First Commute

Discussion in 'Travelling, Commuting & Safety' started by Tinker1980, Sep 27, 2008.

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  1. Tinker1980

    Tinker1980 Guest

    Last week, for the first time, I rode my motorized bicycle all they way to work. I rode from the west side of Tulsa, all the way to 76th street and Whirlpool drive - which is about 16 miles. I didn't pay attention to the time it took me, but it was a great ride! I get more attention on this monster than any fancy car or chopper. People literally snap cellphone pics of me, either stopped at an intersection or riding alongside the road. No problems with the cops. I will certainly be doing this more often! There are modifications I'd like to make to my machine, however:

    Gotta fill the handlebars with something. Birdshot is the obvious answer, but around here I can only get it in bags weighing 25 Lbs and costing $50. What else would work? Sand? Foam?

    Brake pads could use some help. They're old and hard and don't stop as well as I'd like.

    Any ideas for a bright light? I mean blinding. I'd like to be seen, and don't want to use the white wire.

    The shift kit from Sickbikeparts will find a home on my bike soon.


  2. bluegoatwoods

    bluegoatwoods Well-Known Member

    Why don't you search for a thread that I started titled, "Looks like I'm getting 150 mpg".

    I'd make a link to it, but I don't know how.

    After a few answers we started talking about my light system. Blinding is only a bit too strong to describe it. I'm happy with it. Those cagers see me plenty early in heavy, heavy rain, thick fog, etc.
  3. cgbjake

    cgbjake Member

    Can you send a link of your project? Didn't run across it yet while I search. Sounds like something I need to see!
  4. ozzyu812

    ozzyu812 Member

    Why do want to a weight to your handlebars?
  5. Tinker1980

    Tinker1980 Guest

    Here are pictures of my bike. It's an old Trek 820 mountain bike, I used it instead of my moon dog, because the Trek has rack mounts, cantilever brakes, strong alloy rims, and a very strong cro-moly frame. I was going for utility, not looks.

    Ozzy, the reason I mentioned filling the handlebars, is I'd like them to not vibrate so much. I think if I filled them with something heavy, it might absorb some of the energy.

    Lastly, you'll notice I have 4 levers on the handlebars. The ones on the rider's left are the front brake (Inner) and the clutch (Outer). The ones on the rider's right are the throttle (Outer) and the rear brake (Inner). The twist grip throttle turned out to be more trouble than it was worth, so I put another lever on. Works great.


    Attached Files:

  6. jmccrury

    jmccrury Member

  7. ozzyu812

    ozzyu812 Member

    That seems to make sense. Wouldn't bird shot sound like a maraca? How bout sand?
  8. Tinker1980

    Tinker1980 Guest

    I think Sand will be the first substance I try in the handlebar. Not so much because of it's weight but because of it's price. I've got sand in bags for the winter... Lead shot is $50 a bag, and nowhere can I find it cheaper.
  9. spyke hyzer

    spyke hyzer New Member

    Nice MB Tinker, I have a Trek 4500 as my ride and had more vibration than my hands could handle. I changed my handlebars to a cruiser style to get my weight off of them and then added some silica sand, this helped about 30%. I to looked into bird shot but found it expensive. The product I may try in the future is called Barsnake their web site is, it's meant for motorcycles so I don't think the solid form will work but they make a liquid, it may treat 2 MB bars, it's kind of pricey as well @ $60

    For my light I used a 3 watt single led flashlight i mounted with auto hoseclamps, I have cagers flash me alot
  10. heathyoung

    heathyoung Member

    Depending on how good you are with electronics, the new cree xr-e 3 watt LED's are very very impressive (stupidly bright). They would run easily from the white wire if you ran it up to a buck/boost converter combined with a resistor. There is a great selection of lenses available.

    There are also a lot of halogen replacement fittings that contain LED's as well. They take 12V but converting the output of the magneto is pretty trivial with something like national semiconductor's simple switchers - they have a design programme that will tell you all of the component values and the efficiency of the converter.

