Hello from San Jose, Ca

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Ray In San Jose, Jul 7, 2007.

  1. Hello from San Jose, California! I am a Mechanical/Electrical Engineer who drives a gas guzzling SUV and decided I wanted to do something good for the environment when commuting from my home in the hills to where I work in the flatlands (16 miles each way). I studied electrical bicycle motors for a month before reluctantly discarding this idea due to battery weight and cost for my required distance (SLA, NiMH, LiPoly chemistry).

    I then turned my attention to small gas engines, studying the features of chain and belt drive. I settled on the Golden Eagle Bike Engine GEBE EH035A 4cyl engine with belt drive, hoping it could climb the hill back to my house!

    Besides wanting to be green, I am also a cheapskate. So, I searched Craigslist for over 1 month to find a $90 bike that met my criteria -
    * Front suspension to absorb the big potholes and railroad tracks around here.
    * Higher quality than Walmart because I wanted the bike to last for years
    * Required frame/wheel clearance to fit the GEBE drive ring.

    I found the GEBE assembly to my bike generally easy (since I have a good set of tools). I had to -
    * Make a U-bracket to attach the engine to the bike
    * Cut the center support and drill its holes to 1/4" (to remove existing plating)
    * Gain additional 1/8" clearance for the drive ring by squeezing a steel frame chainstay with a pipe wrench.
    * Install a solid axle in place of the quick release axle (REQUIRED!!)

    After the first few rides, I changed the wide 26x1.95 mountain tires to 26x1.5 city tires to gain additional clearance between drive belt and tires in coasting mode, and added tire liners and slime to withstand the occasional nail on my commute.

    Besides looking forward to spending less money on gas, I think I have reduced my Carbon footprint by at least 150x.


    and the U-bracket I made -

    So far, I have found the bike performs well on level and hilly areas, averaging 20-30mph. But, when the grade is very steep (Ex. 20 degree grade), it is pedal all the way (or walk up)...either the belt or the clutch is slipping by design, I think...have not figured this out yet. Oh, and the 0.65 liter gas tank that comes with the engine is REALLY SMALL. I haven't figured out whether to continue carrying an MSR bottle around or getting an ugly gas tank (geez, the MSR bottle is LARGER than the gas tank that came with the engine!)

    I am taking the bike to work for the first time this coming Monday! :grin:

    I didn't find this forum until after I bought the engine. It seems like a nice place to trade information!

    7/9/07 Updates:
    After riding to work for the first time (32 miles round trip), I have a few observations -
    1) With the GEBE drive ring, the bike rear wheel does not fit in a standard bike rack because of the wide drive ring dimension extending beyond the spokes. I have to put the front wheel in the bike rack and balance the bike (I don't have a kickstand).
    2) The bike was having trouble with hills that were less than 20 degree continuous grade. I think the main factors are centrifugal clutch design choice and my (total body + bike + payload) weight of about 220lbs. As the clutch wears, this could become more of a problem. At that time, maybe I will ride the roundabout route which is a mile longer but flatter!
    3) I have less than 100 miles on the engine and have been riding at varying speeds to break it in. However, most of my first to-work ride today was WOT. On the flats, the bike successfully held at 28mph which favorably compares with the advertised top speed of 27-28mph. The top speed was not significantly affected by head winds estimated at <10mph (I am tall but not a wide person).

    Ray in San Jose, Ca :grin:

  2. spunout

    spunout Member

    Welcome to MBc, Ray! good intro 8) 8) . there's a method to the madness as to why you cant post a pic right away...but since you've made your first post, please feel free to throw it up there in the Picture Gallery :) .
    Happy :mrgreen:
    EDIT: oops. forgot about the 24hr wait...
  3. iRide Customs

    iRide Customs Member

    Welcome aboard Ray!
  4. grakker

    grakker Guest


    16 miles is quite a way to do daily each way. Good luck and I like your motivation. Every time I see a SUV on the road I think... well, that's a different argument.

