Hello from the "Land of Entrapment"

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by gharring, Jul 30, 2008.

  1. gharring

    gharring New Member

    I am a student at the University of New Mexico and very interested in exploring ways to economize my commute. I am completely new to the concept of motorizing my bicycle and am here to research the best, most efficient way to do so.

    Which way do I go now? I mean, nobody in this town has a company dedicated to offering this sort of product. The one guy who does is relatively useless in offering information. He just wants me to give him $900.00 bucks to fit my bike with his engine of choice. I can't say that I blame him, but I won't be surrendering to his bias--especially when I know that motorized bicycle kits sell for as little as $150.00 on the net. So.....

    What is the most efficient system? So far I have seen Belt Drives, Chain Drives, Friction systems (seem blah), jet engines (no way!!). Of course I will research this forum thoroughly but if anyone can offer a good suggestion of what I should be focusing on I would appreciate it. I am looking for the BEST, MOST EFFICIENT way to motorize my 24'' Canondale mountain bike.
    Thanks for your time,

  2. stude13

    stude13 Active Member

    hi ring; there are members in n.m., chk. in members list. if i had the money, a gebe belt drive w/ subaru is my choice around 600 and 1hr install, chin. kits atound 180 and hours to mount and much fiddleing. time vs money. good luck mitch
  3. duivendyk

    duivendyk Guest

    That depends on your circumstances.Please give some particulars 1) How long your commute, 2)Flat or hilly terrain,3) Cost below $500 or not,4) reliability & durability paramount? 5) your level of mechanical knowledge and ability,6)access to tools.
  4. CalgarysFool

    CalgarysFool Member

    $900 seems pretty high, when you can drive a complete bike with engine, right off the showroom floor for less.

  5. gharring

    gharring New Member


    The commute is about 24 miles round trip.
    The terrain is basically flat, with a steady 10 degree slope.
    I will spend as much as $700.00 if a superior product warrants such cost.
    If I spend 700.00 it BETTER BE RELIABLE--yes reliability is paramount.
    I am not practiced at mechanics but have a strong aptitude.
    I have a basic tool box, but I would be willing to purchase a few extras if needed to maintain my new investment.

    Basically, I am committed to this idea. It satisfies many personal ideals, the most encouraging at the moment is that I will be more likely to consistently ride my bike if I know that I have the option of motorized assistance in times of need. If I have the time, I will motorize my bike with my legs and take a quick shower in the gym before class. If not, I will use the motor.

    If the kit has a decent set of directions, I can put it together. If I can't, I'll spend the $20.00 on a case of bear and have one of my grease monkey friends come over and help me out--heck maybe I'll do that anyway! Mini Motor Bike Party...here we go again!!

    Thanks for your response Dvivendyk--and all others who choose to reply--I look forward to your suggestions.
  6. Skyliner70cc

    Skyliner70cc Active Member

  7. It depends on what you mean by efficient.

    Requiring the least amount of work/time to attach to the bike? If so friction drive would be the way to go.

    If efficient means least amount of wasted energy by the engine, I would think that friction drive would get low marks.
  8. CalgarysFool

    CalgarysFool Member

    So, SweetValley, are you suggesting we don't "vote for Pedro"?

    Funny Avatar!

    Cudos to GHarring for this initiative. You'll be ridin' to and from school for pennies a day, helping keep the earth green, whilst havin' a ball ridin' in the open air.

    I'm bikeless now, and still, but will be ordering from Spooky Tooth tomorrow. They tell me they have a new engine coming in the next week, and it promises to be even more reliable than the 50cc and 80cc current offerings. The new one will be 66cc. Too soon for me to speak up in their favor, but I have read good reports on this site, prior to deciding to go this route.

    Hope you'll keep the forum posted on your decision, and how it works out for you.

  9. duivendyk

    duivendyk Guest

    10 degree incline seems highly unlikely,that is a actually steep 17% grade, tang(10 degree) =0.176. Most people (myself included) wildly overestimate a grade.What gears do you use on your mountain bike going up hill (Front& rear sprocket size,26" wheel ?),that will give a reasonable idea.If you want to get scientific about it,have a level and a ruler you can measure the steepest part.It's not hard,I can tell you how.Hills esp. long ones take a lot of power to climb at reasonable speed and pretty much dictate the design criteria.
  10. gharring

    gharring New Member

    Yes, I may be off on the slope ratio--forgive me for I live at the base of a 5000 foot mountain and the slope seems mighty grand when coming home. No I do not wish to get scientific about it--I'll leave the trigonometric equations for those civil engineers who don't own a TI-89. I simply want to know what the the most efficient motor kit I can buy is, and what system is most recommended, and roughly how much it will cost. So duivendyk, please offer me some useful information if you have it. I believe that you must, since you seem to be so technically inclined.
    Thank you for your time.
  11. SimpleSimon

