Electric bike trailer

Positive discussion on ebikes and pedal assist bicycles

Electric bike trailer

Postby KenGS » Sat Mar 02, 2013 3:25 pm

Does anyone have any experience with an electric powered bike trailer like this?
http://www.ridekick.com.au/
I have no affiliation whatever with the manufacturer, distributor or dealer. Just interested in the concept.

Are there any other trailers of this sort on the market? I think its a great idea. I live at the top of an 8% climb and whilst I'd like to do the weekly shopping by bike, its too hard to get home with anything more than a smallish load. This one can hold over 41 litres - similar to a pair of Ortlieb panniers
The trailer itself is heavy - 17kg (I wish the local distributor would convert everything to metric) and can take a payload of 34kg

I wonder if one could add a motor to an Extrawheel to achieve the same effect. Or would it need an intelligent controller to prevent jack knifing?

Any thoughts on the legality? The motor is 200W but is not on the bike itself.
--Ken
Helmets! Bells! Rego!
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by BNA » Sat Mar 02, 2013 7:07 pm

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Re: Electric bike trailer

Postby John Lewis » Sat Mar 02, 2013 7:07 pm

Hi Ken,

I built one a few years back. I used it with my LogoTrike and it worked very well.
My main problem was the weight of 2 18 AH lead acid batteries.
It would have been brilliant without that weight.
Currently out of service as the batteries have died.

I seem to recall posting some pics on the forum a while back but can't recall the thread at the moment.

John
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Re: Electric bike trailer

Postby KenGS » Sat Mar 02, 2013 7:56 pm

Hi John.
Found it in Halfway Cafe viewtopic.php?f=37&t=60782&p=919228&hilit=trailer#p919228

Did it pivot at the back wheel? And how well did it corner?
--Ken
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Re: Electric bike trailer

Postby John Lewis » Sun Mar 03, 2013 10:33 pm

Hi Ken,

The pivot was just a bit ahead of the back wheel as I had to clamp a mount to the chain stays.

Image

I used an air fitting as the connector. Careful you use steel as some are brass. Copied that idea from Bike Friday trailer.
The battery was mounted very low as you can see and I had no stability problems. I think it would have been impossible to lift a wheel with the battery weight that low.
The motor, chain, gear and controller came from Oatley Electronics. The gear wheel is clamped to the freewheel sprocket.
Image

John
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Re: Electric bike trailer

Postby nessbike » Thu Apr 04, 2013 7:17 am

Hi Ken,

in theory you should be able to covert any single wheel trailer (like an extrawheel) with an appropriate sized front wheel kit - the only issue (particularly with an extra wheel) is where to mount the battery and controller and setting up disconnectable connections to a throttle on the bike so you could separate the trailer. Have toyed with similar ideas - the best base I suspect would be a bob trailer or one of the miriad of cheaper copies that are out there. If you can get something that runs a 20" wheel standard the conversion could use off the shelf components and be relatively straight forward (not withstanding the connection issues above). There are also some lighter weight motors and batteries starting to appear on the market (kit weights in 2-3kg mark) which could make this sort of conversion viable.
Cheers Alex
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Re: Electric bike trailer

Postby Joeblake » Thu Apr 04, 2013 8:53 pm

John Lewis wrote:My main problem was the weight of 2 18 AH lead acid batteries.
It would have been brilliant without that weight.
Currently out of service as the batteries have died.

John


John, just a thought. My trike carries 2x12 AH LA batteries and the Heinzmann hub motor is pushing about 130 kg with me on board. Because my trike carries its own photo voltaic panels to recharge while I'm riding, even after climbing Welshpool Road, I've never actually flattened the batteries (they're deep cycle): The question I ask myself therefore is this - am I carrying too much battery? Certainly a smaller battery might not make it up the hill on its own, but with solar recharging, who knows? If perhaps the trailer was fitted with 20-30 watts of PV it may be possible to carry much smaller batteries, and the smaller batteries would weigh much less than the solar panels. Perhaps they could be mounted on a tilting roof. I think the panels could extend over the rear of the trike (or bike?) without creating a traffic hazard for other road users. YOu would of course need a regulator, which would mean you'd need either 12 volt or 24 volt power, as 36 volts is very difficult to get a regulator for. (Since you have 2 batteries I assume you had a 24 volt motor.)


As I say, just a thought.

Joe
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Re: Electric bike trailer

Postby John Lewis » Thu Apr 04, 2013 11:33 pm

G'day Joe,

Yes the 18 Ah were overkill but all that was available at the time.
Lithiums would be nice but come with problems of there own for the home brewer. (Bikes not Booze)
There is some limiting factor that can be calculated. I forget what just at this moment but something to do with discharge rate and Ah rating. Those big batteries of mine never looked like running out on any ride I did.

I'd really like to experiment with a solar panel at some time. I'm sure there is a lot to be learned. I have seen the pics and article on yours and found it very interesting.

john
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