just an observation of rider weight

Discussion in 'General Questions' started by motorpsycho, Dec 9, 2011.

  1. motorpsycho

    motorpsycho Active Member

    It seems like almost every time i read a post that has to do with rider weight, the majority of the people are 220+ pounds or something.
    am i seeing a trend here?
    like bigger people deciding to put engines on their bikes to avoid having the pedal them?
    I don't see how a 220+ pound person can fit on a 26" bicycle comfortably and how can the bike last(especially with an engine trying to pull that kind of weight)?
    Not that i'm poking fun at the bigger people, i'm just curious.
    I'm also wondering if so many of the engine & bike problems that are listed here are related to rider weight.
    I'm 160 pounds and i have never had any problems with any of my bikes or the engines.
    but then i read a post for example that says "loud knocking coming from engine......"
    then you read more and find that the rider is pushing 300 pounds.
    i don't mean to offend anyone, i'm just wondering if weight is an issue with the majority of the problems that so many people experience.

  2. 5-7HEAVEN

    5-7HEAVEN Active Member

    So you're calling me fat @ 5' 7"/200 lbs? LOL:jester:

    Nah, I don't think it's about the rider's weight.

    It's about high expectations.

    It's also about properly harnessing engine horsepower.

    Sometimes I imagine that my bicycle is being towed by four powerful horses.:detective:

    If I weighed more, I'd have lower expectations of my engine drive.....

    or add a more powerful engine.:idea:
  3. motorpsycho

    motorpsycho Active Member

    no not really...i forgot to take rider height into consideration.
    I don' know because my friend's bike is set up almost exactly the same as one of mine (same frame, same forks, same engine kit, same rims, same tires).
    he breaks spokes in the rear wheel and has destroyed 2 sets of rear wheel bearings.
    he weighs 225 and is 5' 8", and i weigh 160 and i'm 5' 6".
    I have never broken a spoke or blown out a set of rear wheel bearings.
    Both of these bikes were built about a month apart, 3 years ago.
    I built the back wheel for my bike and i re-built 2 different back wheels for his bike.
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2011
  4. mlcorson

    mlcorson Member

    Yes, you are seeing a trend...I've noticed this a lot in posts as well...Fact is, 6 in 10 Americans are "overweight", and about 33% overall are considered obese. The comments of weight vs power are a result of these statistics. Larger peeps are going to need more power. No judgement here. Just connecting the dots.
  5. Happy Valley

    Happy Valley Active Member

    I think there is considerable merit in your observation even though it will probably be construed as somewhat impolite to mention it, somebody is always bound to get offended about something today. Oh well.

    In cycling circles, big guys are referred to as clydesdales and not as a pejorative term but more as reference to the need for bigger frames and sturdier components. I know a number of big guys, I wouldn't necessarily consider overweight, who race downhill mountain bikes and it's a simple matter of physics they're gonna need beefed up bikes and suspensions. If one of these guys were to take a department store bike out it would be destroyed in minutes so it follows that slapping a motor on one with a xl heavy rider is gonna have shortcomings. It's the main reason when I choose a bike to motorize I want one that pedals, freewheels, and functions well as a bicycle also, riding a MAB is a great opportunity to get a little exercise. Getting more fit is something Americans might think about and need, goodness knows I do.
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2011
  6. sparky

    sparky Active Member

    While it could come off as impolite, there's nothing personal being mentioned toward any specific individual in this thread.

    I've never thought about overweight folks pushing their engines harder, expecting more.... but that seems like a very good possibility, really. For them, I would encourage pedaling from dead stops more than anything.

    As for spokes, I was in my LBS a few months back and asking if they could get spokes that were thicker than 14 gauge. I'm a fairly average weight & height, but I can tear up a wheel just as much as the next guy (mass is only half the momentum equation)... and I prefer to do things right the first time. Anyway, the guy's doing his best to convince me that 14 gauge is all he can get and that that's plenty for anybody's weight.

    Not even 3 minutes later, this MASSIVE guy rolls his bike in with spokes torn out of his back wheel. Of course, both of us were polite in the presence of this man and his problem... but on the inside both the LBS mechanic and I knew that this guy needed something more than 14 gauge spokes. The customer stated: "This is the second time this has happened and I don't want it to happen again." Him and me both.

