Moped Rim Locks, really?
Edit - 11/29/19: After sharing this with the moped community, it seems the general consensus is that rim locks are in fact overkill for on-road application in mopeds. I always appreciate and accept reader input, it helps keep me on my toes! I will let this blog ride for the sole purpose of educating what a rim lock is. Thank you for your input and readership! Why? Sliced valve stem, we’ve been there. Tube folds itself up in the tire tighter than your girlfriend rolls her skinny jeans to go traveling? Yep. Itty bits of rubber and odd wearing on the tube have you scratching your head? If you don’t experience these symptoms you must own a Jawa (YA-wAh). Or you just don’t ride that hard...God bless your soul.
With the rise of the modified mopeds, and some builds including implementation of disc brakes, increased horsepower, stickier tires and straight up going A LOT faster, brings along with it a whole new set of problems. With those new problems comes silly ideas to fix them, rim locks.
Motocross bikes and some super-moto bikes alike use rim locks to prevent the tire from slipping on the rim due to heavy braking and acceleration. Although the "acceleration" part wouldn't be so critical for mopeds, the braking sure is. A rim lock consist of a hard serrated edge on both sides (to grab the tire) a center threaded bolt and a nut, Sometimes a lock washer is thrown into the mix to keep things tight.
A rim lock works by placing it in the wheel between the tube and the rim, with the tire sandwiched between. (See photo for
better idea) the threaded bolt is placed through a hole in the rim. When everything is aligned and in place, the rim lock is tightened down to pinch the tire between the rim lock and the rim. Thus preventing the tire from slipping forward or backward on the rim, eliminating sliced valve stems and the etc. Is the rim lock completely overkill for the stock rider? Probably. Is it overkill for the kit that only hits 42mph on the high end? Maybe. In a community that does mostly nothing but mod bikes, why aren’t rim locks more implemented? The poor man’s speed mod of over inflated tires is old news and dangerous. Contact patches on the road have you reminiscing about your old love life (non-existent). True it will keep your tire from slipping on the rim, but it won’t keep you from skidding across that glass smooth concrete that every metropolitan area has.
A proper tire pressure provides a larger contact patch and improved high speed stability. With that comes rim slip. *Enter Rim lock* Some argue that the rim lock is such a large mass inside the wheel that it will affect the balance of the wheel. For a bike that spends VERY little of its time above 45 mph does it really matter? You could argue the same about the effectiveness of a rim lock. But I know one thing for sure.. I hate changing tubes and I’m sure you do to. Give it a try! Simple to do and it truly is not that expensive. If I'm off my rocker let me hear about it in the comment section below! The smallest size that I have listed should work in most mag and spoked moped rims (with some drilling of course).
Hey guys! Steen here, working to bring Moped content to you in unique and thought provoking ways! If you would like me to write about something specific please reach out to me @breakthecyclemotoworks on IG. Either way, thank you for reading! Please remember this is a one woman show, if you found this blog, or any of my writings helpful or funny please consider simply clicking an ad or becoming a patron on Patreon. I will have exclusive content up there soon, along with some videos to keep the wheels turning. Even if its only a few cents a month, I will eventually be able to afford a cup of coffee per day! Again thanks so much for reading! You guys are the best! <3 -Steen