GEBE picture gallery-pros/cons/costs

Discussion in 'Rack Mounted Engines' started by bamabikeguy, Sep 9, 2007.

  1. bamabikeguy

    bamabikeguy Active Member

    Hey GEBEr's,

    Next Sunday I'm going to post a DailyKos diary, about how I got into this hobby and some of the adventures I've had along the way. I'd like to point to one thread where the diary readers can see the different types of assemblies, without getting into all the details and debates.

    This is more about the bikes than the engine types, the good and the bad.

    I just took my third long ride on my latest bike discovery, that "Greygeezer" bike, the Sun Comfort Rover 21 speed, and this is the best one I've built (so far).

    http://www.sunbicycles.com/sun/bicycles/comfortBikes/select/comfortSelect.htm

    The picture in the Sun Catalog doesn't show the shock absorber seat post nor the clever way they attached the front derailleur.

    I've already sold this one, with the 33 Tanaka. The next one will be maroon colored, or "crimson" for the Alabama fans.

    Cost-
    $270 plus puntureproof tubes/Mr.Tuffie tire liners front and back w/ 12 gauge rear wheel, mirror and bottleholder.

    Pros-
    Shock absorber seat post is included.
    Fenders can be added.
    21 speeds allows fastest uphill acceleration
    The best $12 cruiser tire on the market.
    $60 cheaper than IDENTICAL Diamondback model with same features but different colors.

    Cons-
    Front wheel is quick release, BUT with newfound insights into frame-mounting, a heavy duty Wald basket should be attachable seperate from the front axle.

    Wishlist-
    Armadillo Kevlar tire on the back.


    Please post pix of some of your GEBEbuilds below, including the prices, honest evaluations and "wish lists", comparisons to similar models, etc.

    Links to the model would be very helpful (even if the model is not identical, like my Sunlink above).

    Not really a discussion thread, just a handy place for all of us to put GEBEpix in one thread and assist future folks in making good bike choices, specific to their needs.

    And I'll chip in later in the week with some of my experiences with other models.
     

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    Last edited: Sep 9, 2007

  2. Hive

    Hive Guest

    Question

    I have longish legs, but wonder if you can set the seat high for pedal work, and still have feet flat on ground, maybe with knees bent, when stopped? I have never been comfortable riding on DF (diamond frame - as in typical bike) bike adjusted for my leg length, being too high and center of gravity etc.

    I think the best ride is the "bent" but am also captivated by possibilities offered by a true CF (crank forward) bike, with decent suspension.

    May do another project using a Rans Fusion or Dynamik - very spendy, at $900 scoots a pop, but true low-rider CFs. The Raleigh Gruv and the Sun seem to be more upright, and am interested in your take on this, and experience on this subject. you have lots of experience and do good work. (Must have great area to market your work.)

    I have to quit tinkering with these machines, and maybe I will, when I get to perfect combo, which may not exist, I know.

    Nothing touches the recumbent so far, but I get a bit jumpy in some traffic situations and am still working on smoother start-ups. It takes some practice. But, comfy it is, it is, it is.


    Thanks.
     
  3. bamabikeguy

    bamabikeguy Active Member

    Edwin, my neighbor, is 6'1", and he ran it at the lowest position. Jake is 6'4", and we raised it maybe 4 inches, plenty of room to go up farther, and the handlebars are those "triple" adjustable types, offering abundent positioning to suit your build.

    I'll have comparative pix below thread.....

    The seatpost frame sits "back", and has a lowrider tilt, so the pedals are foward, about 5-6 inches further in front of you. So it doesn't feel like you are pedaling up/down, more like a "halfway" recumbent motion.

    I just got back from the bikeshop, he had a similar model, a Sun Sport Hybrid, same color, seat, 21 speeds, NOT a stepthru. Overall, I'd rate the Comfort Rover the better bike.

    I'm paying $270 plus tax plus tire/tube/liner upgrade, msr is around $300 or so.

    While there, I compared to the Diamondbacks, same shifters, derailleurs, pretty much same everything. It's obvious the Sun Comfort is a cloned Diamondback, and the $60 difference in price is for "prestige" and ego, vanities I abhor.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2007
  4. Jim H

    Jim H Guest

    Sounds like a good idea Bama. I still haven't posted any pics of my bike as yet. This will motivate me to share a list and pics of the bike that gets me around out here.
     
  5. bamabikeguy

    bamabikeguy Active Member

    Over in that other BTB Wild thread, it motivated me to go out in the early morn light, do a little thinking about making the Sun Comfort Rover carry as much gear as Rocinante (pic 6) on the road AFTER finding a bigger fuel tank to increase my striking distances.

    But, first, (pic 1) is a bike built last week for Bill, a tall man, in Pleasant Grove. He's buying 2 to sell, then getting a Comfort Rover for himself.

