Help choosing a bike to ride to work

Discussion in 'General Questions' started by truckinusa, May 16, 2016.

  1. truckinusa

    truckinusa New Member

    I live in Oklahoma so I was thinking I could save my environment and save some $$$ by riding a motorized bike, but it has to be under 35cc or under 1000w. What are my options? I have free electric at work.
     

  2. Nanonevol

    Nanonevol Member

    Hello Moto! likes this.
  3. truckinusa

    truckinusa New Member

    I was just confused what rule I fell under since motor driven cycle says 35cc to 150cc. Under Motorized bicycle the current law says 80cc. Guess I'm confused?
     
  4. bluegoatwoods

    bluegoatwoods Well-Known Member

    Even if you were to find that 35 cc is your actual limit, most of us have found that you can go a bit higher and get away with it. It seems to be more a matter of your attitude on the road. Law enforcement just doesn't seem to care about us very much as long as we're nice in traffic.

    Now concerning just what bike/engine you're going to want, I can't get too specific. But I'll give you the general rule that I follow.

    It mostly has to be pretty inexpensive. You can put together a big box store beach cruiser and two stroke engine for $250-300. And it'll be not too bad. It won't last a really long time because a few of those components won't be stout enough for the long haul.

    I've been adding better wheels. Figure on a couple hundred bucks. Some other upgrades that are nice to have can add a few hundred bucks. And then there's the time spent tinkering on home-made upgrades.

    But that's about as far as I'm willing to go. If my cost is going to go north of, say, a thousand bucks then I'm just gonna get me a scooter from Honda or Yamaha. Or some other brand that I trust.
     
  5. truckinusa

    truckinusa New Member

    I was kinda in the same boat. I was trying to figure out if something prebuilt would be better or maybe piecing something together out of walmart/yard sale parts? Is there a particular bike that is sturdier than another? Same thing for motors? I did notice that Stanton is not too far from here. They have a kit that works with a 4 stroke 35cc motor. What would that pair well with? I was worried the friction setup would just melt walmart bike tires.
     
  6. Frankfort MB's

    Frankfort MB's Well-Known Member

    Cranbrook are a good cheap bike but the wheels will not hold up, the frame is very sturdy and have used the crap out of mine only bad thing was the hubs
     
  7. bluegoatwoods

    bluegoatwoods Well-Known Member

    I agree with Frankfort MBs exactly on the Cranbrook. A fine frame. The wheels aren't exactly bad. But those hubs won't get you far.

    I replace with 24" heavy duty wheels. Front drum brake and rear Shimano CB-E110 single speed, coaster brake hub. I'm 6 ft tall, yet I don't have any trouble being comfortable on those shorter wheels. They're just not all that much shorter. They give you a bit more room for chains and such in your frame as well. And they're stronger than a 26 inch wheel.

    I don't have a link to my particular wheels handy. But if you shopped around at
    www.huskybicycle.com
    or
    www.niagaracycle.com
    you'll find something. I've bought wheels like I've described above from, I think, both of those sites

    They're both good places for general bicycle components.

    I have no business advising you on four stroke bicycle engines. But I'll bet the engine you mentioned above will fit in a Cranbrook. They've got good space down there.
     
  8. libranskeptic

    libranskeptic Member

    I am sure many here would love to opine, but you provide little to go on. you hint u r considering electric also.

    terrain , distance & weather? matter

    Montana sure conjures up mountains. very relevant what u have to climb on your commute. with a gas bike there are no gears?, so a big climb on your commute, will dictate a lower geared rig.

    for sure, if chosen right, financially and feelgood wise, against a car, its a no brainer if its doable, even for just some of the year.

    you could buy a damn good 450 watt, sub 30kg gross, 15ah 36v lifepo4 24 speed, alloy mtb for $1500US~, range 25 miles easy on motor alone.

    i hate stress. given its cost and great benefit, i may even feel having a spare is good (so dont get too fancy). A plan b for getting to work at worst, and a fun thing to do with friends - do a ride.

    here in oz, its about $1k pa before u even start it, any kind of fine is ruinous, DIY repairs getting impossible, dopey prima donna w/ attitude mechanics who dont know anything about the electronics problem u r having either...but chargeing u heaps to waste u time anyway, circling around constantly, parking 10 minutes away eventually...

    motorists just get so used to putting their hands in their pocket for the car, they forget half the real expense. They may be ~one offs, but they are big and constant.

    or to be heretical, maybe a honda 125cc motorcycle at about $1500us i think.
     
