GEBE or Staton?

Discussion in 'Dealer Reviews' started by Warner, Jun 3, 2008.

  1. Warner

    Warner Member

    I've narrowed my kit choice down to two vendors. I'm currently leaning toward one over the other though. I would be going with a 2 stroke engine
    (40cc Tanaka with the GEBE and 43cc Mitsubishi with the Staton). I would use the Chain drive kit from Staton, WITHOUT the expensive NuVinci deal. Does anyone have any opinions about or experience with either kit/vendor? GEBE was quick to get back to my first e-mail, but hasn't yet responded to my 2nd. Staton responded to my e-mail but was very brief, basically telling me to check their website or call them to discuss. So I called today and left a message with my phone number (talked to a person, not a machine) but never got a call back. So I suppose these companies are pretty busy. My first impressions of their products are as follows:

    GEBE - Simple to install, probably less durable than the Staton kit

    Staton - More difficult to install, but I REALLY like the idea of their gearbox and chain drive system - seems relatively bulletproof.

    I have the bike I'm going to use for the conversion. It's been in my garage for years and I went out and put air in the tires tonight and rode it a's a pretty NICE bike actually! It's a Trek 920 Singletrack with the grip shifters. Not too heavy (32 pounds I think) and is much higher quality (made in USA) than the wal-mart stuff. Should make a good finished product! I'm going to put the narrow smoothies on it to make it really roll good. I bet it'll be fast with either kit that I go with!

    Looking forward to all of your opinions!


  2. stude13

    stude13 Active Member

    i have dealt with both. both are honest brokers. i just wish staton had reviews posted like gebe. from input to output i believe there is inherently more parasitis power loss in the gerabox than in the belt and ring. i have no figures to prove it either way.. mitch
  3. Warner

    Warner Member

    Oh, I'm SURE that is the doubt about it. Belt systems are always more efficient than chain and sprockets - look at the belt driven motorcycles. The only reason you don't see more of them is because HD owns most of the patents on them. I think Kawasaki has one too....but it was on a smaller bike so probably a non-factor in the big scheme of things. I just think it's probably worth it to sacrifice a bit of power loss for a bulletproof drive system. I also like how it COMPLETELY free-wheels when you are pedaling....meaning you could actually RIDE the bike just the same as if it didn't have the engine on it (albeit about 20 pounds heavier)


    PS - Thanks for the response!
  4. Accender

    Accender Member

    I am biased because I already spent my money,,But~
    The "belt" is Kevlar composite. Real tuff stuff. I forsee no problems
    running a low hp motor. However the total free-wheel, I am somewhat envious of.
    Up to 7 or 8 mph the gebe feels like a free-wheel. Faster than that and you start
    to feel some resistance.
    Hope that helps.
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2008
  5. Warner

    Warner Member

    I was THIS close to ordering the GEBE kit. And at the end of the day I think that EITHER of them would be more than adequate. But they are the same cost and I am thinking that you are getting more hardware and (possibly engineering) with the Staton kit. And also a LOT more pain in the *** installing it, I bet. The weak link (to my thinking, anyway) was not the belt on the GEBE kit...that's was the way that ring mounts to the spokes. Not only does it look kinda' hokey to me, but I kept finding reports of broken spokes and such. I also read a few posts about the 40cc Tanaka being a little bit too powerful for their system. They have possibly (probably) corrected that by now though. I'm just thinking out loud here.....but love to hear feedback and opinions on this. I certainly have NOT made up my mind either way yet......

    Last edited: Jun 3, 2008
  6. SirJakesus

    SirJakesus Guest

    Go Staton if you want something that will outlast the bike itself. It was a bit difficult to install but not overly so. The system is incredibly well thought out and it's easy to work on and maintain. It is heavier than probably any other rackmount kit but every extra pound is extra durability on this thing. I bought a staton because the roads and trails around here are rough on a motorized bike. The pavement is all uneven and we have tons of hills. Statons kit will turn your bike into more of a lightweight moped rather than a motor assist. With some prep work I found their kit accepted paint to match my bike really well too. Be sure to sand everything well if you plan on painting it though as I'm pretty sure all the metal is galvanized. So it shouldn't rust either if you decide not to paint like most people.
  7. Warner

    Warner Member

    Thanks for the response. I'm leaning (heavily!) towards the Staton kit. I think my base Trek 920 singletrack mountian bike will make a GREAT base to start with (although I may put shocks on the front - the rigid rear is pretty much non-negotiable but I think I'll be okay). As I mentioned in another post, I used to race BMX (younger days) and more recently was a competitive inline speedskater (10 years, has it really been that long???). I could lose 10 pounds to make me happy, but I'm still capable of becoming fit (I'm not so far gone that it's hopeless in other words! Haha!). I'm going to order some smoothie tires (probably 1.4") for the bike...those big 2.1 knobbies would be loud and definitely not roll as well as some street tires. I went and looked some of your posts and saw your bike...REALLY nice job you did with that! I have some of the same ideas you did...with the bag on the opposite side of the engine to make the weight (and appearance) more balanced...the mirror, the extra fuel bottle.....all good stuff! You're also using the same engine that I'm considering...the Mitsu. Have you been happy with the engine so far? What are your top and cruising speeds?

