Need a kit - best rack mount for $450?

Discussion in 'Rack Mounted Engines' started by jmlarence, Jul 6, 2008.

  1. jmlarence

    jmlarence New Member

    Hi there,

    Brand new to the group - my first post inside the forums. Have spent 20+ hours surfing this holiday weekend and the stack of notes and web pages printed are starting to pile up over here.

    Start by saying - I like to be the motor. Whatever crazy gas milage these small engines get it's still gas. Most bike trips are less than three miles, but there are some destinations just outside my range when towing the trailer. I could make it for sure, just don't always want to arrive spent. I'm 125 pounds and in good shape. I tow my 30 pound daughter 4 miles round trip three times a week. Some good hills around here in Northern RI. I'm not a bike in bad weather person, so no rain trips for my rig.

    I know I'm favoring a four stroke rack mount set up. The Robin 35 is on top of the "motor" pile of paper. Drive systems seem to be either very simple (friction) or a bit complicated (chain/belt). Friction is on top of that pile but my tires are not the cruiser width. Staton is on top of the "vendor" pile.

    Included a photo of my rig.

    Having trouble finding that silver bullet - or maybe just need verification I'm on the right path. $450 is the budget - what do you think? Thanks in advance for any input.

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  2. ocscully

    ocscully Member

    I have a limited knowledge of all the various rack mount systems, but it seems to me that due to your $450.00 budget and also the rear wheel shown on the attached photo you are going to have to go with a Friction Drive Rack mount. As for vendors its hard to go wrong with any of the kits from Staton. I seem to remember that their friction kit might be a bit over your $450.00 limit but not by much. To the best of my knowledge the chain driven Staton kits are pushing $600.00 as are the Golden Eagle Belt drive kits. But again the rear wheel on your bike is not easily adapted to eithe of thes types of kits.

  3. Mountainman

    Mountainman Active Member

    That's a nice looking set up there -- with the child rig and all.. I ve got the Robin Subaru 35cc friction setup -- I think it would work -- very good for you.. As you know it's a four stroke -- wouldn't want the smoke from a two stroke in the little ones face !!! Happy Riding from - Mountainman
  4. JemmaUK

    JemmaUK Guest

    umm... I am sure shes gonna love a faceful of NOx and carbon monoxide so much more lol. 2 stroke or otherwise I would be amazed given the stanton/GEBE rack locations that the kidling would get any fumes at all - though with a winged wheel or similar I would have doubts as to fumes.
    Best thing would be - choose system, rig it up and test it (not with passenger) and then see if the little girl can smell fumes - if she can then extend the exhaust up and over the engine or something..

    Jemma xx
  5. jmlarence

    jmlarence New Member

    Did not even consider exhaust and a very valid point. That buggy has a full clear vinyl windscreen but the sides are still mesh. Could rig something to get fresh air from the side opposite the motor - perhaps clear vinyl on the motor side then.

    I like the idea of testing it. Love to tinker. Do you guys and gals think I'm swimming up the right stream in terms of equipment for my rig? For the towing set up, would friction drive be more of a problem than solution?

    Maybe I'll just wait. I hate jumping into these things when the soultion is not clear.

    Best, Jeff
  6. vegaspaddy

    vegaspaddy Member

    hi j,

    i use a gebe setup with a wallyworld trailer and the rackmount is not an issue with either noise, or smoke fumes, once the kids get used to the noise they have no problem motoring around behind me, 2 and 5 years old.

    I thought the fumes would be a concern but the new 2 and 4 stroke engines that come with the kits are top grade, i use a 2 stroke tanaka and apart from a small cloud to start the engine its gone in a second and runs smooth. The kids dont smell anything so i can run around with the vinyl screen rolled up. I sat on the ground beside them and couldnt smell a thing, because the engine is higher up the fumes blow off and never get to there level. My last ride with the kids in tow was around 15 miles, its just way too much fun and the girls love riding around.

    No matter what you end up with you will easily be able to roll around with the trailer and kid in tow and the first time you push the trottle, well that story will have a happy ending !!!!!!

    As far as friction drive i cant help you out there pm some of the other members who use them, and they should be able to help you out with the pro and cons of the system, everyone has there own ideas on which is the best so the more research you can do the better, i love my gebe....although it too is not without its faults...

    goodluck with your search

  7. TracyT

    TracyT Member

    I've got the Staton friction kit with the Robin-Subaru 35. It's running great so far (only 20 something miles) and only cost $417 (including shipping). So that should fit your budget.

    I wonder, though, if the noise (which isn't really that much) will prevent your daughter from being able to talk to you. I'm sure she can talk loudly enough (or yell) over the engine, but if she just wants to have a conversation with you, it might become frustrating. Back many, many moons ago when I towed my daughter behind my bike, we used to spend a lot of time talking and I really enjoyed that.

