We got in a Terratrike EVO for a customer last week. They (and we) took it down to the Clark Rd hill test track to see how it would do.
The first 1000 yards of the hill is gradual, then ramps up to very steep which makes for a great test platform. You get enough time to warm up before having to get serious about pedaling. We have ridden bikes and trikes equipped with Falco, Bafang and Bionx rear hub motors and Shimano STEPS and Bosch mid drive style motors up the same course within the past year. It’s been great to have the chance to get real world experience to convey to our customers when they call or visit.
The Bosch version of the EVO comes with the Active Line Plus motor which provides 50 Nm of torque. I find torque the most helpful measurement to compare motors because it measures what is pushing you down the road. Watts can be misleading, most motors sold in Europe are mandated to be 250 watts. Many kits you see here are 350, 500 or 750 watts. You would think bigger is better but there is more to the story. The mid drive units use gears to multiply the power they put out. Just like bike gears do for the puny little motor which is you. The mid drives seem to be better climbers than the hub style motors-the hub motors seem better if you ride the flats at a higher speed. Not a huge difference but a difference.
What we found was that the Bosch had plenty of power on the first 1000 yards. I was in the middle gear in the back and the “Sport” setting on the motor and going 10 MPH without pedaling hard. The Bosch has five settings: “Off” which is no assist but the unit is running, “ECO” which is 40% assist, “Tour” which is 100% assist, “Sport” which is 180% assist and “Turbo” which is 270% assist. When I got to the steep section I forgot to shift into Turbo and just shifted the rear gears into the low gear. I went right up the hill at 5 MPH without straining. For most people that would be all they needed. The customer did the same hill later in the day and had it in Turbo on the steep section and said it was powerful enough and just what he was looking for.
What we all found out was that the Active Plus Bosch motor was strong enough for most peoples needs. I would say 50Nm is going to be enough for most folks. The overall range they can expect is roughly 40 miles per charge according to Bosch. If customers are not sure that’s enough help for them and want to try a stronger motor, we will have the Ice Adventure HD equipped with the 60 Nm E-6100 Shimano STEPS motor to try head-to-head. You can read a review of the 70 Nm E-8000 Ice Adventure here. That motor was STRONG, if anything, it was overkill. I was going up the steep section with hardly any effort when I tested it last fall.
I hope this review helps to wade through all the different options available. We try to keep as hype free as possible and just tell you what we find out from trying things ourselves. See you soon.