    Heath Young
  11. Mountainman

    Mountainman Active Member

    have seen mention here somewhere regarding
    scooter type hand grips bought from scooter stores
    when I see one -- stopping in to check the thick grips out
    seems as if some thick soft grips -- would be nice

    those brake pads -- don't want them old and hard
    time to buy new -- with brakes the best quality we can find

    ride that thing Mountainman
  12. I used a old mini bike twist grip on my friction drive. It hurt like heck. but I found the foam pad off one of my old weedwhackers and slipped that on over the twist grip. About 70% better in terms of feel. It really increases the diameter of the throttle. I get better grip than I did on the fancy silver aluminum and it cushions my grip quite a bit. I also picked up some cushioned mechanics gloves and those are very good too. The combination is very helpful.
  13. Tinker1980

    Tinker1980 Guest

    Commuting in BAD parts of town...

    Since it has started to warm up here in Tulsa, I have started to ride my bike farther, and commute to work again. (Although I never did stop riding it just due to the cold, I notice the HT engines do quite well in 9ºf weather)

    I have only one problem to face, however. Every large city has it's bad parts, where one should not be if he/she is not resident there, especially at night. In Tulsa, that would be parts north of Admiral drive and west of highway 75... which is right about where I have to ride Gizmo on the way to work. In the daylight, for the most part, it's safe. Crowded, lots of witnesses, and the problem children are in school. Every time something happens in North Tulsa, it's some high school kid doing it... so not much I worry about during the day. At night, however... it's a different story. The police won't go there. Mazzios, pizza hut and dominoes won't deliver there any time of day. UPS and FedEx take two to three people.

    I have a choice. I can ride down the spacious shoulder of highway 75 and take an exit to a safer part of town, or I can dodge chuckholes, broken glass and wannabe gangsters at 3 am. After an incident last week, I have a loop I can hang my mag lite from on the handlebars... (Some teenagers learned early friday morning that big factory guy+maglite>2 punk kids and a knife. Especially when the big factory worker has been getting in fights about as long as they've been alive...:whistling:)

    I hate to give up my cheap way to work, but unless I'm willing to go down the shoulder on the highway, seems like I'm taking the truck to work. Do any of you have problems with problem parts of town?

    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 18, 2015
  14. 5-7HEAVEN

    5-7HEAVEN Guest

    When I first started commuting to work, I had an electric hub, then single engine, then dual engines. I used the bikepath near where the homeless and chronics live under the road. We are courteous and considerate of each other, so no trouble there.

    I still use the bikepath for my daily lunch-hour exercise ride and still no trouble.

    HOWEVER, in your case it's MUCH more dangerous. If I were me, I'd add a more powerful engine(s) and ride the highway towards a safer part of town.

    :idea:Having more powerful engine combinations offer more options as where to travel. By building a more powerful MB, I was able to find other commuter routes.

    It may be more expensive but life is precious and should be safeguarded.

    Make the sacrifice by quitting smoking/drinking/other stuff. Use that $$ to modify your bike and ride safely.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 24, 2009
  15. RMWdave

    RMWdave Member

    2 words, tire knocker.
  16. one percenter

    one percenter New Member

    Newby to this

    Hello members and guests; I bought a nice 2nd hand Sachs 301 on a mountain bike last week and I've commuted a couple of times to work now, and am loving it! The only thing holding me back is the ****ing rain; come on summer! It only takes 15 mins, with one easy hill. By car its about 6-8 mins, and no fun at all.
    Not having riden a pushbike for many years, I'd forgotten just how stupid most cage drivers are. Yesterday one woman in a 4WD tried to force me into her driveway, 'cos I was in her way when she wanted to go there. I gave her a large serving of abuse, and felt better for having done so. The little motor hums nicely as it does its best to push my fat backside home, and I'm not bothering to re-register a large m/cycle I have, I will let the new owner bother with that, after I've sold it. I should have gotten one of these fun little commuters years ago, more power to them! :cool:

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  17. RMWdave

    RMWdave Member

    id like to see ya knock that wheel out of true lol
    nice little setup you got there!