Lower Mount Strap on my GeBe broke!!!

Discussion in 'Rack Mounted Engines' started by PiousPedals, Nov 11, 2007.

  1. PiousPedals

    PiousPedals Guest

    :-x

    I have over 10,000 miles on my kit. My first major mishap occured yesterday. My Lower Mount Strap broke 25 miles from home in Fort Lauderdale :cry: It broke at the weakest point on the rig, where one of the predrilled bolt holes is for the engine mount. I did manage to motor home at almost full throttle the whole way with only half of the mount strap holding the engine. It was a wobbely ride home. I will say I was glad I had a fender on my rig. It helped keep the engine assembly off the wheel :-/ Cautiously, I was certain to miss larger bumps and other obstacles without disrupting traffic too much more than normal. I still say it's a great kit! :grin: This hobby is certainly for a person that likes to tinker... My GeBe is as close as I've seen to reliable in this industry... But alas, this is a world where rust destroys. :cool: Stuff Breaks!!! Time to order a new part, or maybe build a better one! ;)

    I had a feeling when I left I shouldn't have gone so far from home yesterday, my ride started out with a small run-in with a car that left her fender dented pretty badly and me letting her go before the cops came! :p

    http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a294/fishnchamp1/DSC00040.jpg
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2007

  2. Alaskavan

    Alaskavan Guest

    Seems like I read about someone else having a break in that same spot. I don't think they had a fender. Glad you got home okay.
     
  3. ibdennyak

    ibdennyak Guest

    Well, if you got 10,000 relatively trouble free miles, I think it did pretty well for you. If I had one do that, I would have it bronzed and mounted in a place of distinction.

    Denny
     
  4. PiousPedals

    PiousPedals Guest

    Me Too Alaska! A cell phone and a cab ride is always an option, but that just feels like defeat :-/

    Denny,
    I am saying the same thing... Great product! Granted, I had problems with it early on, but most of that was because I was trying to do things with that kit that it wasn't designed for (tried to mount the ring on a different spoke pattern)... The only thing that I didn't like about the kit was the kill switch. It tended to kill the engine when I didn't want it to. Ripped that baby off and just use the switch on the side of the engine now... My next project is going to be a GeBe Tandem... :cool:
     
  5. gone_fishin

    gone_fishin Guest

    ah-ha!

    i also have a mount-strap that is stressed inward to meet my slightly-narrower axle. thanks to this topic, i'll be taking things apart and bending the strap to match without strain. it should last forever after that, altho i wouldn't complain about 10k, either.

    ps-i drilled holes in my fender to clear the mounting hardware. it made a huge difference, both in noise and proper alignment.
     
  6. JemmaUK

    JemmaUK Guest

    10,000 miles and its still in one piece, there have been cars that havent managed that distance :)...

    glad you got home ok and that you didnt end up hurt...

    Just a thought but did you have a look at the point of breakage? I just wonder if the metal at that point had crystallised or anything due to stress...

    congrats on the 10k - it sounds like you might be the holder of the distance record on here

    Jemma xx
     
  7. larymor

    larymor Guest

    What about belt life.....how many miles do you get per belt?
     
  8. gone_fishin

    gone_fishin Guest

    it's right at a hole...so i'm surmising it's because of the inward stress due to a narrow axle arrangement. imo, best bet would be to use a vise and do 2 offsets on either side, making sure it slips into place instead of being forched inward. after reading this and looking closer at mine, i see how it will also help to perfectly align the belt and drive-gear.

    when i next change my rear tire, i'll be doing just that.
     
  9. PiousPedals

    PiousPedals Guest

    I didn't have to force it, but there was a very mild spreading action to get the strap on the bike...

    As far as belt life I got just over 7000 miles before replacing a belt... The belt had to be replaced because my fender was chewing it up. I'm sure it could have lasted longer!
     
  10. gone_fishin

    gone_fishin Guest

    well, even a "mild" spread has to have an effect after 10k...i was just making the obvious observation that your post led me to finally see...

    for longest life, the mount-strap should be bent to meet and easily "slide" into place over the axle :cool:
     
  11. PiousPedals

    PiousPedals Guest

    Agreed!!! :) I guess I'll be torching up my new strap in the vice when it arrives Friday!
     
