Dual Motor Build for an Ice Adventure Trike

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Puddlerum   100 µW

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Dual Motor Build for an Ice Adventure Trike

Post by Puddlerum » Mar 28 2021 7:57pm

Hi Everybody!

I have an ICE Adventure HD full-suspension recumbent tadpole trike that I’d like to power with dual Grin All-Axle hub motors on the front wheels. I’m looking for a bit of a reality check on the feasibility of the project before I get too deep.

Some trike stats:
-26’’ rear, 20’’ front wheels
-Disc Brakes
-Full (elastomer-based) suspension
-n380 rear hub, Schlumpf drive up front

I’ve read that it’s usually best to go with one large motor instead of two if possible. However, I really like the idea of having a 3WD trike first and foremost, and I run an IGH on the rear wheel that I’d like to keep. I’m willing to entertain ideas. I’ve watched Grin’s videos on 2wd and 3wd builds, so I have a very basic understanding of the trade-offs.

My previous e-trike was a SunSeeker USX delta that I purchased assembled, which I am handing down to my disabled Dad -- we’ve been sharing it for the past few years. Hoping to be able to ride together this summer. It works fine for him, but I found it very limiting.

I have basic DIY skills and tools and some access to family and friends with more knowledge as well as the luxury of being able to simplify things by purchasing most of what I need without having to scrounge.

-2x Grin All-Axle Motors
-2x Phaserunners or Baserunners
-1x throttle
-1x Y Cable for Dual Controllers from Single CA3-WP
-1x PAS
-1x Satiator Charger
-1x (or 2x, haven’t decided) batteries
-???

My Concerns:

-Torque arms. It looks like I will have to make my own custom torque arms, and I don’t know how to start seeing if that’s even feasible. I have basic metal-working tools (hacksaw, files, grinder, dremel, drill press). I chose disc brakes over drum brakes, hoping that would make the conversion possible.

-General compatibility. I’m worried I won’t be able to make the motors fit for some technical reason that’s beyond my understanding of trikes and motors -- I haven’t done more than basic bike maintenance, and very few electronic projects.

-Wheel Building. I will probably pay Grin to build new wheels for me -- if I have the option -- as I am worried this would be beyond what I can reasonably expect myself to learn in a short amount of time. LBS is an option, as well.

-Missing Info. What are the other big stumbling blocks people run into that I’m totally blind to as a novice? Or am I over-thinking it, and this project is as do-able as it appears on the surface.

I’d appreciate any thoughts you folks have on the build. I can provide more information as needed -- wasn’t entirely sure what to include in the first post. Thank you for your time and for sharing your experience! I’d love to be able to document this build on the forum for others that might be going down this path in the future.

-Dave

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amberwolf   100 GW

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Re: Dual Motor Build for an Ice Adventure Trike

Post by amberwolf » Mar 28 2021 9:28pm

First, I recommend checking out this thread for a Catrike tadpole trike build using two GAA motors on the front:
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=88266
It may cover several of your issues.

If you still have stuff not covered by that thread, then we can cover them here. :)


Regarding batteries...you'll need to work out what you want this trike to do for you before you decide anything about them. The questions below apply to both this and the motor system needs:

How much range do you need, maximum? Add at least 25% to account for detours, headwinds, etc. Add at least another 25% to account for pack aging, so you will still have all the range you need even a year or two or more down the line.

What kind of terrain do you have to ride on?

What kind of winds/etc do you ride in?

What kind of riding style do you have? ("leadfoot" hard acceleration from a stop, gently toodling along, mostly pedalling, all motor, etc).

What kind of traffic/riding situation do you have? (lots of stop/start traffic, almost nonstop cruising along a path, etc)

What speed do you need from the trike, maximum, and continuous?

How quickly do you need it to accelerate from a stop to that maximum speed?

How much does the trike plus you plus anything you will be carrying on it weigh?

Puddlerum   100 µW

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Re: Dual Motor Build for an Ice Adventure Trike

Post by Puddlerum » Mar 29 2021 10:02am

Thanks for the reply, Amberwolf!

As for batteries:

20 miles maximum range I would say -- my commute is around 10 miles total, add in another 2 miles to run any errands on the way home. My current trike has a 48v 20Ah battery and it lasts me multiple days. I’d be fine charging each night, though.

I ride on asphalt and gravel/dirt roads, with minimal wind. I don’t have an aggressive riding style (toodling, for sure), and try to pedal as much as I can. I would like to extend into winter riding more, though -- I live in Alaska -- so snow and ice are an issue, and I would be relying on the motors to assist a lot more in that case.

