Resistance while clutch is pulled

Discussion in 'Motorized Bicycle General Discussion' started by Sylph, Apr 8, 2014.

  1. Sylph

    Sylph New Member

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    Hi folks,
    I've been riding my motor bicycle for a few months now, and while I really enjoy it, there's one thing which is bothering me. It's bothering me specifically because I don't see other people on these forums talking about it.

    The problem is the freewheel while I'm pulling the clutch. It's awful.

    I've ridden motorbikes for years, so I'm completely familiar with the HUGE difference between a neutral gear, and just holding the clutch in. That is, I expected significant resistance when I had the engine completely off, and the peg in the clutch lever. I *can* ride the bike 'without engine' in this manner, but it's a *lot* harder. Like a brake is constantly slightly on.

    I know the first replies will probably be trying to establish whether my clutch is properly adjusted, so I want to pre-empt that and say that I've tried adjusting the clutch loads of times. I think I have it just about perfect now, but whatever I try (even ridiculously tight so that it's completely engaged even when not being pulled!), I still get this resistance.
    Also, I can pull the clutch and have the engine idle perfectly while the bike is standing still.

    As I said, I expected the bike to be a lot harder to pedal, because I'm turning a tight chain attached to a small sprocket in the engine, but the resistance *is* a little higher than I even expected, and I'm wondering whether this issue can be fixed since I've seen nobody else here comment on it. In fact, I read people saying things like:
    Which is so totally different to my experience.

    Can anyone offer any insight into this? Is your bike noticeably harder to pedal when you fully pull the clutch and aren't using the engine?
     
  2. 2door

    2door Moderator
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    There will always be some parasitic resistance (drag) even with the clutch properly adjusted and disengaged. The bike will never be able to be pedaled as easily as if it had no engine. A chain that is too tight will add to the drag too. 1/2 to 3/4" of slack is recommended. Also you'll want to assure all parts are well lubricated.

    Sorry, it's just the nature of the beast and a combination of friction and moving masses that are not there if the bike isn't motorized. The chain, sprockets, clutch cross shaft and other parts such as the clutch actuating components are all moving when the bike rolls and the chain is attached. Add all of them together and you get the resistance you feel when pedaling with the engine off and the clutch disengeged.

    I don't have a link but there is one option available that allows disengeging the rear hub from the sprocket but it requires you stop and pull pins. It can't be done on the fly.

    Then there are those who pedal more than they rely on engine power. They remove the chain completely and store it until needed. Of course that requires seperating the chain by use of a master link. Dirty work and again, can't be done without stopping.

    Tom
     
  3. floridaboy

    floridaboy New Member

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    All i can tell you is i have built 4 bikes and they all were hard to ride with clutch pulled in. I think is no more then the extra chain drag with the extra tension on it. Hope this helps.
     
  4. Sylph

    Sylph New Member

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    Thanks, your replies have put my mind to rest. That quote in my above post was kindof what made me start doubting.

    I disengage the chain when I'm not using the engine (mainly when I'm out riding with my other half), but having a quicker way of doing it would be a real help to me. My ideal would just be getting a neutral gear, but some 'disengage' pin to take out or put in sounds interesting. Are you able to find a link, 2door?
     
  5. bluegoatwoods

    bluegoatwoods New Member

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    I remember a guy from a few years back who had developed a dis-engageable rear sprocket.

    I think he called it 'Hybri-pedal'. It was something like that, anyway. But when I googled that term, I came up with nothing.

    Does anyone else remember him or the name of his product?

    On the other hand, the fact that we're not seeing him around anymore suggests that the product failed.

    But if he can be reached, then maybe he's still got some of them.
     
  6. GearNut

    GearNut Active Member

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    Yeah, I remember the Hybri-Pedal. I too have not seen it available anywhere for a while now. If I recall correctly it was made in Australia.
     
  7. brown

    brown Member

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  8. Nashville Kat

    Nashville Kat Active Member

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    Have you tried adjusting the flower nut under the clutch cover?-
    it should be fairly tight-
    I've got a 50 cc now I had to keep adjusting, and it kept going tight again- finally gradually less-

    and when you do, make sure the cable is tight and the end adjusters screwed all the way in- so you can screw them out and tighten the line if it keeps going loose-

    I raced USCF for 14 years, and was first really concerned with the pedal resistence-

    it DOES seem to lessen as the motor breaks in- but it really sounds like you need to adjust the flower nut- use the search engine here for more info if you need it. Skinny tires count peddaling and so I like 700 c wheels, but you can get 26" tires down to 1.5 or even 1.25 width

    and one other REALLY BIG improvement to pedalling:
    Get a 415 Industrial/Trike chain on ebay or Amazon- about $15 shipped i think-

    the same 415 width and pitch, but the plates are shorter vertically-

    they weigh almost HALF as much, but more importantly they ROLL much easier

    for your peddaling and for the tiny motor's powering too.
    You'll hear a quieter difference too.

    I've run them for several years now street riding without failure

    The Boygofast chain breaker will likely not fit-
    tho I still have plans to grind the pin slightly cause it's too fat.
     