  12. Alaskavan

    Alaskavan Guest

    Do you have to spread the piece when changing tires? Just curious if mounting to the frame might aviod some of the stresses.
     
  13. PiousPedals

    PiousPedals Guest

  14. Hive

    Hive Guest

    GEBE Engine Mount Strap Failure

    I was going to let this one go, as there are a number of factors that might cause the engine strap to fail. Given its is soft metal, I am not sure why it would break, unless it fails at bolt connection, bent where hole exists or holes were drilled out to be too large.

    Seems that if one takes two straps and doubles (one atop other) it would add strength or avoid the strap with the bolts altogether. It is harder, but not so difficult, if you bend the long one carefully.

    The side and recumbent straps here are made from 1" aluminum stock found in large stores and maybe Ace hardware in some locations. Cost is about $5 and they can be easily bent using one or two bench vises and a large adjustable wrench and a hammer.

    If you decide you want to carry bags, using the side straps, you can eliminate the center strap, particularly if it is a problem to connect to seat bolt or seat post, but I use it to run the cables from engine to frame, etc.

    As Augidog or Bama suggested, as I recall, it might not be safe to attach to fender connection. The straps on the bent were attached to the fender hole, but I was never too happy with that arrangement even with the locking nuts etc.

    I daresay there will be no failures with these custom installs.


    See Engine Safety Strap variations here:

    http://www.motoredbikes.com/showthread.php?t=4567

    http://www.motoredbikes.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=2448&d=1192779233

    Pic here:

    http://www.motoredbikes.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=2448&d=1192779233

    And here is pic of "doubled strap" to gain length.

    Easy spring projects. Am adding second strap to Gruv 2 in spring to help ferry groceries and carry camera on field trips.

    There, now I feel better.
     

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    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 27, 2007
  15. Hive

    Hive Guest

    Duh! on Me

    I zoned on the word strap, as opposed to engine mount "rack."

    Yes, semantics, I know.

    Sorry! Just recovered from bad cold and was a stupid. I read the posts and still zoned off ... Duh!

    Now I seriously wonder how that big thing failed?

    I wonder if we could get a pic of the failed rack? If it failed at a "hole," it would be good to see it to get an idea of what to avoid and what to reinforce, if necessary.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 28, 2007
  16. Alaskavan

    Alaskavan Guest

    Reinforcing Gebe mount

    I'm thinking that I'm going to convert my Trek/Mitsubishi TLE 43 from Staton Friction to Gebe. I will be off-road with it a lot, and I ride like a maniac. Has anyone done any Serious reinforcing of the Gebe mounts? I've looked at all of your stuff Hive (I think), and I'm thinkin' I'll want something stouter.
     
  17. Hive

    Hive Guest

    Mounts

    Van, Yes, good idea, particularly for the wilderness runs or rutted roads.

    Glad to try to help and thanks for asking.

    (Somewhere on this site, someone crafted a rack for their GEBE engine, and give the measurements etc. I only mention because the first problem will be to keep the rack/engine from separating from the rear axle, and that can be prevented in a number of ways, as you know. I think they had a problem with engine size or the frame and got inventive.)

    Here is what I think, knowing there are likely other ways to do it. I would try simple first...

    If you plan to stay with the current GEBE mount as the easiest and most forthright method, then I would make three basic alterations:

    1. Install a 9" or 10" inch rear axle. That extra length will allow you to nut-down the wheel tight, then you can nut-down the engine tight as well but both will not work to loosen the other, plus easy engine removal. If the GEBE open ends bother you, they can be closed with a weld, but I might wait to see of it will work with simple. If the axle ends need protection, couple washers and acorn nuts will do.

    The wider axle permits nuts and lock washers etc for bike AND rack.


    2. At same time, if not already done so with your current rigs, think about 12g maybe 10g spokes/and heavy-duty rims (GEBE sells axle, rims and spokes, all built for not a lot of bucks, BTW).

    And, maybe, a tough tire, like Specialized Armadillos or one that "Bama" or "Augi" (gone_fishin) uses, but forgot the brand. I think they both do some rough riding. There are also solid tires, no air sold, on the web but may not be good for one's sacroiliac and hangers!

    (So does Dennis at GEBE,I think, or someone up there used to trail-ride. He might help, but may be a bit reticent with liability being a factor.)

    3. Below are pics of the rear side-rack I use. Two of these will keep motor in place fore and aft...then add the center strap.

