Checking in and looking for advice on first purchases

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Fraz, May 5, 2012.

  1. Fraz

    Fraz New Member

    Well as the topic says I'm a newb

    So Hi everyone :jester:

    I actually don't even have a bicycle at this point :ack2:

    But a coworker started riding his motorized bicycle into work and I thought it looked pretty cool and fun, not to mention the gas savings :idea:

    Thinking maybe I should get a moutain bike (hardtail) cause some of the roads aren't the best on my way to work. But I gotta say lurking around seeing some of the cafe' racer type bikes they look pretty awesome :bowdown:

    So lay it on me guys: first time advice, what kit to buy, what to stay away from . . . Thanks in advance guys, I look forward to picking your brains :devilish:

  2. Al.Fisherman

    Al.Fisherman Active Member


    That's a tall order with the very limited information that you gave. So many engines/kits, so many ways of mounting it..... I'd start by either picking the bike you want, or picking out the engine you want to mount, and go from there. I started with the bike, as that is what I had on hand.
  3. Fabian

    Fabian Well-Known Member

    Which direction do you want to go:

    1) Fixed gearing or variable gearing?
    2) Two stroke or four stroke?
    3) Mountain bike or road bike?
    4) Friction drive or chain drive?
  4. Al.Fisherman

    Al.Fisherman Active Member

    [​IMG] :>)
  5. Fraz

    Fraz New Member

    First of all thanks for the replys :cool:

    Guess I should've done a little more research other than looking at a bunch of pictures of your cool bikes and a few kits :dunce:

    But here's what I'm thinking:

    Bike: Probably a 18+ speed hardtail mountain bike, steep hills between me and work (depending on what I find on craigslist :rolleyes7: )

    Drive system: I'm new at this so if I'm wrong correct me. But I'm thinking chain drive. Just seems more stable to me :thinking:

    Gears: There are several STEEP hills on my way back from work. However I'm new to this so I'm not sure if a chain system would be able to utilize the bicycles gears or not ... so. . . :confused: :confused:

    Engine: I'm thinking a basic 2-cycle 66cc engine, just because the intial investment seems less and I'd like to spend as least as possible while I figure out if this hobby is for me or not :goofy:

    I'm also thinking frame mounted, think it looks cooler lol, but again tell me if the one is better than the other . . .

    Thank you again for the help and I hope I covered everything again PLEASE correct me if I'm mistaken or offer any advice/wisdom U may have :bowdown::bowdown:
    Last edited: May 6, 2012
  6. Al.Fisherman

    Al.Fisherman Active Member

    From what you want I'd most likely go with a Chinese HT, and a jack shaft kit. Without the bike, you are looking (in the ball park) at $450.00. Engine $250.00 or less, jack shaft $200.00 + shipping.

    I buy the cheapest kit I can find, make some minor modifications, and been riding the same engine (different frame) since 3/2009. Check tips in my signature.

    These engines (HT) are all about the same, even tho some vendors claim otherwise.....there are very FEW exceptions, very few. If they come in the box that they get from China, and box is stilled sealed...then most likely they are blowing smoke up your....
    Last edited: May 6, 2012
  7. Lunardog

    Lunardog Member

    Being in the mountains of Pa. I can share a little info with you being a newbie myself. I don't see a real way for you to get out cheap myself but you can cut your costs some .I purchased a good schwinn sidewinder for my first build. 21 spd mountain with front shock. Nice bike but rough to mount an engine on. If yer looking cheap wally world has some decent looking $100 bikes with round frames that would make mounting a 66cc kit on easy and be a good way to get your feet wet. (even a decent used bike with round tube frame would be a good starter) Problem is these engines will not pull the average sized man up a steep grade. You can get up but it will require some slight to moderate peddaling depending on the incline and length of the hill. Hence moving into the additional costs. Engine kit $150 to $200, bike ?? say you buy a $100 wally world special, then to face the hills figure on a shift kit at @ $200. Add in $50 to replace cheap bolts and etc. on the kit when you first get it. This is a frame mount 66cc price tag, friction drives I know nothing about at all but this is a realistic plan if you live in the hills.But be warned, once you start it becomes an It's a lot of fun. And tap the knowledge of the old timers on this forum, they have volumes of experience. Welcome to the club.
  8. wheelbender6

    wheelbender6 Well-Known Member

    If you plan to commute daily, I would get a four stroke. If you want to commute a few times a week, save a few bucks by going with a China girl 2 stroke and shift/jackshaft. Just my opinion.
    Last edited: May 6, 2012
  9. MikeJ

    MikeJ Member

    Hi Fraz -

    Welcome to this forum. Most everyone here is happy to contribute personally-earned wisdom. I'm sure most of us went down the same road you are looking at right now. Let me add to the comments above...

