Locked in by a landslide!

Discussion in 'General Questions' started by Luka, Mar 31, 2014.

  1. Luka

    Luka Member

    It's been a couple years since I last posted here. I have visited on a regular basis, but haven't posted.

    I wish I could say I am back by popular demand, but in reality it's because of singular need.

    I live in Washington state. A landslide occurred less than a footbal field away from my home, and my road was taken out. (And occurred again. And again. And ag... well, you get the idea.)

    I am not in Oso. Our slide was not that large. No one died here. But engineers and geologists are saying that our slide is 'loaded up', and ready to do the same as Oso, at any time.

    The slides started in december. Our road was taken out, then repaired a couple times. Taken out, then barely open. Then taken out again, for good.

    For several weeks we had no way out of here, except to make our way through constant rain that was so thick we had to use a knife to cut our way through. Over wet clay that was slick as snot on a doorknob. Up and down very rough, narrow, winding, steeply inclined paths. And all the while having to poke ahead of ourselves with sticks because there were places where it was literally quicksand, and you couldn tell it from any other piece of ground you looked at. In at least one place, you could step in, and be completely lost...

    About a week and a half ago, some of us went down and built an ATV trail, past the slide area. An actual road cannot be put in, because every time they try, the very next day, it is gone again. The trail is small enough and light enough and far enough off to the edge of the slide area, that so far, it has lasted.

    Up to now, people have had someone bring groceries and supplies to the bottom area of the slide, and we go down there on foot and carry the stuff up those paths.

    Now that we have the trail, people can bring in larger loads, on ATVs.

    But I don't have an ATV.

    And I have an enlarged heart. Which makes it impossible for me personally to carry anything back up that 1/2 mile of hillside.

    So I am once again, looking at building a motorized bike. This time because I need one. Not just because it would be fun to have.

    In my state, the laws are not "moped friendly". And they consider any bike with a gas engine to be a moped. So I have decided on electric.

    I thought I had a good start on one, when I discovered a couple of little E100 razor scooters. But everything is rusted through and through on them. And the ruined motors are only 100w anyway. So I am back to the drawingboard.

    Here's my thoughts for what they are worth, and my questions...

    I weigh close to 300 pounds.
    For the same reason that I can't walk up that hill, I can't pedal a bike up it.
    And I won't be able to lend much assisstance to a motor on my bike. I need a motor that will do most of that work for me, with just some assistance from me. Pedalling over flat terrain is fine. I can keep up with that. So the motor has to take over from there, on an incline.

    So for instance, in a friction setup, I am not sure if even a 500w motor will do the job.

    The three options I am considering are...
    Rack mount. Unknown drive type.
    Friction drive.
    Or pusher.

    The problem I have with the idea of a pusher, is the thought of that poor little trailer sitting back there, having to push all my bulk up a steep incline, through gravel. So far the gravel isn't even all that packed down, so it can be a bit like driving through sand.

    The upside to the pusher idea is that I do not intent to do all the futzing around with small batteries that everyone else seems to do. Trying to get better performance and longevity out of tiny batteries.

    I intend to use a full-sized marine deep cycle battery or two.

    So all that weight on the trailer means two things. 1. I don't have all that weight on the bike itself. and 2. the trailer gets a better "bite" in the gravel because of the extra weight.

    And the batteries should give better performance because of the amperage capability. And longer running, because of the greater capacity.

    Understand, the longest this will get used is to maybe run in to the closest town to get drinking water, and to check the mail. About 6 or 7 miles, round trip. Up and down some steep mountain gravel roads. But about half of it is fairly flat.

    It will be used most exclusively for an occassional trip down to the bottom of the slide, and back up.

    So I am not building this to be ridden every single day, on long commutes.

    The budget for this is almost completely non-existant. And by that I don't mean I have a bit of extra money that I am not willing to give up for this. I mean, I simply do NOT have the budget.

    So I am going to have to try to make this from stuff I already have on hand.

    I am ready and willing. Now I need to settle on ideas, and get busy.

    I need suggestions. Which drive system do you think is going to be best to do most of the work of pulling my 300 pounds up that hill?

    Which do you think is easiest to set up, and why?

    Which is more reliable?

    Thank you, my friends! :grin5: :D
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2014

  2. darwin

    darwin Well-Known Member

    Forget fd in the mud it's useless. You need a mountain bike with inframe 50cc 4 stroke chain drive and a shift kit from sick bike parts. Make sure the tranny is a good one like the qmatic or 4g. Try Staton to give you some ideas for a rear chain drive, a rear axle drive might work too.
  3. Luka

    Luka Member

    Very good point about the mud and friction drive. I hadn't considered that.

    But it won't be in the mud. The ATV trail is gravel, and it connects the lower part of the old gravel road, to the upper part of the old gravel road.

