Best setup for 22 mi commute?

Discussion in 'General Questions' started by MBinTX, Apr 7, 2015.

  1. MBinTX

    MBinTX New Member

    Hey guys,
    I just introduced myself, I have been lurking here for a while and I think I am finally ready to take the plunge on a build.

    I commute 11 miles each way 3-4 times a week to meet a carpool that takes me the rest of the way to my job (32 miles total ><). I am a 1 car family and my wife needs the car on Mondays to take our children to an activity. They are young and have been having to get up with me on Monday mornings to drop me off at my carpool at 5 am.

    Enter, a motorized bike.

    My commute would be pretty flat mostly. It is on a well lit road with a speed limit of mostly 45 mph. I have a donor bike that is a model year (guessing) around 1995-2000. It is a huffy scout. I recently took apart the rear hub and repacked it, the crowns looked good, but the axle has a slight bend in it (Very minor). I was thinking of putting a 66cc 2 stroke on it. On that note, I am 6'7" and 250 lbs. I am fairly certain I want to commute by bike, but in case I change my mind, I want to be able to get out of this with as little cost as possible.

    Now for the questions:
    1) Would a 2 stroke 66cc move my large body down the road at a reasonable pace (25-30mph)?

    2) After much debate, I think I am leaning toward the 2 stroke for the shear purposes of cost. Will I regret that?

    3) If I go with a 2 stroke, it should be pretty easy to upgrade to a 4 stroke down the road right?

    4) My bike is pretty old, but it is big and it fits me (mostly lol), am I wasting money by using an old bike, or should I just upgrade to a newer model?

    5) Being the nature of a mountain bike, it does not have a coaster brake (which I hear are bad for this setup anyway), it has rim brakes. Should disc brakes be a priority before moving forward?

    Thanks for taking the time to read this, hopefully you can also take the time to voice your opinion! :)


  2. LR Jerry

    LR Jerry Well-Known Member

    I live in the mountains, weigh 250 lbs rim brakes stop me just fine. The main thing with them is high quality pads are a must. Front and rear together will cost around $50. I've got 30% grade hills and pads generally last me around 6 months. Of course disk are even better as far as how long the pads will last.

    If your axle already has a slight bend, it can break at any time. If you plan to keep using this wheel replace the axle with a Cro-Molly axle. If you do decide to get a mountain bike get one with a cassette instead of a freewheel. Cassettes are less prone to a bent and/or broken rear axle. I personally recommend getting a steel frame hard tail mountain bike. Get front and seat post suspensions. This will really smooth out the ride. Last of all make sure the bike fits. This will give you your greatest comfort while riding. Here is a size calculator you can use.
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2015
  3. Wolfshoes

    Wolfshoes Member

    Hello Art,

    A two cycle 66cc even with some modest modifications to gain speed is good for about 20 to 24 mph without excessive vibration. In wind it may only be good for 15 mph. With that much time on the road early and late in the day, other drivers looking in the sun, or things like a lack of a good shoulder on the road could make a big difference in your odds of staying safe. Not long ago here in Illinois, a long distance motor bike commuter early in the morning hit a bad spot on the edge of the road fell and hit the pavement and blacked out while still on the road. Another driver stopped to help him but before he could get there; the bike rider was run over by another car. After looking over all the factors in a long distance commute, you could reasonably make the decision that a motor assisted bike is right for you. You could also make the decision that it makes more sense to move up a notch to a bike that could keep up with 45 mph traffic and perhaps find a used Honda 90 on e-bay or Craigs list. I believe there is a 110 model that was used by postal carriers in Australia. Honda made so many of these small bikes and sold them worldwide they will probably keep making parts forever.
  4. msiert

    msiert Member

    I do a 14 mile round commute 3 to 4 times a week check up on my Mom and Dad and 98% of that ride is on residental roads with only crossing the busy streets. I could see doing that every day with no problems but a 22 mile round trip commute on 45 mph roads would get old very fast?
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2015
  5. Timbone

    Timbone Active Member

    An 22 mile daily commute is doable. You'll have to do a lot of maintenance on your bike and be prepared for breakdowns.

    If I understand the situation correctly, you'll be leaving your motorbike somewhere while you carpool in the final stretch. So you will have to come up with a foolproof way to secure the bike.

    Commuting on a 45mph highway may not be a good option. Cruising at 25 will subject you to a lot of carbuzz, especially in the afternoons.

    This can be done. A 2 stroke HT will do pretty well. But you will have to know and understand every aprt of your machine.

    Good luck!
  6. MBinTX

    MBinTX New Member

    Thanks for all the awesome replies. My AC broke yesterday, so I have been very preoccupied with that ><. The road that I am traveling on has very large shoulders, and as far as I know, it is not illegal to ride in those. As far as getting a motorcycle, I feel as though this would be a far cheaper way to go, insurance, registration, (no M endorsement) etc. Is that a fair thought? I am very mechanically inclined, I used to run my own mobile mechanic business, so breakdowns don't concern me, so long as parts are available and it would not cost less to own a motorcycle.

    These things aren't like boats right? A whole in the water through which you pour money?? I am really trying to save money, and as much as I would love to be a part of this hobby, I cannot justify it on that alone :p.

    Thanks again for all the answers!
  7. Timbone

    Timbone Active Member

    Motorcycles are expensive. Tags, training and insurance are not astronomical but, as a hobby, motorcycling can be quite expensive.

    If you do your build right (solid motor mounts, good spark plug, good frame, solid tires and tubes, good 415 chain, proper oil mix, locktight, etc) this will not be a money hole. A decent 2 stroke will last a good year and can be replaced for $100-$150. Clutch may be occasional adjustment but is simple and reliable.

    Reading this site will help you immensely. Read read read!

  8. wheelbender6

    wheelbender6 Well-Known Member

    It's all personal preference, but I'll give you my 2 cents.
    cycles -If you plan to commute every day, a four stroke is simpler because you will not need to mix gas and oil.
    A two stroke has more bolt-on speed potential.
    bike-I intially installed the kit on a light mountain bike. I later moved the kit to an older, heavier cruiser bike and found the ride smoother and the steering less twitchy at speed. It was less tiring to ride.
    coaster brake - I enjoyed having a coaster brake, because I had one less lever on my handle bars (I had a manual hand clutch). Use a front brake too, in either case. I don't consider the disk brake a necessity unless you cruise a lot over 25 mph. I used a front drum brake.
    If speed is important, use derailleur gears and a rear hand brake.
    Clutch-If your commute includes a traffic light every mile or so, use an automatic clutch (they can be added to a 2 stroke).
    If your commute doesn't require many stops, the hand clutch is fine.
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2015