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Getting an electric or mechanical driven push bike (first time)

Old 01-03-23, 06:37 PM
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Getting an electric or mechanical driven push bike (first time)

getting an electric or mechanical driven push bike (first time)

Greeting!

Fist off about myself in the bike world. I buy old push bikes for 20 quid ish from auctions sites. Run them about 6/8 miles a day for about 6 months then when worn out get another one and use the old one as parts

But I have a bike trailer now and its an old large shopping trolley on sack barrow wheels. I plan to convert this trolley into a food cart and sell hot food from it in the city centre 2 miles away from home. But it will be a bit heavy so thinking of buying an electronic bike or upgrading the bike I all ready have

I looked at the prices online and the prices where north of 1K; so not worth it! I see people ridding round on these new prat scooter. They say they cost them 500 quid

Im wondering can I do the conversion myself to save on the money or can I just put an old Honda 4HP engine and tank and mount to rear wheel. Is this not what they did in the old days. You had half scooter and half push bike with pedals on it?
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Old 01-03-23, 08:06 PM
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Sure you can. Welcome Are you in the UK?
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Old 01-03-23, 09:11 PM
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Originally Posted by SpedFast View Post
Sure you can. Welcome Are you in the UK?
Yes sorry forgot to mention!
From UK; as laws regarding riding electric bikes are differnet from the states and supplies dito..
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Old 01-03-23, 09:36 PM
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Originally Posted by old bike View Post
or can I just put an old Honda 4HP engine and tank and mount to rear wheel. Is this not what they did in the old days.
Yes you can, but it certainly wouldn't be legal. There's a number of "two-stroke powered mountain bikes" getting around here. Not exactly stealthy.
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Old 01-03-23, 11:31 PM
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Originally Posted by tempocyclist View Post
Yes you can, but it certainly wouldn't be legal. There's a number of "two-stroke powered mountain bikes" getting around here. Not exactly stealthy.
But I was under the impression that they where legal (so long as they where under a certain KW output) and had been for many years
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Old 01-04-23, 03:35 AM
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If you're taking food to sell, you may be much better off with a proper box front cargo bike like this:
https://www.babboe.co.uk/babboe-big

It'll be a lot more comfortable, practical and will look a lot better to customers than a stolen shopping trolley with barrow wheels on it.

If you take a pushbike that's been converted to use an engine anywhere near a city centre you're going to find yourself stopped by the police pretty quickly as it'd technically be a moped which would need a license plate, type approval and MOT. It'd look dodgy as hell too. You can get some pretty cheap e-bike conversion kits that'd do a similar job but in a much more discrete and safe way.

Last edited by Herzlos; 01-04-23 at 03:39 AM.
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Old 01-04-23, 07:44 AM
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Food truck regulations in the UK

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Old 01-04-23, 10:36 AM
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My coworker took the wheel and motor from
an electric scooter, mounted the wheel on a back rack so it makes contact with the bicycle wheel, and made a throttle with a simple electrical switch to power up the motor. He can dismount the rack and put it on other bikes. I was giving him **** for like 2 months, trashing the idea and saying he is crazy, but lo and behold it freaking works. I think he did it for less than 200 bucks.
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Old 01-05-23, 01:41 AM
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Originally Posted by tempocyclist View Post
Yes you can, but it certainly wouldn't be legal. There's a number of "two-stroke powered mountain bikes" getting around here. Not exactly stealthy.
I have done an internet search for that and found nothing! Can you provide more info please?
I also did an internet search for the pedal and motor old school bikes but again found nothing
You would see them riding round on them sometime ago in contories like Spain
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Old 01-05-23, 01:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Herzlos View Post
If you're taking food to sell, you may be much better off with a proper box front cargo bike like this:
It says very little about the price of it or any detail for that matter!

the box is on the front of the bike and not the back. Do you think its easyer pushing the load on a bike rather then pulling it on a trailer?


Originally Posted by Herzlos View Post
If you take a pushbike that's been converted to use an engine anywhere near a city centre you're going to find yourself stopped by the police pretty quickly as it'd technically be a moped which would need a license plate, type approval and MOT. It'd look dodgy as hell too. You can get some pretty cheap e-bike conversion kits that'd do a similar job but in a much more discrete and safe way.
What about the old school bikes I mentioned above? I dont get it; if you are allowed to have a battery powered motor push bike then why not a petrol one?
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Old 01-05-23, 01:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Trakhak View Post
link not allowed
think that is more for motor vehicle not push bike
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Old 01-05-23, 01:50 AM
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Originally Posted by LarrySellerz View Post
My coworker took the wheel and motor from
an electric scooter, mounted the wheel on a back rack so it makes contact with the bicycle wheel, and made a throttle with a simple electrical switch to power up the motor. He can dismount the rack and put it on other bikes. I was giving him **** for like 2 months, trashing the idea and saying he is crazy, but lo and behold it freaking works. I think he did it for less than 200 bucks.
What about the battery?
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Old 01-05-23, 04:03 AM
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Originally Posted by old bike View Post
It says very little about the price of it or any detail for that matter!
I think they start from about 2k, the price is mentioned on most of the pages but I'm using that as an example. I've seen used ones for under 400 before, and there are some that are already fitted out as a food cart.

