received it .





    image share

    all apologies for the tatty welding but this was the 3rd trike I had welded up and it is over 2 years old now and has traveled more miles than I have walked in my lifetime without problems

    The mug is a standard mug with my roland cutter decals applied . all the decals on the trike are cut with this - for more information on the decals please email me lead time is generally about 2-3 weeks internationally and 7 days in the UK

    regards emma
    raleighnut likes this.
  11. OP

    voyager E- tadpole Triker

    Hi Folks

    Another long weekend break , this time in the New Forest :hyper: , We stayed at Ocknell part of the former site of RAF Stoney Cross . Friday , Sunday and Monday we explored the remains of the Airbase ( dismantled 60 years ago ) with the help of some local maps and a transcript of a tour ..
    The runways are now local roads and the remains of marker lamps are still at the side of the road .
    We triked around the local area and took several photos and even saw some local deer in long beech campsite .

    Friday we managed to arrive ( 100 miles in 3.5 hours and through the festival of speeds traffic queues ) , set up camp and get a few miles in before the rain came :rain: and had dinner .

    Sunday and Monday :sun: , ( too wet :rain: on Saturday :rain: ) we triked to the local Pub for a liquid top-up and lunch :cheers: ....:hungry:.....

    The site was basic:wahhey: , with toilets and a washing up area ( no electrickery ) :excl: and we used a 120watt solar panel :sun: coupled to an invertor when the sun shone and a 700 watt generator :crazy: under a rough home made cover in the wet ( 2 x 2hrs a day ) to recharge the on-board caravan battery and to recharge the trikes .

    The site needed rock pegs to secure the awning as the hardcore from the demolished buildings is just covered by a thin layer of soil/grass with a lot of the hardcore showing through .

    Wild Ponies and cattle roamed the camp site and we had a wake-up call at 6 am with a cow scratching its nose on the red tow hitch security device , it didn't want to leave and needed to be persuaded to take its itch elsewhere . There were many adder warning around the camp but we were fortunate not to see any , but small field mice were seen early evening running near the tents and caravans .

    We met several people ( on site and on our travels ) who as usual showed an interest as why two recently retired ( or just tired ) would want to explore the countryside on these odd looking machines , Cars avoided us and we had respect from other road users except for one "cow with horns " that kept looking at the red fleece I was wearing ,
    Its strange how fast you can pedal ( with e-assist ) to leave in a hurry :bicycle:

    It was great fun but like all good things time ( 4 nights on site ) nfcaravan.jpg nfmarker.jpg nfponies.jpg nfroyaloak.jpg nfrunway.jpg nfstoneycross.jpg passed too quickly .

    Would we go again - OF COURSE !

    the next event is our southern area Zombie fest in July

    enjoy the photos - we enjoyed the break

    regards emma

    Scoosh, Rickshaw Phil and raleighnut like this.
  12. OP

    voyager E- tadpole Triker

    The update on the controller was :----

    The not so clever pandas knew less about their products than I did , they sent several emails back to me about what I should do with the product , I did reply with my alternative option of what I should do with it , sadly I have not received another reply from them but at £122.50 it was not worth the money ,
    ( but it was delivered the next working day ) and it would have been a better option to have got an alternative product from China if I had another weeks lead time to play with . A second one that I did order from China at the same time did appear on the Thursday morning before we left but that was cutting it too fine to fit . and didn't have all the bells and whistles but it was 1/10 of the price .

    regards emma
  13. OP

    voyager E- tadpole Triker

    Hi Folks
    Our third annual Zombie fest in Lancing and a superb weekend
    just a few photos with a ride out to Brighton on Saturday

    Another great weekend








    zombiefest 2016
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  14. OP

    voyager E- tadpole Triker

    Here is just part of the sustrans 2 route from Shoreham Locks to Hove lawns

    Highlighting some of the problems of cycle paths being impractical or too narrow for trikes

    enjoy ( this is not my video )

    I go charging off around 7 minutes to catch up and pass some "quick " MTB ers " just for "my sport " ! that chuckled at us as they passed !

  15. numbnuts

    numbnuts Legendary Member

    North Baddesley
    Showing off the trikes well done :okay:
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