    Thanks again for the response,

    Last edited: Jun 4, 2008
  8. SirJakesus

    SirJakesus Guest

    I'm riding Bell Kevlar 26x1.75 comfort bike tires from wallyworld right now. They're definitely tough little suckers however they're a little thin when off-roading for me so my next set will probably be 26x1.95 or more with another fairly smooth tread pattern. I chose those ones over knobbies because I knew it would make it easier for pedaling, somewhat better acceleration and better MPG but I would not want to be riding on anything thinner at 25-30mph.
    The Mitsubishi has been a great little engine so far with only 190mi on it I don't believe its totally broken in, I'm about half way through my second gallon of gas with a 30:1 oil mix. After this gallon I'm going to move to the recommended 40:1 mix which im sure will give me even more power than I have now. Starting is pretty easy usually 2-4 pulls cold and 1 when its warm. It vibrates very little for a 2 stroke its incredibly smooth and very quiet for 2-stroke too. This thing isn't going to give you a headache or annoy the neighbors. My family says they usually can't even hear me when I pull in or leave. It seems to have a relatively flat torque curve similar to 4-strokes so theres a bit more torque at high rpm but not so much that you have to keep the engine there to enjoy a good amount of power. My top speed is 32 on the flat with the engine peaking but I usually cruise 25-28mph on the flat so the engine can just hum along. I know Staton asks what you want your top speed to be when you order the left side driven chain kits so you probably want anywhere between 27-30mph top speed depending on how hilly your area is. I needed the nuvinci because its just too darn hilly here to find any "perfect" fixed gear ratio.
  9. Warner

    Warner Member

    Thanks. I live in the Chicago area, so it's basically flat. I would be building this for my 20 mile (each way - 40 miles total) commute to and from work. I will definitely be doing a good amount of pedaling, so I'd be okay with a taller gear to give me a bit more top speed if I have the option. Yeah, I've heard good things about the Mitsu engine. At 2.2 HP, I think it's got plenty of power! I won't go with the NuVinci setup - expensive and I really don't think I'd benefit much from it with my intended use and type of terrain (essentially flat). My biggest two challenges now are:

    1 - Convincing my wife, who thinks I'm crazy. I need to sell at least one toy (I'm thinking the go-kart is going!) before she'll even entertain the idea.

    2 - Planning out a safe route to work. People here are crazy drivers. I think it's imperative to have one of those flashing tail lights and probably reflective tape on the bike.

    I DO think what I'm planning is feasible. I think I'll have to budget about an hour to get to work, but with our traffic here my best case scenario in the car takes me 30 minutes, and worst case can actually take me an hour if something is going on with traffic. The thought of being able to pull right up to the front of every light makes me all happy inside! Hahaha!

    Thanks again for the reply,

  10. sparky

    sparky Active Member

    I don't recall ever reading any posts about the ring tearing thru spokes. Not saying it's never happened, tho...

    I was considering a GEBE kit at one point, but I think my first actual build will be a Staton one day. I'm partial to rack-mounted 2-strokes that can freewheel so you can coast smoothly & don't have to mess with a clutch.

    I'll definitely be saving up for the NuVinci, tho (it's gonna take me a few months at least). I will never buy a bike with derailers ever again. It's either a BMX or Nuvinci's CVP hub. Problem with using most internally geared hubs is that they can't handle the torque of these engines. But the NuVinci is special. Due to the way it's designed, you can smoothly shift input/output ratios of just the engine, just pedal-power, or both of them combined. It's not just for hills & bridges, but for pedaling too!! I've always had problems with derailers, even when adjusting them... but nothing slips or jerks with NuVinci. Ahh.... maybe for Christmas.
  11. Warner

    Warner Member

    NuVinci Hubs:
    On flat ground, I don't really see the advantage to the NuVinci really unless you REALLY flat out just don't want to pedal at all. If it were free maybe, but for $350 or so it's not worth it to me where I live and how I intend to ride. Everyone has their own opinion though. It's definitely up there on the "cool" scale, but not so far up on the "practical" scale for my intented usage.

    GEBE and broken spokes:
    This isn't the only place I've read about it happening, but here's one thread that talks about it a bit:

  12. loquin

    loquin Active Member

    I would think that an internal hub could stand up to the small motors we're talking about, just fine... (a 4 hp motor, or greater, might be a problem, though)

    After all, I can easily put 150 foot-pounds into peddling when I stand up. Whereas a 1.6 HP Robbins-Suburu maxes at about 1.3 foot pounds at 5500 rpm, or , if you step the RPM down to 100, about 70 foot-pounds. And, it's smooth power - not pulsing, like the torque produced by peddling would be.
  13. Warner

    Warner Member

    I agree 100%. I don't think there's any way these little engines can put more torque on the parts (properly applied!) than we do with our legs and body weight. Like you said, once you get up to around 4hp it's probably a different story. Just imagine if the chain that runs from the crank chainring (the one that we pedal) were attached to a ring that attached to the spokes....I think we'd rip the spokes apart in VERY short order.