    It's the little things in life that make all the difference. Knowing where to get thicker spokes is one of these "little things".... http://holmeshobbies.com/product.php?productid=406&cat=20&bestseller=Y
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2011
  7. motorpsycho

    motorpsycho Active Member

    well, all i know is that i am the size of the average high school kid and i'm 42 years old.
    In my group of friends i have always been "the little guy".
    I'm the one who can hop on a kids 20" bmx bike and still do tricks. actually, i own a 20" bmx bike and i do all kinds of stuff on it that most people my age could only dream of doing.
    on my m.b.'s i never pedal, i ride them like motorcycles.
    i think perhaps there are a lot of people who either can't afford a car, don't want a car, or don't have a license, and their alternative (cheap) idea of transportation is a m.b.
    in my view, these m.b.'s are just a novelty and are not really meant to be used as a daily commuter vehicle (altho they could be used as that i guess).
    I just think that rider weight has a lot to do with some of the failures we read about but then the riders turn and call the engines / bikes junk when it's possibly no fault of the engine or the bike that it broke.
    It could have been overworked or overweighted which can cause a failure.
    Yes, people get offended at the simplest things these days, but the statistics don't lie.
    true, putting an engine on a bicycle is a great opportunity to get people out on bikes, but the engine is a way out of actually exercising in my opinion. why pedal when you can just twist the gas & go?
  8. 5-7HEAVEN

    5-7HEAVEN Active Member

    I used to be a non-pedaller on my MB. After prematurely wearing out my derailleurs and clutch springs, I decided to pedal during the few seconds of gear changes. Then I started to phantom-pedal when I spotted a cop. Then I figured I'd pedal every so often, to give the illusion that I'm REALLY pedalling to move my bike so quickly.

    Cagers and bicyclists resent me; they think I'm "cheating" by having an engine. They feel better when they see me pedalling.:jester:
  9. sparky

    sparky Active Member


    This forum features "motorized bicycles", which are TRUE hybrids.

    This is why we never added the sub-300cc bikes [without pedals] sub-forum, because we focus on pedals here just as much as bikeforums.net. The biggest difference between us and them is that we enjoy more comfortable seats. :jester:

    Anyway, WHY NOT pedal to accelerate?

    When you assist the engine, and the engine assists you... you accelerate faster, save time, save gas, cause less wear on parts (which also saves more time and money in the long run), and of course, being in the habit of pedaling at stops & corners will nearly always keep the cops looking elsewhere. I can actually keep up in traffic when I pedal from a stop.

    If you gear your bike for top-end, then torquing from a stop with pedals is practically a necessity. I don't understand why some people gear their bikes low, but if they absolutely can't move their knees in a circular fashion... I guess I could understand.

    Clydesdales might want to practice on regular bicycle first, but if an MB is what encourages them to get riding... so be it.

    I was interested in motorized folders, then fixies, and now folding fixies. At some point, I'll get shift kit from sick bike parts so I can make use of my nuvinci hub.... but there is an infinite route of paths to take with bicycles, motorized or otherwise. Better to find something you enjoy or that inspires you than to sit in front of the television, IMHO. Simply balancing on two feet [or two wheels] requires far more energy than a 4-legged cow will burn while standing.
  10. sparky

    sparky Active Member

    P.S. - If people are really upset about broken spokes or what have you.... then there should be a "movement" to correct the industry in a number of ways, like contacting them, give poor reviews/ratings, spread bad word of mouth about poor quality products distributed by manufacturers, or even compete with them. Building true wheels with dual freewheels and motorcycle spokes is really the last piece of the puzzle for MASS adoption of motorized bicycles. Anybody would be able to motorize their bicycle if they had a rear wheel ready to replace their old one, and they'd be more inclined if the sprocket weren't attacked directly to the spokes, where the chain can potentially lock up the wheel, flinging the rider to the ground. I'm still waiting for somebody to offer pre-built wheels in the most common sizes... 20", 26", and 700c for starters. Would be expensive, but you know it'd be worth it...

