Advantages/disatvantage Of Friction Drive

Discussion in 'Motorized Bicycle General Discussion' started by spit_fire, Jan 3, 2010.

  1. spit_fire

    spit_fire New Member

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    Im fearly new to MB about a year now i have about 4 builds and they are all the inframe 2 stroke china girls, ive always wondered y some people preffered the friction drive over the chain drive wich to me makes more sense, i was wondering if i could get some feed back of pros and cons of the friction drive hopefully from people that use them thanx.shft.
     
  2. wheelbender6

    wheelbender6 Active Member

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    Advantage of friction drive is simplicity.
    Disadvantage is rapid tire wear.
    Admittedly, I have never owned a friction drive, so take it with a grain of salt.
     
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  3. spit_fire

    spit_fire New Member

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    i guess i can c how that works do they have more torque cuz i imagine the gear ratio to be pretty good as the crank of the motor vs the tire size
     
  4. Elmo

    Elmo New Member

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    Simplicity, low weight, cheap and reliable unless it gets wet. You can take a free weedeater engine and a thrift store bike and use a little creative engineering and have a motorized bike very cheaply. I had very little money in mine. That said I am building a chain drive now for my second bike. It is going to cost me at least 4 or 5 times more than the friction drive.
    Elmo
     
  5. spit_fire

    spit_fire New Member

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    i must admit i never took the budget situation in mind it make sense and as for it getting wet does it still work once the tires wet but just slips alot or does it just not work
     
  6. Elmo

    Elmo New Member

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    If you just hit a puddle it will slip a little and catch back up. If the road is wet or it is raining just leave it at home.
    Elmo
     
  7. toker_ace

    toker_ace Member

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    Elmo is right about wet conditions.I have had a staton-inc. 35 cc Robin -subaru friction drive for about 3 years. I have a mobile car wash business and I park my truck and trailer every day and get on my bike and go get my customers cars.Its really the most reliable set-up you can own.Its also, pretty darn powerful! If you like to work on your bike don't get one.Cause there nothing to work on.Its like a toyota.
     
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  8. tankboy

    tankboy New Member

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    i have a staton robin friction set up on my mountain bike "the blue mule". when it rains i push the friction roller down a little more and tighten the release nut. the system is incredibly simple and reliable. i wear a set of insulated coveralls and ride it through rain and snow. just ease up on the throttle when riding in wet conditions. another nice thing about friction is that you can switch it to another bike in about a half hour!
     
  9. demolition_dave1

    demolition_dave1 New Member

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    THe only advantage to Friction drive over chain drive that I do not see already mentioned is that with a friction drive kit you can completely disengage the roller bar from the wheel when you are pedaling and not using the engine.
    With a chain drive it is obviously always connected and thus always producing drag, making use of the bike without the engine running extremely difficult.
    And dont let anyone tell you these engines do not produce a significant amount of drag. They do. So if you plan to use legpower from time to time, do not go with a chain drive. You will regret it.
     
  10. SlickmisterN

    SlickmisterN New Member

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    I've been slamming a friction drive Specialized full suspension downhill bike with Maxxis Hookworm tires for the last 3 years and am still on the same set...
    If you buy an appropriate quality tire for the application and everything is lined up straight and true performance and life of the tires will be greatly increased.
    I however cannot ride mine on wet road or in the rain and get good grip from my over-sized knurled bike peg roller spindle.

    I kinda feel like full suspension is necessary on a friction drive with the road conditions here. Hitting one pot hole at 25-30 w/o one and your small engine will
    kill all power in a blink, and wont start again till you slow to a stop. I still dodge gaps in the road though, California roads have gone to **** in a hurry!

    LOL. I think a freewheel clutch pretty much solves the drag issue Dave.
     
  11. wayne z

    wayne z New Member

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    Check out my jackshaft driven fricton drive in the DIY forum under "Predator in frame fricton drive.
    This is the most awesome FD I have ever used. Has a 3.5" knurled roller. Change a pulley to customise ratios. Tops out at 38mph! 99cc 4 stroke power

    Inexpensive manual belt clutch. Or opt for a Maxtorque.

    No messy troublesome chain and sprockets to deal with!
     
    #11 wayne z, Jul 21, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2011
  12. donutguy

    donutguy New Member

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    I'd have to disagree with the rapid tire wear.....been on the same set of tires for 1500 miles and they still have 50% tread left....the secret is to regularly rotate your tires.

    Having said that- as soon as I get the money, I'll be buying a Thatsdax rear mounted chain drive set up for my second bike. I want to ride when it's wet or muddy....friction drive does not work well at all in wet weather.
     
    #12 donutguy, Jul 21, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2011
  13. wheelbender6

    wheelbender6 Active Member

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    There was one guy that wanted to use his motor assist only to climb hills. The friction drive would probably work well for him.
     
  14. TheSignGuy

    TheSignGuy Member

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    I've owned 2 friction drives custom made, 1 chain drive by purchase and 1 v belt drive custom built by me.
     
  15. Showeeks

    Showeeks New Member

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    friction drives have less vibration, but a higher center of gravity and in my opinion just don't look as cool but a lot of people on this site who use their bikes for transportation seem to prefer them. For what it's worth.

    cyclocross bikes
     
  16. 5-7HEAVEN

    5-7HEAVEN Well-Known Member

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    I ran friction bikes for years, before switching to chain drive.
     
    #16 5-7HEAVEN, Nov 18, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2018
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  17. Dan

    Dan Staff
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    Wow, 5,7. Never thought about the pressing road junk. Not huge. Just never realized it is such a factor
     
  18. 5-7HEAVEN

    5-7HEAVEN Well-Known Member

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    Yes, Dan, I had the darnedest luck with friction drive.
     
    #18 5-7HEAVEN, Nov 19, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2018
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