My “city” riding is a lot of start and stop, and I rarely get over 10 or 12 mph during my commute. Anything faster than that on the gravel and dirt roads I ride for pleasure would shake my fillings loose and tear my trike apart, so top speed isn’t a huge concern for me.

I’m a heavy rider -- with the weight of the trike and motor/battery system, plus my gear, I’ll be asking it to pull around 375lbs. My current trike motor, according to the specs on their site, is a “E-BikeKit Front Heavy-Duty Direct-Drive 500w-720w, 31Nm, 259rpm (48v).” Even when I was 50lbs heavier -- and with a trike that is about 40lbs heavier than my current ride, as well -- it was able to get me up every hill I normally come across, except for one. With the motor in the front wheel, and all of the weight in the rear, I would lose traction and spin out on gravel and ice/snow, however.

I looked over the Catrike build thread before I posted, but a lot of it was over my head. I really need to take my wheel off and look closely at the axle to see if I can make it work -- that’s one of my biggest concerns. I will try to do that after work tonight and maybe take some pictures for reference.

Thanks again!

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Re: Dual Motor Build for an Ice Adventure Trike

Post by bcsteeve » Apr 06 2021 8:34am

Wow... for a second I thought I was the OP lol. This mirrors what I'm looking to do almost exactly. ICE Adventure HD, heavy rider (I'm 290), dual-motor, snow (I'm South of you in BC), minimal experience and confused over the bracket.

So I am VERY interested in where this goes. I do not yet have the trike and I'm hesitant buying it not knowing if the system will work. Unfortunately, Grin hasn't been helpful at all. I've read all their info, watched all their videos... and the two times I've asked specific questions about the bracket they respond saying they can't choose a trike for me and suggest I read (was almost a canned response). The three brands they have info on aren't suitable for weight and/or availability reasons.

I suspect that the brackets will have to be custom CNC jobs. Probably not cheap, but sharing the cost should bring it down. Without the trike, I can't tell if it is even possible. Maybe if you take a bunch of photos of a front wheel from various angles we can figure it out. I have loads of CAD experience to at least get is started. Once confident that it should work, I can get the trike and start prototyping.

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Re: Dual Motor Build for an Ice Adventure Trike

Post by Triketech » Apr 06 2021 9:43am

Motor torque will load the front elastomers; you may want to have the stiffest elastomer springs available from ICE.

Buy the Grin JST Connector kit and crimpers. You can use old USB cables fitted with JST connectors to stretch signal cables.

You will need the Hall Sensors connected for start from zero. Otherwise the front wheels will have a bit of "chatter" on start up.

Make sure the combined Phaserunner Battery Current doesn't exceed the battery BMS rating.

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Re: Dual Motor Build for an Ice Adventure Trike

Post by MadRhino » Apr 06 2021 10:07am

I would power it with one big motor on the rear. The IGH mounted mid frame and a single freewheel on the motor. Just my own view of performance and handling.
Make it fool-proof, and I will make a better fool.

bcsteeve   1 mW

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Re: Dual Motor Build for an Ice Adventure Trike

Post by bcsteeve » Apr 06 2021 10:28am

For me, perhaps in my ignorance, my reason to favor the front hub(s) are four-fold:

1) AWD for traction
2) leaves gearing intact
3) less strain on chain/sprockets/etc (but greater strain on whatever the motor torque arm bolts to)
4) while I'm not clear on the specifics, almost every comparison mentions hub motor having more maintenance. I'm not great with maintenance.

But that's vs mid. I hadn't considered a hub in the back with the IGH mounted mid. I didn't realize that was possible

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Re: Dual Motor Build for an Ice Adventure Trike

Post by MadRhino » Apr 06 2021 11:44am

bcsteeve wrote:
Apr 06 2021 10:28am
... I hadn't considered a hub in the back with the IGH mounted mid. I didn't realize that was possible
Well, that sprung to mind first to me when thinking a tadpole trike. Keeping the front lightweight and to have the freedom to deal with balance by batteries placement. Huge power on the rear, I’d say 500A with a QS273, would make very quick acceleration, high speed, intuitive control and keeping the reliability of the front steering linkage.

Traction is something else, and a different purpose. Motors on the front couldn’t be set for high power and speed. The build would have better traction but lower performance, more suitable for slippery conditions IMO. If you plan to ride on snow and ice, this might be a good solution.
Make it fool-proof, and I will make a better fool.

