Magnificent Machines Stories

‘Bob the trike’ rides like the wind

‘Bob’ is my e.trike and he originally had 21 gears and a front wheel hub motor. There was a switch between the pedal sensor to either enable or disable it or I could just use the twist grip throttle to manually make him go.

I had a great time riding Bob but over time he started having problems. The front wheel was very heavy with the hub motor, the motor was prone to rusting inside and needed to be serviced regularly

It would sometimes stick and the motor would not release when freewheeling, the sensor by the pedal was very sensitive to being knocked out of position and therefore didn’t work most of the time, and it was always very noisy!

However I happily rode Bob for about 4 years not knowing anything different and he suited me albeit he was a heavy ride.

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When EMpowered people gave me the chance of modernizing Bob I jumped at the chance.

It took a lot of Neil’s time to get it right for me however because of the nature of my disability. I am a right leg amputee and the amount of pressure that I put on the right side pedal is minimal compared with my left leg.

The system that Neil has put on is the TSDZ2 mid drive motor which has the motor situated under the pedal crank.

It is controlled by a computer sitting on the handle bar and Neil has been able to adjust the firmware to suit me and give me the power required to accommodate unequal leg pressure.

Initially when I tested Bob, I could not manage to ride well, as the motor was buffering due to the unequal pressure in my legs. This caused the motor to think I was starting and stopping and I therefore could not get a rhythm going to get up speed or climb a hill. Because the system has the capability of re-programming the computer, Neil sought advice from the online OpenSource firmware community who are working on a special version of the software and was able to alter the programme so that it did not sense my unequal leg pressure but instead worked more like my old motor did and just detected how fast I was pedalling. Like magic I can now ride Bob with ease.

I have tested Bob out on 2 rides so far of 40 and 50 miles on hilly Welsh roads including a very steep mountain pass!

I was a bit dubious that he would make the very steep hill as I had failed to get up that hill once before, it did test my legs but in top assist(9) and first gear I made it. Generally during these two rides I was in fourth or fifth assist out of nine and I moved the assist lower when I was on a flat road. By doing this I had an average speed of 11 miles/hour and my 360v battery life was about 30 miles.

The TSDZ2 system is very easy to use, there are nine assists to use depending on terrain and these can be changed at the touch of a button with instant reaction. The motor is now silent, all I can hear is a quiet rushing wind and as the motor is now in the centre of the trike and therefore the front wheel is quite light, I can manually handle it better when I walk beside it to push it or need to lift the front wheel.

I am over the moon with my new Bob, all his systems are working exactly as I wished for and the brakes are superb, and the refurbished wheels are shining.

This all comes together to make me feel very confident when I am riding, and Bob is truly riding like the wind!

Glenys

Hi, I am one of the trustees of Empowered people. As well as looking after this website, I am also an ebike builder, modifier, hacker, and general bike mechanic. I have been involved with the Charity since 2015 and participate in as many rides as I can with my wife Catherine on the 'Bike Train' if you look around the website you are sure to find me in the background somewhere.

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