Introduction info & questions from new member Bradford

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Bradford, Feb 4, 2012.

  1. Bradford

    Bradford New Member

    Hi to and members from new member Bradford. I have not yet purchased a motorized bicycle because I need to first do some research. I have some technical questions for anyone in the Garage Tech Forum, but as a new member, I am not allowed to post a question in any forum of until I first post a new thread in the Introduce Yourself Forum which has led me to this webpage text box of where I am currently typing my New Member Introduction. I have never ridden a motorized bicycle, but I have seen several being ridden by people in Orange County, CA over the last 10 years. Two months ago, I walked into a motorized bicycle store that sells 2-stroke motorized bicyles and those with 4-stroke engines; the salesman told me the 4-stroke engines are more reliable and last longer. I'm thinking of buying an extra-long aluminum bike trailer from Bikes At Work in Iowa and attaching it to a gas powered beach cruiser bicycle. The bike trailer(s) is / are assembled from sections that are about 36 inches long and, there are four trailer models to choose from; however, all models except for one are basically identical except for the length of each model. A few days ago, I walked into a bicycle shop that does not sell motorized bicycles. The owner told me that gas powered bicycles have some common problems with the rear sprocket assembly placing too much stress on the hub spokes because of a simple design flaw; he said that gas powered bicycles need a heavy duty hub design where the drive sprocket does not exert any strain on the wheel spokes or hub. He also told me the hub and axle bearings soon wear out because beach cruiser bicycles were never intended to be ridden any faster than what they can under pedal power (without an engine). He told me the rear hub, bearing, spoke and sprocket breakdown problem with gas powered bicycles is simply resolved by using a different axle / hub / bearing / bearing grease / and sprocket assembly design, but he said such a design modification would increase the price of a gas powered beach cruiser bicycle by about $300 dollars. Lastly, he told me that gas powered beach cruiser bicycles have a common problem with the brakes wearing out prematurely because they do not use a disc brake design. I then decided to visit a moped rental, sales, and service business in Laguna Beach. The owner / salesman / mechanic, educated me a little about Tomos brand mopeds. I explained to him that I was interested in purchasing a gas powered bicycle or moped and attaching an eight foot aluminum bike trailer that has a 500 pound cargo weight pulling capacity. The moped owner explained to me that anything you can attach to a bicycle, you can also use with a moped. The Tomos mopeds he showed me looked more like motorcyles than like mopeds, but each model had bicycle pedals. He pointed out to me the safety advantage of Tomos mopeds having a brake light, turn signals, a headlight, a horn, a suspension system, disc brakes, and having a thick walled cylinder with heavy-duty two speed automatic gear transmission. I then asked him if Tomos mopeds were 4 - stroke engines or 2-stroke engines; I remembered the owner / mechanic of the gas powered bicycle shop telling me that 4 stroke engines are generally more reliable and last longer than two stroke engines. I was surprised when the Moped shop owner / mechanic told me that Tomos only makes 2 - stroke mopeds, but he explained that Tomos engines use such thick walled cylinders and strong engine parts, they last as long or longer than any 4 stroke moped engine or gas powered bicycle engine.
    Can a Tech please verify what information I was told is correct if any, and what information I was told is incorrect if any? If I end up buying a gas-powered bicycle, I want to know about any common design problems ahead of time so I can spend the extra money to buy one that has a different drive sprocket attachment design, and heavier duty rear hub, axle bearings (seeled bearings), and disc brakes instead of the other kind.
    How many miles of use can I expect to get out of a stock 4 - stroke beach cruiser bicycle engine? How many miles of use can I expect to get out of a stock 2 - stroke beach cruiser bicycle engine? Would a heavy-duty stock 2-stroke Tomos moped engine out last a 4 - stroke bicycle engine? The Tomos moped models all have two stroke thick-walled engines and look more like motorcycles than like mopeds, but they all have pedals like a bicycle. Whether I buy a motorized bicyle or a moped, I don't plan on riding any faster than 10 or 15 miles an hour when pulling a six to eight foot bike trailer with up to 500 pounds.

  2. loquin

    loquin Active Member

    Welcome aboard, Bradford!

    This forum is intended to be an spot where you introduce yourself.

    You a lot of background info in your post and have a lot of questions. I suggest that you copy most of it, and post it in the General Discussion forum, because there's the possibility for lots of discussion.
  3. Big Red

    Big Red Active Member


    Welcome Bradford, And yeah loquin, TOO much for introduce yourself. There are forums and threads for almost any question you could think to ask. just do a search and I'm sure you'll find most of your questions have been asked, and answered, before.
    Big Red