the box is on the front of the bike and not the back. Do you think its easyer pushing the load on a bike rather then pulling it on a trailer?
The total load weight is the same (give or take the weight of the bike) so it shouldn't be any more work, with the added benefit that you can see it when riding, can potentially sit on the bike when working, and there's less risk of it being back heavy - I struggled up some hills with my kids on a trailer and found the front wheel starting to lift. They tend to have much higher load limits than trailers too, are easier to set up to lock, and will carry more stuff.

What about the old school bikes I mentioned above? I dont get it; if you are allowed to have a battery powered motor push bike then why not a petrol one?
Why is a battery powered hub bike different from a bike with a lawnmower engine and fuel tank strapped to the back? Really?
For one, there's the liquid fuel issue, the moving parts, the weight, the control mechanism, the noise and visibilility of it.

It's also worth pointing out that there are restrictions on what power/speed an electric bike can produce whilst still being a bicycle and not a moped. Your contraption would fail on all 3:
1. an electric bike in the UK can only provide assistance to the rider with no throttle - you need to pedal the bike to get the motor to help and I can't see how you could achieve that with a petrol engine without some electrical cunning* when in reality your petrol engine will just use a manual throttle and then power the wheel.
2. Power is restricted to I think 250w whereas your 4hp engine is 2982w, or over 10x too powerful.
3. Speed is restricted to 15.5mph with assistance, whereas your petrol engine will go well beyond that.

Of course, there are various battery kits in the UK that can make an e-bike that's completely illegal (I've seen throttle powered 1000w setups that are essentially electric mopeds) but the thing with them is that they are indistinguishable from a regular e-bike by the casual viewer, whereas a petrol engine and fuel tank will stand out like a sore thumb and will beacon every passing cop to stop you to look at it.

*You'd basically need a speed sensor on the cranks that would activate the throttle when the cranks are turning, and another speed sensor on the wheel to cut the throttle when the bike is travelling at 15.5mph, but that'd give you pretty horrific power delivery as it's lurch on and off any time you stopped pedalling or went too fast. You'd still need to do something to reduce the power output too.
Now, you could do something similar with any 12V electric motor, but then you'd still be better just getting a proper conversion kit instead of the scooter approach Larry mentioned.
https://www.bikeradar.com/advice/buy...nversion-kits/

Or you could just use your legs and save a fortune.

Last edited by Herzlos; 01-05-23 at 04:16 AM.
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Old 01-05-23, 04:08 AM
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Originally Posted by old bike View Post
think that is more for motor vehicle not push bike
You can be pretty sure that the rules will be the same for a food van as a food bike - given that most of them revolve around hygiene, safety and insurance.

The only difference with using a bike is that you've got got a slightly better chance of getting away with it illegally because it won't be as obvious or as easy to track given it won't have number plates or central registration. You'll still get it taken off you if caught though, and I can't imagine you getting many return customers if you zoom off any time you see a cop.
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Old 01-05-23, 06:24 AM
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This is the kind of solution that might work for you i.e. electric hub conversion kit.

https://dillengerelectricbikes.co.uk...CAAEgJhkfD_BwE

Still fairly expensive (600), but then good quality batteries are not cheap. The more dubious options could literally end up in flames.

Any home-made bodge up you do with a petrol motor is almost certainly going to be illegal. Not to mention noisy, smelly and heavy.
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Old 01-05-23, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by old bike View Post
What about the battery?
Battery is from the scooter as well. Next time I see him ill try to get some pics
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Old 01-05-23, 04:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Herzlos View Post
I think they start from about 2k, the price is mentioned on most of the pages but I'm using that as an example. I've seen used ones for under 400 before, and there are some that are already fitted out as a food cart.
Think at the price I will leave it!

Originally Posted by Herzlos View Post
The total load weight is the same (give or take the weight of the bike) so it shouldn't be any more work, with the added benefit that you can see it when riding, can potentially sit on the bike when working, and there's less risk of it being back heavy - I struggled up some hills with my kids on a trailer and found the front wheel starting to lift. They tend to have much higher load limits than trailers too, are easier to set up to lock, and will carry more stuff.
Do you think having the weight on the front will make it easyer though?
I thought about getting one of those plastic builders tubs and attaching it to the front frame of the handle bars cutting a space out for the front wheel and axel fit. Do you think it would work?

