Old Age, Short Legs, Tall Bike

Discussion in 'Motorized Bicycle General Discussion' started by 5-7HEAVEN, Feb 15, 2017.

  1. 5-7HEAVEN

    5-7HEAVEN Well-Known Member

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    Time flies. I'm 70 now. I need to get back on my bike. It seems like my legs got shorter. I'm thinking about installing 20" wheels on my 26" bike. Anyone else have this problem?:-||
     
  2. MEASURE TWICE

    MEASURE TWICE Active Member

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    Sometimes if you stop your bike with the middle of the bike over an area of low ground, but the front and rear wheels are higher up, you can have real problem. Once a large pot hole I stopped at when a red light was ahead. I nearly dropped a Kawasaki 350, but saved it. I had to get off the bike and walk it with power to the throttle and hop on once part way into the intersection.
     
  3. crassius

    crassius Well-Known Member

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    save yourself a LOT of work & start with a shorter 26in bike
     
  4. ultralight01

    ultralight01 New Member

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    ^
    What he said
     
  5. 5-7HEAVEN

    5-7HEAVEN Well-Known Member

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    Diamondback Response, 20" frame, front/rear disc brakes. Power is from a mid-frame Tanaka 47R engine and shift kit. Scooter Guy engine mount. The Tanaka-specific power pipe wraps perfectly around the top and down tube. If I choose a different frame, the engine and pipe prolly won't fit.
    I almost ordered 13" rims and tires. This seems the easiest fix. Then I measured the pedal-to-ground clearance and subtracted 3 inches. The pedal is VERY close to the ground!
    Does someone make shorter pedals that'll accept the SBP freewheel and chainring sprocket?
    The last resort would be pedals fixed horizontally. Gearing is super-low 51:1 first gear. No problem from a standing start.
     
  6. crassius

    crassius Well-Known Member

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    perhaps a larger wheel in front & smaller at back might get you closer to ground while pedals stay up a bit higher

    perhaps saw a couple inches out of each pedal crank and weld together shorter

    not quite sure what you wanted to do here, but sounds like you built it before trying to ride it

    I build a lot of 26inch bikes that my GF at 4'11" can put both feet flat on ground from.
     
    #6 crassius, Feb 15, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2017
  7. xseler

    xseler Well-Known Member

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    Wouldn't a layback seat post be the simplest, easiest answer to this issue? When I got mine, it dropped the seat height about 3 inches.....
     
  8. 5-7HEAVEN

    5-7HEAVEN Well-Known Member

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    So does your short GF ride a mid-framed motorized bike?

    Umm, I had ridden this MB for years, then stored it.

    Time flies. The body is not as nimble. I've built motorized bikes with small frames. However, they didn't have mid-framed engines.

    I found shorter pedal arms, but I need one that's threaded for the right-side freewheel and sprocket.
     
  9. 5-7HEAVEN

    5-7HEAVEN Well-Known Member

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    Hey, thanks for the seat post tip.

    But then I'd have to move my 4-liter gas tank on my "rack in the back".

    Or maybe use a smaller, shorter tank.
     
  10. crassius

    crassius Well-Known Member

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    I'm also 70 and cannot pedal a bike more than maybe a short block - no possibility I could get a leg over anything behind the seat no matter how low it was - I prefer to build a nice cruiser with frame so small that motor barely fits, but 26 wheels to handle potholes.

    Don't build a lot as I'm a full time repair shop, but see many customers over 45 years old that are getting beat up badly by bikes too tall for the old bod. Step ladders on wheels are for young folks.
     
  11. 5-7HEAVEN

    5-7HEAVEN Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for your input, crassius. Old age snuck up on me quickly a year or two ago. I rode 6 miles to work regularly. Now, when I think about that, I get cold feet. I'll probably cruise off and on.
     
  12. Potato_In_Exhaust

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    Oh, COME ON! There are 70 year old's out there doing triathlons! No excuses!

    All kidding aside, I shouldn't be one to talk....... I can't even pedal half a block until I let my China beast roar to life!
     
  13. 5-7HEAVEN

    5-7HEAVEN Well-Known Member

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    LOL, potato, we should all be lucky enough to play with our bicycles.dance1

    I don't envy old athletes.
     
  14. dogcatcher

    dogcatcher Member

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    I am at the same age and with the same problems. My build will be shorter and with a side car to haul my walker and my cane. I probably should built a trike, but I am too stubborn to take my own advice.
     
  15. MEASURE TWICE

    MEASURE TWICE Active Member

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    I was not sure if it was both, the feet reaching the pedals when sitting on the seat and also having both feet on the ground stabilizing the bike while stopped and not falling.

    I don't have pedals since when I designed my bike I was a bit confounded by how they clear the engine and stuff. I had later stumbled upon MB website. My bike became legal only off road with OHV DMV sticker for every 2 years 52 dollars.

    Standing up on the foot pegs I was OK, but the seat was still an issue. I added extra padding I made sort of temporary and it made it that I was having only 1 foot on the ground to stabilize.

    I got used to it and pull the recoil pull starter with one foot on the ground while seated. I can teeter to opposite side when stopped as a work around and it has become natural now. I know to have one or the other hand on either brake lever so I don't roll if not on flat level ground.

    Only if my DIY build had smaller profile engine and the frame lower to ground to start would it not have ended this way, but it is fun.

    Front wheel became a 24 inch on my 26 inch frame only as a result of wanting shocks for cheap. Swapping in a fork that had shocks I got from a donor bike, had no difference in the bike being level strangely. The bike is still level front to back.

    I think most of the comments on another frame is the way, but you ultimately choose.

    I have so much time into my bike with even a spare engine I am sticking with it as is. I intend at some point to get back to making it an art vehicle that looks like a fish for parades which took a back seat to checking out the trails.

    Even now see a need to modify my mini bike foot pegs to better gripping used Honda motorcycle parts so my feet don't slip off the pegs when I go through mud or small streams.

    I like to do custom stuff and I thought with chop and weld is fun if not in a hurry. I made room for a replacement belt pulley sheave that was wider, for the rear wheel drive by modding the left side stay by sort of nibbling and welding. The nibbler is an electric die grinder with separate speed control like 5.5 amp and cutoff disks.

    I'm just looking at the Sportsman Flyer ad and see it probably has a lay back seat, it has to be a good way to get a lower seating and stance. People either make or buy lay back seat post parts.
     
    #15 MEASURE TWICE, Feb 16, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2017

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