  9. JunkyardDog

    JunkyardDog Active Member

    I don't know how far it is to your work, but I wouldn't even consider electric. Decent range literally costs as much as a new motorcycle. And the batteries don't last that well. If your route is fairly flat, I would definitely go with friction drive. Using a 2 stroke chain drive chinese engine involves a multitude of problems, such as the rag joint rear sprocket, the designed in hell clamp on chain tensioner, the fact that the engine is not likely to fit without a lot of fabrication, the gas tank probably won't fit right either, the crank may hit the muffler, and the engines themselves are basically junk. Yes I've been down that road before. I learned my lesson the hard way. I recommend either the 38cc or 49cc Lock-N-Load kit from BikeBerry. It has a 4 stroke engine , so it is quieter than a 4 stroke, and doesn't leave a trail of smoke to piss off pedal bike riders. You can get by with a cheap Wallyworld bike, but you can usually find a MUCH better name brand used bike on Craigslist for just a little more. I don't think Wally sells the Cranbrook anymore, but IMO anyway, you need a bike with front brakes if you are going to put a motor on it. If you are not a cyclist, I would suggest either a beach cruiser with front brakes, a comfort bike, or making modifications to a mountain bike, mainly putting a much larger seat and suspension seatpost on it, and raising the bars to a comfortable level. Most mountain bikes have bars that are several inches too low, and the riding position is VERY painful. I like an upright seating position and a nice soft, wide seat.

    My state has a max speed of 20 mph. We are allowed to use the bike lanes. If you are allowed to use the bike lanes, ALWAYS keep your speed down to what riders on pedal bikes are going. Pedal bikes have the right of way, and we are in jeopardy of losing our right to ride motorized bikes because of all the speed crazed idiots riding too fast, jumping curbs, riding on the sidewalk, riding through parks, riding without a muffler, or with a loud expansion chamber. The law specifically states "motor ASSISTED bicycle" If speed is your thing, get a scooter or motorcycle.



    "you could buy a damn good 450 watt, sub 30kg gross, 15ah 36v lifepo4 24 speed, alloy mtb for $1500US~, range 25 miles easy on motor alone."

    I'd like to know where. Everything I've looked at with a 25 mile no pedal range has been more than twice that. I would not consider an electric bike to ride to work, but I would like to have one just for pleasure riding on this great bike path that runs along a canal bank we are lucky enough to have near my house. Back when I could pedal, I used to ride on that path all the time. Gas powered bikes are not allowed, but electric bikes are. Due to serious knee problems, I cannot pedal anymore. The range given for most electric bikes says "with normal pedaling" What would you want an electric bike for if you have to pedal? FYI, I was looking at Pedego bikes. We have a dealer close by. I would have to buy their top of the line bike, plus a spare battery to get sufficient range.
     
  10. libranskeptic

    libranskeptic Member

    i finally got around to posting the below as a fresh topic

    hope it helps

    after 3 years of owning one, i am convinced its a clear winner and inexpensive, but gets almost zero attention that i can find.


    this is the company

    http://suzhoulongyue.en.made-in-chi...sRkL/Mountain-Electric-bicycle-catalog-1.html

    i have ~:



    http://suzhoulongyue.en.made-in-chi...VC/China-Mountain-Electric-Bike-Tda1501z.html

    whats special and well hidden (~never shown in promo photos) for some reason, is the elegant, direct drive to pedal crank, stealthy, 3 ring compatible. motor

    https://www.google.com.au/search?q=...Eou&q=bofeili-sport-275&imgrc=DJPRT6kLf8YKEM:

    there is also a model with a conventional triangle mtb frame, which i prefer due to better battery placement options than the elegant and prettier frame i have. my plan for a biggish 15ah 36v lifepo4 (5-6kg) for mine is to bolt to the frame just behind the seat post - atop the rack mounts. not perfect, but lower & more central than a rear rack battery.

    i have seen chinese 1 off vendors of these, longyue themselves do 1x i think on aliexpress, who will sell at a fair discount w/o battery, which is great if you prefer lifepo4 from another source, as i do.

