New Member

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by fred_da_trog, Feb 26, 2011.

  1. fred_da_trog

    fred_da_trog New Member

    I'm an avid cyclist, mostly mountain. I have a 70 mile commute to work. Once or twice a week I will bike commute. The more gas prices rise, and the older I get, has me thinking owning a motor powered bike would be a good idea.

    This forum looks like a good place to gather information for my first motor bike.

  2. Dave C

    Dave C Member

    Hi. I'm old and these motors were a dang good idea for me :)
  3. professor

    professor Active Member

    Wow, that would be a long commute in a car (around here at least).
    Welcome to Motoredbikes!
  4. backazimuth

    backazimuth Member

    Hi Fred --

    I got into what I call true mopeds for the same reasons, except I never had a 70-mile commute to work that I was willing to make. Because my wife and I love long distance self-contained cycle touring, we also found ourselves lamenting our advancing age and declining abilities.

    My solution was to try and find a way I could still ride a fully loaded bike, yet have a some help up those long mountain climbs, or whatever, when the case arose.

    This web site came to my rescue.

    I put a friction drive Staton rig on a Specialized Rockhopper -- an old one with no shocks -- and started testing it with a load. Full panniers on the front, a loaded Burley trailer behind. In all, I had about 60 - 80 pounds of gear and camping equipment. I weigh in at 170 (unfortuntely). The motor and bike performed beautifully.

    I bought the Rockhopper off Craigslist for $150 and it is identical to ones we have on which we have ridden more than 30,000 miles. The only problem I have had is with the braze-ons snapping off after a considerable time. A weld shop took care of the problem, but I'm going to try and engineer something a little more substantial. I'll have to pick the brains of some of the more mechanical minded who frequent this site.

    The biggest test was a nearly 800-mile ride from south Orange County, CA to Mammoth, CA, and back that involved achieving an elevation of nearly 10,000 feet. The bike and motor did quite well although I had to pedal assist, with a fair amount of effort, up the steeper climbs. In fact I pedaled nearly all the time because I felt guilty about having the motor on the bike in the first place. The surprising thing I discovered was that I actually pedaled harder with the engine going than I did without the engine. I could, however, stop pedaling and the bike would continue going. That's the good part.

    I have a log for part of that trip somewhere on this site you may want to check out. I don't get on line here that often.

    The beauty about the rig I have is that it is a very simple matter to have the bike behave like a regular bike by merely lifting the drive roller off the wheel, which only takes seconds to accomplish. I've even done it while riding, although that isn't recommended . . . ;-)

    One more thing . . . because I continue to be a bit embarrassed by having a motor on the bike, I keep it shrouded under a $6 black bag I bought from Wal-Mart. No one knows the motor is there until I remove the bag and even then the engine is hard to spot because I have painted the thing black too . . .

    My wife loves the motor. On empty rides . . . day rides . . . we have no hesitation to go as far "thataway" as we want with the full knowledge we have the motor to help us back should we need the help. It is true, the bikes weigh about 15 pounds more with the rig, but we don't notice the extra weight until we start meaningful climbs. But then it all is exercise anyway.

    We both are 67.

    The only problem I have right now is how to work a couple of rear panniers onto the rig and get rid of the trailer. There's nothing wrong with the trailer; I just prefer less baggage.

    I also need to learn about how to take care of the engine although I have had absolutely no trouble with the Subaru engine after about 2,000 miles of reasonably hard running.

    Good luck!

    Last edited: Feb 26, 2011