Mechanical speedometer

Discussion in 'Motorized Bicycle General Discussion' started by big al, Nov 19, 2009.

  1. big al

    big al New Member

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    I recently purchased a vintage look-a-like mechanical speedometer off amazon from bikeworldusa. After I received it I went looking for instructions online and stumbled upon pages of blogs talking about how horrible it is, and how it breaks after a few miles. Has anybody had any experience with these, or have any suggestions. I am debating if I should return it.
     
  2. big al

    big al New Member

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    I forgot to mention its mainly plastic so I don't have alot of faith in it.
     
  3. AnthonyX99

    AnthonyX99 New Member

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    It shouldn't break if it does I'm pretty sure you can return it It will be more accurate because it's always turning with the wheel good luck tell me how it goes I'm thinking of buying one myself.
     
  4. big al

    big al New Member

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    It shouldnt, but people say it is really not made to go over like 15 mph, and freaks out after that.
     
  5. AnthonyX99

    AnthonyX99 New Member

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    can't those speedometer go to 50mph or was km/h the same would go for some electronic speedometers resetting or just scrambled numbers.
     
  6. bairdco

    bairdco a guy who makes cool bikes

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    the biggest problem with those cheap speedos is vibration. they're not designed to hammer down bumpy roads at 30+.

    get some rubber washers, or make something to isolate it from shaking around, and it'll work.

    the other problem is accuracy. i've seen videos where people claim 40+ speeds, and there's a cow in the background doing 50 (not really, but you can see where i'm going with this.)

    calibrate it with a stopwatch, or pace a buddy's car, or else it's just a toy strapped to your handlebars.
     
  7. 42blue15

    42blue15 New Member

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    As far as I've heard, the mechanical speedo is junk.

    A bunch of places sell them for around $20, and they're all junk, and they're all the same. The internal parts are all-plastic parts (rotating in plastic bushings) and the sending cable is very cheap and will break after only a few dozen miles (the needle will start to jump up and down when the cable is starting to break).

    The last good one was the Whizzer speedo, but not what Whizzer sells now.
    The GOOD one was the one from a number of years ago, when they were still being made by Stuart-Warner, which is a real instrument company, and made something that worked well and lasted a long time. Back when you could still get a new one, the speedo head cost like $75 alone, and the complete speedo w/sending cable cost like $130 or so.

    Whizzer doesn't use these anymore, they sell something now that is $40 complete, so it is definitely not the same. If it's any better than the $20 junker I don't know.
    ~
     
  8. AnthonyX99

    AnthonyX99 New Member

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    so electronic all the way sigma is a good brand I'm using it on my bike now it's suppose to be able to read up to 300km/h and the one I got was 30 bucks lifetime warranty
     
  9. Nashville Kat

    Nashville Kat Active Member

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    I had one of those as kid- in fact several of my friends, andliked it then. I don't know about at faster speed, but it's a small investment.

    I've been wanting to get one to try, but not a priority and I'm a victim of CREDIT COUNSELING!

    I've put a 27 inch wheel on the front, and the speedo claims to be for both 26 and 27 inch wheels, which isn't really that possible- the 27 will roll further per revolution.

    So I wonder if it's more accurate for one size than another? They seem to be just like the ones of 50 years back- when 27 inch was not around- so I wonder if they just say they work for 27 to selll more of them.

    I guess I could have someone check a speed against a car speedo, and then figure in any rate of variance.

    heres a link to one:

    Speedometers - Dial Speedometer 26"/27" MPH or KMPH | BikeWorldUSA | Bicycle Parts and Bike Accessories
     
    #9 Nashville Kat, Nov 19, 2009
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2009
  10. BrettMavriK

    BrettMavriK New Member

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  11. Finfan

    Finfan New Member

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    I've always doubted the accuracy of those things. I compared the rpm scale to the mph scale once and figured out that they would both be accurate for a 32" wheel. I suspect they are made for kids who want to think they are going real fast.
     
  12. NunyaBidness

    NunyaBidness Active Member

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    any info? The bike looks nice but give some info about your speedo since that's what this thread is all about.
     
  13. Retmachinist

    Retmachinist New Member

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    I bought 6 of the plastic speedometers when NCW had a closeout sale on them for $6.00. Two of them have over 600 miles on them, and two went on bikes I sold. As far as I know they are still working. If you search around you can find The Stewart Warners for around $80.00. I have one i'm not to impressed with it for that kind of money.
    I generally buy the $10 digitals. If they are a couple m.p.h. off so what. I am sure I am not breaking any speed limits with these Chinese motors.

    John
     
  14. 42blue15

    42blue15 New Member

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    The electronic ones can get interference from the Chinese 2-stroke ignition systems, but at least that is fixable with some metal with some shielded wire (use shielded wire for the ignition wires).
    ~
     
  15. Russell

    Russell Active Member

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    Not sure if I have the same cheepo mechanical speedo. It had a knob on the side to reset the milage. I assume it was meant for use on an exercise bike. It WAS very unusable but looked great~
    I took it apart and shortened the hair spring. It took several tries but got it to be pretty accurate between 18 and 30 MPH.
    I have a small cheap but very accurate electronic speedo sitting right next to it. They seem to agree in the 18 to 30 MPH. I have 700+ mi on the mechanical speeometer.
     

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  16. marts1

    marts1 New Member

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  17. big al

    big al New Member

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    So general consensus, should I just try it out and hope for the best, because I can't get my money back if it breaks.
     
  18. Russell

    Russell Active Member

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    Go electronic: Cheap and accurate.
     
  19. big al

    big al New Member

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    Doesn't look as vintage though, is the only downside.
     
  20. WayneC

    WayneC New Member

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    I just rode with a guy last week that has one. He said the needle started fluctuating as
    has been reported by many. He says he opened it up an lubed the gears and was perfect
    after that.
    If you like the look and the price, I say go for it. FWIW, I have an electronic $10 one and it is
    deadly accurate according to the radar machines in my area.
    WC
     

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