    I paid close to $500 to have a custom stainless steel hub built and laced with motorcycle spokes, and even tho that's as much as I paid for my pre-built MB, it was definitely worth it to have the peace of mind that my wheel will never fail on me. Quality is remembered long after the price is forgotten!!!
  11. motorpsycho

    motorpsycho Active Member

    well, i usually never ride my bikes where there are people or cars anyway.
    I do take my bikes to custom car and bike shows in the summer and having the engines on them is just another way of having something custom that not eveyone else has.
    so to me, having an engine on a bike is just cool, especially when you are around hot rodders and custom car guys.
    I built my bikes to fit in with the hot rod crowd and every time eomeone asks about my bikes, it's not about them just being bikes with engines on them.
    It's always about "how did you make this, how did you make that, what kind of paint did you use..."etc.
    I do have non motorized pedal bikes that are also customized. Everything i build is custom and not off the shelf, so I do get a lot of compliments on my building style and my paint jobs.
    It's just for fun.


    I love going to car shows. I have had car owners get mad when my bikes have more people looking at them than their car!! :grin5:
    As for weight, it has to make some difference. I'm 5'9" 160 and my wife at 5', 95 with basically the same set up BLOWS my doors off.
  13. motorpsycho

    motorpsycho Active Member

    yep me too.
    here's a pic of my 2 bikes and my friends bike in front of my 55 pontiac at a car show.
    I too love it when my bikes get more looks than some cars at a car show.
    my bikes are the one in the middle and the occ chopper on the right.
    but yeah wieght does matter because with me on either of my bikes, i can blow my friend away.
    If he rides one of my bikes, and i ride his, i'm still the faster one.
    i'm 5' 6" 160 and he's 5' 8" 225. whichever bike he's on, it becomes the slow one.
  14. Mountainman

    Mountainman Active Member

    cheap China spokes

    yes weight seems to be a problem
    I hit 205 lbs
    MB with motor maybe 75 lbs
    bicycle held up good for a couple of years with the prox 280 lbs
    then started braking spokes (often on the rear wheel)
    let's face it that is a lot of weight
    got me a new rear wheel the other day
    one not with the cheap China spokes

    I just want to ride that THING

  15. geebt48cc

    geebt48cc Member

    So, here I am, at 6' 6", 260, and ride a 66cc 28" with panniers. Best ever is flat 34.8 mph..............but really cruise mid twenties............

    Alrighty then..................................... Glen
  16. Mountainman

    Mountainman Active Member

    epoxy on our spokes

    you and I may want to put some epoxy on our spokes
    hold them wheel THINGS together !!
    as we Ride That Thing​
  17. Big Red

    Big Red Active Member

    Fat Guy Here

    Thats right, I'm 6" 230lbs and I've NEVER tore up a wheel. I think a lot has to do with HOW you ride it. I've broken a spoke or two but I think that says more about that cheap rag mount than anything. If I see a hole in the road, I go around it. I don't ride off curbs or try to "Jump" my bikes. I will admit to going through clutch pads sooner than most, But then I don't peddle when starting off. I also try to use only heavy duty steel frames and wheels for my personal builds. I wouldn't try to ride a shetland pony either. Mt fat a$$ needs something a little more heavy duty, And I know it.
    My next build, a 26" Huffy Cranbrook, Has a steel frame and 12 guage spokes. Aluumineeuum frames or wheels would buckle with me on it. GIVE ME STEEL OR GIVE ME DEATH.
    Big Red.
  18. 5-7HEAVEN

    5-7HEAVEN Active Member

    Like you mentioned, it's about avoiding pot holes, cracks and jumping on/off curbs.
  19. Big Red

    Big Red Active Member

    Fat Guy Here

    Yeah 5-7, If ya take care, anything will last longer. But I think Motorpsycho still has a point. If yer behind is closing in on 400lbs perhaps you should consider a Honda Gold Wing instead of a bicycle. Or at least build your own REAL HEAVY DUTY steel frame with motorcycle wheels. Bicycles were not built for us "BIG" guys. (The stationary bikes were built for us :jester:.)
    In the end I don't think a big guy can take a kids chopper bike, put a motor on it, and not expect it to FUBAR. If ya do then ya got no room to complain about cheap bikes, engines or whatever.
    Big Red.
  20. HoughMade

    HoughMade New Member

    6'3"- 230# here...big, not fat.

    I run Husky wheels with 10ga spokes. I couldn't harm them if I wanted to.