  14. Warner

    Warner Member

    After careful consideration, and after talking to David Staton last night, I am sure that my choice will be a Staton kit. I'll go with the OUTSIDE chain drive kit (their standard kit) with the Mitsubishi 43cc (2.2 HP) engine. I will also buy their 48 spoke, 26x1 beefed up back wheel (all laced up and ready to go) since I will be rolling on 1.25" tires for better (less) rolling resistance (both for the engine and when I'm pedaling). I will also opt for a pretty tall gear ratio as well. I don't mind, and actually WANT to pedal to get things going. I'm fine with getting up to 10mph or so before applying the throttle if it means I can cruise at 35mph. I think with the good starting bicycle (Trek 920 - about 32 pounds even with the fat tires that are on it now) and the skinny tires (I ordered the Forté Fast City ST/K MTB Tires for $12 a piece from Performance Bicycle) the bike should be much easier to get and keep moving than a balloon tired beach cruiser. I know from my own riding experience that on a good road bike I was able to average about 5mph more than I could on a mountain bike with knobby tires, so the engine should have the same result as long as the gearing supports a higher speed. I'd like the bike to be able to do 40mph top speed, with a cruise speed of 35mph. I think that's totally feasible as long as I'm willing to pedal to get things going (which I am). Not that I would, but with the totally freewheeling hub that the Staton kit has, I COULD pedal the bike to go even faster without over-revving the engine. that I've made my decision, I have to satisfy "the committee" (my wife) who has a couple of rules for me before I can buy the kit. I have to pay off our credit card (about $3,500) and sell one toy (which will be the go kart, which SHOULD pay for my kit - it's a $2,500 go kart that should sell for around a grand I would think).

    Wish me luck!

    Last edited: Jun 5, 2008
  15. SirJakesus

    SirJakesus Guest

    I don't know if a 35mph cruising speed is a great idea. Bicycles get kind of squirrelly at high speeds especially without a suspension. A 25mph cruising speed with 30mph top speed is the probably the safer way to ride.
  16. Warner

    Warner Member

    Maybe you're right. I know I used to hit 50mph on downhills on my road bike WAS fast, but manageable. I used to be on an inline speedskating team and we'd cross train on our road bikes sometimes. In one speedskating marathon, I averaged 19mph on my skates for 26.2 miles. But that was 10 years ago when I was in much better shape. Not that I couldn't get there again, but I don't have the TIME to skate 25 miles a day anymore! I also used to race (and ride for fun) motorcycles. I'd go from 0-130 in under 11 seconds. It's amazing how you get used to the power though....I remember feeling like I could handle so much more. Haha! I'll just play it by ear...we'll see....

  17. sparky

    sparky Active Member

    You're right... it's prolly not the torque, but it prolly IS the sustained speeds/friction. People who have tried internal gears have said they fail with motors attached to 'em. Are they shifting while giving it gas?? I dunno... but that's not the way internal gears are supposed to be shifted. You're supposed to let off the throttle or quit pedaling in order to shift internal gears due to the way their designed.

    The NuVinci hub, OTOH, doesn't need you to let off the gas/pedals. All I was trying to explain to Warner is that the NuVinci helps with pedaling as he was asking. I'm getting one because it provides just the right amount of resistance I need from a dead stop to max speed for pedaling. If you pedal & give some gas, there's still always the right amount of resistance and no feeling of shifting... it's all smooth. I haven't used it yet, but I'm sure it's worth the ~$350 extra for your everyday transportation. That's why I'm buying it.

    But to each his own!
  18. Warner

    Warner Member

    It's not for me....but then I WANT to do some pedaling and I don't live in a hilly area. At this point it's a moot point since the legality of the MAB's in my area is not favorable. My city and at least two of the neighboring cities seem to have ordinances that specifically ban them! I'm sure these laws were created to stop kids from running all over with their electric and gas
    go-peds (scooters). I'm in the (probably long and fruitless) process of trying to open some of their minds to the MAB as a legitimate transportation vehicle. I've e-mailed the city mayor and all of the councilmen....heard back from exactly ONE councilman with the reply of: "I've forwarded your e-mail on to our legal department, as they are better suited to handle your problem" whatever that means. If I'm not mistaken, I thought that it was the council members that would raise suggestions about changes to ordinances.....Hmmmm....

  19. jimmyglitter

    jimmyglitter Member

    I went with the Staton kit after careful deliberation. I am sure glad I did. The bike feels like a motorcycle. Nice and responsive and smooth.
  20. sjackson

    sjackson Member

    Warner, where are you? I'm in Morton Grove and haven't checked my local ordinances yet... probably should have done that before ordering a bunch of stuff.

    ETA: Nevermind... I found your posts on the other forum when searching for the laws myself. That sucks that Elgin is so strict about it. Thankfully Morton Grove looks like it's still using municipal code from back when this was a farming community. Good news is I can drive a tractor on the main roads if I want to. Now I just need to check out Niles, Skokie and Lincolnwood to see if I'll have any problems there.
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2008