Anyone have a truly freewheeling bike here?

Discussion in 'General Questions' started by TWalker, Jan 15, 2009.

  1. TWalker

    TWalker Guest

    Ive built many bikes of different kinds and I have yet to have one truly freewheel. By that I mean:

    You use it as a bicycle and pedal around but the engine chain doesn't move and or make noise.

    1. You coast freely down hills and no chains are moving.....quiet! and smooth. The only resistance is tire on ground,wind and the miniscule resitance of the insides of your freewheels, bearings in wheels etc.

    2. No motor drive chains,clutches, PTO's or transmissions are turning while you use it as a bicycle. Each drive is truly independant; manpower drive, engine power drive and gravity powered drive.

    3. Lastly; this is easy we all do it: You motor around without pedaling and your bike pedals are stationary.

    It should pedal and coast so easily it could be mistaken for motorless bike except for the added weight.

    Thanks and if you have done this tell us how.

    PS: I own an HT with shifter kit and this doesn't qualify for me..
    Nor does getting off the bike and disconnecting anything like a friction drive.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 15, 2009

  2. srdavo

    srdavo Active Member

    My "old" Currie electric is the closest thing I have to freewheeling, on he motor side. the little drive chain still spins, but there's a clutch roller bearing in the motor sprocket.
    My avatar bike, with the Russian engine, is easy to pedal, but it still turns the chain & clutch shaft.

    I know what you mean about coasting downhill (with China/Russian kits)......have you ever pulled in the clutch lever on a big downhill & let 'er go? heh heh.... that engine chain really "sings" ! It's kinda scary!

    I think the only way to achieve what you are saying is to have a freewheel on the left side (engine side) , but then you'd need another way to start the engine. pull rope ? electric start ?

    I believe Papasaun's trike has engine power to one rear wheel & pedal power to the other. (pull start & freewheels.)
  3. ZnsaneRyder

    ZnsaneRyder Member

    I'm in the process of finishing a freewheeling bicycle. Just like you, I want the freedom to actually PEDAL the bike without turning a bunch of extra friction and weight, and also want the ability to coast further and save gas.

    The bicycle has a 26" spoke front wheel, and has a 24" rear solid plastic 7-spoke Skyway Tuff-Wheel with Staton left and right threaded hub. It will have a 2.5HP 4-stroke engine.

    The drive setup is this:
    1st reduction:
    Engine/Clutch 10T -chained to- 48T freewheel sprocket on a jackshaft
    2nd reduction:
    jackshaft 14T sprocket -chained to 24T left-side sprocket on wheel.

    Only the 2nd chain from the 24T to the 14T on the jackshaft will move when rolling. Since the big 48T is a freewheel, the primary chain and C-clutch won't turn when pedaling or coasting. So the jackshaft and bearings will still turn, but it should be low friction.

    The left-side 24T sprocket will NOT freewheel. This is done simply for strength and reliability. Staton does have a 16T freewheel, but I wanted to be sure that was one less part to break. Even if the freewheel is not on the wheel itself, I'm sure it will still make a big difference compared to no freewheel at all.
  4. graucho

    graucho Active Member

    Im keeping a eye on this thread. My next project will need a special drive with the 12in
    rear wheel. I need the pedal and engine to pull from the same rear wheel sprocket through
    a jackshaft set up. Ive dealt with jackshafts many times but always with a single power
    source. (engine to jackshaft, jackshaft to rear sprocket) Now I will have the dual power

    It need to have the "engine drive side" shut down when im peddling. And vise-versa. My minds wheels are a turn'in.

    Attached Files:

  5. TWalker

    TWalker Guest

    I have the parts I just need to put it together. I have a hub with right and left freewheels I just need to lace it up and go.

    But they sent me a 48 tooth sprocket and I need a 36 or 44 so as soon as the send me the right sprocket I will be good to go.

