Riding That Friction Thing in the rain !!!

Discussion in 'General Questions' started by Mountainman, Nov 5, 2008.

  1. Mountainman

    Mountainman Active Member

    yes -- yesterday was my first day riding my friction drive in the rain

    I guess that most already know what I am going to say

    it was NO FUN AT ALL !!!

    my friction drive slipped like HOT BANANAS ON THAT TIRE

    I had to push the friction wheel down so tight

    that it took a LOT OUT OF MY TOP END SPEED

    yes - and I should known better - I have been thinking about fenders

    that DIRTY water came up from the front wheel into my face

    mixed with who knows what into my eyes while riding

    the OLD MOUNTAINMAN was soaked from head to toe

    with a fender added to the front (rack on rear engine kept some water away)

    I may be able to suffer through some more of this rain

    but -- as BB King sang years ago

    after just one day --- THE TRILL IS GONE !!!

    it's looking as if it will be sunny today -- thank you Lord as I

    ride that thing

  2. SimpleSimon

    SimpleSimon Active Member

    I grew up in western Oregon, I reside in northern Louisiana. Both very rainy places. Fenders are your friends, as are goggles. I've kept riding a few times when I really needed a snorkel.
  3. srdavo

    srdavo Active Member

    I've been caught in the rain once, on my friction-drive. (and twice, I went riding...on purpose, while raining .....in the name of science..hehe)

    my findings......I was able to travel at 17 mph.
    I had to be very gentle on the throttle & pedal-assist to get up to speed, but then the engine alone would maintain that speed. I put NO extra pressure on the drive roller.
    any attempts at full throttle, slipped like a buttered, baconwrapped, hot banana!! hehehe

    under normal dry conditions... my 23cc mitsu, staton-inc kit runs 24 mph, with the 1" steel drive roller.

    I just needed to know for sure, if I got caught in the rain, I could still "ride that thing" home, under engine power.

    Yes...I need fenders, too!!
  4. Mountainman

    Mountainman Active Member

    getting wet changes with age

    hi SimpleSimon

    I sure do hear what you are saying
    and being a former bicycle shop owner
    I should know better

    here in San Diego we do not get much rain
    but - it was crazy of me to count on that

    some of it I am thinking SS could be age also
    thinking back when I was a younger guy
    many weekends on my motor cycles
    I would ride day and night in the rain
    of course I was dressed more for the rain and had the fenders a going on

    getting wet today though at 57 years old -- get's old fast !!!

    once the REAR END, feet and head was soaked -- I wanted DRY HOME

    but - remembering that I should just be grateful that I have something to ride

    have a good day - enjoy yourself as you -- ride that MB thing
  5. Mountainman

    Mountainman Active Member

    there you do Dave

    that's the difference

    when us guys are doing it in the name of science
    kind of like going to the moon or something like that

    when we have to get somewhere on the wet machine

    I don't like that when I have to ride that thing in the rain

    but - if it's just for fun -- I LOVE TO RIDE THAT THING IN THE RAIN
  6. SirJakesus

    SirJakesus Guest

    I have yet to ride my FD in the rain. Just as long as I got a little push from it and its not totally useless I'm happy with it. Maybe you should do the grinding wheel grit mixed with slow cure JB weld. I heard that works well in the rain. Metal does get slippery when wet while a grinding wheel or similar surface should never slip. I guess staton has to do some R&D.
  7. s_beaudry

    s_beaudry Member


    Put fenders on that bike, put goggles on, put you raincoat on, and

  8. JemmaUK

    JemmaUK Guest

    And this is why I am vehemently disliking friction drives....

    It was proved in the 50's that friction drive = slip in the wet.. yet so many people still use them. Although to be fair - if it doesnt rain often in your location then they are viable.

    The belt drive I use will hit 38mph flat out (#14 gear) and it never ever slips... having done over 1200 miles :) and it works in the rain, cold, snow and all the other pleasantnesses of the UK's climate.

    Rain at 30mph really hurts by the way...

    Jemma xx
  9. seacatman

    seacatman New Member

    I know what you mean about friction drive slipping in the rain or even if it is a little wet out. That is why I bought a GEBE kit after getting aggrevated with my DE friction drive slipping when it was wet out.
  10. ZnsaneRyder

    ZnsaneRyder Member

    I have a belt drive (kevlar v-belt) and it slips like crazy in the wet!!! It's a friction-drive in the sense it uses the belt friction with the pulleys for grip.

    I can drive on wet roads without much slip if it's not raining and I don't hit a puddle, but most of the time driving during or after a rain sucks.
  11. Esteban

    Esteban Active Member

    Yep, they will slip,, but the grit coated roller helps a lot. You must be EASY on the throttle, pedal a lot more, & take your time. NO way you will hit top speed,, unless downhill.
  12. Mountainman

    Mountainman Active Member

    my orders have came in --- YES SIR WILL DO !!!!

