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3 March 2017 - 12:56pm
 
 

Electric recumbent trike: HP Velotechnik implements Shimano STEPS

 

HP Velotechnik offers electric recumbent trike options for most trikes models using Shimano STEPS motor system.

Shimano has entered the e-bike market with its STEPS motor system, and HP has adapted this system to most of its recumbent trike models.

Unlike many other electric-assist systems that use a rear-hub-based motor system, the Shimano STEPS system uses a motor incorporated with the pedaling system and a conventional rear hub drivetrain.

One implication is that conventional rear wheels can be used and that no attention needs to be paid to the torque-arms and torque-blockers that are integral with Bionx, Neodrive, and GoSwiss hub-motor systems. But, another implication is that attention does need to be paid to preventing the motor from putting excess force on the gearing system while it is shifting.

Shimano and HP solve this problem by putting the latest electronic shifting system which incorporates directly with the motor system. This shifting system is very easy to use as it involves electric buttons rather than mechanical cable pulling. It also changes the game for many shifting issues that can develop with conventional systems. Furthermore automatic shifting becomes a real option.

Electric motor is integrated with the pedaling systemOne of the key drawbacks of Shimano's approach is that it requires a redesign of the bike frame for conventional bicycles to accommodate the motor system instead of a conventional bottom bracket. However, because recumbent trikes use a boom system where the bottom bracket and cranks are at the end of what is essentially a long tube, all it takes to adapt this system to a recumbent trike is to design a Shimano-STEPS-compatible boom, and the capability becomes instantly available throughout the entire trike product line. This is what HP Velotechnik has done.

Shimano STEPS batteryThe Shimano STEPS system has a high capacity 418Wh capacity battery. This is not so high as the largest capacity 558 Wh batteries from Bionx and BMZ, but it is plenty sufficient for most daily cycling needs. The battery is rated for at least 1,000 charge cycles and weighs 2.6 kg.

For 2017, HP makes the Shimano STEPS electric recumbent trike system available on all of its trike models including the:

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