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Re: Dual Motor Build for an Ice Adventure Trike

Post by bcsteeve » Apr 06 2021 12:18pm

OP and I both seem to be on the same page on that: performance (ie. speed) not so important; snow use important :)

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Re: Dual Motor Build for an Ice Adventure Trike

Post by amberwolf » Apr 07 2021 10:10pm

Puddlerum wrote:
Mar 29 2021 10:02am
20 miles maximum range I would say -- my commute is around 10 miles total, add in another 2 miles to run any errands on the way home. My current trike has a 48v 20Ah battery and it lasts me multiple days. I’d be fine charging each night, though.
At a guess, based on the power usage you likely have now, then if you don't increase that significantly, you'd probably get the range you need with a 20Ah battery and have some to spare.

If you don't have one yet, you could get a wattmeter (like the Cycle Analyst, or any of the cheaper "turnigy" types, as long as it supports the voltage you use and can handle the max current your controller can draw), and verify your wh/mile and/or total wh usage on the routes you'd normally like to use this on.

Then you can also try riding with only motor, vs motor and pedalling, and see how that affects your usage, as well as riding more with hard starts (full throttle from startup till you get to speed) and no pedalling, whcih will give you more info on how much power you might use in "worst case" type situations.

Puddlerum   100 µW

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Re: Dual Motor Build for an Ice Adventure Trike

Post by Puddlerum » Apr 10 2021 12:32am

bcsteeve wrote:
Apr 06 2021 8:34am
Wow... for a second I thought I was the OP lol. This mirrors what I'm looking to do almost exactly. ICE Adventure HD, heavy rider (I'm 290), dual-motor, snow (I'm South of you in BC), minimal experience and confused over the bracket.

So I am VERY interested in where this goes. I do not yet have the trike and I'm hesitant buying it not knowing if the system will work. Unfortunately, Grin hasn't been helpful at all. I've read all their info, watched all their videos... and the two times I've asked specific questions about the bracket they respond saying they can't choose a trike for me and suggest I read (was almost a canned response). The three brands they have info on aren't suitable for weight and/or availability reasons.

I suspect that the brackets will have to be custom CNC jobs. Probably not cheap, but sharing the cost should bring it down. Without the trike, I can't tell if it is even possible. Maybe if you take a bunch of photos of a front wheel from various angles we can figure it out. I have loads of CAD experience to at least get is started. Once confident that it should work, I can get the trike and start prototyping.
Sorry for the slow reply -- I've been covered up with work -- but it sounds like we have the same goal. I would be glad to share measurements and pictures when I get a chance, so we can start seeing if the project is even feasible. I'm excited to hear I'm not the only one foolish enough to dive head-first into this! My biggest concern is the mounting brackets -- the rest is important of course, but it's ground that's already been tread by the smart folks on this forum, so I know we can make that work.

I'll update when I get some free time to take a look.

Puddlerum   100 µW

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Re: Dual Motor Build for an Ice Adventure Trike

Post by Puddlerum » Apr 10 2021 12:44am

Triketech wrote:
Apr 06 2021 9:43am
Motor torque will load the front elastomers; you may want to have the stiffest elastomer springs available from ICE.

Buy the Grin JST Connector kit and crimpers. You can use old USB cables fitted with JST connectors to stretch signal cables.

You will need the Hall Sensors connected for start from zero. Otherwise the front wheels will have a bit of "chatter" on start up.

Make sure the combined Phaserunner Battery Current doesn't exceed the battery BMS rating.
Thanks, Triketech! I will keep all of this in mind as I move forward. I just e-mailed ICE to see which elastomers come as default in the Adventure HD and will change them out if needed.

Puddlerum   100 µW

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Re: Dual Motor Build for an Ice Adventure Trike

Post by Puddlerum » Apr 10 2021 12:48am

amberwolf wrote:
Apr 07 2021 10:10pm
Puddlerum wrote:
Mar 29 2021 10:02am
20 miles maximum range I would say -- my commute is around 10 miles total, add in another 2 miles to run any errands on the way home. My current trike has a 48v 20Ah battery and it lasts me multiple days. I’d be fine charging each night, though.
At a guess, based on the power usage you likely have now, then if you don't increase that significantly, you'd probably get the range you need with a 20Ah battery and have some to spare.

If you don't have one yet, you could get a wattmeter (like the Cycle Analyst, or any of the cheaper "turnigy" types, as long as it supports the voltage you use and can handle the max current your controller can draw), and verify your wh/mile and/or total wh usage on the routes you'd normally like to use this on.

