My impressions after 1st long ride

Discussion in 'Motorized Bicycle General Discussion' started by sofasurferlinux, Jul 11, 2009.

  1. sofasurferlinux

    sofasurferlinux New Member

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    Took my motor bike (1st build) out for a spin today. Drove about 4 miles on gravel roads. Heres what I'm thinking about the experience.

    The ride was very rough. Peddling a bike on hard gravel road is bumpy enough, but tolerable because you go at a speed which allows you to avoid the bigger bumps. On a motorized bike this isn't so much of a luxury. You hit nearly every bump. An extremely rough ride. I suddenly see the desire for a bike with suspension, which I never did before.

    The bike vibrates enough that at the end of 4 miles my butt was tingling a little. The vibration is felt in the butt and in the hands. I see why so many posters are obsessed with vibration dampening. Its a big deal.

    The posture suddenly seems more important. I don't normally mind riding with my body tilting a little toward the front. But when going that fast and hitting 4 times as many bumps as when peddling, your weight being shifted to your hands and hand grips that are made out of hard plastic, I see that I need to get in a more upright postion. My handle bar needs to be raised about 4 inches at least.

    My hand levers need to be moved (See attached photo). My rear brake lever is on the left side along with my clutch lever. The clutch lever is pointing directly frontward. My rear brake lever is positioned below the clutch. The cluth is fine but the brake is difficult to get to. I think I will move it to the right side and put the front brake on the left since it is used much less.

    I need a mirror. I was riding on a desolate country road. Luckily I was staying on the edge and not swerving. I pickup passed me. I didn't know he was there until he came up alongside me. He was going slow and watching me and waved as he went by, but on another day it might not have been such a harmless event.

    Anyway, I had a fun time but I can not see going much farther then that until I lessen the vibration and extend the handlebars.

    Comments?
     

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    #1 sofasurferlinux, Jul 11, 2009
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2009
  2. sofasurferlinux

    sofasurferlinux New Member

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    O DANG IT!!! I meant to post this in GENERAL DISCUSSION. Can someone please move it?
     
  3. Dave31

    Dave31 Moderator
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    As you requested :)
     
  4. Nashville Kat

    Nashville Kat Active Member

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    Yes- there are things you can do- I've done some, but not all yet- and it gets better all the time-
    I just posted some thumbnails on the "My second build" thread of my bike-

    Firstly, when I built it I put on a suspension seat post, BESIDES the sprung cruiser saddle- I got a steel one, 1 inch cruiser diameter,less than $20 shipped on ebay- search "bicycle suspension seat post" there, and "bicycle suspension fork".

    Check your diameters (25.4 mm equals 1 inch, 7/8" is 2.22 mm) I saw an alloy suspension seat pillar, with the built in clamp on top, a couple weeks back in a bike shop for $30. The suspension fork I got was about $60 shipped. I have two new ones that I got first- a 1" with a 120 mm lonng steer, and a 1'1/8" steer, 8 inches I'd like to sell if you think they might fit yours- they would be much cheaper-

    read the "second build thread" in general discussion section here-

    I also ALWAYS wear padded cycling gloves, after 14 season of USCF racing in younger days-

    recommend foam cruiser grips on bar ends, and pipe insulation foam motor mounts, to cut frame/motor vibration- haven't done this yet myself, and there may be clearance issues- DOUBLE UP the lockdown bolts on the motor mounts.

    Dual brake lever is ESSENTIAL on bikes with only handbrakes- makes things much safer! I got mine at Sickbikeparts I think- about $15 shipped.

    I was really surprised when I went to narrower tires- non-knobby- and how much vibration that cut down- biggest factor to date-

    Mirrors should be on long stems- I put one on cruiser bars and it wasn't long enough- since then I've put some 9 inch rise BMX bars, and may reinstall the mirror when I get back in traffic.

    So anyway between the seat post, front fork suspension and smooth tires, there is much less annoying vibration now- also a smaller rear sprocket (I have a 36 now) keeps the motor revs down at the same cruising speed

    good luck
     
  5. Nashville Kat

    Nashville Kat Active Member

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    Here's the bike, before the dual brake lever
     

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  6. Norco John

    Norco John New Member

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    I have the levers on the left HB reversed from your set-up. The brake is on top so if I need to grab a handfull of the front rim it's the first thing my fingers grab.
    Gravel sucks no matter what, it puts my butt and hands to sleep and a mirror should be mandatory.
    I take mine out for 10-15 mile jaunts on mixed roads. About 15 MPH is about it on gravel and full-tilt boogie on pavement of around 28 MPH.
     
  7. weekend-fun

    weekend-fun New Member

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    if i were you, i would
    A. Ride in a smother place
    B. Come here and ask for help :)
     
  8. wheelbender6

    wheelbender6 Active Member

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    I have to take an occasional bumpy dirt road to avoid areas of dangerous traffic.

    I was never comfortable on my motorized mountain bike until I added taller, beach cruiser handlebars.

    Your body will adapt to most of the vibration.

    Rear suspension can create a lot of chain problems and finding a suspension fork that fits can take a while if you don't have the now standard 1 1/8" threadless steerer.
    Larger tires (26x2.125, 26x2.5) may accomplish almost as much.

    Good luck.
     
  9. fm2200

    fm2200 New Member

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    sofasurfer I had to learn that the vibration is not the zone your engine was designed to be in. Keep your rpms below of the bone vibrating level and this will help a lot. If your speed is to low for that, then change your rear sprocket to a smaller one. I use a 40T sprocket and that is perfect for my area, I can cruise at about 25-30 with hardly any numbing vibration.
     
  10. Crash_Fall

    Crash_Fall New Member

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    On my mountain bike build (primarily off road), I cut about 1 1/2" off the end and mounted it 'above' the grip. Other than the need to lift your hand off the grip to squeeze it 'down'. I can hold it 'down' and still get my hand around the grip. it seems to make using the front brakes easier than 2 fingers on the clutch & 2 on the brake. Still gives me full use of front & rear brakes with the lever in/out (up/down?)
    Never know when you may need to hit both 'panic levers' doing 25 mph on a trail.
     

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