Re: rubber drive roller or steel?
Well here is my humble opinion thought it is antidotal not real side by side comparison. I have used metal friction drive wheels and found them adequate but also found them to be rough as heck on tires. small rubber wheel like a skateboard seem to do well. I think they actually have more grip but thats just me. My weight runs between 200 and 220 lbs these days.
I now use a 12" scooter rear wheel on my ebike friction drive and find it perfect. It is best not to run knobby tires on a small wheel friction drive, it will beat the motor and drive to death. Constant and deep vibrations you see. On the drive I use, it makes no difference for some reason. I guess that is because the wheel is large enough to roll right over the indentations. No vibrations. Of course it does look weird. That's why I call it a rhino drive. It looks like one giant horn on the bike either front or back.
Good luck and I love friction drive best. If I were going back to gas and I do threaten to every few weeks, I would go with gas friction drive on the rear wheel.
My posts have entertainment value only. A bike ain't yours till it has your blood on it. Then it owns you.
Last edited by deacon; 12-31-2009 at 11:01 AM.