Success on 7 deg F motorized bicycle work commute!

Discussion in 'Motorized Bicycle General Discussion' started by bluegoatwoods, Dec 7, 2013.

  1. BarelyAWake

    BarelyAWake New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2009
    Messages:
    7,209
    Likes Received:
    4
    Well, I run an ebike now but I ran an in-frame two smoker for years and the cold should make your engine run better not worse (cold air = denser)... have you checked your plug recently? You may be running a bit too lean due to that air density, I'd not wrap the motor as it should be heating itself just fine, mine had no issues w/cold at all.

    I did park it indoors overnight, another potential issue is condensation freeze-up I s'pose if you're leaving it outdoors *shrug* My winter warriors lol;

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  2. biknut

    biknut Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2010
    Messages:
    6,365
    Likes Received:
    3
    This thread is very depressing to me, because it's been so cold here in Dallas for a week, and it's not even winter yet. I suggest we all go out, and start our cars, and let them idle in the driveway to help cause more global warming.
     
  3. bluegoatwoods

    bluegoatwoods New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2012
    Messages:
    1,577
    Likes Received:
    0
    My plug, as a matter of fact, is a brand new NGK B5HS. (From Sick Bike Parts. I know I could've gotten it locally. But they're good guys who deserve whatever business I can give. Plus they deserve a sneaky mention, or 'plug'. I've always admired the shift kit and the expansion chamber. Also got their gas shut-off valve. Nice stuff.)

    The B6HS that came out of it was exactly the color of perfect toast. I 'riched' the mixture one notch just as fall was coming in. So I don't think I have any 'lean' issue.

    I could have a compression issue, I suppose. My head gasket is one I made shortly after breaking in the engine. The one that came with it had a terrible flaw and it leaked fuel mixture pretty badly. The one I made is a laughably dog-eared thing cut out of the cheapest sheet 'metal' with snips that were far too large. I didn't really believe it would work. But it's holding fuel/oil just fine. I never used a torque wrench on the studs. Sometime in the summer of 2012 I noticed one stud seemed loose. When I wrenched it, it seemed to be stripped. I haven't re-torqued since.

    Recently I checked the carburetor bowl to see if it's full of crud. It was clean.

    But pondering things a bit more, compression troubles are sounding kinda plausible.

    Maybe I will just put the new engine in and then see if I can rebuild the top end of this one just for the fun of it.
     
  4. bluegoatwoods

    bluegoatwoods New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2012
    Messages:
    1,577
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yes, biknut, I do feel bad for you folks in Dallas.

    You sure did get some garbage weather lately.

    But you'll also be cruisin' in spring-like weather way before we will.

    Remember us then, will you?
     
  5. miked826

    miked826 New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2011
    Messages:
    1,748
    Likes Received:
    4
    It supposed to be 80 degrees tomorrow at the beach in L.A..... if that makes anybody feel better. LOL

    [​IMG]
     
  6. biknut

    biknut Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2010
    Messages:
    6,365
    Likes Received:
    3
    The problem is that's not the sun in this picture, that's Fukushima
     
  7. miked826

    miked826 New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2011
    Messages:
    1,748
    Likes Received:
    4
    I saw the other outdoor pics in this thread and I know you all are praying for some Fukishima Meltdown Events / Man-made Suns in your frozen tundras. Some of those pics look like Siberia. LOL
     
    #27 miked826, Dec 14, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2013
  8. apex

    apex Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2013
    Messages:
    62
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'll just leave this here...

    [​IMG]
     
  9. bluegoatwoods

    bluegoatwoods New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2012
    Messages:
    1,577
    Likes Received:
    0
    Nice rig, Apex!

    Here's a photo of mine. Taken about a half hour ago on a test ride. I'll be doing more of that, more loaded down, here shortly.
    Dec 2013.jpg

    Studded tires, front and rear. It doesn't go through deep snow, or deep auto tire ruts, really well. But slush and shallow hard pack on the roads is not a problem at all.

    I've got my windscreen/bar mitts adjusted about as well as I think I'll manage. And it's good. I've already been out in wind chills of ten below and I was comfortable.

