Made a bad mistake, looking for some guidance

Discussion in 'General Questions' started by CollegeEngineer, Mar 28, 2014.

  1. CollegeEngineer

    CollegeEngineer New Member

    I had an old motorized bicycle that I bought second hand and the motor finally kicked it over the winter (it was already having carb and ignition coil issues). I decided to buy a new china motor kit and mount it on the same bike.
    Today I hit a pothole going about 20 while breaking in the engine and completely destroyed my back wheel (5 spokes completely gone). Looking at the front tire I am seeing serious dry rot and think I should replace it for safety. Anybody have an idea how much one wheel, two tires and two tubes would run me?
    Really trying to make it on a college budget here so I would be looking for the cheapest solution that is still safe.

  2. butterbean

    butterbean Well-Known Member

    First, let's look at the situation. While potholes can be hard on any ride, the fact that 5 spokes got ruined suggests that something was wrong to begin with. Not saying this to put you down, just trying to help you prevent this from happening again. Two main possibilities here. One, the wheel wasn't strong enough. This could mean that spokes were loose or weak, or not thick enough. Two, the sprocket was not properly installed and that's what caused the damage. Now since you said the bike is secondhand, it's obviously not your fault. But it's important that you know how to properly install the sprocket and that you get a strong enough wheel so this doesn't happen again. You will want to search around the forum to find out how to properly install the sprocket. If you can afford to spend around $130, I can recommend some great parts for you. But even without the most expensive part, this is still going to run you about $75. I'm sorry to say, but there are no good rims available for anyone on a super tight budget. You'll need a good back wheel that will run you about $40. A good durable tire will run you about $20. I recommend tubes with slime, they run almost $10 apiece. Actually that's closer to $80. The most expensive part is a sprocket adapter, that will run close to $60, depending on shipping. Altogether closer to $150 I'd say. Sorry but after my experiences with cheap wheels, I can't recommend anything less. Let me know if you can spend that much and I'll tell you what to look for and hopefully where to find it. But look at it this way. A quality wheel and tires greatly reduces the frequency at which you need to replace them, and that will save you more money in the long run. Cheap wheels and tires need replaced about twice as often as quality ones, so they are a temporary fix in an emergency, not a permanent solution. Sorry.
  3. BigBlue

    BigBlue Active Member

    For wheels, you should have some type of bicycle coop where you can buy used bicycle parts. They usually teach some classes on bike repair. Just don't mention anything about motorized bicycles. You probably come under attack from the bike Nazis.

    Another good source for wheels are thrift stores and garage sales.

    Tires and tubes are going to set you back a few dollars. As butterbean stated, the cheaper ones ain't going to last as long. Some people run Rubena tires: I haven't tried them, but have been thinking of replacing my schwalbe tires and make a comparison.

    Good Luck,

    AKA: BigBlue
  4. CollegeEngineer

    CollegeEngineer New Member

    I think I am just going to trade my road bike for a nice used mountain or hybrid and just transfer the engine. This one needs more money out into it than it is worth and I guess I don't really need a road bike any more (it can't be converted because of disk brakes).
  5. butterbean

    butterbean Well-Known Member

    If you're going to trade, make sure you trade for a bike that also has disc brakes, or you're getting the short end of the stick. Motorized bikes, NEED good brakes, and it don't get better than discs. I use a front drum brake which is different than a disc but still more heavy duty than standard rim brakes. You're far more likely to find a bike with a disc than a drum, and discs are mechanically superior in terms of stopping power. My drum works good for me, but I was lucky and got it cheap. Just don't trade a bike with discs for a bike with crappy rim brakes or v-brakes.
  6. butre

    butre Well-Known Member

    For tubes go Michelin for around $14 a pair. You can get cheaper ones but tubes in general are so cheap there's no reason to skimp.

    My favorite cheap tires are Michelin Country Rocks, but if you can stretch the budget go for Maxxis Hookworms or Maxxis Holy Rollers.

    The rear wheel is where you'll probably be able to get cheap. Find something with beefy spokes at a goodwill, yard sale, bike coop, or craigslist ad. You may be able to simply relace the wheel you've got. Wheelbuilding is definitely a good skill to have with these machines, I've broken 2 wheels on mine. A branch in the spokes is normally not that big a deal on a pedal bike but when you're going 30 mph it's guaranteed to break parts. If I break a third one I'm going to make an aluminum aero disc for it.
  7. darwin

    darwin Well-Known Member

    OP your supposed to avoid pot holes and curbs, avoid elongated storm drains too. Wally world rims suck the big one, try calling up some bike repair guys off of craigs who work out of their garage, they might have some spare wheels sitting on the shelf.
  8. Bzura

    Bzura Member

    Check out if you strike out finding rims locally. Someone here turned me on to them, and I've ordered several rims from the so far. They have a great selection, low prices & you can find many sizes of rims with 12 gauge spokes. They take a fee days to get your order out the door, so they're not a great option if you're in a hurry for them.
  9. bluegoatwoods

    bluegoatwoods Well-Known Member

    There's some good advice above. But I'm also going to suggest that this can be done more cheaply. But there's an "if" involved and it's not going to be easy to describe with words.

    You can go with cheap stuff if you're the right type of rider.

    I've had old, used big box store, 14 gauge spoked wheels last for about a year on motorized bikes with only minor warpage and, perhaps, one snapped spoke. I buy the cheapest Wal-Mart tires and tubes and I don't bother with tire liners or Slime. I don't think I've had a flat tire in 5 years or so. I doubt if I've had more than 4 or 5 flats in twenty years or more. (though most of that time was on a pedal, as opposed to motorized, bike) Flats are so infrequent that I don't think about them or prepare for them.

    I weigh 180 to 185 lbs. So I'm not exactly tiny. I ride pretty easy, but I'm not as slow as a little old lady.

    So how do I do it? I'm the main shock absorber. It's not easy to put it into words just how that's done. But a decent snow skier will have some notion of what I mean. And a bicyclist who knows how to protect his bike from shocks by absorbing them in his own muscles will know what I mean.

    It sounds like you've got a bit of experience with bicycles. If you know what I mean, then go for whatever's available at a low price.
  10. sboricic

    sboricic New Member

    I agree with bluegoats. I had a tire last on my bike for 4-5 years that was original on a Raleigh bike. But, I only weigh 125 lbs too. Last year I had to get the back rim repaired due to 3 broken spokes. It only cost me $15. I picked up 12 other rims at a scrap metal bin too that a guy was offering me with some tires that were still in good shape.
  11. darwin

    darwin Well-Known Member

    With due respect to bluegoat and sbo OP said he destroyed the earlier advice still stands.
  12. darwin

    darwin Well-Known Member

    Big difference between a wobble in a wheel and bent. If the aluminum lip/side of a rim is bent it's junk/kaput. If its the spokes then it's repairable. My opinion.