    Not ready to give up on friction drive, yet. :grin5:
  4. Luka

    Luka Member

    I guess the bottom line is probably going to be that the 'drive' I decide on, is going to end up depending on whatever motor I am able to get ahold of.

    But to reiterate, it will be electric. I am not considering gas at this point.

    By the way, they say it could be a couple months before I can drive my truck out of here. I could get used to driving the bike out instead, by then. LOL
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2014
  5. darwin

    darwin Well-Known Member

    Buy ya 1 of those cheap atvs, say a 250 cc. Then when your ready sell it...........with electric the choices are endless. Wally world $400 complete electric bike up to the sky with lithium batts.
  6. Luka

    Luka Member

    LOL, if I could DO that, I already WOULD have.

  7. HeadSmess

    HeadSmess Well-Known Member

    FD IS useless in anything that approaches a moisture content of 0% and above...

    using a standard sized roller directly on the motor shaft ;)


    get the roller...well, larger? say....small, electric scooter size? goped? see what im getting at? a large diameter roller, that is already geared down, and has a much better coefficient of friction than a steel roller.

    the test is, if a goped can "just" get you up, then as FD...it will experience the same load, plus the weight of the bike. meaning if you can pedal a bit? maybe fit a smaller tyre (i know sounds self defeating for the purpose) which will lower the gearing quite a bit with small tyres. only an inch or two smaller! as long as the rim size matches, the lowest profile would be the smallest overall diameter...

    otherwise, seeing the minimal budget...id say just get a HT but use a 55T sprocket. screw the laws! youre in a state of emergency! are the ATV's registered btw?

    the trailer idea is right out unless you have a neat self powered mower that can be used as a trailer of sorts... the trailer can only push what its loaded down with. maybe not so much on tarmac, flat, but on gravel, uphill, pushing a load, it will bounce and slip and be making rooster tails unless it carries most of the weight.

    which then throws FD out the window, cus if you set a wheel up as a fifth wheel, and its rigid on the frame, maybe spring loaded to boot...then yeah... the trailer idea works and traction is down to tread pattern. some sorta frame hanging off the chain stays...

    a fifth wheel does tend to make cornering slightly harder if its completely rigid. an ability to swivel slightly will help.

    i dont think electric is going to do it unless you have a thousand or so to spend... heavy duty drill then? hmmm.... yerp. that thar is a 2 battery hill fo sho!

    hey, it would sorta work...
  8. Luka

    Luka Member

    Again, good points.

    The setup will have to not only corner, but climb as it corners, as well.

    Well... I was hoping to be able to set up an electric option on my bike. Reason being, I wanted to be able to go into town as well. Not just up and down the temporary quad trail.

    But the lack of options, and fundage, is forcing me to go back to my previous plans. Fixing my riding lawn mower. (Large craftsman, 15hp. No mower deck. Just the tractor.)

    I can use that and a small trailer to bring supplies up the trail.

    This may turn out to be 6 of one, half a dozen of the other. In other words, maybe a tossup as to which option to go with. With either being as much hassle, cost, etc, as the other. In which case I will go with the bike option.

    If I had a motor with chain drive that would work with a standard bike chain, all this would be moot. I'd be working on the bike right now. LOL Because I can build pretty much anything I'd need, if I had the motor to start from.

    But having to work with what I have... I'll try out the riding mower, and see what it is going to take.
  9. darwin

    darwin Well-Known Member

    Lawn tractors/mowers got some low torque, there's your answer. Whats wrong with it? Alot of folks here know about those.
  10. Luka

    Luka Member

    I'm kind of bouncing all over, here. Mostly going back and forth, just trying to figure out the best thing to do with the options available to me.

    Not sure what it is going to take to get the lawn tractor going. (I keep wanting to call it a lawn tractor instead of a lawn mower, because it is 15 HP. My friend's actual, full size farm tractor is only 12hp. LOL)

    I have been busy with some other stuff this morning. This afternoon I will be digging out the lawn tractor, to find out what needs to be done with it.

    I just saw someone go by on one, that is about the same size. No mower deck on that one either. And I swear he was going as fast as any of the ATVs or quads that go by.

    I found four 26 inch bicycle wheels this morning, as well. At least two of them appear to be in ok condition. New tires and tubes, a little sanding and oiling/greasing, and they should be serviceable.

    I should be able to use the two 'front' wheels for wheels on a garden cart. (Which I can then pull behind the lawn tractor.)

    Can anyone tell me what size and thread I should get as a piece of allthread, so I can remove the axles on those wheels, and replace the stem with the allthread?

    IOW, you have the stem, which is essentially a short piece of allthread. Then the axle nuts screw onto that to hold in the bearings, and hold the wheel axle assembly together in the wheel. I essentially want to go buy a long piece of allthread to replace the axle stem with.

    Since my options on the bike went downhill fast... I am now thinking of a new plan for that.

