Whazzap? New guy intro...

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Narwhalin, Oct 20, 2009.

  1. Narwhalin

    Narwhalin New Member

    I stumbled upon the forum here while searching google for "bicycle trailer suspension." Very nice...

    My name is Rick. I have been living in Wichita for the last 10 yrs, and have lived here in south central KS for my whole life...My stable includes a 1997 Mongoose Alta, a 1997 Rans Tailwind, and my current ride everywhere bike a 1987 Bianchi Portofino.

    I have been looking into putting together an electric bike for a few months now, and it is really nice to have found a community of "like minded" individuals. I have not considered a gasoline powered engine, but recently I had a conversation with the owner of the place I work about ebikes which did spark my interest. He told me about going to school in Europe, where there were all of these mopeds that ran on tire-driven 2-stroke engines...hmmm...

    My goal with this project is to provide myself with a bike that can haul enough stuff and be fast enough in traffic to be a full-fledged replacement for a car. I would also like to build a trailer for the bike that will haul my 75 lb. lab in comfort, as well as serve dual-purpose for hauling bulky and heavy loads.

    Thanks for reading! Looking forward to learning much from you all....
     

  2. bluegoatwoods

    bluegoatwoods Well-Known Member

    Welcome aboard.

    Hauling your dog is completely possible. I regularly haul loads that heavy with a slightly modified kiddie trailer.

    I would urge you, though, to rethink the idea of going as fast as traffic. That's just not safe on a bike. I don't often go above 15 mph or so and I get off the road and out of traffic whenever I can, unless traffic is light. It's not fast but it's still faster than walking or even riding a pedal bike. It's enjoyable, too.

    In either case, have fun.
     
  3. Narwhalin

    Narwhalin New Member

    Thanks! I appriciate the advice...

    Perhaps I should elaborate on my commute. It is about 4.5 miles on some normally heavy traffic city streets. However, I ride to work early enough that cars are quite sparce. The kicker, though, is that if I am running late by about 10 minutes there is a steady increase in the traffic. 25 minutes late...no bueno! So, as long as I don't sleep through 4 alarms, I am fine!

    In my area, we don't have bike lanes, and it is illegal to ride on the sidewalks. So, I cannot get off the road. Is this inforced, no. Do I use the sidewalks, sure...but rarely.

    I would like to hear why you think it is unsafe to ride a motorized bike in traffic, at traffic speeds. What makes us different than a scooter or motorcycle. Noise level could be one (the roar of a Harley causing a motorist to hear you before they see you). I am interested in your take...
     
  4. Quenton Guenther

    Quenton Guenther Motored Bikes Sponsor

    Welcome to MBc,

    I ride my motorbikes in traffic almost everyday, and I agree they are as safe as the average scooter [maybe safer becasue of the larger wheels]or small motorcycle.

    As always it is important to "watch out" for other drivers.

    Have fun,
     
  5. Narwhalin

    Narwhalin New Member

    Thanks for the welcome!

    Aaahhhh...if they would only just watch where they are going like they are supposed to we wouldn't have to worry so much...something about driving a 2000 lb. box with a burger in one hand and a cell phone in the other just makes you get away for a while! Know what I mean? :rolleyes7:
     
  6. professor

    professor Active Member

    Hi Nar, a lot of guys here do go fast with traffic (30-35) but I feel a lot safer being out of it.
    I still have a Honda 90 trail in the garage that I got 25 years ago or so. It is neither fish nor foul- too slow for traffic (tops out at 40) but too fast to be a bike. I feel the same about these conversions - or mopeds too.
    I go slow -real slow on my bike. I got bit by the motor bug ( working on a electric that is powered by gas (legal here) and am going to do a HT (not legal here).
    Sidewalk riding is not legal here either, but lots of people ride bikes on the sidewalk- they are mostly deserted. But nobody flys down the sidewalks. I think that is the key- slow and no one cares.
     
  7. Narwhalin

    Narwhalin New Member

    Thanks for the advice!

    I am not looking to do any hot-rodding, here! I am looking to build a bike up that can haul heavy loads on flat land with my assistance, first and foremost. I also want a system that is as quiet as possible. I am thinking that both factors will limit my high-speed capability...but I am a total novice at this, so perhaps I am wrong...
     
  8. bluegoatwoods

    bluegoatwoods Well-Known Member

    The reason that I advise not going at traffic speeds is because I think the bikes themselves are not up to it. I'm sure there's exceptions, but I'll bet you can't get one for one or even two hundred dollars.

    Perhaps a chromoly frame with front suspension and a rider who knows how to use his body for the remaining shock absorption could get away with it. I probably could. But there'd still be that nagging doubt in my mind. The fear that that frame will break in half at 30 mph.

    I also worry about traction at those speeds. If the wheels were as heavy as, say, light motorcycle wheels, then maybe I'd feel more secure. I've even considered weighting my existing wheels somehow. I haven't bothered to try yet, though, because I'm okay with cruising at 12 to 15 mph.

    I can't prove it, but I have a feeling that a cheap bike at 30 mph is asking for trouble.

    But maybe the better bikes can handle it.
     
  9. Turtle Tedd

    Turtle Tedd Member

    Bluegoatwoods is right on the money...a bicycle is not made as heavy duty as a motorcycle....a bike with a motor is still a bicycle and some of the generic bicycles made today from China are marginally safe even at slow speeds
     
  10. Narwhalin

    Narwhalin New Member

    What do you all think about a bike such as the Surly Big Dummy?

    http://surlybikes.com/bikes/big_dummy_complete/

    You won't find any cheap frames in my stable...although they are predominantly from Taiwan...I do appriciate your perspective, though.

    Bicycles are designed for the speeds you mentioned above...but, some are also designed to be able to handle well at 30+ MPH. I wonder how a Big Dummy would handle at high speeds...it can handle very wide tires, and is a very long wheelbase. :thinking:
     
  11. I've built 3 MBs and all cruise at about 25-28mph, safely. The trick is to get a base bike with a good solid frame, then upgrade the wheels, tires, and brakes comensurate with speed and load. I feel that speeds over 30mph are really pushing your luck on a bicycle. If you want to haul/tow fairly heavy loads you will have to gear it down a bit, so speed will decrease. Check your state laws to see how large an engine you can use and still be legal. Most states allow less than 50cc and engines that small are limited to what they can do. Most important-have fun!
     
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