Anyone Motorize a 29'er ?

Discussion in 'General Questions' started by Meer123, Apr 24, 2008.

  1. Meer123

    Meer123 Member

    Not so sure if this question should be here or under the 2 stroke section or electric section but here goes ...

    I'm seeing more 29'ers now and the bigger rim/tire combo (the most obvious tip-off) looks like it would give more comfort, more speed (top end, per revolution) and appears to be a bit more robust. But I do not see many motorized bike enthusiasts doing 29'ers ? Is this because there are characteristics that make them not suitable to mount a 2 stroke or an electric hub motor ? There are no 29'ers sold a Target or Wally World (on none that I know of) and the ones I do see are all legit bike brands and all tout increased durability and ability to handle more extreme use as main selling points ... are there any 29 fans ? If so, is it more suitable for 2 storkes or electrics - or are they both doable (and realistic for the typical DIY'er) and it's more a matter of choice ? I have two 2-strokes but I am looking at doing an electric project too and in my search for a suitable bike - I thought, maybe explore the possibilities of a 29 ? Anyway - if anyone has done one - I'd love to hear about it's build and it's performance - whether it's electric or gas ... thanks

  2. ocscully

    ocscully Member

    I don't think I've ever seen one motorized by anyone here. The reasons are probably first that the least expensive 29er is 3-4 times as expensive as the bikes most of the members here are using to put motors on. Second the larger wheel creates a frame geometry that dosen't allow alot of room in the frame for a frame mounted motor. You could do rack mount or electric hub motor easy enough though. The third area where you come up short is street tires. There just isn't much if anything available. I have a friend with a Fuji 29er comfort bike he bought from the local Performance store over a year ago and now needs to get some new tires for it and is having a very hard time finding anything like what the bike came with.

  3. sparky

    sparky Active Member

    I love the idea of an electric bike with a larger wheel in the front & a 20" wheel in the back. A 29" in the front could be even better?? Create more momentum possibly?

    Then of course the bike would look like this:

    And everything ocscully said... hard to find tires, and most everybody here's cheap.
  4. Meer123

    Meer123 Member

    don't short sell your fellow enthusiasts - I'll admit I make attemtps to be frugal and the way folks here are so resourceful, I suspect being frugal is both an understatement and a common characteristic ... but over the last three weeks, I've been learning a lot about electric bikes from folks who have spent at least $3000 on a bike - frugal, perhaps ... cheap, I do not think so - besies, some of the folks who appear super cheap on these boards have 4 or 5 serious motorized bikes ? I'm not offended - not by a long shot (esp since it is true that I am cheap) but do not underestimate these folks - 72 volt batteries are far from inexpensive nor are custom welded frames yet those things are (apparently) not as rare as I thought
  5. frameteam2003

    frameteam2003 Member

    29ers are wide 700s.As for rim size---27" rims are a bit larger in diameter than 29ers but you can ask Rif how it feels to ride a large rim bike---he rode one across the USA.A full english roadester sized wheel which is a 1/4" larger than a 27" rim.
  6. HoughMade

    HoughMade Guest

    The larger wheel size would have an affect on top speed, but nothing is free. If you had a wheel with a little over 10% larger diameter, you would lose a little over 10% of your torque on the low end just like you were running a sprocket with you 2 stroke and went to a 10% smaller sprocket. If the change in ratio was severe enough, it would make it difficult for the engine to reach its power band and you may never realize any top speed improvement at all.

    Most of the same principles apply to electrics- there is only so much power to go around, but you would not have the trouble of lowering the rpm below the power band as the torque curve for electric motors is not a curve at all, but flat.

    That being said, a different sprocket size on a gas engine bike could compensate and you would be left with the inherent advantages of the larger wheel without the low end power being hampered.
  7. sparky

    sparky Active Member

    ... Or just pedaling would help the low end.
  8. HoughMade

    HoughMade Guest

    If I wanted to pedal, I wouldn't have put an engine on it! ;)
  9. Meer123

    Meer123 Member

    hahaha - pedaling ... now there's a novel idea for a bicycle enthusiast ? I'm not doing any real "climbing" and just looking for a little spice in my commute so I dont need huge torque ... curious, what it might cost to have a motorized hub laced to a 29 ? And I wonder if the generic "bike rack" that comes with many of these motorized hub kits will be easily mounted to a 29'er to carry the batteries ?
  10. sparky

    sparky Active Member

    I don't see why the rack wouldn't work... because you really shouldn't be putting the hub on the 29er.

    You'd also get a lot more help if you made a new thread in the electric motor section... not the bicycle repair forum.

    Here's a good post in that section for you to understand why your back wheel really shouldn't be 29".

    Last edited: Apr 26, 2008
  11. srdavo

    srdavo Active Member

  12. Meer123

    Meer123 Member

    Thanks for the link Dave - that Schwinn looks impressive from an engineering standpoint, although I suspect 24V doesnt offer much in terms of excitement ? Anyone hot rod one of these things by doing two sets of batteries ? Anyone have one - perhaps someone can comment on it as an owner/rider ?
  13. jg767

    jg767 Member

    Schwalbe has the 2.35 big apple in a 29er, the 29er is actually a 700c rim, just wider to accommodate wider mountain bike tires. One legitimate argument against a 29er is longer spokes, hence weaker wheel. I bought Motobecane phantom 29er from bikes direct, I plan on lacing up some 10ga. stainless steel spokes from Buchanan's"s spokes. The stock wheels come in 32 spokes like most new bikes. I would have preferred a 36 spoke wheel but hopefully the 10ga. spokes will be sufficient.
  14. 5-7HEAVEN

    5-7HEAVEN Guest

    If you lace up an electric hub or drum brake and 3-speed hub, you'd have shorter spokes and a safer wheel.

    It'd be cool to run twin engine friction drive on the 29" bike, but mountain tires wouldn't work well.:detective:
  15. nadroj

    nadroj Member

    I have a 28incher and I do not really like it at all. I would rather have 26 wheels, but I got this bike for cheap haha. The 28s are way too tall and i feel out of control when going very slow. It just doesnt feel right.
  16. jg767

    jg767 Member

    How tall are you?
  17. sparky

    sparky Active Member

    I'd love a 29'er with a 20" back wheel. A 26" front with 20" back might be easier for me to do, tho.
  18. nadroj

    nadroj Member

    I am 5'11".
  19. Beer Sex & BMX

    Beer Sex & BMX New Member

    i have seen a few hybrid MTB's which are ultimately a 29er but road/trail tires, i have noticed they need different sprocket configuration due to the bigger wheel diameter..

    I am thinking of putting a 700c front wheel on my chopped stretched cruiser with a nice big 29er tire (fitment permitting) and 26" on the rear..

    I have backordered a voodoo dambala 29er but I dont want to be putting any engines on a $2000 XC bike :D keep the motors for the bikes i cant be bothered pedaling with ;)
  20. mabman

    mabman Member

    There is a 700c wheel 28" tire (45c) on this bike that replaced a 26" wheel with a suspension fork. The A-C measurements were about the same and with this setup the front end feels less vague I think. I can fit a 29" tire in that fork but not with a fender.

    This bike was designed to take the largest rubber available for 700c wheels or the 26" rim Surly Endomorph also which is 4"es wide. The 29" wheels eat pot holes and curbs for breakfast. The 20" wheel in the back of the former bike doesn't handle them nearly as well.

    At the end of the long day I don't really think that wheel size has as much bearing with MB's as it does for PB's. The motor is way more than an equalizer for most situations but I do believe that the larger the diameter, the better it will take road obstacles.
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2009