Does anyone know if or how to put a wilderness hub on a rear wheel of a 3 wheel bike of is the from spring fork on a Westport 3 wheel bike will handle a front motor? From reading the previous posts I would be very careful with the front installation but I haven't found out any info if a rear powered wheel will fit a 3 wheel bike. Thanks in advance for the great forum and advice!
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Sorry meant to type HUB!
I am wanting to buy off shelf parts to build as much as possible an electric Tricycle as I am partially disabled and will soon be unable to drive because of leg strength. I can walk about 50 feel so I think an electric tricyle is the way to go. I can't figure out if any Powered hub will for the rear weels of a tricycle so I am thinking front wheel with lots of torque (Smaller wheels size) and less speed. I like the formentioned bige as it has 20 wheels even though it has a springer riser. Would it be better to replace all the wheels on a Schwinn 26" bike? I do have electronics experience so that part will be fun. Please excuse the newbie mistakes. intera1
Sounds like a simple ft hub will do the trick, or even a friction drive on top of the tire. A rear drive could work, but it would need to be inline with the chain drive, not in a hub (maybe both rear hubs, but rpms are imp). You canot put a rear wheeled hub motor in the front, because the ft fork is 100mm, vs. about 130mm+ in the rear. You also must make sure you have a good steel fork, and the hub kit comes with a torsion / torguqe arm to neutralize the forces on the fork's dropouts (U shaped ends of the fork where the wheel's axle fits into). Too much power, without a torque arm, and the motor could actually spin out and ruin/break the fork.
The power - wattage of the hub motor will depend on the total load the bike will be carrying, the terrain, and the amount of stop & go riding (KISS). I'm a fan of at least 500W if most of the work will be done by the motor; less if the rider is capable of more work. Keep in mind that 750W is the "legal" limit in the US; less in other countries.
The other important aspect to consider is the battery; type/chemistry, size/weight, and power (aH). That's a whole separate topic to be addressed.
An important point -> make sure the rim is compatible with your braking system. If the brakes are the standard ones with rubber pads that press against the top of the rim just make sure what you're buying is the same. Otherwise, if you brakes are the disk type (much better in damp weather), then you'll need to make sure the hub can be fitted with a rotor. Not always obvious.
Best of luck.
If you look for them, there are electric trikes ready to ride on the market. Usually they have a chain drive motor under the rear basket added to the drive train. I motorized a schwinn meridia trike with a Wilderness Energy front hub. I found it awkward to ride since it went too fast. With a long ways to go, 15 miles to work and 15 back, I tended to ride too fast for it, and bend the rear wheels a lot. It was hard to avoid potholes at speeds over 15 mph.
After that experience, I decided to convert the trike back into a bicycle, at least untill I got something that worked better on a trike. If I was to motorize the trike again, here is what I would do.
Go to ebike-ca website, and get the chrystalyte 4011 motor. This motor will have lots of pulling power, but is wound to be used at slower speeds. It's intended for cargo bike use, like pulling a trailer, or maybe a pedicab. This motor will have better pulling ability than a motor that is slower simply because it's low powered and wimpy. This would be a front hub, so you may need to get a better fork on the trike, depending on what you have on it to start with. my schwinn had a fine fork on it to start with, so I had no problems with putting a front hub on it.
Be the pack leader.
36 volt sla schwinn beach cruiser
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I put a WE BL36 kit on my wife's 3 speed Miami Sun Trike about 6 months ago. The trike has 20" wheels. After a steep learning curve with a hub spin out problem the kit has performed really well. It took a torque arm install and a set of 1/2" lock washers on the axle to solve the spin out problem but since I did this everything works great. I also put a left hand Crystalite throttle on the trike because the right hand throttle supplied w/ the kit interfered with the gear changer. Good luck with your project.