    He'll admit that bike is UNcomfortable. The top tube is 35" from the ground, a real bell-buster, if you know what I mean. And those handlebars force you too far forward, more over the front wheel than curved handlebars would allow. I swapped out the razor seat with a gel saddle.

    He's an experienced bike rider, so everything we did to that tooooo tall bike could be swapped out if he wanted to.

    Pic 2 is a side by side with the Sun Comfort Rover, you can see how the CR seat post is angled back more.

    Anyway, thinking about expandability on the CR....pic 3 is "what I have to work with". I could move that engine back a bit, gain another 2-4 inches of space.

    I could cut those saddlebags apart, work with two pieces on either side of the wheel. OR drape it over as in pic 4, AFTER adding some modifications to get the bags clear of brakes and cables.

    On Rocinante, I have a 4 foot bungie cord, hooked to the basket sides, around the seat post. This "stiffens up the steering", and keeps the bottom of the bag away from the front wheel.

    The tent could still fit behind the handlebars, and the tent poles are underneath. That leaves "where to put my tool kit"? no biggie, its small.

    Besides, I'll probably Christmas shop for myself one of those one man superduper pup tents, fits in my back pocket, which will open up a whole lotta possibilties....

    Okay, the big puzzle is adding a basket to the "quickrelease" front wheel, pic 5

    I think another framemounting could/should be done, narrow on the end that attaches to the frame, widening to put a 3/8" hole to carriage bolt the basket to the mounting block.

    Paul at the bikeshop "says" I can make the basket work right on the quickrelease axle, but I'm thinking framemounting it would be better....
     

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    Last edited: Sep 17, 2007
  6. bamabikeguy

    bamabikeguy Active Member

    I started with Avalons, 3 of them in a row, the third (a men's) I modified and kept until early 2007, taking ANOTHER Avalon as trade in, the one I just frame mounted.

    As a bike, I'll give it a B-.

    You don't have to crimp any alum for the spokering to clear.
    It has 1.95 tires.
    There is NO fender hanger bar to attach the strap to, so you have to have access to a drill/tap set, Loctite the "L" bracket under the spring.
    It is Framemountable.


    The saddle is bare minimum.
    The handle bars are straight.
    The cable brake adjustment is slightly awkward, on the back, instead of loosening the cable from the front.

    Once you have it secure, it rides pretty well with the shocks. My "problem" was not being able to put a basket on front, becouse of the shocks, but I did anyway.


    The one I modified and kept a while, I swapped the handlebars to curved, changed to 10" gel saddle/shock seat post (smmmoooooth ride with combo/ suspension system), made those basket legs beefier, (it wasn't a heavy Weld, but a basic shallow basket).

    That brought it up to a B.

    A good starter bike for the budgetminded, will do "day trips" easy enough.

    The real thing that caused my boycott of WallyMart bikes was on the third one, the front axle nut (which I had NOT even touched-before my tube upgrade days), fell off, meaning you have to double check their work.

    And the NJ customer reps are jerks, but you are on your own on bikes anyway once you tap that mounting bolt.

    I'll keep the one on the carport, it is a good visual aid trying to convince customers to go a little heavier duty. Now that I know a bit more about bikes/brakes/shifters and such, I have it pretty tight.

    But I only use it to ride along on demos, anything over 10 miles I take one of the curved handle barred ones, I'm just stubborn that way.
     

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    Last edited: Sep 21, 2007
  7. BTB Wild

    BTB Wild Guest

    Funny thing is I visited 2 wal-Mart stores about 12 miles apart and the same exact AVALON bike was $69 at one store and $99 at the other. Each store had at least 3 bikes each. I really like the look and feel of the bike ( sitting on the saddle at the store) I didn't mind the handle bars probably because I didn't have to lean so far forward like my GT.
    If I were building bikes for re-sale I would use these bikes. They are dirt cheap, not bad at all and you'd make a decent buck marking them up with the engine kit installed. But the suspension seems toyish compared to the GT.
    ( especially the front end)
    Have you guys ever installed the GEBE bracket ( both sides) to the inside of the frame? I'm afraid this is the only way I can mount a kit to my GT axle. ( I'll post pics later) The frame has raised bracing around the wheel nut so the bracket cannot mount flush against the frame unless large spacers were used.
    I'd put the kit on my GT if I could assure good belt/ring alignment. Thanks.
     
  8. Hive

    Hive Guest

    Maybe Do Another Bracket?

    Check this out?

    Bracket serves to hang bags and hold engine in place, does not attach to frame.

    Easy to form with bench vice.
     

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  9. Hive

    Hive Guest

    Same Bracket on Cruiser

    More straight forward, but worked well.

    Was first install. Used same bracket for recumbent but added longer side piece si all. It is fastened with 5mm hex-heads and tapped in to same metal frame underneath.
     