    I should have gotten a pic of me in my winter clothes. They're not too different from yours.
     
  10. miked826

    miked826 New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2011
    Messages:
    1,748
    Likes Received:
    4
    It would seem to me that wider tires would be in order in snowy climates. Much wider. Like the ones I'm putting on my next bicycle. Just trying to keep it "All Weather All Terrain Real".

    And those aren't midget feet in the picture either. LOL

    [​IMG]
     
    #30 miked826, Dec 16, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2013
  11. bluegoatwoods

    bluegoatwoods New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2012
    Messages:
    1,577
    Likes Received:
    0
    Oh, I'd gladly ride on those in winter, miked.

    I'd only need new wheels and frame. Plus the tires, I shouldn't forget.

    I do sometimes think about a stouter wheel. Something that you're not gonna find on ordinary bicycles. But that's a project that's gonna have to wait.
     
  12. miked826

    miked826 New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2011
    Messages:
    1,748
    Likes Received:
    4
    Everything starts and ends with the bike frame. I am currently building a frame that does it all (any tire or engine size). One Ring to Rule Them All! ALL! LOL

    494 lbs max load rating @ 32 PSI ............per tire. Winning!
     
    #32 miked826, Dec 16, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2013
  13. curtisfox

    curtisfox Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2008
    Messages:
    4,010
    Likes Received:
    31
    Not true a tall skinny tire will cut through way more snow then any wide tire. Back when i had my Modeel A with 19" nobbys i could got through 2 feet of snow. and i do remember the fun it was to be able to do that as a kid.wide tires act as a plow need a lot of power to push............Curt
     
  14. miked826

    miked826 New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2011
    Messages:
    1,748
    Likes Received:
    4
    Try maneuvering and stopping in the snow and or ice at a speed greater than 10 MPH on bicycle tires and you will literally be taking your life in your hands. Especially if approaching a stop light or stop sign on a motor powered bicycle with bicycle tires on it. That's not a rumor. It's just simple physics. LOL

    The contact patch with the road from a bicycle tire will get you killed at speed in adverse road conditions. It's not a matter of if, but only when. The faster you go, the wider that patch has to be, especially when stopping. That applies to anything with tires on it.
     
    #34 miked826, Dec 16, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2013
  15. CTripps

    CTripps Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2011
    Messages:
    1,311
    Likes Received:
    0
    I used to ride an old racing bike to school through the winter. The thin tires sliced through up to around a half foot of snow and minor drifts very nicely.

    Heh, just remembered before hitting post, it was a "Tigre of America" 21 speed, of which as many as 3 worked at any given time.
     
  16. BarelyAWake

    BarelyAWake New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2009
    Messages:
    7,209
    Likes Received:
    4
    What size & type of tires used in adverse conditions is and has always been a hotly debated topic, I for one prefer a narrower knobby tire with lots of small lugs spaced somewhat far apart for the icy snow type stuff. As CTripps mentioned, cutting through the accumulation instead of trying to "float" over it.

    It's tricky, each different surface really does require something different from your tires - but it's more the bottomless sand, mud & glop you'll find off-roading that the big floater tires excel in, if you can cut to the bottom then you're usually better off with diggers (classic off-roading philosophy, debated nonetheless)... making it even more debatable is it all depends on the vehicle's weight as well, there's little point in trying to make a tank float lol

    In fact one of my own personal particularities is I don't bother with studs in bicycle tires - while I don't advise against them (get 'em if ya can), in practical everyday application I've found there's just not enough weight on the contact patch to have them cut in, the perfect glare ice they might help with so rare it's just not worth my effort/expense... and that lack of contact pressure would be only made worse w/floaters.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
    #36 BarelyAWake, Dec 17, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2013
  17. bluegoatwoods

    bluegoatwoods New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2012
    Messages:
    1,577
    Likes Received:
    0
    I know what you mean about studs, Barely Awake. The amount of time that they're actually in use is small. And considering their cost, it kinda feels lousy to ride them over bare asphalt.

