New Project - Help Please!

Discussion in 'General Questions' started by jayneedshelp, Apr 23, 2015.

  1. jayneedshelp

    jayneedshelp New Member

    I tried posting this before, i think the mods fixed the issue so here goes!

    Well hello everyone, my name is Jay. I am the creator of a very popular Adventure travel blog. I will leave those details off the forum as it won't help the search engines picking up this topic for me at this point. Recently I did a test ride for around (what was supposed to be 350 miles) 100 miles to prepare for a 3000 mile trip through Central America. The first 58 days starts in Mexico, and there are some serious elevation gains in this trip. The mountains alone have some staggering elevation gains. After the test trip which had a spot where there was a 7 mile hill that climbed from 800 feet ASL to around 3500 feet ASL I knew something would have to be done. Because this is a trip based on "everything on your back" I am not just riding my bike tooling through the countryside with a backpack. In this post is a photo showing the bike and the load I will carry.

    My obstacles are this

    1. I have a "29er" which I am now finding out may have been the wrong bike to buy
    2. I have the space taken up by my frame bag that would normally accommodate an engine/battery pack
    3. I need to keep all my gears on this bike; I am not interested in changing to a single gear set.
    4. I have rear pannier systems that will need to stay where they are, again probably interfering with many gas/electric installs
    5. I have no issue changing back to 26" or modifying a kit to work with my "29s" but I do not have the information to do this at this point
    6. I have a front suspension fork, I do not know if for electric hubs this would not allow them to run or be installed

    The advantages I have are

    1. I am not looking to turn my bike into a cross country speed scooter
    2. I am only looking for an "Assist" to help me on some of the huge hills, the rest will be under my own steam
    3. I think the added weight of a kit will be an acceptable tradeoff for the benefits
    4. I have worked on scooters, bikes, electric scooters a lot, so I understand the mechanics to a competent degree

    The final product would need to be

    1. Lightweight
    2. Able to go on an airliner
    3. Somewhat easy to fix if it had an issue
    4. Parts available
    5. Be able to fit/adapt to my frame without destroying the entire bike
    6. Be able to handle the load of myself as well as the full gear (the total weight of my gear is between 42-47 pounds) this is supported by rear panniers, a tent and sleeping bag and a few other items lashed to the back of the bike as seen in the photos!

    As you can see I have a specific challenge in front of me. I also have not decided if electric or gas will serve me better. I am leaning towards electric just for the noise factor alone, but will not rule out a gas install either. I don't even know if gas engines are allowed on an airliner.

    The whole thing will be built and tested here in Phoenix. My end goal is to get a kit capable of "helping" me up some very big hills, and let me do all the rest of the riding myself
    I know for some this seems like a big cheat but I don't care, my sponsors for this trip understand what I am doing and fully support it.

    BTW, I reached out to Golden Eagle Bikes, I thought their setups were cool; I have never met such an arrogant bunch of people in my life. They sniffed at me when they found out my bike had "29s"
    I guess this post is a start on two different forums (electric and gas) to find out my options, pricing, timing, and building. I would appreciate any advice/suggestions.

    I really do not want to sell the bike that was provided for this trip. I like it lots and want to hold onto it if at all possible


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    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 18, 2015

  2. rodnmo

    rodnmo New Member

    Hello, I don't have much experience in electric bikes other than what I have read because of my own interests in building one. A hub motor might not be the best idea as from what I read about they cause friction when you are just pedaling and not using the motor and some may not be geared towards hill climbing. You would probably benefit from a mid drive electric kit that mounts on your down tube near your crank, some of the kits come with a free wheel crank that would allow your motor to use your gears and to freewheel when you aren't using the motor, also you might be able to get a small foldable solar panel that you could use to charge the batteries. Good luck!
  3. rodnmo

    rodnmo New Member

  4. 2old2learn

    2old2learn Member

    Hopefully you will hear back from some far more knowledgeable riders than me but here's my 2 cents worth.. I'd try and get a reliable two stroke and forward mount it with some type of shift kit. I'd also get a single wheel trailer to haul most of your gear. I'd mount good lighting front and rear. I'd get a Spot Messenger to take along on the trip and some form of solar panel charger. You might consider one of Biolites products for alternative power and cooking. I would take a reliable GPS with detailed maps of the regions you will travel through and would have waterproofed backup paper maps. I'd take multiple water purification systems with me, boiling being one of them. Depending on altitude and temperature Id take something (nalgene bottle) that you put boiling water in and slide into insulating sleeves (wool socks etc.) to put in your sleeping bag for warmth and for water purification, I make insulative covers using aluminized bubble wrap and slide the bottle in and then slide another one slightly larger over the the top so it is double layered. Bubble wrap weighs hardly anything. This can allow you to use a lighter sleeping bag in much colder weather and when you wake up your water is not frozen and its purified.

    While I'd prefer a four stroke for a long trip, I'm afraid the airlines will make you drain all fluids from your bike to ship it. So if that is true then the cost and weight savings coupled with only having to drain the gas on a two stroke might make that worth considering.

    Sounds like a wonderful adventure. Hope you may be the first of us to take his bike to Machu Picchu.
  5. dondupuis

    dondupuis Member

    im not sure if you would be able to take the batteries on the plan. nor fuel but you can empty that out and leave it behind and only cost a buck or two..
  6. bluegoatwoods

    bluegoatwoods Well-Known Member

    I can't help wondering if the airlines will take a motorized bicycle at all. Or if one of the will, maybe you'll find that another won't. Could be a headache.

    You might want to consider the electric drive w/shift kit setup from
    But how will you charge your batteries in some of the remote spots that you'll find yourself in.

    This could be a tricky matter.
  7. KCvale

    KCvale Motorized Bicycle Vendor

    Give me a call and swing by Jay.
    I'm in Sunnyslope just off 15th Ave. and Peoria.
    I have gas and electric builds here and something like this would help you on the hills but not ne a drag when just pedaling.


    You would not be able to fly with a gas bike, you can't even put one on the front of a bus, but you can with electrics.

    There are lots of options.
  8. jayneedshelp

    jayneedshelp New Member

    Wow KC your right down the street from me!

    I was going to call you but i see im past your hours, Im over by the Biltmore!

    We need to talk soon!