    I used to live in San Jose, working for a startup in the late 90's, right before the crash. I had about a 5 mile commute and I could make it quicker on my bike than in my car. Good luck.
  5. Welcome :grin:
  6. gone_fishin

    gone_fishin Guest

    from our rules and policies, which are appreciated by our established members:
    over 19K posts...show me the spam and i'll eat it :evil: :lol:

    wait a day and just give us a nice post in "picture gallery"... :)

    sounds like you did your homework on the GEBE, we're glad to see more rack-mount riders...our collection of info on them was pretty slim til just lately.

    welcome to MBc 8)
  7. azbill

    azbill Active Member

    welcome to MBc ! :D
  8. quay1962

    quay1962 Guest


    welcome Ray from San Jose! Glad your here! i used to run the colonade apartmnets across from san jose state! i wen't to Menlo Atherton High! lol
    How cool...i became an apartment manager because the comute was such a drag, now i live in pacific north west...good luck on your endeavors and happy motoring~ :cool:
  9. bamabikeguy

    bamabikeguy Active Member

    Sound on: Dionne Warwick-

    I was born and raised in San Jose, Selma Olinder Elem (EastSide near WilliamsStreet Park) and then moved to Heppner Lane (Pinehurst) in the JohnMuir/Pioneer High District.

    Still have relatives out there, and the Atkinson Estate property is a park on Uvas Creek south on Croy Road, below Svedal.

    Welcome Ray ! :cool:
  10. davidsis

    davidsis Guest


    Sounds like a cool bike. That does sound like a long way to go though. Too bad you found out about the web site after you built the bike. We could have helped. Can not wait to see pictures.
  11. locoWelder

    locoWelder Guest

    welcome to MBc ! 8)
  12. GEBE Robin-Subaru 35 cc Experience, 2months 9/21/07

    I couldn't figure out how to edit my original Intro post http://www.motoredbikes.com/showthread.php?t=5772&highlight=ray+in+san+jose
    so I am posting a reply to that entry here. I have been riding my motorized bike for 2 months now. Here are some of my observations -

    * Had to change some broken spokes. Eventually, I replaced ALL the cheap stock chome-plated steel spokes with stainless steel spokes. No broken spokes in the last 100 miles. Same 14 gauge 2mm diameter spoke size. Spokes always break where it enters the nipple.
    * Bent the solid standard steel axle and replaced it with a cromoly solid axle which is stronger. Found one very inexpensively at the local bike shop (not chain store). No problems in the last 200 miles.
    * 1st Kevlar belt broke at 797 miles. The short life could have been due to the troubles I had with broken spokes and bent axles which caused a wobbly rear wheel to ride the brakes...need to monitor the next belt. I bought two replacement belts from GEBE.

    My commute is 32 miles round trip with typical terrain varying from -7 degrees to +7 degrees slope. My driveway is 18 degrees. The bike is a GEBE 35cc belt drive with dry centrifugal clutch. It drives the bike and me which totals 210 lbs. In my experience, the bike can climb slopes up to about +5 degrees with just a little pedalling. However, extended distances above 5 degrees require a lot of pedalling help. Being a cyclist, I pedal hard to maintain 20 mph up slopes of 7 degrees in order to stay in the sweet spot of the engine performance. If the bike speed falls too low (15mph), the centrifugal clutch slips and the engine will not transfer full power to the bike anymore. A 10 degree slope requires a lot of pedalling. An 18 degree slope is a walk for me since the bike is moving so slowly that the engine's clutch is in a constant slip state and transfers no power to the wheel. Also, the engine on the back of the bike makes the bike back heavy and one can pop wheelies very easily on 18 degree slopes.

    During my commute, I wear an orange safety vest with reflectors. For night riding, I have developed a 15w-20w Halogen front light system ($70), and have xenon strobes that can be used as either turn signals or front/back safety beacons.

    I have discarded the tire liners because the end edge gave me a flat (same thing that happened on another non-motored bike that I have!). The new tire is strickly stock - no tire liner, and no slime. I carry an extra tube, wrench, patch kit, and bike pump.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 22, 2007
  13. bamabikeguy

    bamabikeguy Active Member


    We have a 35 cc R/Subaru thread going in Rackem, you could copy paste this down there, it might help Torque in the Scottsdale Scooter Scandal, that the R/S can't get the speeds of us 2 cycle bandits.l

  14. Scottm

    Scottm Guest

    Welcome to the group.:grin:
  15. Jim H

    Jim H Guest

    Welcome to mbc Ray!
  16. drimpact

    drimpact Member

    Welcome to MBc
  17. slump

    slump Member

    Ray cool bike, and welcome to the forum. Also just to let you know a couple of guys here on this website are from san jose, and we are trying to set up a ride. A san jose motor-bike party if you will. check our discussion here: