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Old 03-21-2012, 11:02 AM
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Skarrd Skarrd is offline
Motorized Bicycle Elite Member
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Chandler, AZ
Posts: 495
Default Re: Ouch. Sucks for him...

decided to send the guy an email

Hello, i stumbled upon the article you wrote about your motorized bicycle. I found it rather interesting, however there were things in it that led me to believe it to be an unfair review of a motorized bicycle.

I purchased and built my own motorized bicycle at about the same time that you seem to have (around mid 2010 or so). I agree with you that the manufacturing leaves much to be desired, and as such that little engine did give me an interesting fight to get it working correctly. But my main concern on your article is that it is based on your 'ten minute' ride.

I understand that you are a motorcycle rider and have much experience as such, however I feel that the problems you had with your motorized bicycle were user error.
The reason i say that, partly stems from your section talking about the brakes. In your article you stated: "The front and rear brakes on a bicycle are designed to stop the bicycle at normal riding speeds, which for most of us is ten or twelve miles per hour or maybe slower. The brakes are not designed to quickly and safely stop a bicycle traveling at twenty or thirty miles per hour." You are correct that the brakes on a bicycle are not designed to stop a bike moving at anything over 15mph or so. However, i feel that this is something you may have failed to research, and or sought ways to better the brakes on it.

on a typical motorcycle it will have front and rear DISC brakes, most bicycles have what is called RIM brakes. When i first built my motorized bicycle, i mounted the motor onto a Schwinn clairemont frame, before i even rode the bike, i purchased front forks, with a disk brake mount included, rather than hoping the rim brakes would stop me.

My other concern on your article is about getting the engine started. you state that "The new gasoline engine would not start. To start the engine you have to be pedaling the bicycle extremely fast or riding the bicycle down a hill. Even at six-miles per hour the engine would not turn over. At 6 MPH the engine made a sound similar to what you hear when you turn the ignition key in an automobile and the starter engages. The bicycle engine sounded as if it was trying to start but it just wouldn't start." Because of this, it leads me to believe that during your course of riding the bike the engine was never actually running.

concerning the braking method and clutch "If you need to apply the brakes then you also need to pull in the clutch. If you don't pull in the clutch then the engine keeps working against you pulling you forward while you are trying to stop the bicycle with the brakes." This is a false statement you have made, or a statement made without understanding engine dynamics. The engine will only continue to pull you forward if you are still giving it throttle or said throttle is stuck open. if needing to stop the operator should disregard the clutch (I.E. leaving the engine engaged), let off the throttle, and focus on both brakes. What will happen is the engine's own compression will aid in slowing the bicycle down, this is known as 'engine braking.' If an emergency occurred and the engine was stuck in an open throttle condition, the operator is wise to hit the kill button immediately, thus cutting the engine's power and turning it solely into a dead weight.

Again, i realize that you have 40+ years of experience as a motorcycle rider, however i feel that you jumped into this, treating the bicycle as a motorcycle, and not what it is, a bicycle with a motor on it.

I have also included a link to a picture of my bike in case you wished to see how mine was set up. granted the engine had quite a bit of performance add ons, but would still stop on a dime within 58 feet at 40mph.

They see me rollin'
they hatin'

Originally Posted by biknut View Post
Traditional bicycle riders think we're cheaters. Non riders think our bikes are toys. Bicycle shops think we're a threat. Tree huggers think we're polluters. The police don't know what to think.
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