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Old 05-14-2012, 12:41 AM
Nashville Kat's Avatar
Nashville Kat Nashville Kat is offline
Motorized Bicycle Elite Member
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Jacksonville, Florida
Posts: 1,403
Default Re: Build or Ride? Which Do You Enjoy More?

It's not really either for me, although I love the practical aspects of using the bikes, and also take satisfaction from all those years of cycling know-how that otherwise left me sorta injured.

It's been an aesthetic quest for me- a slightly evolving way about thinking what this all would be otherwise, and then seeking the right components to realize the vision.
I think what I've been mosty after is a cheaper, lighter and simpler mo-ped, but I also like to think of my builds as Bicycles with Afterburners.

When I did the first basic China girl/ cruiser, my first inclination, after racing USCF for 14 years in my prime, was to put together a road bike with afterburners- as lightweight and peddable otherwise as I could get it.

But what I found, when I started to motor a Schwinn Traveller, was the top tube was too short to accomodate a standard tear kit tank- it was in the way of peddalling- and the back triangle wasn't spaced as favorable to the motor stuff as the cruiser.

Since the cruiser frame has been largely improved through the years, I found that as I lightened the bike up otherwise, I was getting a really good pedal otherwise. The real breakthrough was when I put 27 and 700 c wheels on the cruisers (700's actually fit better, and are easier to buy new, but I had some luck finding cheap used alloy 27's for the first build.) I started with the front wheel, but it made such a better roll, I eventually did all the wheels thin, lightweight and ROLLING- applying the advantages I learned for the fragile human motor to the not-so-massive bike motor.

the rest of the parameters revolve around that formula- lightweight wheels on a cruiser frame- I use alloy parts where I can- bars and 3 piece cranks- rims always. As we used to say about rotating weight: " An ounce off the wheels is like two off the frame" The 415 Trike chain is both lighter in weight AND pedals much easier than the standard kit.

I suppose the right mountain bike frames might work, but I'm too old and unfortunately active otherwise to try a lot of extra mechanical stressing. I concentrate on the two builds I had to lug up the apartment stairs- until I got another house last month. Thank God!

I have both a 50cc build, and a 66- and they have their respective characteristics- I actually have used the 50 more- it's lighter in weight and pedals more like a fine bike should.

anyway- I've saved lots of gasoiline and wear and tear on the car here in Jacksonville, where I can use the MB's most of the year- so I guess as far as the question goes- I like riding best- but I like being able to get home if the motor breaks down- fortunately that hasn't happened much, but I DO need to get some kinda pump to carry for flats.
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Last edited by Nashville Kat; 05-14-2012 at 12:51 AM.
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