Peddling comfort?

Discussion in 'Motorized Bicycle General Discussion' started by gobigkahuna, May 3, 2011.

  1. gobigkahuna

    gobigkahuna New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2011
    Messages:
    268
    Likes Received:
    0
    Like probably everyone here, I've been riding bikes since I was knee high to a grasshopper, so normally when I shop for a bike I look for one that is comfortable when I'm peddling it (ie. proper arm and leg extension for peddling). I'm brand new to motorized bicycles so as I look for a suitable frame for my first build, it seems they fall into to categories: bikes that are comfortable, but would make a butt ugly motorized bike, or bikes that are uncomfortable, but would make a nice looking motorized bike. So when you look for a bike to convert to a motorized bike, do you consider peddling comfort?
     
  2. moonshiner

    moonshiner New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2011
    Messages:
    199
    Likes Received:
    0
    yes , i consider peddling/ riding comfort and safety above looks , that's why you build a uncool ugly comfortable daily driver for transportation , and a show stopper for those special occasions ..
     
  3. bairdco

    bairdco a guy who makes cool bikes

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2009
    Messages:
    6,333
    Likes Received:
    19
    i don't care at all about pedaling comfort. the most i pedal is 20 feet to start it and 10 feet to get going from a stop. all my motored bikes are really awkward to pedal, but are super-comfortable to sit on, which is all i'm really doing anyway.

    my bikes mostly get set up with a low, laidback seat and swept-back bars, so it's more of a cruiser motorcycle style. they handle great and feel great, but would be murder on the knees if i had to pedal them all the time. which i don't.
     
  4. Nougat

    Nougat New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2009
    Messages:
    1,332
    Likes Received:
    0
    I've found that the Walmart special cruiser seat location is way too far forward. I'd prefer mine back further for riding, not back and low like a bobber, but just a few inches to the rear. This would be a good balance between riding and pedaling comfort for me (which I find important, since I have to pedal up from a stop frequently enough).
     
  5. Mike B

    Mike B New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2011
    Messages:
    2,256
    Likes Received:
    1
    I put a 22 tooth sprocket on the rear and with the 40 tooth pedal sprocket, it pedals real easy. Slid the seat back as far as it would go and lowered it until I could flat foot on the pavement.

    Yeah, you want feet on the ground, seat back, crusin' style.

    ;)
     
  6. happyvalley

    happyvalley New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    Messages:
    786
    Likes Received:
    1
    Everyone has different interests in MBs, I only build bikes that are light weight and made to pedal but with power assist added.
    My first consideration is frame fit, that it is the right size. I want it to be comfortable pedaling, ideally with decent components and drive train.
     
    #6 happyvalley, May 4, 2011
    Last edited: May 4, 2011
  7. Mike B

    Mike B New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2011
    Messages:
    2,256
    Likes Received:
    1
    Yeah, me too.

    That's why I put the low ratio cog on it. I knew my knee would be bent way too much, so the effort had to be easy.

    That's what I mean. If you are going to build a "motor" bike then the motor should be the first consideration. Of course if you are building a "happy time" motorbike, then pedalling should be a prime concern too - laff
     
  8. ferball

    ferball New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2010
    Messages:
    599
    Likes Received:
    0
    I would look at ride comfort, because pedal comfort tends to want to put you over the pedals for more power which may have your weight further forward than it needs to be, making quick stops an interesting experience (back end lifting etc,). My Mt. bike was a super comfortable pedal ride, but after adding the motor I found that I had to add BMX bars to sit me up more comfortably, as sitting in the seat and riding is way different than standing in the pedals.
     
  9. gobigkahuna

    gobigkahuna New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2011
    Messages:
    268
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks all, you've confirmed some of what I've been thinking. Since I'm 6'5" tall, my "proper" peddling stance is pretty far up there, while on a motorcycle, I'd want my center of gravity to be just about as low as possible, right? This is a whole new way of seeing things for me, so I'm having to readjust my thinking. ;)
     
  10. Eric2.0

    Eric2.0 New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2010
    Messages:
    242
    Likes Received:
    0
    I ride XC Mountain bikes and in that I NEED a comfortable position above the pedals.

    With a motor bike I don't care, that's if the damn thing will start and you're not pedaling 200 yards all the time. In these, we only need to pedal to start so comfort in the pedaling department isn't so important.
     
  11. 42blue15

    42blue15 New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2008
    Messages:
    136
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have only built one MB (so far) which is not much compared to some others around here. I did weld a custom stretched frame though, since I knew the regular "large" (ha!) Worksman frame would be way too short to even hope to be comfortable.

    With the frame I made, I didn't put on any separate footpegs, I just used the pedals as footrests as I assumed it'd be easiest and would work okay. What I found out when I started taking longer (2+ hour) rides was, it didn't. I didn't pedal at all, and yet one leg was always uncomfortable. You could spin the pedals to alter the leg positions, but all that seemed to do was make both legs uncomfortable.

    I did use a cheap bobber motorcycle seat instead of a bike seat, and the motorcycle seat was really rather flat and not shaped to allow the rider's legs to pedal like a bicycle saddle is. I think the motorcycle seat was the better choice though, since I very rarely pedaled the bike at all. The main problem was that I hadn't made any good foot-rest locations.



    If and when I build another MB (and make the frame myself again) one mistake I will correct is putting one (maybe two) pairs of footpegs right where they will be the most comfortable, and then figure out where to stick the bottom-bracket/pedals afterward.

    One future option is to use travel-bike pedals (that fold up) on the cranks, and then use flip-down minibike pedals welded onto the frame wherever you need them, even inside the diameter of the pedals' rotation. You could not pedal and have the footpegs extended at the same time, but then again, you wouldn't ever need to.

    ------

    I will also say that if you wanted a bicycle that you could still pedal easily, then none of the common kits is really ideal. What I would build for that is a fork that could accept a rear wheel, and then build a chain-drive that used the front-mounted rear wheel's freewheel. That way the bicycle would always be able to coast forward normally (even if the engine was off) and you could also (pull-) start and shut-off the engine as you were in motion, while remaining in motion.

    A lot of vintage bicycle engines (usually friction drives) were built this way for basically the same reasons, but nobody seems to be making kits for it now.
     
  12. happyvalley

    happyvalley New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    Messages:
    786
    Likes Received:
    1
    If you're referring to predominately the china 2 stroke in-frame kits I agree with that assessment, I had one about four years ago, sold it and never looked back. There are numerous others though that work great and have little impact on the original functionality of a bicycle.
     
    #12 happyvalley, May 8, 2011
    Last edited: May 8, 2011
  13. gobigkahuna

    gobigkahuna New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2011
    Messages:
    268
    Likes Received:
    0
    This thread has really been helpful. After days of debating which bike to get, I've opted to buy the one that will be the better -motorized- bicycle, ie. less comfortable to peddle, but better suited to being motor driven.
     
  14. 42blue15

    42blue15 New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2008
    Messages:
    136
    Likes Received:
    0
    Which ones are those?
     
  15. happyvalley

    happyvalley New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    Messages:
    786
    Likes Received:
    1
    Gebe and Staton that I personally use but there are others as well.
     

Share This Page