    The strips are aluminum stock available at places like your local hardware store, Home Depot, Lowes and some garages...

    When bent to fit and installed, the aluminum strips are very rigid, but I do not know if they are rigid enough for trail rides, but I think so, if tight.


    I would make one for each side (I run only one side but am adding the other this summer to carry camera and groceries only, not to keep engine down.

    Those side bars (1"x3/16") are sturdy enough and easy to bend with vise and large adjustable wrench and maybe a whack or two with 5# sledge hammer.

    Also heat and bend slowly to not over stress metal, as someone advised here also,which I did not do, as too late.

    Coupled with the engine center strap, made of narrower aluminum strip or same, the engine should not move too much.

    Of course, you could use steel but much harder to shape and heavier.

    The first two pics are the Raleigh Gruv2 CF frame bike, the other is the bent I experimented with last year.

    The Raleigh side-rack is now full inch wide, the one on the bent, if I recall, was .75 inch wide. I was clueless until I began to match up the bends and discovered the difference. The extra width is notable in use as stiffer and more rigid.

    I tapped the GEBE rack for 5mm and used stainless fasteners to hold the aluminum rack tight to the GEBE legs, but one could nut the other side and form a very rigid connection, which may be the best method for rough terrain.

    The many creative alternatives should work but you will have to determine you best combination of rigidity and weight.
    For example, one could simply anchor the GEBE rack to bike frame (to prevent upward motion by employing a a narrow stainless seven-strand wire (cable) or narrow aluminum strap, extending from the GEBE mount down to a thin metal clamp around the rear forks, or whatever they call them, that end at the drop outs.

    As you are aware, a breakdown out in the tules can be unpleasant experience.

    Might want to have scabbard for fishing rod and shotgun too - ;]

     

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    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 6, 2008
  18. Alaskavan

    Alaskavan Guest

    I will copy you side racks. For long rides into the mining areas or border country, I'll need to be hauling survival gear (just in case). Maybe those, along with some very substantial variation of the (torque strap?) will do it. We'll see. I'll probably order the kit around the middle of the month, so I should be working on the installation around the end of the month.
    Must be starting to be spring down there. Steelhead time yet?
     
  19. Hive

    Hive Guest

    Outdoor Fun

    I figured you would be taking some "survival gear." don't forget the brandy and a dog biscuit or two - they can be very handy, if you think about it.

    Trick seems to be to fix the rack so it stays put on axle and does not move fore/aft, and do so simply to keep it light...

    When confronted with such a problem, I find a plastic bucket to sit on, and put a few beers in another bucket and sit, looking at bike or project, you will see a vision shortly and solve the problem, then get more beer...honestly, I just let the whole project percolate for some time and the answers usually show up...

    Ahhhh! Steelhead! Season opened on the river I fish, but have been down with second cold and yard work. Am going to go first chance I get, regardless of goings on here - have daughter getting married in June...mother wants house updated. Holy smokes!

    Keep us posted,

    And watch out for those protective sows hanging round the water. There are a few of them with yearling cubs in the area I fish (smaller black variety) and I never go out without a trusty stopper and dog bones.

     
  20. My lower mount strap just broke with a little over 1100 miles on my GEBE R/S 35cc. It was definitely under a slight amount of stress, due to the fact that the strap was spread a little wider than where it rested after being tightened down with the axle nuts. The folks at GEBE were extremely cool about it, and they are sending me a new improved version of the lower mount strap at no cost except S&H. As far as belts go, I go through one every 500 miles or so, but then again...lol...I'm a big'n. I definitely like the idea about the safety mount strap on the side of the lower mount strap, because that would also virtually eliminate the engine "twisting" the straps when torque is applied, and throwing off the tracking....definitely much better than the stock single upper mount strap alone. I think that's my main problem with belts. Bear in mind that all the miles I put on my machine have been hard beaten city street miles. Some of the chuckholes around this place are lethal on a bicycle at over 20 mph..lol, so that may give you an idea of the general condition of the streets in Indianapolis. I'm almost surprised that the strap lasted as long as it did. I too was able to get home without incident...I didn't even know that the strap was broken until I wanted to ride the next time, and pulled the recoil starter rope, and noticed the engine raise up about an inch or so when I pulled it. I'm eager to see this "improved" lower strap. :)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 8, 2008
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