What is the best bike to build to sell?

Discussion in 'Motorized Bicycle General Discussion' started by taddthewadd, Jul 9, 2010.

  1. taddthewadd

    taddthewadd New Member

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    Ok so I was wanting to build a few bikes on the side to make a little extra cash. I bought a Huffy from Walmart for 75.00. After I built it (without the engine) and rode it I soon realized no way! The coaster brake can hardly stop me going 7 mph! I wouldn't feel right about selling that bike motorized.

    So now I am on the hunt for a better bike. My problem is finding a better bike that isn't too expensive. If the bike is too expensive then the price will go up and it might be harder to find a buyer. I think the lower I keep the cost the easier it will be to sell.

    I went to the local shop and looked at a townie electra. It is 200.00. It is still just a coaster brake but works about 3 times better than the Huffy but it will be harder to mount the engine due to the frame.

    Do you guys have any ideas for a better bike than the Huffy that hopefully has a front brake that isn't too expensive?

    Thanks in advance guys!
     
  2. AslansMonkey

    AslansMonkey Member

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    Grubee GT1 or GT2. Both are built on frames made for motorizing complete with a drive gear on the rear wheel attached to the HUB, not the spokes. They have three brakes (2 v-brakes and 2 drum on the rear) but I'd remove the drum on the rear. The GT2 has a top tube gas tank built right in. They're a little pricier, but work pretty good.

    Another good one is the Greenline BC-706m 7 speed. You won't need the extra speeds with the motor on the bike, but the bike comes with good v-brakes and is easy to motorize. The frame is a nice fit though you will have to fabricate longer straps for mounting the gas tank as the top tube is a squashed oval and the stock button brackets won't fit (I used pipe hanging strap doubled over).

    If I'm not using the Grubee frames I like using multi-speed cruiser frames mainly because you need multi speed before the manufacturer puts good brakes on them. Single speeds always seem to come only with a coaster brake. That said, you can modify single speeds by adding U shaped cantilever brake adapters, but the extra cost of these parts usually prices them over the similar 7 speed models.

    My first motorbike was an Electra Coaster 7 and I had to do a lot of work to get the motor mounted properly because of the extended shape of the frame. Typically Electra frames are NOT "V" shaped. They're more of an extended "U" with a flat section at the bottom. This will require extended front or rear mounts and probably a vertical strut to cut down on vibrations. Sure is a nice ride, though.
     
  3. Bikeguy Joe

    Bikeguy Joe Godfather of Motorized Bicycles

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    Add a simple set of side pull brakes to the front of he Cranboob.
     
  4. silverbear

    silverbear The Boy Who Never Grew Up

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    That's not a simple question, really. If you're looking at entry level motorbicycling on a budget where you pretty much want to buy the bike pretty cheap and plug a kit onto it with little additional expense then Schwinn seems like a pretty good choice. I don't know if the Jaguar is still being sold, but something with the same frame design is, I'm sure, and those are sturdy as new made in China bikes go, look good and are plug and play. That keeps the costs lower. I like older bikes, but then you've got more cleanup to do, maybe even stripping it down for a new paint job, might need new wheels, tires & tubes, maybe ad a front brake if it doesn't have one... all of which ads up quickly so that between material costs and time it is no longer a cheap bike. Unfortunately, even though the quality of the frame makes it a more solid bike (assuming it was made in the USA) most people are more impressed with a shiny wallyworld bike right out of the box... it's brand new! So, if you're going new and trying to keep the price down, look at Schwinn. The brand name still impresses even if it is no longer made in Chicago.
    SB
     
  5. Venice Motor Bikes

    Venice Motor Bikes Custom Builder / Dealer/Los Angeles

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    Schwinn Jaguars are real good (& easy) bikes to build & sell! ;)
     
  6. taddthewadd

    taddthewadd New Member

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  7. taddthewadd

    taddthewadd New Member

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    By the way SB I built one of your juice can tanks the other day and it came out sweet!
     
