Front Wheel Friction Drive

Discussion in 'Friction Drive' started by nsmith, Mar 5, 2010.

  1. nsmith

    nsmith New Member

    What do you guy think of using a friction drive kit on the front of a bicycle? That way you can get seated far back and into a nice aero tuck. Plus no butt burns! Velo Solex has been doing it this way for 60 some years.

  2. loquin

    loquin Active Member

    It works, and, by moving the drive to the front, you do free up the rear rack for cargo. I've never had a 'butt burn' though, not even close. There's a couple of disadvantages, though. First, the noise and exhaust are in front of you, so you get the full ... 'benefit' ... of both. Second, it impacts your steering - by adding extra inertia to the front fork, it makes turning more of an effort, and slows your steering response time in an emergency situation.
  3. nsmith

    nsmith New Member

    Thanks for the reply. I am looking at the staton mount. But doing some mods to bring it in a little. I thought about the exhaust part. I guess that is why the Solex brings it down the front fork to your feet. I don't know why I just am not feeling the rear rack mount, at least for this project. I am talking about a board tracker seat with lay back seatpost so that is why I am worried about the heat.

    The bike is a older Specialized Mt frame. Very light weight. I had the rims trued up. Drop stem and wide bars. My buddy will give me some hydro rim brakes if I want them. Powerful but can be a hassle.
  4. Esteban

    Esteban Active Member

    Look at my avatar & you will see one I used to have. It was a vintage Ohlsson & Rice [ Orline ] kit. Lightweight, 1hp, & was dependable. The front wheel drive kit was easy to remove, & it makes repairing a flat on the road an easy, quick job. This design has been around for nearly a century. It did add a little strangeness to the steering & I had to be a little more careful when riding it. Overall, A good , basic design that provided miles of transportation.
  5. 5-7HEAVEN

    5-7HEAVEN Guest

    I installed a Staton friction drive with 2.2hp Mitsubishi engine and 1.25" roller on my cruiser bike. It had a solid front fork, so installation was easy. When I reinstalled the engine onto a cruiser with suspension fork, it took a little more effort to mount the kit onto the fork.

    Engine sits several inches too far forward with Staton kit. Motor mount "U-bracket" could be shortened a few inches, but I left it as is. Steering the bike is a little biased to the left at walking speed, but normalizes once the bike picks up apeed.

    I rerouted the exhaust down towards the crank with 1/2" exhaust hose from It looks the same as automotive heater hose, but in color. I actually removed the silencer from the expansion pipe and just used the hose. Ya might get away with stock muffler if it points sideways. My ADA pipe pointed directly towards me, so I had to use the rubber hose.

    FWIW, the Staton front drive sticks out like a baseball-size cyst on the side of your face. I installed a front basket, which made the engine a little less obvious.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 7, 2010