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  10. BTB Wild

    BTB Wild Guest

    Hive, those are clean installs. ( and a killer lookin bike) Did you make those side brackets or do they come with the kit? I have not ordered my kit as I'm waiting for the 33cc Tanakas to arrive.
     
  11. Hive

    Hive Guest

    Thanks

    I made the brackets from materials you can find at the Menards/Home Depot/Fleet Farm type outlets, in the metal section. These were 36" aluminum strips, about $3.50.

    Very handy for engine mount and for bags. I use a Trek bag with the hooks on the back. and am sure there are similar but better bags at places like Nashbar, etc.

    I measured as best I could and then bent with a bench vise and large adjustable wrench and small sledge hammer.

    Drilled and tapped where necessary and assembled using SS fasteners and lock nuts where connected to bike or engine bracket.

    Very rigid, safe, functional bag carrier.

    That and the Sinz throttle were worth while projects. (My exhaust extension for the T-3300 was not so fine.)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 22, 2007
  12. BTB Wild

    BTB Wild Guest

    In my former half-*ss days I would have drilled a hole, ran a bolt through it and locked it down with 2 nuts. I have to change my ways.:oops:
    I don't even own a tap set but I plan to buy a kit. No drill press either so I'll have to look at a manual tap wrench. I take it 5mm is a common thread size used throughout most bicycles?
    Hive, can I assume the decimal point floated on you while quoting the price you paid for the aluminum pieces? heck, that's worth 7 Wal-mart bikes = tons of spare parts too. :smile:
     
  13. Hive

    Hive Guest

    Fixed the price.

    Typos kill me.

    You can get along without tap. I had one from when I used to race sailboats.

    I bought a 5mm tap and had the old handle. But, you can simple drill and use SS hex-heads and those self-locking SS nuts on backside...

    The aluminum bends easily enough, using vise and the wrench to keep the bend point aligned with angle you need. Stuff is low cost so practice (what I call mistakes) is not a biggie.
     
  14. BTB Wild

    BTB Wild Guest

    Thanks

    Good info HIVE, I'll look into some spare aluminum for sure. Thanks.
     
  15. Hive

    Hive Guest

    I Forgot to Mention

    That you might consider looking for a bike at local pawn shops and the occasional "yard seller" that you see - homes with a dozen bikes in front etc.

    Amazing what you might find...and way better than the stuff Wal-Mart offers, but it takes some time. Don't forget to bring a tape measure to be sure the frame will handle the GEBE drive ring and steel mount. A front fork can usually be altered and add caliper brakes, if the bike is coaster only...

    as to the latter, a friend learned the hard way. He finally went down and bought a new Trek and tossed the Wally bike in the dumpster behind the Holiday-Inn. He said it was so bad he could not sell and feel right about it.
     
  16. gone_fishin

    gone_fishin Guest

    may a gebe-ignoramus ask a quick one, re: coaster brake?

    if the coaster brake is on a nice 12g wheel, and there's a ton of clearance for the ring, is it doable? thanks.
     
  17. BTB Wild

    BTB Wild Guest

    yep....you're right

    I'm going to make the GEBE kit work on my GT. It's a great bike. I'll post pics of the rear wheel mount in a few days. I'll solicit mounting opinions from you guys once I get the pics ( and the kit ) Thanks.
     
  18. Hive

    Hive Guest

    Doable GEBE

    Yes, if the clearance is the 1.25 between the frame and the nearest spoke at 7.5 inches from rear axle, if I have that right.

    Should work just dandy.

    I know it is dangerous, but I ran with only coaster on the Trek, but you never know. (Murphy's law is operant.) (Poor Murphy must have been the first Darwin award winner.)

    If I ran with another cruiser like that, I would very likely replace the fork with a threadless head-set and use a dampened fork that had the brake studs, most do, and add front caliper brakes. A decent inexpensive fork might be the RockShox J2 Judy - 1 1/8th diameter...have seen them for as little as $50 to $60 new. Maybe add the shock-type seat post as long as well.
     
  19. gone_fishin

    gone_fishin Guest

    are you familiar with my bike? heavy duty all the way & confirmed clearances...front suspension triple-tree to be added soon, drum-brake is on the wish list.

    i've been intrigued all along & am growing more interested the more i read. but i'll save the rest for when i have my own gebe content to contribute. thanks again.
     
  20. Hive

    Hive Guest

    Various

    BTB: Look forward to install pics.

    Mount that engine as close to vertical as you can...it will work either way, but the gas is better filled and so on...

    And, if a 2-cycle, be sure the fuel/filter rests on the bottom of the tank in the vertical position; if not, replace it with longer line.

    Local mower etc will have same size line...


    Augi: Not familiar with bike per se, but sounds like heavy cruiser. They are usually very compatible with GEBE mount.

    No doubt you will be pleased with the system. Fairly simple.


    Back to work.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 22, 2007
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