    I almost feel as though I can 'feel' those expensive studs wearing away. Bit by excruciating bit.

    But I ride far more on hard-pack than I do on virgin snow. (for that reason the question of 'floaters' vs. 'diggers' is immaterial to me.) And they do give real traction on that. I'd no longer ride winter without them, now that I've tried them.

    Last year was the first time I tried studs. One up front on my pedal bike. I was definitely impressed with my traction on ice. So I set up another front wheel with a standard, knobby tire on it. I figured that switching wheels for that day's particular conditions would be a snap.

    But then I found myself trying to calculate how much ice to expect every day. I'd make a decision and then worry about whether it was the right one. As winter was getting old, there came a day when the Sun came out and a whole lot of melting occurred. Lot's of water all over the road. As the Sun got lower I realized that a lot of ice had formed all over the place. And there I sat with non-studs on my bike. I had to swallow my pride and ask a co-worker for a ride home. Then drive back to work and pick up my bike! Aaargh!

    So I learned my lesson. The studs went back on the bike and stayed there. The devil with cost.

    That one tire was still in good shape at the end of ice season. It went on the back of my motor bike. It'll get through this winter. And maybe the next, if I'm lucky. And ride easy.

    I bought two more studded tires this summer. One is now on the front of the motorized bicycle and the other is on the front of the pedal bike. And they'll be there until the threat of ice goes away.

    I simply could not ride without them. I'd be able to get by most days with my pedal bike. But I wouldn't dare try it motorized if there's any hard-pack on the roads.
     
  18. BarelyAWake

    BarelyAWake New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2009
    Messages:
    7,209
    Likes Received:
    4
    I do agree to a large extent, I've had occasion to regret my lack of studliness lol - note the tell tale skid in the first pic, not shown is the sidewise cartwheeling crash a split second later;

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    The second pic was a rare but interesting event, interesting in that due to the hard to see slope folks couldn't walk it very well, let alone drive a car on it as they'd slide sideways down the hill - I only made it across by straddling the bike & using it as a walker *shrug*

    ...but again, while I do reco to others to stud if they can, 'round here it's dry or it's crust, drifts & storms 99% of the time so it's a calculated risk to run w/o and it's been worth it...

    ...mostly :p
     
  19. bluegoatwoods

    bluegoatwoods New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2012
    Messages:
    1,577
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yes. That second photo, in particular, looks scary.

    A few hours ago I was thinking about the last time I hit the road, bodily, at speed and uncontrolled. It was a little over 23 years ago now. It hurt. But it didn't really matter a whole lot.

    But now I'm closing in on 54 years old and I cannot afford to not be able to work. In a few years I'll have my house paid off. Then, I suppose, a broken bone won't be quite the catastrophe it would be right now. Though I'll bet it'll still be a headache.

    If I'm going to insist on being a daily bicyclist --Yes. Until I get too frail for that.--, then I'd better insure against wipeouts just as much as I can.
     
  20. bluegoatwoods

    bluegoatwoods New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2012
    Messages:
    1,577
    Likes Received:
    0
    I just took a ride. It was to run an errand. But it also served as a 'test' commute now that there's a bunch of snow since the last time I motorized biked to work.

    It was do-able. But it was a bit more scary than I'd anticipated.

    In the places where the auto wheel ruts had frozen into hard-pack that was more than and inch or two deep it was difficult to control the bike.

    My normal commute involves a good deal of sneaking around avoiding the main drag. In some places I simply couldn't ride. I had to go to the main road. Naturally, the cars all clumped around me. One idiot who had had a great chance to pass me chose not to, apparently, and sat behind me honking his horn.

    That sort of stuff is just too nerve wracking. I'd have been happier on the pedal bike.

    Likely this means that I'll still use the motorized bicycle no matter how cold it is.

    But I'll likely use the pedal bike if there's any chance of frozen crap on the back roads.

    That's not so bad. But I'd really like to demonstrate to myself that I can use the motorized bicycle year-round.

    I'm close. But it seems as though there are limitations.
     

Share This Page