    I got my frame and first set of wheels from a rebuilder/reseller. I purchased a Haro as used after given a chance to ride a few others for fit to my height, weight, etc. The number of speeds soon became a moot point; all my gears got replaced.

    China engines require a lot of on-going TLC. They vibrate as if intended to shake themselves apart. Mounting nuts and bolts will break and wiggle loose. A close-by hardware store will become your best friend. When fastened down with good hardware, the engines will work well. Mine took me over 1300 miles, then became hard to start for some reason. I will troubleshoot that someday after I get my 4-stroke Honda engine (on a Mountain Tek frame) up and running.

    Don't go cheap on brakes. Some brake pads are better at stopping in wet conditions than other brake pads. There is no substitute for stopping power when some dolt of a driver pulls out right in front of you because they did not see you. It is up to you to be seen. Read the threads on safety and how to avoid injury.

    I could go on and on about safety, but not now....

    Last edited: May 6, 2012
  10. Fraz

    Fraz New Member

    Thank you everyone for the replys :grin5:

    But now I think I'm gonna pull a 180 :rolleyes7:

    I've been doing yet more research and I believe I may go electric. My reasoning is it seems like a little easier way to enter this hobby. I'm really eyeing the $500 dollar currie I-zip . . .

    Work is a 10 mile round trip for me and I feel that a little assistance up the hills would go a long way while I'd still be getting a workout in a manner of speaking.

    Plus 5 bills for the bike ready to roll out of the box is an attractive idea :likelots:

    I'm still doing a little more looking into this and still appreciate any and all advice and will keep you posted :jester:
  11. TheJimGuy

    TheJimGuy New Member

    E-bikes are fine, but be cautious of the 5 bills out of the box thought. I ran across several at 4 to 7 bills that fail to mention that the batteries were extra. $300-$550 extra depending on type (lead acid, NiMH, LiFePO4, Li-ion) and last for 500-700 charges.
    Just informing.
  12. TheJimGuy

    TheJimGuy New Member

    Need to add that I have two I-Zip 500 (Schwinn s500, one 24v, one 36v) as well as a s750 (750w) and a Stealth (1,000w). The "advertised" 15 mile range on a single charge was never realized. Best I ever got was 11 miles (Live in Florida on the coast, = flat). Within 4 months 8 miles was iffy. By the beginning of the year, 4 miles was a lucky day. The SLA batteries were $35 each ($70-$105 per scooter[/U]). Needed 11 batteries per year replaced. In bulk from a local outlet I got a discount to $27 buying 15. Still $405. Speed is regulated by the PWM to 12mph (unless you eliminate the PWM by reversing the motor housing).
    This is the reason I eventually went to motorized bikes. One time purchase. No deteriorating distance issues. No slow speed issue.
  13. Fraz

    Fraz New Member

    You Sir, make a convincing argument . . . hmmm :-/
  14. LR Jerry

    LR Jerry Well-Known Member

    Here are important questions to consider when building or buying for yourself or others:

    1) What is the predominant riding terrain?
    (Level ground, hills, asphalt or dirt etc...)

    2) What type of physique does the primary rider have?
    (Large, small, short, tall or health issues etc...)

    3) What will the rider's local laws allow and require them to have?
    (Lookup and personally read these laws.)

    4) What kind of bike is being motorized?
    (Mountain, road, whizzer or recumbent etc...)

    5) What is the bike to be used for?
    (Shows, long trips, around town, off road or racing etc...)

    6) How much of a budget is to be used for the build or buy?
    (All at the start or as you can afford projects etc...)

    Seek the answers to these questions in order to get the most out of the bike you're building or buying. We're here to help with any questions you may have. The purpose of the "Questions to Consider" is not to overwhelm or confuse you. Rather help you focus in on what will work best for you and help you develop a building and/or buying philosophy. This site has lots of people who can help you but the only way they can is by asking questions. Any one of the questions to consider somebody here can help you with.

    A fool never learns from their mistakes.

    A smart person learns from their mistakes.

    A wise person learns from the mistakes of others.

    Good luck with your build or buy.

    "I became rich by hiring people smarter than me". Andrew Carnegie