  8. bairdco

    bairdco a guy who makes cool bikes

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    i've got mixed feelings about "cheapest."

    a cheap bike is just that, cheap. it has lousy wheels, fenders, brakes, etc, and it was never intended to be motorized. all those parts will wear out quickly, need to be replaced, and most importantly, can be dangerous, even deadly, especially to a new rider with no skills or the ability to diagnose and repair a problem before it becomes a catastrophe.

    this forum is full of people with the exact same problems, and the exact same bikes. fender failures, wheel problems, overheated coaster brakes, broken axles, etc.

    it's amazing that there's not numerous threads from injured people, with all the chain tensioners going through people's spokes and fenders wrapping up. (maybe they're too injured to type.)

    people have told me i should build up cheap bikes to get a start in this "business," and to get my name out there, but i have a different set of standards when it comes to my bikes. i'd love to make an "entry level" bike out of brand new parts, and it's possible, but i don't think i could sell it for under $1000 after all the upgrades for safety and reliability.

    i hate seeing new companies pop-up, and all they have to offer is a mass-produced china product with holes drilled in the frame and 14g. spokes, and while they're selling them new for over a grand, end up on craigslist for less than half that, and you have a disillusioned seller who wants nothing to do with a stupid toy bicycle with a toy motor.

    i think anyone who really wants to make this a business, and not just a quick-buck scheme, should do some research and build a product that helps our "hobby" to progress, instead of just being a dying fad.
     
  9. freewheeling frank

    freewheeling frank New Member

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    wally world still sells jags and the point beach i think its called same frame but it has fenders and a rack i have a jag 4 stroke very sweet that i put a 4g on just have to true the wheel after the hoot seized on me bent it band, also have a cranny with a 66cc and no i would not sell it just to damn dangerous, the thing hauls balls i mean it can get a little scary, need to put some front brakes on it
     
  10. taddthewadd

    taddthewadd New Member

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    bairdco, you are right. When I pulled the huffy out of the box and checked it out that is when my heart sank. I just wanted to make some cash on the side doing something I enjoy. I soon realized there was a moral dilemma here.

    I agree with you that a descent motorized bike would really be above 1000 and that is getting into scooter territory. Anyone wanting to spend that on a motorized bike would probably be like us and want to do it themselves. A 500 dollar bike would attract the non mechanical type that just want to ride it now and they are the ones who would get hurt on it.

    I think I have over a grand into my bike and I can say it is as bullet proof as it can be. My rear hub cost over 180 bucks alone. It feels as sturdy as a tank.

    Maybe I will build the schwinn 7 speed with front and rear v-brakes and take the fenders off. I don't know, I need to think about it some more.
     
  11. nolan_speed

    nolan_speed New Member

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    I think the best bikes to motorize from a purely functional and value point of view are older steel mountain bikes. You can pick up older quality mountain bikes (Trek, Specialized, etc) for not much, They have strong frames, the steel ones have the smaller diameter tubing that makes it easy to mount the engine, strong wheels, and good quality effective V or center pull brakes. It's also pretty easy to install a new hub with a disk brake mount that you can use to attach the rear sprocket if you're concerned about that. Unfortunately, an old mountain bike with a motor isn't the most stylish ride in town.
     
  12. charles.paskell

    charles.paskell New Member

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    I have my china girl on my 26" Schwinn high planes, i got the bicycle for free all ive put into the bike/motor as far as money is when my magneto got wet and i had to order another one, the bicycle is sturdy. Id bet I could build a reliable MB for 200.00 and sell it for 4-6 hundred, without cutting down on safety. but i dont have the money to fund this project
    if i do I will post pics, cost of build and what I sold it for.
     
  13. chainmaker

    chainmaker New Member

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    I don't know if it possible to sell a good and safe motor bicycle using a wal-mart type bike for a profit. The issues with wheels(crappy) bearings (p.o.s) fender mounts( an accident waiting to happen) axles(need spinach) those things should be addressed to sell a bike with clear conscience. And addressing those drives the cost up to maybe a break even point. But I am sure there are people making lot$ of $$ selling them out of the box.
    Cheers
    Chainmaker
     
    #13 chainmaker, Jul 9, 2010
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2010
  14. taddthewadd

    taddthewadd New Member

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    Charles, I didn't think about mountain bikes. I should have like Nolan said an older steel mountain bike. That is what my bike is.