    Anyway, what about an electric engine? It seems like that would be very quiet and there wouldn't be any fumes to worry about.

  8. The Titan is 450 without the warranty and with shipping would pretty much blow your budget but it's pretty solid. There's some drag when you pedal without engine but I do this pretty often. I'm hoping I can get a freewheel for it soon. That should take care of any drag.
    And when anyone asks for what's the best,you'll have but opinions. Even cars get tested for top ten you read in Magazines all the time but for now you'll have but riders opinions which is pretty much what the car testers give you.
    It would be so cool if we had our own magazine,though. Now THAT would wake the public.
    I would want to be a tester. That would so rule.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 7, 2008
  9. vegaspaddy

    vegaspaddy Member

    my kiddie trailer is hooked up to the a recumbent trike that my wife rides it has a electric motor, its good for short distances and runs really quiet,(MAJOR BUCKS FOR A GOOD SYSTEM ) on the other hand with the gas engine it is considerable louder, so i do have to shout, but once the clutch finds its groove and stables out the noise drops just enough and i can talk to the kids a little bit easier.

    i guess barbie or little princess 2 way radios are always an option !!!
  10. ozzyu812

    ozzyu812 Member

    Unless you have your heart set on a rack mount. I think an E-zip would fit the bill nicely. I've had one for a little over a month. As long as your trips are under 10 miles, you wouldn't have to upgrade the battery.

    I've been checking the Wally site regularly and this is the 1st time I've any of them in stock since I got mine! I have heard they have been sighted in stores.
  11. rossfree

    rossfree Member

    Hi JM,

    Another opinion for ya...

    I just got the GEBE kit. I'm using my bike for work now... 16 miles round trip. I love the belt drive. No chain oil, easy to pull off the wheel for wheel repairs and it appears to be lighter weight than most of the other solutions (though friction drive has to be close to the same.

    I have the Tanaka 32cc 2-stroke. They say it is actually quieter than the same size 4-stroke at speed. I have no way of comparing. As far as smoke... what smoke? If it's there I don't see any. I go 8 miles on about a cup and a half of gas.

    I have an electric push-trailer if you would rather go electric and like to tinker. It has four motorcycle glass-matt batteries (purchased this spring) and pushes my 260lb frame from a dead start to 20 mph (without pedaling). If you're looking for quiet and a bit of help on longer stints, you could probably go 50 miles with this thing with light pedaling... or 20 - 30 without pedaling. I really don't know... I've never exhausted the batteries before I plugged in the charger again.

    Anyway... it could be fitted with seats and a canopy if you like tinkering.

    I decided on the bike engine because I wanted a single wheel track for riding in traffic. That's it. Otherwise I'd have stayed electric.

    I'm in southern New Hampshire if you want to drive up for a test drive. $250 and it's yours with my compliments. I need the space in my garage. :)


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  12. graucho

    graucho Active Member

    Hi Jeff, I've got the Staton friction kit with the Robin-Subaru 35. Also the GEBE Robin-Subaru 35 belt set up. I have a little video I shot with my hand camera a while back that shows both set ups running and riding. It was shot spur of the moment and kind of dorky, but it is a good example of how it mounts and runs. The video amplifies the engine sound. Its really only about half as loud of what you hear.
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2008
  13. Esteban

    Esteban Active Member

    I, personally, don't usually recommend one dealer, over another. Just as long as they don't sell unhappy times engines. BUT, for your budget & NEEDS, the rear friction drive " Staton", with the CORRECT size drive roller & Subaru engine, will make you happy.
  14. jmlarence

    jmlarence New Member

    Hey, guys,

    Thanks for all the feedback. I know, for sure, I'm in the right place. Had it dialed into a Staton friction drive Robin four stroke system but local DMV and Insurance issues are crashing my party. Posting a new thread in the Laws section about the details. Need to be registered in RI, and need insurance to do so. Can't find a company to insure a "motor assisted bicycle" kit - so no go. Starting to look at E-Bike hub drive systems but they are not as "simple" as the gas solutions. Whomever is writing DMV laws in RI needs to start filling the tank in my Tundra...

    Thanks again - Jeff
  15. Esteban

    Esteban Active Member

    Be sure to read your state's laws CLOSELY. Sometimes, there is a loophole that may allow a motorized bike. Such as; not over 49cc, cannot exceed 20mph, etc.,etc. & may not have any regulations on an electric system. If you find a loophole in the laws, print it out & keep it onboard with you while riding.GOOD luck !
  16. Nuttsy

    Nuttsy Member

    DO NOT even consider any kind of chain drive system with those wheels. I have the same Schwinn Trailway and with only 24 spokes, #1, no spoket will bolt up to them (without surgery) . #2, the 24 spoke wheel is a very weak wheel to begin with so ANY undue stress will give you and it grief. I just put a Statton Subaru friction kit on mine and it's a great setup for that bike. <$450 shipped. I've already got about 200 miles on it and am using it for work daily (~30 ish miles/day). Been keeping a close eye on everything especially the wheel and no signs of any issues yet.
  17. ZnsaneRyder

    ZnsaneRyder Member

    That is an AWESOME electric bike trailer!!! I built a gas one recently, but I would rather use electric for slower speeds or quiet areas. Nice welding too!