    #8 Nashville Kat, Apr 8, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2014
  9. GearNut

    GearNut Active Member

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  10. maniac57

    maniac57 Old, Fat, and still faster than you

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    I seem to remember someone in the forum had a freewheel sprocket that allowed pedaling without moving the chain, but this required a pullstart which are prone to constant failure unless you have a light touch.
    The pin lock sprocket looked like a much better idea, but it requires some clearance and looked dangerous to me unless the pins lock somehow. Imagine tooling along at 30mph and suddenly the rear wheel locks from a pin coming out....
    Mind you, this may not be an issue at all if the pins lock somehow, but I've never seen one up close to know how they work. No slur intended to the product!
     
  11. Nashville Kat

    Nashville Kat Active Member

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    One of my first posts about five years ago now was about a need for a locking freewheel/ sprocket, and what I envisioned was a litle lever control like a three speed control that would simply move a cable that locked and unlocked a freewheel sprocket.

    That Austrailian hub came out about then- The only problems I think is that with that one you have to dismount to release it- and yes, you probably have to have a pull start then, in case the motor dies, or you're off the bike again to pin and un pin it. Plus it's HUGE- I ride a 34 alloy sprock these days- about 100 times less weight probably.

    Take my Trike chain suggestion above- you'll be glad you did- GUARANTEED reduction in pedal resistance.
     
  12. Sylph

    Sylph New Member

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    I'm still a little skeptical. My bike isn't exactly light, but if I'm standing to the side of and pushing while I'm pulling the clutch in, the back wheel can sometimes skid instead of rolling - that's how bad this resistance is!

    I lubed my chain with this:
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/WD-40-Speci...F8&qid=1397045344&sr=8-1&keywords=wd40+grease
    (Note - it's not normal WD40). I'm assuming there are much better products to lube the chain with, but I didn't want to go ahead and use the chain lube I have for my CBR600, because I'd imagine it would make this problem a lot worse. That stuff is practically glue! :D

    I saw a lot of different 415 chains on amazon. 415H, 415S, all kinds of shapes and sizes.
    I bought a chain that weighed almost half of what mine weighed, that was listed as '415' on amazon, so let's hope it was what you were talking about! :)
    Also, you mentioned 'adjusting' the flower nut, but that's a little less specific than I'd hope. Are you suggesting I tighten it or loosen it?
     
  13. Nashville Kat

    Nashville Kat Active Member

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    I kept having to tighten my flower nut at first, and then when I rode awhile, it would loosen up and the clutch would start tightening at first when it got warmed up, and not wanting to disenguage, but then often really bad by the time I got home-

    It was frustrating because I didn't really know what was causing it, and it gradually went away. I must've tightened the nut a half dozen times, and theres a lock screw that keeps it from turning itself. Hadn't ever happened on a couple of other motors. The good news is that it doesn't take long, but taking the cover off got old..

    If you can turn it by hand once you take the lockscrew out I think it's too loose the, but I'm no clutch expert. I think the pads wearing in may have had somethinhg to do with it- but generally not a normal thing.
     
    #13 Nashville Kat, Apr 9, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2014
  14. GearNut

    GearNut Active Member

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  15. Sylph

    Sylph New Member

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    I have, yeah, a couple of weeks ago, but I kind of stopped paying attention when I got to the bit about 'Unscrew flower nut 1/2 to 1 turn out, '. If it said '180 degrees' I would have followed it more clearly, but a 'turn' doesn't really mean anything to me - a 90 degree turn is quite a sharp bend, for example, but a 180 degree turn is a hairpin. What's 'half a turn'? I haven't a clue. I just decided to live with what the engine came with, instead of potentially having it lock up on me because I did something wrong! :D
    I'm guessing 'half a turn' is a little more specific to you. Maybe it's an engineering thing, or a US vs UK thing, I'm unsure. How do you interpret it? I'll just go with your explanation if you understand it! x
     
  16. 2door

    2door Moderator
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    My advice would be to not touch the flower nut. Unless and until you have a good grasp of how the clutch works and the function of the flower nut you're only asking for trouble messing with it.
    Adjusting the clutch pre-load with the flower nut will not decrease the inherent drag of the chain and sprockets on normal pedaling. If the clutch disengages completely when you squeeze the handlebar lever then adjusting flower nut won't help.

    Tom
     
  17. Greg58

    Greg58 Well-Known Member

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    It sounds like the cable adjustment is not right if the rear wheel slides with the clutch handle pulled in, if the clutch is adjusted correctly it should roll with out sliding the tire. Pictures of the clutch cable at the engine might help with a solution.
     
  18. Sylph

    Sylph New Member

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    If you read my original post carefully, you'll see that I mention that I've already tried that, but thanks for chiming in.
     
  19. Greg58

    Greg58 Well-Known Member

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    Try removing the right side engine cover so you can see the friction plate, pulling the clutch lever you should see movement in and out. It will also show the flower but that was mensioned above. If you used the large spring as a clutch return spring at the clutch arm it may feel like the clutch is adjusted but what you feel is only the spring compressing. I use only the small spring between the cable standoff and the clutch arm to keep the cable from coming out of the arm.
     
  20. Sylph

    Sylph New Member

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    If I start the engine, elevate the back wheel, and pull the clutch, the motor ticks along nicely, but the back wheel does not move at all. I hope that goes some way to explain how the clutch is being operated correctly by the clutch lever.
     

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