Getting a E-Trike

Since I threw away my last car about ten years ago my preferred means of transportation where public transport and bicycles. Living in Germany with a good and reliable public transport system and short journey’s to work made that quite easy. I had a motor-bike for a year and a half and while I enjoyed it while it lasted a small tumble resulting in a bend knee stopped that fun rather harsh. I thought about to get a car again two years ago but a short enquiry at collegues and friends about fuel costs stopped that thought quickly.

The new ride
I was up to a new push-bike last year, spend a Sunday surfing for possible candidates and discovered recumbent bike’s of the three wheel persuasion.
While I’ve never been interested in recumbent bicycles or ‘delta’ trikes the tadpole trikes looked like fun! 6 hours later I had a rough idea about most manufacturers and models, found a dealer in my area who stocks them and visited him first thing Monday morning.
A test ride proved that a recumbent is indeed a very comfy ride, that tadpole trikes corner like go-carts and the ‘recumbent grin’ is no marketing phrase.
While testing an ICE Sprint my face started to hurt from grinning. I was hooked.
Since a recumbent is not a cheap affair and ICE trikes are not exactly bottom feeders my budget suddenly looked rather skimpy.
A lot of stars aligned that day and a long overlooked note at a company notice-board took care of that. Half a day and a totally burned bike budget later I rode a slightly used ICE Sprint home. It was one of the better days in my life.
Image by http://www.icetrikes.co
Image by www.icetrikes.co

Electrify my ride
While I enjoyed my new ride the lazy couch potato in me raised a hand, pointed to the obvious, started surfing the web again and some weeks later a little 250W Bafang hub motor arrived at my doorstep. Americans may sneeze at those insufficient performance but local laws unfortunately prevent Germans from riding real e-bikes on the street and while a man can dream about the 4kW RC-drive of Matt Shumaker or a Greyborg Hubzilla both would probably rip the aluminium frame of my ICE trike to pieces. A more sensible but still too powerfull Crystalite direct drive hub would be nice but adding a hefty 7.5kg to the rear wheel and totally ignoring local laws didn’t seem that smart. A feeblish but legal Bafang SWXH 250W motor in a 20″ rim had to do.

Nonetheless that little geared hub motor with a 36V/11Ah LiMn battery transformed the nicest bike I ever had into the most enjoyable toy I bought in my life! While it maxes out slightly over 25km/h on the flat the acceleration from a standstill is still impressive for a push bike, long or steep hills lose all their bite and a ride to work or through the city doesn’t leave me soaked in sweat anymore while providing 60-100km of range (depending how much I pedal).

Motor-bike cases on a push bike, are you kidding?
While a backpack can go a long way on a normal bike it’s rather useless on a recumbent.
An other long search for useful bags left me with two slim and light Givi E21 Cruiser Monokey cases intended for motor-bikes. Maybe a strange idea for a trike at first sight but since they are stiff and water tight they offer way more protection for my camera bag than bike panniers. A locked case give also greater peace of mind than some panniers if I’m parking my trike somewhere in the city and go shopping or shooting.

I still didn’t found or made a good bag or case for my battery. For now the battery is strapped under the seat to keep its 6kg weight low to the ground.

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3 Responses to Getting a E-Trike

  1. Manuel Nobida says:

    Great looking trike!
    Can you explain what you used to mount the Givi E21 bags to the trike? I’d like to mount these bags to my recumbent bike, but have no idea what hardware to use.
    Thanks for any info,
    Manuel

    • You can find universal mounting plates for GIVI panniers from various vendors at Ebay. Since they are made to fit motorcycles you have to find a way to mount them to your bike yourself. Try ‘QUICK-LOCK Adapter GIVI Monokey’ at Google or Ebay.

      I used a SW Motech mounting kit and made mounting plates from some water resistant plywood at first and lately ‘updated’ to aluminium plates.

      Marc

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