    But I have a better concept of a totally freewheeling rack mount 4 stroke with shifter kit. It will take me a bit longer to get this one in place. Ive already ridden it but without shifting yet. I already know it works.
  6. TWalker

    TWalker Guest

    This is my goal, Ive got it down with a DAX Titan, I just need lace up the hub. But the Titan is heavy, I eventually want something that is so light and freewheels so well it can be ridden regularly as a bicycle without burden. A totally freewheeling Subaru Robin is probably the ideal because it weighs a 3rd less than the Honda/Titan.

    I live where there is nothing but mountains and hills and I could coast for miles but need an assist up hills. I'm also a bicycler so I want to bicycle without even "knowing" Ive got an engine.
  7. ZnsaneRyder

    ZnsaneRyder Member

    That sounds good TWalker! Is your 48T (36 or 44) sprocket a freewheel, or are you using a different freewheel sprocket on your left side of the hub?

    The idea of a shifter bike w/freewheel for the gas side drive is awesome.

    Good luck with the build TWalker. It is always nice to see ideas become reality.
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2009
  8. 5-7HEAVEN

    5-7HEAVEN Guest

    My Staton rear chain drive on "The Iron Dragon" is freewheeling and has all the characteristics you outlined.:scooter:

    Its front engine is friction drive. However, I fabbed a lever to raise the engine for freewheeling front and rear engines while pedalling my bike.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 16, 2009
  9. mlcorson

    mlcorson Member

    Yes, Staton chain drive with Robin is what I have with free wheel hub. Meets all your specs.
  10. SirJakesus

    SirJakesus Guest

    Staton gear and chain drive is the closest thing I can think of that matches this criteria. The NuVinci setup doesn't totally apply since the chain going up to the gearbox does spin while pedaling. It's freewheeled so it doesn't add any noticeable drag. The drawback of the staton gear and chain drive is the weight of the gearbox. It's bulletproof but it certainly adds a lot of weight to the top of the bike and you will definitely feel the extra load while pedaling up hills. My best suggestion would be a friction drive. They're probably the lightest kits available and can be easily removed from the wheel or completely from the bike in about half an hour tops. Dimension edge has an engagement lever available to remove the roller "on the fly."
    And just so you know, I was skeptical of friction drive before I jumped into them and now I'm totally hooked. It's the closest thing to a bicycle with 2hp of extra umph.
  11. SirJakesus

    SirJakesus Guest

    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 16, 2009
  12. skyl4rk

    skyl4rk Guest

  13. TWalker

    TWalker Guest

  14. Happy Valley

    Happy Valley Active Member

    The question is a good one and one that has occupied some of us for a long time.

    Staton has become a standard and worked out a lot of the bugs so while I certainly give him his due I'm one who is always looking to improvise and in less weight.

    I guess I'm in the narrow category of MBers whose primary interest is first retaining all the functionality of the original bicycle and only looking for a bit of power assist over accommodations made to motorize it. I've spent a lot of time building up bikes with quality components and really dislike, for example, the idea of having to replace a quality crankset in favor of some one piece affair to accommodate mounting a motor.

    It's a good discussion, one that I appreciate and I continue to wrack my brain and be on the lookout for solutions that meet my needs.
  15. biketec

    biketec Member

    Our freewheel's are what your looking for you can use your bike like normal and your chain will not move, However there intended for the four stroke kits. I say this because the 4's are pull start, In order to use our freewheel hub you need to have a GGG (Give gas go) happy time with a pull start on it but we do offer a solid but again that's not the topic of discussion. So I guess if you have a pull start the answer is yes otherwise if its a pop start then no its physics. But I have seen a quick disconnect from some engineer in Australia.
  16. ZnsaneRyder

    ZnsaneRyder Member

    I have one of your freewheels w/48T sprocket. The freewheel is rather large, and is very nice that it unbolts from the sprocket. However, if the freewheel breaks, are new ones availiable? I didn't see replacement freewheels for sale on the bicycle-engines website.