    I have an old husqvarna chainsaw.
    I now have two rear wheels for a 26 inch bike.
    I can put one of those on the front of my bike. This puts a cassette on the front wheel.
    Build a rack over the front wheel. (Maybe use one of the foot scooter frames.)
    Put the chainsaw on that rack.
    Weld just the cassette from the other back wheel, to the clutch on the chainsaw.
    Run an ordinary bike chain between the two cassettes.
    Viola! Front wheel drive!
    And I am pretty sure that chainsaw would drag my voluminous carcass up that hill, all by itself! Especially if I put in a derailier so I can change the 'gear' on each cassette.

    And screw the regs, as you said earlier... This is an emergency, and I need to get to town!
  11. butterbean

    butterbean Well-Known Member

    You don't want to use all-thread for an axle, especially at your weight (no offense, I weigh about the same). But trust me, that axle will snap like a twig. Unless you're planning it just for the trailer, but even then I wouldn't put more than 50 lbs on it.
  12. Luka

    Luka Member

    No offense taken! :grin5:

    The axle is for the small garden trailer.

    And if the axle is done right, the worst that will happen is that the wheels will tip inward a bit at the top.

    I'm not building a baby carriage. Or trying to balance an elephant on a knitting needle. I do know how to deal with a tiny axle and get the best use out of it without bending or breaking it. ;)

    Kind of like this: gardencart2.jpg
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2014
  13. darwin

    darwin Well-Known Member

    Butta didn't mean to offend it's just his way, kinda like a turd that won't come out but it's there. That craftsman 15hp will get the job done with results.
  14. butterbean

    butterbean Well-Known Member

    Darwin, your difficulty in understanding social interactions leads me to believe that you might be autistic. You may want to consider seeking professional help, but I won't judge you if you choose not to.
  15. darwin

    darwin Well-Known Member

    WHOA MR. Butterbean just posted a civil, informative and intelligent post. GTFO this is april 1st right?
  16. Luka

    Luka Member

    Ok, kind of full circle here.

    Since I have come back around to using a gas engine, and not being concerned about the regs...

    Here is another option.


    Yes, it's a Baretta 44.

    Getting this put into my name is going to be a whole lot of waiting time, etc. Not going to be easy.

    Every single moving part on this thing is rusted solid. Even the wheels will not spin. It is a total basket case, and will have to be rebuilt top to bottom. Including taking all the electrical switches apart and rebuilding them.

    A LOT of work for all the resulting legal hassles, etc, because this state detests mopeds...

    But once done, it would be easily put to use, easily stored, etc. Pretty much made for the purpose.

    And I can put a crate on the back, and/or make the garden cart a lot smaller than a normal cart, and make it a trailer for this thing...

    HEY! get this running, then make a pusher trailer, so that the trailer itself pretty much carries it's own weight, and helps to get everything including me, back up the hill!!!

    I'm starting to see some light at the end of the tunnel here.
  17. darwin

    darwin Well-Known Member

    You described an emergency situation, ok? Now you seem to be trolling for intelligence of any sort on mabs..................wassup?
  18. Luka

    Luka Member


    Motor assisted bikes?


    I do have an amergency situation here. One that has already gone too long with me not doing much about it. I need to be able to transport myself up and down that hill, past the slide.

    I have some resources. Mostly things that are pretty much useless to anyone else. I don't have money. Therefore, I need to brainstorm and try to figure out a solution to my problem, making use of what resources I DO have.

    This means I need to discuss what I have. I need to ask questions so that I can assess possibilties and probabilities inherent in the juggling of different parts and pieces. I need to do all that so that I can, in the end, figure out a solution to the problem. Said solution fitting the parameters of "need", "have", and "can do".

    If doing that equals in your eyes, being a troll, then you have my apology. I am just trying to come up with a solution to a problem, using the resources I have.
  19. butterbean

    butterbean Well-Known Member

    Luka, I would just ignore darwin. I think he is either autistic or borderline mentally challenged, as he shows very poor comprehension of social interaction/skills. Tbh, imho, rebuilding a completely rusted over moped doesn't seem to be a good solution to an emergency situation. Whatever you van build the fastest/easiest that will handle your needs, that's what you should be focusing on. I personally liked the idea of a pusher. It's simple and easy to build and with the right gearing, it'll be a dog on hills.
  20. Luka

    Luka Member

    Thank you. Just the sort of thing I needed to think about.

    Ok, I guess the first priority is getting the tractor running. That is most likely the shortest fastest way to a solution. It was running when I parked it. Maybe all it needs is a battery and a new belt.

    Once I have the emergency transportation for supplies out of the equation, I can concentrate better on doing something with the bike. And possibly using that to get all the way to town.

    Anyone want to buy a rusted over moped? LOL

    Now I'll quit hanging around asking stupid questions, and get my butt to work...