Then you can also try riding with only motor, vs motor and pedalling, and see how that affects your usage, as well as riding more with hard starts (full throttle from startup till you get to speed) and no pedalling, whcih will give you more info on how much power you might use in "worst case" type situations.
Great idea, thanks! I have my studded tires on the new trike for toodlin' around the neighborhood, but once the ice and snow clear enough to get my old e-trike out I will get some fresh data for battery usage so I can make an informed decision on what I need to get.

Puddlerum   100 µW

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Re: Dual Motor Build for an Ice Adventure Trike

Post by Puddlerum » Apr 10 2021 12:52am

MadRhino wrote:
Apr 06 2021 10:07am
I would power it with one big motor on the rear. The IGH mounted mid frame and a single freewheel on the motor. Just my own view of performance and handling.
That sounds like a great plan if it looks like the dual front motors end up being impossible. I still have my heart set on it for traction in the snow and on ice, but that would be next-best. Thanks for your input, MadRhino!

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Re: Dual Motor Build for an Ice Adventure Trike

Post by amberwolf » Apr 10 2021 1:33am

Or just do both...dual front motors, IGH in the frame for pedal gears, and rear motor. ;)

Puddlerum   100 µW

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Re: Dual Motor Build for an Ice Adventure Trike

Post by Puddlerum » Apr 19 2021 7:10pm

Small update:

I found a PDF on Grin's website that shows they've drawn up an ICE Trike adapter: https://ebikes.ca/amfile/file/download/ ... duct/1052/ (scroll down through the various options)

I sent an e-mail to see if they ever plan on producing it for sale, or if I will have to manufacture it myself. I will update when I hear back!

Thanks again to everyone that has commented so far.

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Re: Dual Motor Build for an Ice Adventure Trike

Post by goatman » Apr 19 2021 8:34pm

have you looked at adam333 kmx trike suspension

viewtopic.php?f=31&t=78893&hilit=adam33 ... 0#p1385533

docbass

https://youtu.be/USTOxlv_7m0

bcsteeve, you might want to reach out to adam333, he might be able to work with grin about mounting allaxle hubs to his suspension???

viewtopic.php?f=6&t=111336

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Re: Dual Motor Build for an Ice Adventure Trike

Post by Stealth_Chopper » Apr 19 2021 8:46pm

Mr. Rum,
You enjoy the wide open spaces of Alaska, well done !
I read, a big man in the biggest free state.
Why not make a it a (4) wheel electro mechanical E cycle creation suited to your big rough cold country?
Good Luck
Mike

Puddlerum   100 µW

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Re: Dual Motor Build for an Ice Adventure Trike

Post by Puddlerum » Apr 20 2021 11:32pm

Stealth_Chopper wrote:
Apr 19 2021 8:46pm
Mr. Rum,
You enjoy the wide open spaces of Alaska, well done !
I read, a big man in the biggest free state.
Why not make a it a (4) wheel electro mechanical E cycle creation suited to your big rough cold country?
Good Luck
Mike
A quad would be amazing, and I'd love to have one some day. I think I'll probably end up with 2-wheels before I'm on four wheels, though -- too many cool single track trails to explore that I can't get on with the trike (or a quad) because they're too narrow. I've been making doodles for a year or so on a 2wd recumbent fat bike for more backwoods stuff. No idea if it will ever come about, but it's fun to dream!

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Re: Dual Motor Build for an Ice Adventure Trike

Post by matmaxgeds » Apr 22 2021 10:24am

Hi - I also have a two motor trike build underway, not a recumbent but a cargo bike. Grin were helpful to me, detailing the different torque arms they can make (I think there were around 5) to fit their hub interface - let me know if you want a photo of the ones I got in the end. Also worth considering the cable exit side/position when planning these.

Puddlerum   100 µW

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Re: Dual Motor Build for an Ice Adventure Trike

Post by Puddlerum » Apr 24 2021 12:33pm

matmaxgeds wrote:
Apr 22 2021 10:24am
Hi - I also have a two motor trike build underway, not a recumbent but a cargo bike. Grin were helpful to me, detailing the different torque arms they can make (I think there were around 5) to fit their hub interface - let me know if you want a photo of the ones I got in the end. Also worth considering the cable exit side/position when planning these.
Hi Matmaxgeds! I would love any photos you're willing to share. It would definitely help give me an idea on how to proceed.

Also, any other sticking points or experience you'd like to share would helpful. Is your build online anywhere?

Thanks!

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