I finally took a deep breath, typed in the url, and did it.
I ordered my bicycle motor this evening.
For many people, what I paid for the motor kit is just a drop in the bucket. For me, it’s a HUGE investment with a lot of risk involved. I don’t know if this will work for me, I don’t know if I’m going to be able to assemble this kit, and I don’t know if the investment is worth the amount of money that will ultimately be tied up in it. I could be chasing rainbows and buying shares in a money pit for all I know.
The big thing is that I need to enjoy it. If its enjoyable, from the building part to the tinkering to the using…it will be worth it. I don’t know though. I have never been mechanical in the sense of my hobbies. I’m not adverse to power tools and building things, but the things I built were typically wood and fabric, not steel and oil.
Buying the motor kit was a huge thing to me. I read vendor reviews. I read forum posts about buying kits and installing them. I read posts about using the finished bikes. It was important to choose a vendor that supported the hobby AND had a reputation for good customer service. Based on my research and the use of the forums, I chose Pistonbikes.com as my vendor-of-choice, at least for the 2 cycle motor kit that represents the initial (and largest) portion of my investment.
For some people, opting for the 48cc motor was a strange decision, but in reality, I don’t want speed, and I do want reliability and low cost. Efficiency would be great too. My thinking is that the smaller engine would be more efficient at lower speeds than the larger engine, but its not really an educated guess. It’s just a wild guess with my eyes closed and my breath held.
The motor cost $169.99, a slight increase over what motors were running when I first started exploring the idea, and was telling myself it was wild and crazy, not something women over 50 who are grandmothers actually do. It’s something that guys do, especially when they are over 50 or under 30, but feminine? Not hardly.
The shipping was another chunk of change, leaving us on a cycle of rice and hot dogs for a while longer as I choke the grocery budget even more to eke out the money for this crazy hobby I’m suddenly taking up. $33.19 isn’t a lot of money, but it gets bigger when you snatch it out of the week’s groceries…and you are already dollar conscious there. It’s a good thing that GM is tolerant and not picky, right?
It took me a month of really scraping the bottom of the bucket, but the $203.18 has been paid. Hopefully, I’ll receive the motor kit ( Grubee 48cc Silver Sky Hawk Angle Fire Bicycle Engine Kit) early next week.
I haven’t bought the bike to mount it on yet. I tried out several bikes at Academy Sports in Gulfport today, and its with some chagrin that I face the fact that I will be much better off going with a 24″ wheel on my motorized bicycle. I just can’t comfortably reach the ground on the 26″ versions, and the idea of stretching and simultaneously coping with a hot engine between my legs is not producing pleasant pictures in my mind. Originally, I had wanted to keep all of the bicycle wheels the same size to reduce the number of tubes and spare tires needed, both on the road and at home. That good old “K.I.S.S.” theory has always been my motto.
GM is considerably taller than me, but he’s not got long legs for his height. It IS possible that he could ride a 24″ bicycle with the seat elevated, especially with the more laid back geometry of a hybridized bicycle (cruiser seat & handlebars on generic 24″ frame). We can explore that more later…so now I’m left with the decision about whether to order a bicycle, go to Gulfport or Mobile and purchase one, or go with a different bicycle available from Walmart. (Walmart only has 1 potential model in the 24″ size, and I actually like the 2 options from Academy Sports better.)
His new bike is down the road at the moment though, as I decided it was better to do this one step at a time. (And we might get lucky and find a used bicycle for him that is better quality yet.)
I find that I’m excited right now about the project. I hope I stay excited through the whole build process! But for now…its a case of keeping my fingers crossed and sending up a prayer for no financial disasters to strike us for a while.