High powered electric recumbent



Hi, All

Have not actually started my project yet, still doing research.

I already drive a 100% electric truck (converted Chevy S10).

My sunny day commuter has been a Ducati motorcycle, but now I am planning to build a high powered electric 'assisted' recumbent bicycle for that purpose.

I love electric vehicles, I love tinkering, I love two wheels, and the cheapskate in me can't resist a no insurance, no gas, inexpensive and fun commuting option!

I am very lucky in that my commute (roughly 25 miles round trip) is almost entirely on a bike path, where the traffic is extremly light - not even many other bikes.

I haven't bought the bike or the drive components yet, and I am looking forward to any help this forum can provide to make sure I buy the right parts for my project.

I did test ride a number of recumbent bikes last weekend (without any power assist), and I really like the recumbent thing...very comfy, aerodynamic, it just makes sense to me.

I am looking to accomplish the following:

1. - I am looking for a range of ~ 40 to 50 miles. From driving my electric truck, I totally understand the equation between speed / acceleration and range. I don't mind slowing down (and pedalling) to get more range, that's fine...but I want to get at least 20 miles of range while riding fairly aggressively (minimal pedalling), with the ability to push that out to 60 miles or more by pedalling and cruising closer to 20 to 25 mph...

2. - I would like to be able to cruise at ~ 45 mph on smooth pavement (I plan to install a full lexan windshield / fairing), although much of my commute will be on a bike path at lower speeds.

- I weigh 260 lbs.

3. - The steepest, longest hill I will encounter is heading up to my house - roughly a 15% grade, for about 2/3 of a mile. I need to be able to do this at the end of my ride.

I have narrowed down my vehicle and components of choice, and I am interested to see what all of you think.

I want my final result to look very similar to the photos you can see at the following link:


As you can see, the bike is a front wheel drive bicycle, leaving the rear wheel completely unencumbered to install a hub motor with disk brake. This is attractive, plus the fact that the bike has two 26" standard mountain bike wheels - very unusual for a recumbent.

I am thinking abut a 5302 or 5303 Crystalite hub motor running at 72 volts, from (2) 20 Ah 36V lithium batteries and 2 chargers (one for work, one for home).

I would like to use a programmable controller, such as the Alltrax 7234, or at least be able to limit the maximum current. I realize what I am planning will stress every component on this bike, and I know I will end up breaking parts...I want to be able to fine-tune the power between reliability and fun / performance. Also, this controller has a high enough rating to use a more powerful motor (like the ETek) in the future if I choose to...possibly for a different project.

Any thoughts or comments on this plan? Are the motor and controller a good match? Will I regret the weight of the 5XXX series motor in a suspended rear triangle?

Any other thoughts...?