Speedometer recommendations?

Discussion in 'General Questions' started by mystic-chris, Feb 21, 2011.

  1. mystic-chris

    mystic-chris New Member

    I'm looking for a speedometer with an odometer for a 26" cruiser bike build. I want one that's all mechanical, and all metal. The smaller the better. Any suggestions?

    Does anybody use motorcycle speedos on MBs?

  2. professor

    professor Active Member

    How about one from a whizzer? Motorcycles use their own drive mechanisims.
  3. motorpsycho

    motorpsycho Active Member

    The problem with the mechanical speedos is finding one that is calibrated to work on your wheel size. If you are running 26" wheels, then you need to find a speedo for 26" wheels. If you put a speedo on your bike that is calibrated for 20" wheels, your speed and mileage will be way off.
    This is why digital speedos are better because you can program your wheel size into it. No need to search for the correct speedo, just buy a quality digital one, set your wheel diameter into it and you're good to go.
    The digital ones also have a magnetic pickup which is less clunky that a mechanical pick up that you would have to use with a mechanical speedo. Plus there are no moving parts with a digital speedo.
    Newer mechanical speedos have plastic gears inside them (unless you get an old one with metal gears, and they're not cheap) and the plastic gears will not stand up to constant 30+ mph runs.
    the plastic gears will fail because most bicycle speedos usually never see those kinds of speeds.

    A motorcycle speedo would not work unless you can find one that is calibrated to run on the same wheel size as what's on your bike. there are no motorcycles that I know of with 26" wheels. Besides that, you would have to make some kind of pickup to go onto the bike wheel hub to make it work because most motorcycle speedo cables are threaded right into the brake drum (or hub) or in some cases into the transmission. They run off of a worm gear most of the time, and that worm gear drives a pinion gear on the end of the speedo cable.
    A moped or scooter speedo would bne set up the same way and it's possible that newer moped and scooters have electronic speedos with electronic pickups. I don't know much about newer mopeds and scooters, so I am just guessing on that.
  4. mystic-chris

    mystic-chris New Member

    Good suggestion...

    Thanks, Professor. New Whizzer-brand speedos with a 4-digit + 1/10s odometer sell for $39 (black) and $64 (chrome) on their site. I think that's my obvious answer. Going to order a black one once I verify with them that it'll work for my application (I can't see why it wouldn't). Cheers!

    Attached Files:

  5. mystic-chris

    mystic-chris New Member


    motorpsycho: I saw your post after posting my reply to the Professor. The main reason I want a mechanical speedo is because of its vintage appearance. I'm going to be contacting Whizzer about the compatibility of their speedo with my build. I'll also ask whether the gears in theirs are plastic or metal. Since they're putting these speedos on motorized bikes, hopefully they've spec'ed components that will handle more than bicycle speeds.
  6. Dave C

    Dave C Member

    Some bike speedo's have a small sun gear that engages the spokes or a small perforated disk thats attached to the hub.
  7. RedBaronX

    RedBaronX Member

    I have this one: SPEEDO: but the plastic piece that fits onto the hub (the gray bit) doesn't fit right, so it's not on my bike, it's in a box...

    Every once and awhile I poke around on eBay looking for one that is the same mechanics but all metal instead of plastic.
  8. sideshowbob

    sideshowbob Member

    Mechanical Tiawan Speedo

    Last month I gave up on my shwinn electronic speedo and got a Taiwan machanical unit. I love it. The case is plastic though. It does have a good odometer and it is so much easier to read; day and night. It has a metal mounting bracket and black plastic case with a grey plastic drive unit on the wheel. It was less than $20 bucks w/shipping from a bike shop on ebay. I highly recommend them. 30mph is one tick past the middle of the guage and its nice and big so its easy to see. Here is one on ebay now $11 bucks and 5 to ship.

  9. motorpsycho

    motorpsycho Active Member

    I had that exact speedo and it literally lasted for 2 days.
    the inner plastic gears disintegrated from constant 30 mph + rides.
    the one i have now is a digital schwinn speedo that i got at wal mart 4 $10.00.
    even tho it doesn't have that retro look, it's small enough not to stick out like a sore thumb. I have the magnetic pickup on the back wheel and the wire routed on the frame so that it's hidden.
  10. Esteban

    Esteban Active Member

    The " vintage looking " Schwinn style speedometer looks pretty good but is poorly built. I am not sure about the Whizzer one, but you can find true vintage ones on E Bay. Make sure they come with all the parts & are guaranteed to work.
  11. Chris Crew

    Chris Crew Member

    how about posting the url for the whizzer speedo---I want one
    I tried two of the plastic ones from one of our good suppliers here on the site--wasn't their fault that the materials weren't up to the stress
  12. forgetmenot

    forgetmenot New Member

    can u use your gps if it tells your speed? i use a garman 456t that is right on to how fast im going in my semi or car
  13. professor

    professor Active Member

    Yes, but have a secure spot to mount it.
  14. Mike Hunt

    Mike Hunt Member

    perhaps there is a way to use a microcontroller to read the signal from an electronic sensor, and use that information to have a servo move the indicator on a cheap taiwan analog speedo. since you're using a microcontroller you can calibrate it to be as accurate as you want.

    this might sound like overkill, but that way you can also do lots of other things to automate your bike: relays for making turn signals/brakelights, you can put a knob or a pair of switches in a convenient place on the handlebars to control the choke, or do it automatically with a temperature sensor, keypad/password protection for starting the bike, etc etc
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2011