    My 48T freewheel did NOT fit the Staton plastic wheel as the thread & hub sizes were slightly different by a fraction of an inch, so instead I'm inserting a steel 5/8" axle hub into the freewheel and will weld the hub to the freewheel, so the 48T freewheel will work on a 5/8" jackshaft instead. Then a solid sprocket is used on the wheel and I will still have freewheeling. Problem solved.

    My biggest concern is your sprocket freewheel, it appears to be stronger and larger than the Staton 16T freewheel, so I want to stay with it, I'm just concerned that if it breaks, I'll be able to get another one, and not have to switch to different parts. The goal is a powerful DIY 4-stroke freewheeling bicycle that WILL NOT break down by minimizing all the possible weak links.

    What would be a really good is if bicycle-engines offered an alternative plastic wheel custom machined for the freewheeling sprocket, as some of us do not want to mess with spokes anymore.
  17. sparky

    sparky Active Member

    I do, and it's awesome. Wouldn't have it any other way.

    I cheated, tho... bought it from here, but they don't sell the whole bike anymore (maybe call and ask?). They do sell the larger, non-folding version, tho... here. The freewheel assembly does look pretty similar to the link above, tho mine doesn't have those grease nipples (and I don't understand where that part goes anyway). I asked the owner of Five Flags about changing sprockets, and he told me I'd have to make my own, but it should just bolt up if you have the money and/or the machining skills... mostly just the will to see it thru.

    There's no derailers on my bike... I just pedal or hit the thumb throttle lever. Too easy. I ride with one hand quite often [but slowly]. I burn the brake pads up coasting down a drawbridge near me so quickly. Not freewheel related, but I can also fold my bike up and put it in any car/truck/SUV. Took it in the backseat of a Honda Civic when visiting a friend in South Carolina a couple months back. The short frame also provides plenty of "nut room" so I never have to squash 'em when "climbing" up curbs. Everybody should have a bike this versatile.

    Pretty sure the guy at Five Flags could get you either the 20" or 26" wheel. My pedal freewheel was kinda problematic, so I switched it out for a few bucks, and everything's great now. Only crappy part about the bike is the squeaky folding handlebars, but it gets the job done for sure, and it did support a 160lbs person when I first got it. That was when I was a young MB lad, tho. I'm much wiser to MB etiquette nowadays.
  18. Mountainman

    Mountainman Active Member

    a pretty nice all around looking MB

    oh yes -- I have seen that motorized bicycle before
    seems to be a pretty nice all around looking MB

    that little fold up model one you got -- sweet little thing

    I need to be careful before making any phone calls regarding MB's
    I am in the mood for #2 for sure
    but waiting at this time so as to see a little more regarding the new to be MB motor thing

    always having fun on those things
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2009
  19. ktjensen

    ktjensen New Member

    Just bumping this thread, as it really meets a lot of what my other discussion was about, with a steath engine system.

    The Stanton friction drive looks like the perfect engine stealth system. I can make a pack cover that will fit over the engine so that nothing is exposed.

    Will need to look at why you want a freewheeling hub and a chain drive. Guess you want some lower center of gravity, and a way to customize other ways. Need to re-read this discussion again.
  20. TWalker

    TWalker Guest

    I disagree, I bought one and you cannot spin a typical Shimano gear cluster onto the right side, I spun a single speed BMX freewheel on it though and it worked fine. So thats not what Im looking for, Im out $50 + shipping that I can maybe recoup here in "Buy/Sell".

    Not blaming you its the price I pay for experimentation but just want others to learn from my mistakes.

    For the guys who think friction drive fits the bill it does not. Not only the usual drawbacks of friction (like poor traction) but it does not freewheel it still is connected to your engine and will turn when you wheel turns unless your centri-clutch disengages. So unless you have a freewheeling friction roller....

    Which BTW is there a freewheeling roller out there?