    Maybe the cheaper walmart mountain bikes would be good. They have dual brakes and are maybe just all around more durable since they are more designed for off-road. They even have one on there that has front and rear disc brakes for under 200 dollars. I read one review on a 80 dollar mountain bike where the guy says he ran into a curb at 15 mph and jumps it and goes off road and the rim didn't bend. He said usually that is what goes first when he buys a bike but that one held up.

    I was originally reluctant to do a mountain bike because I know most of you like the comfort of the cruisers and thought it would be easier to sell.

    What do you guys think?
     
    #14 taddthewadd, Jul 9, 2010
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2010
  15. silverbear

    silverbear The Boy Who Never Grew Up

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    I'm not the one who came up with the idea, so credit should go to where it is due... Rockenstein of Canada. All I can take credit for is recognizing a good idea when I see it and then trying to do a good job of it.
    I commend you for your concerns over selling a safe bike. I share them with you and try to imagine how I would feel if someone riding one of my bikes got killed because the brakes failed or the fender rolled. You can't hold the rider's hand and these are inherently on the dangerous side, but you can try to make sure it is reasonably safe. Every time I ride I am aware of how hard that pavement is, how unaware some of the drivers are and how what I am riding is essentially a bicycle never designed for a motor and sustained speed. As a sometimes builder I am aware of a bike's weak points, but will a buyer also be aware? I think we have to be aware for them. I have many times re-read and contemplated Norm's little saying at the end his posts... "Good bikes aren't cheap and cheap bikes aren't good." It is a dilemma, trying to make a good bike that is also inexpensive.
    SB
     
  16. nolan_speed

    nolan_speed New Member

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    It's probably going to be really hard to sell something safe, reasonably reliable, attractive, and profitable. I mean, you need to snug up most of the bolts on the bike every few rides no matter what kind of bike it's on. Old quality mountain bikes (Trek, Specialized etc, not Wall mart style) would be the strongest, but they look pretty funky with a motor and a tank on them (in my opinion) and it would probably be hard to sell.

    Personally, and I think most will agree, cruisers look the best with a motor on them but It's hard to find quality ones out there. There are the Wall mart ones that are really crap and you need to replace so many parts to make them decent that you end up tripling the price of them, and then there are the vintage ones but those are going to need to be gone through as well. It would be hard to make a nice looking quality bike and make any type of profit on it without getting close to the price of decent scooters or used motorcycles.
     
  17. chainmaker

    chainmaker New Member

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    I agree I could have bought 2 more bikes for the cost of the wheels, and brakes. I'm looking at about 10 times what I paid for the bike. But I upgraded everything, changed it to a multi-speed and am using some custom,performance, and vintage parts. I plan on trying to selling it to fund the next project if I get it all back I'll be very surprised.
    Cheers
    Chainmaker
     
    #17 chainmaker, Jul 9, 2010
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2010
  18. grinNbarritt

    grinNbarritt New Member

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    Anybody checked out a Huffy Nel Lusso? walked by one in wallyworld other day, didnt look too close but its got sum beefy spokes on it, still china bike but least had better spokes?
     
  19. nolan_speed

    nolan_speed New Member

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    Calling everything made in China a POS isn't really fair, almost all of the high end expensive bikes are made there as well. It is probably fair to say that any bike you buy at wall mart is going to be a POS though. Sure it may have beefy spokes but that doesn't mean that all of them are tight or the brakes work or anything else. Sure, some of the Wall mart bikes will be adequate for some peoples needs without any tinkering but for anyone wanting quality...You get what you pay for, now or later. I'd much rather spend a little bit more on a used quality name brand bike.
     
  20. Buzzard

    Buzzard Member

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    Here is something you might want to look into, if you are building motor bikes for resale you may want to think about liability insurance or have a disclaimer on the bill of sale. I custom built some bikes for roadies a few years ago and a lawyer friend of mine told me I should have this in case some one had a problem with the bikes and I would cover my butt from a law suit such as society is today.
    Life is like a bowl of jalapeno peppers what you eat today may burn your butt tomorrow
    buzzard
     

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