Donor Bike Search

Discussion in 'Frame Mounted Engines' started by wrngway, Aug 29, 2008.

  1. wrngway

    wrngway New Member

    Ahhh, the search for a donor bike for my first build...While waiting on my kit to be delivered, I'm taking time to search for a good bike to put it on. Here's my results so far!

    1. Choice 1: My current bike is a nice hybrid, but the frame is too small. I don't think the engine would fit without modification, and I don't feel like cutting, drilling, or punching holes in a good bike.

    2. Brother's Bike: The frame is the right size. The rear brake and shifter lines run open across the top tube, so that will take a little work around, but nothing I can't handle. This bike is on loan though, so he might want it back in a year or two. I'd rather not take it apart and reinstall the kit if it's working well.

    3. Buy new: Allright! New components! But I'd have to go cheap, which means cheap components. No good bike sales going on now either. It could work, but there are cheaper options out there. I don't want a coaster brake and would like at least 7 gears. This would be about $129. Wife wouldn't be too happy about that.

    4. Salvation Army/Goodwill etc.: Started my search yesterday and have one good candidate so far.

    18speed mountain bike. Needs a tune up, but looks like a quality bike originally. Shifter may need some work. Comfy seat and only $50! It does have a heavy steel frame that's a bit big for me and could use a new paint job to look nice. Old quick release wheels/seat. I can add that. Center Pull Caliper brakes look nice! I'll need them to stop a heavy bike. Definite possibility!

    I have 4 other donation centers to check out today. Wish me luck!
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2008

  2. B.K. Hosken

    B.K. Hosken Member

    Good luck. I am still looking for the right bike at a garage sale...
  3. wrngway

    wrngway New Member

    It looks like early spring is the best time to find a used bike. I remember seing a lot outside the Salvation Army store. I guess most people go through their garages about that time.

    I couldn't find anymore good candidates after visiting a total of five stores. The people there said they hadn't seen any come in for a while now.

    On the new side I'm looking at the Schwinn Jaguar cruiser. I like the classic look and I know it will work well with the kit. 7 gears and linear pull brakes should be fine. Lots of folks are using that style. $128 at Target now.’
  4. s_beaudry

    s_beaudry Member

    Very nice bike for your build, I was going to use that one as I read a few reviews as to it installing nicely!

    But... changed my mind and went with a Schwinn Searcher 7 speed from K mart. I like the very laid back cruising kind of design of the bike and the adjustable handlebars were a big plus as well.

    Good luck with your build, and this forum is a goldmine for nformation related to building an MB!

  5. wrngway

    wrngway New Member

    I took a Jaguar for a ride today.

    It's a very comfortable bike! The shifter needed some adjustment. It's finicky and I had trouble getting it into some gears.

    It's also not too nimble. I suppose that's part of the riding position and the handlebars. Some new handlebars and maybe a stem might take care of that.
  6. wrngway

    wrngway New Member

    So I went ahead and got the Jaguar. Luckily the day before the sale ended. Also got 10% off with the Target card. So it was $114 before tax...not bad!

    I worked on the shifter today. Thanks to the wonderful site below I was able to work out the kinks.

    Basically, the shifter wasn't shifting between the detents of the shift lever. Also, it wasn't shifting to the lowest gear and was skipping gears. After adjusting the stops and the wire tension it works perfectly!

    The brakes also needed some attention. It stops well enough now.

    The handlebar is going to have to go. It's not bad, but I'd feel better leaning forward just a tad.

    For now I'm just waiting on my engine kit!
  7. Tinker1980

    Tinker1980 Guest

    I didn't want to start a new thread, but I'd like to ask for an opinion on a couple of bikes. I have, at my disposal for motor-installation a nearly new Kulana Moon Dog, and a 12 year old Trek 820 mountain bike. Both have enough room in the frame, the Trek has smaller tubing, stronger wheels and better brakes. But I hear a lot of people installing the HT engines in a moon dog. Has anyone tried it with a Cromoly frame trek?

  8. B.K. Hosken

    B.K. Hosken Member

    My choice would be the Moon Dog, for several reasons. I really want the upright, easy ride a cruiser gives, they come with fenders so you can ride when wet without getting a stripe on your back, and dual hand brakes instead of a coaster brake. I am looking for a Moon Dog or similar cruiser now, my HT engine is on a skinny-tire ten speed that is working, but not comfortable to ride and I want to put a basket and rack on whatever I end up with because if it can't carry a bag or groceries or 2, it's not worth keeping, in my opinion. A cruiser will let me put a basket on the front, and maybe sidesaddle baskets on the rear. However, the bike I have it on now is allowing me to break it in and get the chain stretched out and everything running well while I look for just the right bike.
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2008