Need help getting started

Discussion in 'General Questions' started by Mikolas, Jun 1, 2010.

  1. Mikolas

    Mikolas New Member

    So, I'm sorry if I seem completely daft, but after some searching around I'm still not sure of a few things. First just let me say I don't have a kit yet, trying to get my information straight before I go on to that step.

    That's the bike, or at least frame design, I'm looking in to. Cheap and hopefully durable...

    What tools do I need? Assortments, sizes, et cetera. I can't seem to find a proper list. I'm mechanically inclined in that I can work pretty well tinkering, but if you ask me what tool I'm using I'll probably say something like "the clicky-thing for taking off bolts." (I know it's a socket wrench, but the point is I'm not very good discerning implements... just using them.)

    For brakes, do I need to do anything special? Can I leave the default brakes on and still have a functional thing, or do they get in the way? I've noticed some cruiser-frame designs that don't appear to have brakes at all, or are they the sort that backpedaling engages?

    Thirdly, how about shifting? On a bike with multiple gears, such as above, can you still use them just fine, or will it cause issues? I've heard mention of "shift kits" and I'm not entirely sure what that's about.

    And then, this one isn't a technical question so much... what's a good place to buy from for the west coast? I'm in Nevada and looking for something small, around 60CC just to get to and from work and maybe the store.

    Any answers (or direction toward answers) anyone can give are greatly appreciated! And sorry again if this is the n-th time these things have been asked, my Google-fu is weak lately.


  2. G-Superior

    G-Superior Member

    So Mike lets get started:D
    The bike looks good but "you get what you pay for". A $74 bike will never be as good as a $200 one
    It may be perfect to use as a norml bike but when you but an engine on in it can do some nasty damage, break in half and injure you.
    Many people use then with no problem at all, its all about where you ride, when you ride, how often you ride and how much maintanance you give it.
    If you ride in a nice flat place it will probably be fine if you not to heavy, if you ride in a place full of ups and downs speeds going down hill can be scary and thats where you want good brakes and if you ride in a bumpy place it will not be confortable and the frake can give up easily:eek:
    Now talking about Tools that you need for a bike, they are not many and not very expensive and can save your life if you use then propely(never tight wheels up with pliers or unapropried tools, my freind nearly died because of that)
    list of tools i normaly use:
    8,10,12,13,14,15,16MM spanners
    good full set of screw drivers
    nose pliers and all the other types of pliers avaliable out there(not to tight the wheels up!:grin5:)
    HAMMER!(only to gently tap things,not to get bolts in:rolleyes7:)
    ajsutable spanners up to 30mm
    socket set(dont buy the cheap ones because they will give up on you and you will get angry and you can get hurt:shout:)
    allien key set
    and a few more that you will find out as soon as you start working:D
    I will leave the rest to other members to awnser because im off to eat:grin5:


  3. AussieSteve

    AussieSteve Active Member

    Glad you got the ball rolling, G-Superior. I was 15 minutes into a long reply when my computer crashed. You've covered a lot of ground.


    Mike, I don't think that frame is large enough to fit a frame-mount engine, especially if you're considering a shift-kit. You need a large mountain bike frame. ie One with an almost horizontal top tube. The seat tube on my bike is 400mm, (16"), and with a shift kit there isn't too much clearance. If the down tube is thinner than my 2" one, the engine can sit a bit lower, but not too much. Check out the pics in the album on my profile page for an idea of clearance, knowing that my seat tube is 400mm.

    Normal linear-pull etc brakes are OK. The only problem is that then you have both rear brake and clutch on the LHS. The answer is a dual-pull brake lever on the RHS, available from Sick Bike Parts and others. (A dual-pull operates both brakes with one lever.) I have one fitted, it works well.
    Yep, the bikes that appear to have no brakes have back-pedal or 'coaster' brakes. Or possibly, in some cases, no brakes.

    Aah, shifting - my favourite subject.
    Yes, with a standard engine kit you can use your normal gears while pedalling, but the engine has a fixed gearing to the rear wheel via a sprocket on the LHS.

    A shift-kit allows you to run the engine into your normal gears.
    ie I have a shift-kit running into my 6-speed derailleurs, effectively making my bike a 6-speed moped. Sick Bike Parts sell the only shift-kit worth buying.
    (There are some pics of the shift-kit drive-train in my album.)

    Not sure where to buy a kit in your area, others can answer that one. Check out the vendor ads on the LHS of these pages.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jun 1, 2010
  4. G-Superior

    G-Superior Member

    AussieSteve I was actually going to sent a pic of the bike, I even dowloaded but i needed food do much that i could not even type anymore:grin5

  5. AussieSteve

    AussieSteve Active Member

    I know what you mean - that's about how hungry I am right now. Got half a dozen dim-sims cooking in the deep fryer to tide me over. (And a beer chilling in the freezer to go with them.)

    I think you'd agree that the frame looks a bit small vertically for a frame-mount kit. (A rack-mount or friction drive would fit.)

