Staton FD Channel alignment - help!

Discussion in 'Friction Drive' started by tjdmobile, Jul 13, 2011.

  1. tjdmobile

    tjdmobile New Member

    Ok - I have been pretty vocal about how much I love this thing. I am currently a bit frustrated though. I even bought a brand new high end bike in order to have things "tough" enough to handle the torque of the motor.

    So - My trouble is the "grinder" I now have mounted on my rear tire. :annoyed:

    I have the U-bracket mounted, using the center hole through the brake hole on the seat stays. I have VERY carefully measured and lined it up to make sure it is the same length of seat stay on each side of the bracket and torqued it down. I put the channel and motor on, and try as I may, I can't center the channel perfectly. Measurements front to back to the tire (in order to obtain a fully squared roller) is always off by at least 1/8". This is really, really frustrating. Went through my first brand new tire within 150 miles of motored riding (I only use the motor on the way home).

    I ordered a second kit from Staton, and even with the new brackets and all, same problem.

    Any thoughts on what the heck to do with this? I appreciate your time! Email with Staton is useless - I have NEVER received a response back on the sales or technical support email. Oh well! :whistling:


  2. motman812

    motman812 Member

    I've had a Staton FD on my 1981 Schwinn cruiser since 2007. I think the problem is that the brake bracket isn't square to the wheel. When I was aligning or squaring mine up I took a 10" Crescent wrench and bent the side brackets until the channel fit square to the tire. Like you said it's only a 1/8" or so. Haven't had a problem in over 2,000 miles since. Good luck.
  3. tjdmobile

    tjdmobile New Member

    Thanks for the reply, but can you elaborate? Do you mean to say that you bent them left or right or toward the back? I could probably devise some sort of spacer thing. Having trouble imagining this 3D problem in my mind. The channel side to the front of the bike is always "left" by 1/8" when viewed from the rear toward the front. Would that be a spacer to make the left side bracket more proud of the seat stay?
  4. Happy Valley

    Happy Valley Active Member

    Not sure I understand exactly what the orientation is when you say 'not centered'?
    Do mean the roller is riding on the tire at an angle?

    Regardless, your description of being off by only an 1/8" seems not enough to cause excessive tire wear, getting 150 mi. from a tire! I'm wondering if there may be other contributing factors,IE: tire under inflation, too little down pressure locking the roller at, throttling up too quickly on take-off???
  5. tjdmobile

    tjdmobile New Member

    HV - That's precisely what I am talking about. I press down about a quarter inch. I keep the tires at 65 pounds, in a tire that is max 75. That may contribute, but I suspect that the bigger culprit of tire wear is the fact that not having the roller square to the wheel causes grinding rather than simply "double" tire wear which I would expect since it hits a surface twice per revolution. Oh, and 150 are miles with the motor on. Tire probably made it 400 miles. I have a fair commute I do each day, and still ride as a normal bike most of the time.

    I always get to 16-18 mph before i engage, and I feather it. At first I did gun it (since I was used to my 650 cc bullet bike) but have cooled it on that.\

    Think I will try to make some shims / spacers to see if I can square this thing up. Who would have thought a upper tier brand new bike would have a frame that wasn't totally square to the wheel? wow.
  6. tjdmobile

    tjdmobile New Member

    I think I have it "fixed". Came home tonight and noticed after taking the bracket off that the hole the middle bolt went through (to hold the old style brakes) is off center by about 1/8". Abandoned having the bracket mount through that hole and voila - I can completely center the channel now.

    I will try the motor out tomorrow and hope that the bracket doesn't shift. On my old Schwinn, it was centered which is probably why I didn't think to look at it when I did the initial install. Perhaps now I can go back to motored bike bliss and stop messing with this thing!

    Thank you for your helpful replies!
  7. Happy Valley

    Happy Valley Active Member

    That sounds like the the ticket TD. In some installs I know I've been tempted to use the hole in the brake bridge to put the center bolt through just because it looks like it should go there but it often doesn't work out because I need the U bracket higher or lower to keep the drive channel level.

    Just an fyi, I have mounted the U bracket with 2 bolts a number of times and had no problems with it moving. I do add strips of old inner tube under the clamping surfaces more really to offer grippage than to protect the paint.

    I know you'll get it how you want it, keep experimenting, though these are basically pretty simple mounts they sometimes need tweaking to get them to ride perfectly true. We can get them perfectly lined up with the motor off and the bike stationary but there will a slight degree of flex in the mounting parts when you're on the road and you power on, the drive assembly will tend to deflect slightly up and to the left due to the loading when applying power, so accounting for that with a little "Kentucky windage" lol on the mount may be a something to consider. Also, as Motman suggested he will "adjust" the arms of the U channel with a big crescent wrench to conform to his satisfaction.

    BTW, consider yourself in the forefront of MB commuters, you're doing daily distance that I would guess is more than 90% of MB riders do and probably in a heck of a lot better shape too, lol.

    All the best and ride safe!
  8. darwin

    darwin Well-Known Member

    I've noticed left to right centering isnt near as important as the twisting centering is. Just 1mm can make a huge difference. Also if your using a cheap kit the bolt that holds the channel to the bracket shouldnt have any play at all in it, the bolt should fit tight in the channel holes.
  9. loquin

    loquin Active Member

    IMO, the most critical alignment is
    1. when looking down from above, that the channel be exactly parallel with the wheel. (and therefore, the roller, exactly parallel with the axle.) Even a small amount of angle here causes a lot of 'grinding' by your roller.
    2. The less critical alignment is when looking at the roller from behind, that it is parallel with the axle. Yes, this means that one side of the wheel contact is a little further from the axle than the other side, but, relatively speaking, this is small potatoes, compared to item 1.
    Smooth tires (slicks) help a lot, as well.