I just posted about my cool new rear tire. While changing the tire I realized I need a new bicycle.
My Raleigh Gruv 2 is a comfort bicycle with a stretched frame. It is extra long on the bottom of the frame with the cranks much farther forward than normal. This allows a rider to almost put their feet flat on the ground while seated. This is a really great design and more bicycles are being made like it each year. Unfortunately it doesn't accommodate a friction drive motor kit. You can see pictures of it with my Golden Eagle kit at my MySpace site: Michael J.'s Cycling Photo Album - MySpace Photos
There is very little space between the seat stays and the seat support. That means the U-clamp is interfering with the fender area. My new tire won't allow a fender to be used because the motor clamp is taking up some of the space there.
The U-clamp also is directly outside the V-brakes. That means that when I need to change a rear tire I must remove one of the brake pads in order to get the tire out. This is because when undoing the brake connection that holds the two sides together, the brake arms won't spread out wide enough to let the tire pass between the brake pads. The U-clamp blocks the arms from spreading.
The Gruv 2 seat post also is tilted backward more than a conventional bicycle. That means it is very close to the friction drive unit. I needed the extension mounts to move the kit backward. Even with those extensions the seat is close to the mounts. This prevents me from using my Cane Creek Thudbuster suspension seat post. That is an awesome ride enhancer. Anybody out there with a hard tail frame should get one of these. A spring saddle could do the job but I doubt it would work as well.
I think I'd like to get a bicycle without a front suspension. I really like front suspensions but with the motor kit where a rack would normally fit, there is no way to carry much cargo. Everything must go into a back pack. With a conventional fork I could mount a large front basket which would allow me to carry plenty of cargo with ease.
A new bicycle designed for fat cruiser tires (2.25-2.5 inches) would give me a mild suspension effect especially if I used Big Apples or Fat Frank tires, though I do love the look of my new Bell Stream Liner.
Who has experience buying single speed low end bikes at a big box store? Are they generally reliable? I just need good basic parts and a way to at least mount a front brake if it doesn't have one. I think with my motor kit and low gearing for starts, a single speed would work for me. A seven speed would be better but I'm not sure I even need one since my friction drive kit is geared for only a 20 mph top speed. I just need some extra power for starts.
Anybody else here realize that they needed to switch bikes because their kit didn't work well with their frame design? Let me know. I'm curious about it.