    I hear you loud and clear Sergeant s_beaudry

    I didn't intend to wuss out in the rain while riding sir

    it had been many years since my butt has been totally soaked while riding
    I didn't enjoy that very cold wet feeling up between the little mountain valleys
    and when my tennis shoes filled up with water
    I do enjoy that while camping -- why is it so different on my motor bike
    I thought that I was in a hurricane or something similar to it

    please give me one more chance Sergeant
    this time while heading out to the raining wet freezing cold front MB lines
    I will have the proper wet attire uniform on to include at least the following

    fenders, goggles, raincoat and PLASTIC WATER PROOF REAR END PROTECTOR

    back to the wet front lines Mountainman - and - RIDE THAT THING
  13. seacatman

    seacatman New Member

    Yes the grit roller does help in the wet stuff but it is a pain to stop while you are riding and change rollers whenever it starts to rain a little. It is nice to now just keep rolling not worying about the rain. I did enjoy my friction DE setup for about a year though just got tired of some of the downfalls of that setup.
  14. 5-7HEAVEN

    5-7HEAVEN Guest

    It rains every so often in Hawaii, and that is good because we need it. These past two days have been soakers and I was glad I didn't get caught riding in it.

    With my 20" friction bike, the tire would slip, but not as madly as my 26" friction cruiser. I had to feather the throttle and use much more pedal. Gas mileage suffered also.

    On my dual-engined "Mr. Hyde"(friction drive), tire slippage was 10 times less than my 26" single engine cruiser, because of "all-wheel drive" and less stress on the rear tire.

    Now that I've converted "Mr. Hyde's" rear engine to chain drive, tire slippage should be non-existent while using only the rear drive on wet roads.
  15. Happy Valley

    Happy Valley Active Member

    For me, riding in the rain with FD has not been a problem simply because who wants to ride in the rain anyway, with any kind of MB?

    I know one can get caught out in the rain, or have the weather change from dry to wet in the course of a day IE: sunny in the AM on the way in to work and rain later in the day, or caught out and try to shoot home between showers.

    As mentioned, easy on the throttle and pedal....but hey it's a bike.

    Honestly, and maybe I'm just lucky, the scenarios above account for maybe less than 5% of my riding incidence. Given that low percentage, and what I account as the solid advantages: low cost, low weight, low impact on the frame, ease of install, maintenance, and the ability to swap from bike to bike in 20 minutes, friction drive, for right now anyway, makes the most sense to me.
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2008
  16. seanhan

    seanhan Member

    No slipage on the GEBE yet!!!
    Just keeps on crusing. I do have to slow down in the rain becuse the streets get so slick around here, and I have *rappy tires on my bike.
  17. SirJakesus

    SirJakesus Guest

    This post I can totally agree with. It IS just a bike. To me FD keeps a bike the most true to its roots as still being mostly a bicycle. So what if you have to slow down and pedal assist? You still have more assist than with a regular bike and being forced to travel 1/3 slower than your top speed in the rain may actually save your arse in those conditions. Between my electric, nuvinci and friction I would have to say the friction is my favorite for its simplicity, smooth and quiet operation, extremely low weight, almost no maintenance and its very easy on the bike. You just can't go wrong with it unless you want a bike that is a pure off road mud slinger. I can accept the one slippage fault. ****, I don't INTENTIONALLY ride in the rain anyway. It's a darn mess if anything.
  18. Mountainman

    Mountainman Active Member

    lesson learned -- again -- dang dong ding

    and that is where I went wrong
    when I headed out that morning -- it was slightly raining already
    thinking that I needed to conquer this rain THING sooner or later

    man oh man -- what a dumb thought that was
    it's like said up above somewhere
    if we happen out on a ride and it starts raining
    then we deal with it
    but - to just head out into the rain on a MB
    and just for starters in my case
    riding downhill on a very dangerous road with no good bike lane
    NOT THE SMART thing DONE...

    lesson learned -- again -- dang dong ding -- this is getting mountain old

    ride that thing
  19. proline20

    proline20 New Member

    slippage on friction drives is WAY better than skidding to a stop with HT
  20. I have a Staton F/D also. Just park it when it rains. Get caught in the rain, peddle generously, apply very little throttle, maybe tighten the drive wheel against the tire a bit more.

    I have my Staton on an old tandem right now, so it's not getting a lot of use. I miss having it on my Trek. Wore out a tire this summer. Pretty reliable rig. So reliable, it's almost boring. I like to fiddle with my Happy Time. Gives me something to do when it's raining.