Making a VeloSolex styled roller

2speedboi

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This roller uses only a few pieces of material to create a "Solex" style roller.

I am not sure of the glue/epoxy compound, but marine jb weld is the key.

The other component is silicon carbide. I used 60/90 rated grit for this roller, othe grit sizes are available. Wash and strain, dry on low temperature in oven.

A couple large match sticks and disposable gloves.

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1. Sand and clean spindle/roller. Light, sanding and soap water, dry clean.

2. Prepare jb weld, dual tube liquid mix, mix thoroughly, about 1.5 tablespoons.

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Use sharpie to mark where the main contact area of spindle, this is the main area where the mix will be applied.

3. Apply liquid jb to surface of spindle, about a heavy 1/16. Set in an upright position, it will help to have the spindle chilled until the next step is complete.

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4. Mix you're choosen corundum grit.

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36 would be best for consistent wet conditions, with 60 or 90 being more for general purpose but still providing excellent grip. The higher the number, the less wear effect.

5. Work amounts of corundum into the jb weld with a popsicle stick or match stick. Once it becomes more of a play dough texture, with gloves on continuously work the putty ball until it can be formed in a ball. Observe best you can how much you have added, the jb weld should double in size once it becomes like putty and has enough grit added.

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6. Roll the putty into a tube shape and wrap around your spindle.

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Press the putty evenly around the spindle and roll on a flat smooth surface with a little corundum scattered.

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Light pressure rolling until desired diameter and width is accomplished. Long working time allows more material to be added.

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7. With the small wood tool work the edges into a uniformed shape, you can add more or less as need. This is important for imperfection that can cause vibrations and possibly damage.

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Once you have the desired results set up right. A cold area will keep the JB weld from slouching down, fridge or just chilly shop space. Set up-right and allow one day to cure in the fridge, and another at room temperature.

Spindle used is 5/8 diameter, increased to a heavy 7/8.
 

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CENTURION

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Just took mine for a ride today, it'll do about 21-22 on a flat, sweet little mopeds. They're quiet. reliable and you can still get any parts you need. Just did new tires on mine,it had the original 55 year old ones on it. They designed this friction drive very well, probably why they sold 8 million of them around the world. I'd like to pick up a model 5000 with the smaller tires. The roller on mine still looks new and grabs great, even in light wet conditions. It'll be interesting to see how yours works.
 

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2speedboi

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This roller works great. I am really interested in tire setups for the solex and have been looking into a rim swap... odd size rim.
 

CENTURION

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This roller works great. I am really interested in tire setups for the solex and have been looking into a rim swap... odd size rim.
The tires were specifically designed for the Solex, they are smooth, and have a thick section for wear. The wheels and spokes seem much heavier duty than bicycle stuff, after all these years mine are still very true and the bike still rides very nice. I find myself using mine more than my electric bikes for little trips, it's always ready, and the cold does not bother it's range.
 

2speedboi

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Yeah I understand, nothing quite like a solex.

I would love to see a replicated version of tire for at least 26". At least that would be a step in the right direction.

Maybe a cruiser with 26" rims wouldn't do too bad with the solex 19". That tire is tall it seems. What's the axle length?
 

CENTURION

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Yeah I understand, nothing quite like a solex.

I would love to see a replicated version of tire for at least 26". At least that would be a step in the right direction.

Maybe a cruiser with 26" rims wouldn't do too bad with the solex 19". That tire is tall it seems. What's the axle length?
Not sure on the axle length, I really did not look. I gotta get my friction drive up and running again, I need a clutch spring for my Solo motor, that motor is not easy to find parts for. From what I have gleened, the key to a reliable FD system is the engine, the drive train is pretty trouble free.
 

Cannonball3

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I have a 74 Velosolex in a box. I started restoration about 10yrs ago and it got side lined. I did restore the engine though, using European parts. I also have a Hongdu clone which also got upgraded with Euro parts. Its mounted
on a 24” Macargi cruiser. Has a Velo aura to it. I have run it quite a bit. They are great engines, very torquey, around 50cc.
As I remember 4K rpm is about max. Has a larger roller. Tire wear might be an issue with the grit type smaller rollers
turning at high speeds. Bike tires are not generally a hard compound. Some wear quickly. I have found the common
cruiser tire to do well. My favorite is the Maxis Hookworm. Wears like iron, has a big cross section that beds the roller
nicely, and a grippy cross hatch like tread. I dont remember the life of the 2.125 cruiser tire but it seems close to 2K
on my oak rollers, which saw a lots of dirt roads as well as asphalt. Not trying to be negative in any way about your
rollers. I applaud your innovations in the development of your FDs. Tire quality Im sure has improved in recent years.
The quest after the roller perfection, will be finding the best tire wear wise for it.
 

2speedboi

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Yes absolutely, tire compound is one of the most important thing for the friction aspect. Those hookworms looks like a nice tire. Maxxis uses what they call dual compound in the tire tread which seems to me like a harder and denser material. I checked some out yesterday.

Sounds like we need to put in for a tire built like a solex.. or a Rolex.:)

Maxxis friction tread.

I appreciate all this input, the velosolex and bike bug are the inspiration behind these kits. Something about front wheel drive ..

On a side note, maybe tires rated for electric bike use will have longer tread life.
 
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