Different Kinds of Drives



It seems to me that a lot of new people have questions about the different drives available. I thought it might be nice to have a place where the relative merits of the various systems could be explained. I think they all have strong points. I want to keep it simple. Just enough info to help steer a new person toward a system that is appropriate for them and their intended use. I'm a Staton friction rider for now, so I think I can write some stuff about that. Hopefully others can jump in with observations about the advantages of other systems. I don't want to get into prices. That info can be found elsewhere.

To start with, drive systems can be described as:
1. Rack Mount
1.a. Friction
1.b. Belt and ring
1.c. Chain
2. Frame mount
2.a. Motorcycle Style
2.b. Custom

What I know - Rack mount rear wheel friction.
I think the advantages of this system are.
Ease of instalation
Reliability of motors
Good milage

With this system an engine connected to a friction wheel is mounted on a rack in such a way that the friction wheel can be brought into contact with the rear wheel to drive the bike.
Some, like the Staton system, have the friction wheel in almost constant contact with the rear wheel. It can be lifted away from the wheel for pedaling. A centrifical clutch controls delivery of power to the rear wheel. This system cannot be started by pedaling.
Others, like the Dimension Edge, have no centrifical clutch. A lever is used to bring the friction wheel into contact with the rear wheel. This system can be started by pedaling.

Advantages: It's my opinion that these systems are best suited for urban, or suburban, dry weather commuting. Some maintenance can be done by a good garden equipment shop. Sustained speeds of 20 to 30 mph can be attained. It is relatively easy to remove the motor from one bike, and install it on another. MPG: 150 - 200.
Drawbacks: Hard riding and poor adjustment can cause excessive wear on the tire.

Okay, that's what I know.
Another advantage is the simplicity of maintenance. Other than gas and oil, if it is turning and in contact with the tire, it is working. Also this type can be cobbled out of equipment found in most any garage, some drilled strap, bolts and bungee cords. Which also can be a drawback if you swipe it from your dad. Or Grandad