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  18. sparky

    sparky Active Member

    Anybody have both of these engines?? I'd be delighted to know how much of a difference there is when idling & while riding.
  19. jmlarence

    jmlarence New Member

    WC - Staton Robin friction on the Trailway!!!! Am I jealous? Well, yes - yes I am.

    Glad someone walked that path already.

    You are right on the spoke pattern, no go with the chain driven systems. Have been looking at brushless hub systems, but it will not look right unless both wheels are swapped to match. Regardless, I really do like the look of the wheels. It's a great bike for the money. Just got back from Home Depot on mine. Quick errand on a project I'm working on - 6 miles round trip.

    How fast are you riding and what spindle size are you using? Are you tracking mpg? Does the stock kickstand hold up with the motor installed? No issues with slip on those hybrid tires?

    Thank you.

  20. Nuttsy

    Nuttsy Member

    That's a lot of questions! LOL. I originally bought the bike to replace a very heavy (70lb) mountain bike full susp. with trunk that I used for work. We have a 'bikes on busses' program here and it really got heavy by the end of the day when trying to lift it (about 85-90lbs loaded with tools, lunch, etc.) onto the bus rack. Good rider tho. When I found the Trailway, I lifted it down off the rack and it was like a feather! I had to buy; and did. Then decided due to schedule changes, road construction, too much time waiting for busses, etc. that a motor was in order.
    After about a month of research and like you, bookmarking and saving stuff, I decided that the tire scrubber was the only thing that would work on this bike. Sure, I could have bought a different bike and started from scratch, but I really liked the Schwinn, save for the wheel construction. Already had to replace one rear spoke. No big deal but I wonder if it is a sign of things to come now that there is more stress on that wheel. I think I will eventually go with a 36 or more spoke rear wheel, but, we'll see. For what it's worth, the rims are really strong and a good design for strength according to the mechanic at my local bike shop. He says that the stronger rims are needed because of the less support of fewer spokes.
    On to your other questions...I chose the 1-1/8 spindle and am cruising at 20mph due to the newness. It climbs hills like a champ at 18ish mph with some pedal assist. Only had it operational since the 4th so still in break-in phase. That having been said, I've had it for short bursts up to 28mph hauling my 200lb self and about 20lbs. of tools/supplies/food/drink/xtra gas, on the flats. Fuel useage has been about 100mpg according to my calculations, and based on a 24oz. tank. I need to keep track as I am self employed and need to track mileage and expenses and such. I expect that figure to improve after break-in. Will be aiming at a larger tank in the future too.
    Stock kickstand will hold up the bike. I have jiggled it while it was supported and it held. However, I am going to add another rear axel stand soon as i just don't trust it. Also, when I put my back pack in the basket mounted over the rack Things get a little top heavy. Slip? none yet. Won't be going out in the rain but tire longevity is just a 'wait and see' deal. I keep them pumped up to 75psi. (max rated @85psi) and just light pressure on the tire. Some say 1/4" but that is too excessive on these tires. I let the roller rest on the tire and then just a slight bit more pressure and lock it down. At 75psi you would be hard pressed to make much of an impression anyway (no puns intended).
    I just added a set of 'Freddy Fenders' today. Super lightweight carbon fiber deals for $25US. Had to have 'em since I started to notice a lot of dirt spitting around the underside of things. I don't know if it's tire bits and / or road grime, but never noticed it just under pedal power. The rear fender I split and mounted about 1-2" either side of the roller. Wondering now if I should paint them to match the bike or leave 'em black.
    Sorry no pictures yet but could get some if you're interested. That just seems to me a, " ooh, ooh, look what I've got" sort of thing unless used in the context of description, assembly, how-to, etc. Or if requested by someone. Sorry if that seems a bit stuffy. I'm really not a stuffy person.
    My next trick will be to try to move the engine directly over the rack for better balance and then cover it for visual stealth. Got some ideas, but having too much fun with it the way it is and would rather ride than create!
    Well that's it for now. Oh BTW, I don't know if I would be dragging a child behind a motored bike for many reasons. But that's just me. Unless I misunderstood the trailer thing or something. In which case...never mind.
    Good luck. And let me know if I may be of some further help. Although, I'm still new at this myself!.