Originally Posted by Herzlos View Post
Why is a battery powered hub bike different from a bike with a lawnmower engine and fuel tank strapped to the back? Really?
For one, there's the liquid fuel issue, the moving parts, the weight, the control mechanism, the noise and visibilility of it.
I thought it was all about power
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Old 01-05-23, 04:41 PM
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Originally Posted by old bike View Post
I have done an internet search for that and found nothing! Can you provide more info please?

Really? Actually it shouldn't take a google search to know that whacking a petrol motor onto a bicycle and ripping down a UK public road is going to be illegal...

https://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news...-engine-171692

https://road.cc/content/news/cyclist...ne-bike-283013

"Any vehicle in the UK fitted with an internal combustion engine (petrol or diesel) must be registered and the user must have a licence, tax, insurance etc. This includes motorised (motorized) bicycles."

"By adapting a pedal cycle in such a way it becomes as illegal to ride on a highway as a typical off road motorcycle."

"The modifications meant the bike was now classed as a motor vehicle and therefore required a licence, insurance and a helmet."

"Doesn't comply with the EAPC regulations, it's some sort of motorbike or moped. To make it road legal possibly a Motorcycle Single Vehicle Approval inspection. All the rules for any other motorbike will apply and you can't ride it in bike lanes, not even with the motor turned off."



Below is the Victorian Police (Australia) information, but Victoria is a nanny state with very similar laws to the UK.

MOTORISED BICYCLES WITH PETROL ENGINES ARE ILLEGAL

In recent months police have identified an increase in the use of bicycles with petrol engines attached which are illegal to ride. If you are found to be riding a motorised bicycle with an engine that exceeds 200 watts ungoverned power (which is basically every petrol powered engine) on a road or road related area you could face the following fines:

Unlicensed driving - $826.00 (also be subject to impoundment)
Own or use unregistered motorcycle with engine capacity of 60cc or less - $165.00
Own or use unregistered motorcycle with engine capacity of 61cc or more but less than 501cc - $496.00
Riding a motorcycle without a helmet - $330.00 (3 demerit points)
All alcohol and drug driving laws also apply

If you are involved in a collision you may be charged and summoned to appear before a Court.

You should also be aware that motorised bicycles can also be impounded under local council by-laws where they are ridden in public places. The Council fees etc are;

In short, do not bother buying or riding these petrol powered motorised bicycles. They are dangerous to both the rider & pedestrians, illegal to ride with expensive fines / possible court action (affecting car / motorbike licences) and they can be impounded.
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Old 01-05-23, 04:42 PM
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Originally Posted by old bike View Post
Do you think having the weight on the front will make it easyer though?
Ideally you'd want the weight inside the axles, I think.

I thought about getting one of those plastic builders tubs and attaching it to the front frame of the handle bars cutting a space out for the front wheel and axel fit. Do you think it would work?
Having it in front of the bike? I can't see that working at all, particularly when it comes to steering. The cargo bikes generally have the box low down between the wheels, with a hinge in the middle of the frame to deal with the steering. I guess you could do the same with a builders tub but you'd need to fabricate the entire front half of the bike.

But again, if you're planning on selling hot food from it, you want it to look smart, clean and professional rather than cheap and bodged. The only exceptions being farmers markets and hippy markets.
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Old 01-05-23, 05:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Herzlos View Post
Ideally you'd want the weight inside the axles, I think.
The only exceptions being farmers markets and hippy markets.
You can buy hippies now?
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Old 01-05-23, 08:28 PM
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Why are you feeding this troll?
Putting a hotdog stand on a bicycle is 100% impossible. Never mind the permits required.
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Old 01-06-23, 01:43 AM
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Originally Posted by GamblerGORD53 View Post
Why are you feeding this troll?
Putting a hotdog stand on a bicycle is 100% impossible. Never mind the permits required.
https://www.worksmancycles.com/vending.html

Completely impossible... Yet it is available from workman cycles?
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Old 01-06-23, 01:44 AM
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Originally Posted by GamblerGORD53 View Post
Putting a hotdog stand on a bicycle is 100% impossible.
Huh. bicycle hot dog cart - Google Search
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Old 01-06-23, 04:46 AM
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Those are cargo bikes like I'm suggesting. I don't think there's a sane way to do it on a 2 wheeled cycle though the OP is talking about doing it via a trailer.

Originally Posted by GamblerGORD53 View Post
Why are you feeding this troll?
I was initially giving the benefit of the doubt that it was serious, but I'm less sure now. It's still useful information for anyone else who hits this on google.
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Old 01-06-23, 04:48 AM
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Originally Posted by SpedFast View Post
You can buy hippies now?
Would you want to?

I've been to a lot of hippy places (I can't think of a better term), and stuff like a shopping trolley with wheelbarrow wheels selling hot falafel wouldn't be out of the ordinary. It's a great re-use of materials for a very low carbon emission system, but I doubt it'd get much trade it if was parked in the centre of any large city.
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