    SimpleSimon Active Member

    From your description, I assume you live on the west or northwest side? If so, you could probably pretty much coast to campus, but getting home again is quite another matter. Friction drive would work, most of the time. But when it gets wet, that's another matter.
  12. gharring

    gharring New Member

    Huh? You must not be from these here parts--west side? Your right about being able to "pretty much coast to campus"--that is assuming I do not take the safest route of dedicated trails and stick to main roads. Unfortunately, anyone who rides round here knows what that will get you. On the other hand, there are some nice bike lanes that I can take advantage of while pimping out gravity on my way to the labs. Either way, the ride to campus is definitely the easy part. Not much rain to worry about here in the high desert, but if a friction drive is inferior to other options, I will avoid it. I just want the best!!
  13. SimpleSimon

    SimpleSimon Active Member

    Nope, not from those parts. Passed through on my way cross country in June of '05 - seems I recall a really long, pretty steady slope down from the west side of the valley, then a shorter and more abrupt slope back up east of the river, but it has been a goodly while, I admit.
  14. gharring

    gharring New Member

    Ok, well I'm at the base of the mountain and thats the East side. So tell me Simon, what's the BEST of the best. This market doesn't seem to be to big yet but I don't have enough time or money to experiment. Do you have experience with the most common options available (belt, chain, friction)? Which one is the most road worthy? Now, of this superior system, what brand should I go for? Please help point me in the right direction.
  15. SimpleSimon

    SimpleSimon Active Member

    I can't answer that, unfortunately. No experience other than with a friction drive set up many years ago. I have read this forum a lot, and I have been researching that very question along with others for over a year now.

    In my opinion - and please bear in mind it is only that - you want to go with a four stroke engine, for quietness, cleanness, and reliabiliy. Of the available options, I like the toothed belt drives better than chain for a situation such as yours - again, quieter and cleaner. On campus, both are valid concerns. So, rack mounted four stroke under 50 cc, best muffler you can get, and buy a really good lock and a heavy cable long enough to go through the drive ring and spokes, make a figure eight crossing in the middle of the frame, and through your front wheel spokes to the bike rack. Never been on a university campus yet which wasn't full of bike thieves.
  16. duivendyk

    duivendyk Guest

    Based on your 12 mi trip up to the top ? of that 5000 ft mountain,the average slope works out to 7%,quite some climb.
    You need the largest engine you can get and the most durable kit.My recommendation would be the left side drive Staton kit (not the NuVinci you can't afford that anyway)with the Honda 49 cc engine and with a 10t output sprocket on the gear box You could also consider a 12t sprocket if you like a strenuous morning workout for a bit more speed .
    This would give you an overall gear ratio of 16/10 *18.75= 29.6.At 6000 engine rpm your speed would be 15 mph when going uphill.This gearing is pretty low but you need it to get up that mountain while not flogging that little engine to death.Installing the Staton is fairly straightforward, the instructions are so so. It may involve some drilling at the rear dropouts and hacksawing to cut the gearbox supports to proper size
    You will have to freewheel coast down that mountain without the engine,the gearing is too low anyway since you would be doing over 15mph.You will also need good brakes.
    The Staton may be more than you can afford,but I rather doubt if any of the other kits will stand up to this severe use.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 31, 2008
  17. gharring

    gharring New Member

    Thanks for your advice! If you read my previous comments you will see that I clearly state that I live at the BASE of the mountain, not the top. I would asume this is a significant detail to consider in your computations. Seems a waist to set up an equation without recognizing the basic nature of the problem. Never the less it is still "quite some climb."
    So tell me, are you a civil engineer? I cant think of any other occupation other than an "old school captain" or perhaps astrologer that so into trigonometry. Even so, most civil engineers of today use two or three buttons and can no longer explain how they know what they think they know.
    I truly do appreciate your scientific nature and will take your recommendation of a STATON left side drive seriously. I will research the output sprocket to suit my reality. Perhaps disc brakes are in my future. You truly have given me the foundations of what I must consider to make this work so THANKS AGAIN!!
  18. gharring

    gharring New Member

    Thank you for your opinion!! Security has definitely been a true concern of mine. If they don't steel the entire bike and motor, they will try to steel the motor itself! I will definitely be thinking of creative ways to make either option difficult. I am working on a stealth system that will call my cell phone if fiddled with.
    Quite and clean is also very important. Looks like GEBE belt drive system would fit what you are describing but this is only conjecture based on the information that I have gathered from this site within the last few days. Thanks again Simon
  19. SimpleSimon

    SimpleSimon Active Member

    Were it mine, and a rack mount, I'd make a cage of expanded metal in the form of an inverted box that fits over the engine and locks securely. The cell phone alarm isn't a bad idea either. I'd also spend a few bucks replacing all of my mounting bolts with pin centered hex head or star socket head bolts of appropriate size. Most folks won't have the needed wenches to remove them.
  20. gharring

    gharring New Member

    Yes good idea's! I was thinking of tacking the bolts with solder to make them very difficult to remove without wicking the solder away but I don't know if this is very practical. I am going to test to see if I can do this more than 2 or three times without having to cut the bolts away. Maybe hex head or star socket head bolts with solder in the hex or star would work best.