    Mike, I'd still be wary of those $74 bikes. You'd do far better to buy a higher quality bike second-hand.
    Having said that, I searched everywhere and couldn't find a suitable second-hand bike locally, so bit the bullet and bought a new $300 one.

    G-Superior, what we both forgot to mention is that Mike should also check out the 'stickies' at the top of each forum section, especially in '2-Stroke Engines' and 'Frame-Mounted Drive Trains'. There's heaps of other useful info there.
  6. MikeJ

    MikeJ Member

    Hi Mike -

    Welcome to this forum. You will learn by personal experience that a motorized bicycle will probably need a lot of attention. So if you are into tinkering and trying sometimes-unique solutions to your problem, you are in the right place. But chances are the answers are already here; just do a search for them.

    I prefer my bicycles to be 15 years old or older, found via Internet searches, pawn shops, second-hand stores, recycle shops, etc. The "new bike" desire is great, but I would not put any money into a Wal-Mart bike intended to be engined. I do look for a frame of large diameter tubing that specifically states "chromoly" on it, maybe made in Japan. Or a Schwinn. Then I replace some little parts, like brake shoes, the chain, the tires, etc., until I replaced all little parts that wear out through normal use. Get a bike repair book, too. In this way, you learn what tools you need to purchase and it gives you confidence that you can install some complex part in the future. And test ride a candidate purchase for a few minutes before purchasing. I noted the purchased stock seat was totally unacceptable; a wide cushy seat was needed for the rides I intended to take (4 to 5 hours at at time covering 100 miles each ride.) I got a different design of handlebars as well, so I could sit more upright. Maybe the used bike dealer can install for just a few dollars more; he has the special tools to make that happen.

    Don't ever go cheap on safety gear: The best motorcycle helmet (Bell has good models in the low $125 range) a bright yellow riding jacket, leather work gloves. I wear this and cagers move away from me and law enforcement officers of all types ignore me.

    I could go on, but that would be getting excessively windy. Have fun!

    1,248 miles on my shifter kit and a generic 66 cc pot metal engine. Why my Frankenmotor even runs some days still amazes me.
  7. AussieSteve

    AussieSteve Active Member

    I'm not sure that a bike needs to be 15yo or older, (I wouldn't buy cheap Chinese junk though, mine's an Australian-made MTB), but I agree with the rest of what you said, MikeJ, especially regarding seat and helmet. Both are too important to be cheap.

    1248 miles is good going. I've got a little over 300 on my engine, (w/ shift-kit also), so far.
  8. Mikolas

    Mikolas New Member

    Wow, thank you all for the help! See, I'm glad I asked about that bike before actually buying it. If you say an engine's going to be a tight fit in that frame, I trust your judgment. I also thank you for the idea of tools I'll need, glad I'm kind of over-budgeting for this project.

    And, as it turns out, there's a used bike project in Reno, perhaps I can pick up a used bike of decent manufacturing there. I think a shift kit is still slightly beyond my technical ability (and price range for this whole thing) so I'll probably look for a cruiser or low-geared bike to start with. Another thing that jumps to mind: Are wheels with quick-release tabs safe? I'd really hate to hit a bump at 25 MPH and have my front tire fly off.

    Again thanks for the advice and pointers and such, I think I'm much closer to getting this thing together and on the road.

  9. MikeJ

    MikeJ Member

    Hi Mike -

    Smart strategy you have there. I will agree with AussieSteve; the bike frame does not have to be really old. It just happens that my choices were made in the mid-1990's. What was important at time of selection was that they were not bent, rusted, or abused. They all have a few light paint scratches; nothing that affectes the integrity of the frame. I just returned from purchasing $70 worth of little "stuff" to turn a "Garage Queen" into a useful ride.

    If you go with the kit-provided "rag joint", keep in mind the hardest part of that installation is the alignment of the rear wheel sprocket. Getting it almost perfectly square and true will be time consuming. And a hint I found someplace on this forum: file the tops of the large gear teeth into an "A" shape (just the top one-eighth of an inch or so of each tooth). That action will better guide the chain for a good seating in the teeth and less prone to jumping off while riding if the chain becomes slack (try to avoid).

    If your tubing is really oversized, you will be back here looking for how to handle that. I recommend you do not distort the tubes or drill into them.

    Wait until you start researching oil ratios and breakin options... That will make your head spin! You're going to have fun!

  10. Mikolas

    Mikolas New Member

    Yeah, I'm already mentally preparing myself for a lot of headache. I like it sometimes though, it makes it satisfying when you finally get the machine to do what it's supposed to (or what you WANT it to do, since sometimes that's not the intended function!).

    I already know about mixing oil into the fuel and breaking the engine in. I can't tell you anything specific but I know what you're talking about! As for fitting oversized tubing, I think I'll go with a suggestion I found in my searching: get an adapter and really long bolts (though I plan to replace whatever bolts I get with the kit with something well-made anyway).

    I'm feeling more confident I can do this now, assuming I find a workable bike. Thanks again!