    I can buy them retail in oz for ~1750a$ complete, so maybe 1850$ w/ the better battery. all things being equal.

    some detective work needed still, but uk/eu/usa must surely sell them someplace under some label/model. for ~$1500 US.

    NB its a custom frame given the motor housing, so its factory only, not a kit motor.

    BUT, its lovely for heat dissipation, which is why i wouldnt consider their carbon model.

    u can get up to 550 watts in 36v as i recall, and more surely in 48v, but even my 350w is lame after a few minutes full power on my 12ah 18650 bottle battery. with lifepo4 and even 10ah lifepo4 i would be extremely, rather than very, happy

    the welds are excellent

    all the bits are good -tektro hydraulic (now) disk brakes, shimano,suntour front shocks,...

    some search terms are:
    TDE1202Z
    Suzhou Longyue Lithium-Power Vehicle Ltd.
    bofeili


    contact them via aliexpress.
     
  11. libranskeptic

    libranskeptic Member

    further, range is iffy as we all know.

    my approach is, knowing in my case, what motive force i can expect with full power on my 350w ebike, i translate journeys (and recharge times after trips) into how many minutes of the equivalent of full power it would consume. so for lifepo4 which gives a pretty genuine rating, 10ah of 36v gives me a full hour of full power, which is nothing like most trips, but helps to estimate in a balanced way. so 15ah on an in my view adequate 350w ( tho 450w does sound a nice balance), is 1.5hrs of full power, or surely 3 hrs of real world riding -as far as i would want to go certainly.

    i saw some numbers recently. vague, but along the lines that at 25kph/mph? whatever, on a drop bar roadbike in still air, 100 watts is required on the flat. each extra 100w adds only 5 m or k ph. ie- speed/wind resistance kill range dead. in the real world, speed makes road shocks too, another range killer.

    so at 25k/mph on a flatbar mtb, 150w per hour is enough methinks. 15 amp 36v is 540wh, or 3 hrs at 25kph, or 75k or miles?, ridden calmly?

    sorry, too tired to find the link re speed/power

    ps

    another link

    http://www.offerany.com/p-39146513044.html
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2016
  12. libranskeptic

    libranskeptic Member

    from another post:

    after 3 years of owning one, i am convinced its a clear winner and inexpensive, but gets almost zero attention that i can find.


    this is the company

    http://suzhoulongyue.en.made-in-chi...sRkL/Mountain-Electric-bicycle-catalog-1.html

    i have ~:



    http://suzhoulongyue.en.made-in-chi...VC/China-Mountain-Electric-Bike-Tda1501z.html

    whats special and well hidden (~never shown in promo photos) for some reason, is the elegant, direct drive to pedal crank, stealthy, 3 ring compatible motor

    https://www.google.com.au/search?q=...Eou&q=bofeili-sport-275&imgrc=DJPRT6kLf8YKEM:

    there is also a model with a conventional triangle mtb frame, which i prefer due to better battery placement options than the elegant and prettier frame i have. my plan for a biggish 15ah 36v lifepo4 (5-6kg) for mine is to bolt to the frame just behind the seat post - atop the rack mounts. not perfect, but lower & more central than a rear rack battery.

    i have seen chinese 1 off vendors of these, longyue themselves do 1x i think on aliexpress, who will sell at a fair discount w/o battery, which is great if you prefer lifepo4 from another source, as i do.

    I can buy them retail in oz for ~1750a$ complete, so maybe 1850$ w/ the better battery. all things being equal.

    some detective work needed still, but uk/eu/usa must surely sell them someplace under some label/model. for ~$1500 US.
     
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