Mark in Virginia

February 13th, 2003

Golden Eagle,
I have gotten very good use out of your product. I do recreational riding on a lightweight road bike, but also have a 20 mile daily commute. Traffic here is congested beyond belief and monthly parking downtown is over $250 a month. The bus system is slow and unreliable, biking solves that problem but there was always the time element. The engine has made a real difference in my daily commute and lets me keep up with the traffic in some stretches. I live in Alexandra, VA but commute to work in Washington D. C. central. My commute is like a tourist route, I bike within a dozen yards of the Pentagon, the Lincoln memorial, the Washington monument, the Jefferson monument and work two blocks from the White House.

I am sending you a picture and just a few things of note for urban commuting your customers may be interested in. #1) I reversed a rear rack and put it on the front of the bike to carry my briefcase, it makes the steering sluggish but distributes the weight more evenly. I used a rear rack because it was sturdier than the commercial front racks I have seen which are designed primarily for front panniers and don’t have a horizontal bed.


#2) I put a twin halogen headlight on the edge of the rack instead of the handlebars so light is not obstructed by cargo on the front rack. Being closer to the ground and projected forward it better illuminates the road surface (at 35MPH at night I don’t like mistaking black ice for oil stains). #3) You may notice the fender under the engine, I found if you attach the engine U shaped brace to the bike frame dropouts, then remove the rear wheel, it gives you stable access to the underside of the engine mounting plate. I removed the mud flap that came with the kit, drilled two holes in the fender and was able to screw the two mounting bolts through the fender into the U frame and then into the mounting plate – that stabilizes the rear fender and gives better splash protection.

#4) Vaude makes a great rear rack bag that you can mount on a seat post rack above the engine. The bag comes with (green bag) — a rain cover (meant for the bag) with an elastic band to pull in tight. The perfect size to cover the engine if bike is left in the rain, it also contains any gas fumes when the bike is brought indoors, helps prevent any complaints from co-workers.(I bring mine inside the office and park it next to my cubicle).

#5) I put an old road bike crank on the mountain bike frame and put an 11 tooth cog on my rear cluster to let me pedal at the 30 – 35 MPH range. Mountain bike gearing can’t keep up with the higher speeds.

#6) I kept the quick release hubs but replaced the skewer with a long threaded rod. I couldn’t find a skewer that was rear axel — long enough to accommodate the extra width of the engine mounting brace and have enough thread inside the skewer nut. I also drilled and tapped a bolt into the dropout to reinforce the mounting brace. It makes changing a flat so much easier when the support of the engine remains fixed when I drop the rear wheel.
Anyway, this is a great product and I would be interested in upgrading to the 31cc engine when you come out with it. Also, if you could sell me some RedMax oil, it is not available locally and as long as I have to order it shipped from somewhere I would prefer to do business with you.

Thanks for the help,
Mark

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