Interested in trying a build

Discussion in 'General Questions' started by Androosky, Oct 12, 2015.

  1. Androosky

    Androosky New Member

    All of this motor bike stuff is still very new to me, I was interested in first when I rode a really sick electric bike, but later found out how expensive the damn thing was. Instead of buying the electric bike I decided I would build a 50/80cc cruizer bike. I havent ordered anything just yet.. just in the process of researching everything before I do any purchases. Just here to ask if anyone knows any cheap cruisers you can buy in a store or online to go along with a kit from ebay. Looking for something that looks nice, has a sturdy build quality and wont fall appart after a year of use. Price range from 100-250$ preferred for the cruiser. Thanks!
     

  2. bikejock

    bikejock Member

    Well If you want a well made kit, Staton inc. makes good friction drive kits from what I'm told if you wanna try a friction drive build. Problem is the Staton kits run for $400 to $500 for a complete kit because they use Honda and Subaru engines in the 25cc to 41cc size range. My third build will be a 4 stroke friction drive on my mountain bike. What I'm doing is saving up for a rear friction mount kit without a motor and using A Huashengtai Shan 49cc 4 stroke engine which you can find at BicycleEngines.com for $150 and I'm getting a rear mount friction kit without the motor for $129. I estamate my friction build will cost an average between $250-$300 if you include the value of the motor I'm using.

    The Huashengtai Shan 4 Stroke engines are China clones of the Honda GX50s which are really good motors. They seem to run just as well as the Honda GX50s though. All I had to do was tweak the carburetor a little and it runs great. I'll need a different gas tank for the friction kit because a frame mount tear drop shaped gas tanks wont fit with a friction drive kit.


    If your trying to save money you can try a Grubee 66cc 2 stroke kit which run for $180-$200. BicycleEngines.com is supposed to be getting Grubee 66cc 2 stroke kits soon. Problem with those china 2 strokes is they require more maintenance compared to 4 stroke engines. Allot of the hardware on them like bolts and such are cheaply made. Cool thing about 2 strokes is you can mod them more for better top speed and parts are easy to find. But Anything under $300 as a kit probably won't be as well made as you'd want.
     
  3. Purple Haze

    Purple Haze Active Member

    This is a hobby. If you can't (or won't) tinker with them, you're doomed. The good and bad points of frame mount vs friction drive is well documented in the forum archives. My advice is to find a good quality used bike, preferably from the 90s they had better quality frames and wheels. If you go the box store route, be prepared to take the wheels off and grease the bearings and true the spokes. New bikes are like the engine kits, built to a low price; nuts, bolts, etc. are the cheapest available. If you don't abuse them much, they are fine for everyday putting around. I'd go with the cheapest kit on ebay, all the HT kits are basically the same. If you go friction drive, be prepared for lousy handling, accelerated tire wear, and slippery when wet.
     
  4. bikejock

    bikejock Member

    I avoid toy store bikes. They are the worst quality you can find. I got my mountain bike from my local Giant bike shop for $600 & it's well worth the money. Only had to take it in for usual tune ups once or twice a year.

    The modern local bike shop bikes are pretty good but they can range anywhere between $300 to $2,000. I think the most expensive local bike shop bike I've seen was for $2,500 but it's because they use good parts & material like carbon fiber and good steel.
     
  5. Nanonevol

    Nanonevol Member

    How do you find out the build year of a used bike? I have heard that older inexpensive bikes were more solid but I also heard someone say they thought the Chinese were improving their methods and materials over time. It would be nice to see some hard evidence one way or the other.
     
  6. troyg

    troyg Member

    Google, bike forums, and serial numbers.It's not that the building of bikes has changed much, it's the materials.Though the OP is looking for a cruiser, there was a heyday (late 80's to mid 90's) when the 10 speed was turned into a beefy off road 12 speed MTB, bikes from that era,
    "Bridgestone, Fuji, Giant, TREK, Raleigh, Cannondale,..." all used suprisingly nice materials, and everybody was trying to out-do everyone else in quality for the price, not penny pinch and cut corners.Consider the older Raleigh stuff (the 1939-70 ) their axles and cups/cones were made with a hardening process that is no longer allowed by any country, but of course you know that means it was a superior outcome, the older(now illegal to make) axles are a grayish color, and harder than any drill bit or cutter I have.I own a Raleigh Twenty, it's the only folder I'd consider motorizing because of the strength of build, it has wrap around brazed tubes that are a thing of beauty.

    When you're buying chinese, you are buying something with no sense of "extra care" or "another eye" it's all by someone elses specs, after that it's your problems.Think Harbor Freight, that's a wallyworld bike, I have some Harbor Freight stuff that works great, and a bunch that broke the first time I used it, some that never worked.
    A fine example of what quality bike you have, get your micrometer and look at the thickness difference between a wallyworld wheel cup and a used one from an old mid quality bike.They all roll, but to some it's a hobby, to me it's a lifestyle (carfree) and I can't afford to buy something that's painted gaspipe not worth fixing.
     
  7. Nanonevol

    Nanonevol Member

    Well thanks, that's more info than I expected! I'll look up my serial numbers. So, you mention some better quality bicycle companies, what about the Huffy's, Kent's, etc. through the years? Is an older Huffy better? Maybe department store bike brands is always going to be "get what you pay for". There's also the "it must have been built on a Monday" possibility for anything!
     
