Is there a difference in quality?

Discussion in 'Motorized Bicycle General Discussion' started by george_n_texas, Oct 1, 2009.

  1. george_n_texas

    george_n_texas New Member

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    In tires? Tubes? Bearings?
    I have a 26 inch mountain bike (cheap one Wally sells for $79 new)
    Any suggestions on a smoothe riding mostly street tire and tube?
    Bearings that can bear my weight (245)?
    .xx.
     
  2. AslansMonkey

    AslansMonkey Member

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    The short answer is probably "Yes, but not much". For the average motorbicycler (are any of us really average) there won't be much noticeable difference in higher quality parts, but those who ride a lot can tell the difference.

    For tires I am partial to the Electra Retrorunners myself. They have a nice profile and give a nice ride. I also like the 8-ball logo on the sides. I like them so much I sent away to England for a set with red stripes on the side (no longer made) and I have a white wall set on another of my bikes. These tires run about $40 per tire, but I just put a set of Cheng Shin tires ($8.50 each) on one of my son's bikes and I think those are pretty darn good too.

    People of a more rounded physique (hey, ROUND IS a shape!) should probably be more concerned with the spokes than the bearings as the bearings are generally over engineered anyway. I'm a slight bit (and I am being generous to myself) over your 245 and I had the rear spokes fail on my main MB. It now has thick, 14g spokes on it.

    I can say this. I have four of these motorbikes now. Two of which are built on higher quality frames and two on less expensive frames. The best bike by far is the first one I built which is on a $400 Electra Coaster 7d frame. The ride is perfect and the bike is very solid. The next would have to be on the Grubee GT2 frame which is about the same price category. But the ride on these two is only slightly better than the ride on my $150 Greenline BC-106m frame.

    The fourth bike is on an old AMF Roadmaster frame and the ride suffers more because of the narrow tires than the frame itself. Since your mountain bike likely has nice fat tires on it, you won't have much of an issue.

    For your situation I'd recommend maybe getting a set of smooth tires to replace those knobbies on the mountain bike (assuming they came with those) and maybe start setting aside some money for new rims later just in case.
     
  3. Skylarrew

    Skylarrew New Member

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    I read the post here and would like to know if a ( Giant) bike made of 6061 aluminum would be a good bike to make into a MB? It has a slight slant top bar and it is a 21 speed bike. I could use a straight bar that I believe is a Huffy 10 speed. It of course is a heavier bike. It is my first MB and I would like to consider the choices .
     
  4. BarelyAWake

    BarelyAWake New Member

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    I have a slightly more costly (but still el'cheapo) aluminum mountain bike from WallyWorld so mebbe I can help both of you a bit lol

    Overall - "el'cheapo" bikes from Walmart are fine, IF you check the welds on the frame and pick one with good, heavy beads. The frames themselves are usually good, it's the various hardware, controls, shifters, rims, etc. that tend to be garbage. This isn't so much a problem as you'll prolly be replacing/not using it much anyway (like shifters lol). The rims/wheelset are NOT to be trusted, but everything else is prolly ok.

    Tubes - DON'T even ride the thing with the factory tubes in it if it's an el'cheapo - they're sure to pop. Both of mine split right next to a seam within 2hrs of riding, one right after the other lol. Good tubes are cheap enough.

    Tires - knobbies are fine, they slow you down jus a little but if you're careful to pick out a set with interlocking center tread the ride is smooth and wear is MUCH less. (see pic)

    Bearings - other than replacing the entire wheelset with higher quality, I'd say just slap some good marine grade grease in there. I've over 600mi on my cheap bearings and they are doing fine, but the rims/spokes themselves worry me... a LOT actually.

    Aluminum frame - I'm quite fond of my aluminum MB, but I'm not sure I'd recommend it to anyone. Definitely do NOT do the "drill-through" method of mounting the engine as this can lead to frame failure even with a steel bike, an aluminum one would only be more likely to fracture. This is a problem as most aluminum bikes have an oversize/oddly shaped Dtube. Giants are real nice bikes - but most I've seen have a HUGE Dtube...

    Be very VERY careful if you decide to use aluminum. They're great, but things like automotive exhaust clamps (sometimes used for mounting motor) will surely crush the frame and ruin its structural integrity.

    Another note about aluminum bikes, be wary of wear and chafe. Your chain occasionally slapping a steel bike will ruin a nice paint job it's true - but on an aluminum bike it'll cut through in short order. Every wear point suffers from this, I've kept on top of mine (I hope) - but be warned ;)
     

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    #4 BarelyAWake, Oct 2, 2009
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2009
  5. Venice Motor Bikes

    Venice Motor Bikes Custom Builder / Dealer/Los Angeles

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    If you're planning on making your bike fast & riding it a lot, I would start with a higher quality bike!!
    If you plan to ride it nice & slow, & not put thousands of miles on it? The Wally bike should be fine.
     
  6. azbill

    azbill Active Member

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    I started with a schwinn jaguar from target
    the only stock parts left are the frame, rear brakes, pedal chain, and derailleur
    I replaced each part 1 by 1, as funds became available
    I now have a bike with components picked specifically for there use with a motorbike...I could not afford to buy a bike with upgraded parts of the caliber I have now
    it's like how you upgrade a pc....first mobo, then ram, then vid card...etc
    now I am planning a stretch build, and know I have good parts to swap over to a new frame...this time the frame gets upgraded :)
     
  7. xlite

    xlite New Member

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    I've put thousands of miles on both Target cheapies and also bikes costing 10x more. Personally I see no difference in reliabilty. Never had frame trouble even with aluminum but then again I never drill holes. As mentioned spoke and rims seem to be the weak point but you get plenty of warning. Keep them equally tensioned and less likely to break.

    Bearings don't worry me either because they also give warning and easy to carry and replace. Same wear for cheap bikes vs expensive ones. The real issue is hub races. Virtually impossible to fix on the road and the only thing that will actually leave you stranded. Pays to check that wheel before every trip.
     
    #7 xlite, Oct 2, 2009
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2009
  8. george_n_texas

    george_n_texas New Member

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    My sentiments exactly...ya drill for oil not motor mount LOL I used black rtv rated at 450 degrees and it seems to be holding fine. The pic is a bit out of focus but I just squirted a bunch under the plate they give ya if the clamp don't fit with the nuts from the studs resting on the frame. It seems to be holding fine.
     

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  9. BarelyAWake

    BarelyAWake New Member

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    Sorry G, the second pic isa bit blurry, how did you do your front mount?


    Nice build btw - I like mountain bikes for this. Nothin' wrong w/a chopper or cruiser, just the roads around here are so rough they might as well be the trails I like to ride so much lol
     
    #9 BarelyAWake, Oct 3, 2009
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2009
  10. george_n_texas

    george_n_texas New Member

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    I bolted the plate up to the bottom of the motor (there are 2 nuts at the end of both bolts) the nuts at the end of the studs rest on the frame's bottom cross member and I filled the gap between the studs under the plate with black RTV gasket matterial. It is holding fine.
     

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