  8. bikejock

    bikejock Member

    I hear Japanese bikes from the 80's & 90's had the best build quality compared to most modern bikes. I found out my GT Dyno Deuce was built in Japan back in the 90's and it feels very well made. Some bikes from China are decent like the ones they sell at local bike shops but they do cost 2 to 4 times more than department store bikes. The "you get what you pay for" sane applies unless someones trying to rip you off. Allot of bike companies like Huffy and Mongoose used to make pretty decent bikes but they sold their names to department stores and eventually quality went down the toilet. Cheap bikes are cheap for a reason. But I've had good luck finding good bikes on craigslist for great prices.
     
  9. troyg

    troyg Member

    I wouldn't consider older Kent/Huffy's better, they may be stronger, but not better.I personally won't pay over $200 for most DF bicycles, the last bike I bought was a used 1991 TREK 900 for $150, a bike that nice now would cost $700 to $1000.As to the "Monday" build, OH YEAH, I'm in the process right now of having a high dollar german recumbent (the only one in the states!) straightened because I think they drank a little too much beer for the build, and it was built misaligned, so it's possible the best materials can be badly built.
     
  10. Androosky

    Androosky New Member

    Tons of info here, thanks for all the replies, I went ahead and bought the kit and plan on going shopping for a cruiser in santa cruz since I'm located fairly close by, Hoping to score a used or get a good deal on a new bike. Few models I'm interested in after doing a bit of research and looking around online, there were a few more but I just cant decide yet.. Tons of options within this price range of 100-250$, If anyone else has any other options in terms of a sturdy bike that would make a standard kit easily mounted I'm open to hearing it.

    The kit I ordered:
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/361301118729


    Firmstrong urbanman single speed:
    http://www.firmstrong.com/collectio...n-man-single-speed-mens-26-beach-cruiser-bike

    Sikk mens 26inch
    http://www.sikkinc.com/mens-26-in

    Electra cruiser
    http://www.rei.com/product/890808/e...D=120217890000750929&lsft=cm_mmc:cse_PLA_GOOG

    http://www.rakuten.com/prod/fito-ma...cruisers-bikes-all-matte-black/263998205.html
     
  11. butre

    butre Well-Known Member

    I disagree. the engines Cheez Fickenworth sells have noticeably better castings, larger transfer ports, and come with an o-ring preinstalled in the carburetor
     
  12. Purple Haze

    Purple Haze Active Member

    I was referring to the generic kits, haven't seen a Cheez engine. I know that Mark Clyde Stewart has the new PK80's for $100 (engine only) they are supposed to be superior, better balanced engines.
     
  13. KCvale

    KCvale Motorized Bicycle Vendor

    Bummer for you.

    $117 ebay full 2-stroke kit is like finding a new $50 iPhone.
    Fake and/or junk.

    Look at the engine.

    [​IMG]

    The whole damn thing was lacquered Black after it was assembled.
    That is usually to hide case flaws, you know, factory rejects that they sold anyway.

    You can cheap out early and learn your lesson, or just understand you can't build something reliable for under ~$550 with a good bike and end up spending more than that trying keep the turd running even with constant breakdowns until you give up.

    Just a tip as I see one in here for repair every week or so and have to break the bad news they bought a turd.
     
  14. crassius

    crassius Well-Known Member

    I like a black motor, but I worked on one of those in the pic a week or so ago - note the undersized head on it, the large base spark plug they had in it rubbed on the fins so badly that one could not get a plug wrench on it - once I got it out, it took a smaller base plug OK. It also came with a speed carb with soft plastic petcock on side of carb that in this case would not flow any fuel until I drilled it out a bit and the short intake hid the carb drain behind the drive cover so I couldn't open the drain to check flow.

    all-in-all I would never recommend that kit
     
  15. crassius

    crassius Well-Known Member

    I don't believe in o-rings (unless one has a CNS carb which I don't like) - but would like to see more info on his kits - hoping he gets a web page or ebay store sometime soon.
     
  16. troyg

    troyg Member

    The exact point I was making on another post, that you panned; so it takes at least $550 for a decent build, your words, a complete GEBE system only costs $100 more than that, that's brand new from golden-eagle (USA and Japanese quality built system), will out last cheap chinese copies by 1000's of miles (even if bought used), and will have 1/4 the headaches.
     
  17. 2old2learn

    2old2learn Member

    I'd agree with both of you. My first build was an inexpensive build, already had an old bike. Put maybe $150.00 into it. My 2nd build maybe a $1,000ish and got a used bike for less than half price. You'd have to go hog wild to bust two grand, unless you were doing a custom job. Shouldn't focus on the costs if your building one for yourself. Life's too short.
     
  18. butre

    butre Well-Known Member

    they're GT5s. Cheez is the one selling the PK80s
     
  19. butre

    butre Well-Known Member

    http://cheezypks.com/

    it's not ready to go yet, but that supposedly the future domain.
     
  20. Androosky

    Androosky New Member

    If what you guys are saying is true then there must be a lot of disinformation in the motorized bike community, I read around and everyone said the chinese 2 strokes are the same as any kit on other sites.. is that wrong.. where can you buy a higher quality kit?
     
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