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Motorized Cruiser Bicycles The beach cruiser has always been great bicycles to motorize. They just look good with a motor. Use this section to share and discuss about motorizing this classic.

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  #1  
Old 03-24-2015, 01:57 PM
monturacer3 monturacer3 is offline
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Question Huffy Cranbrook. To motorize or not?

So the other day I bought a Huffy Cranbrook on impulse because it was a good deal. I've heard people say that it is a strong frame, and others say it is weak and worthless. I want to build another bike, but I don't want the frame to break on me. Should I sell it and get a better frame, or just go ahead and build it?
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  #2  
Old 03-24-2015, 03:47 PM
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bluegoatwoods bluegoatwoods is offline
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Default Re: Huffy Cranbrook. To motorize or not?

Yep. You'll hear both yes and no. There are some knowledgeable folks here who won't touch a Huffy. But there are some others who think the Cranbrook is just fine.

I have a Cranbrook that I've ridden many, many miles motorized. It's been in retirement for the last 9 months or so. But it's soon to be resurrected with a new motor. Plus one or two other improvements.

That frame is strong. So are the wheels. It was those 12 gauge spokes, as a matter of fact, that sealed the deal for me. I'd been looking that bike over for a while. Then I noticed those spokes and bought the bike on the spot.

The Cranbrook does have one weak link; the rear hub. They're really not all that good. And that's important, of course. I toasted a few bearings and small internal parts before I learned how to keep that hub in good working order. But it's not all that hard. In a nutshell, be prepared to take that hub apart, regrease, put it back together and keep the bearings adjusted regularly. Seasonally, say, on the re-greasing. As often as needed on the bearing adjustment.

So I'd urge you to start looking right now along curbsides for single speed bikes that have been thrown away. You're likely to want those hub/brake parts.

I'd also urge you to take that brand new hub apart right now and become familiar with the parts inside plus how to put them back together properly. Not hard at all. But it's a little difficult if you're unfamiliar. You'll want to become familiar immediately.

Add two hand operated rim brakes to the bike. This'll allow you to take some of the braking load off of that coaster brake. Besides, the coaster brake alone is not enough.

I'm 180 lbs. And while I do ride rather slowly, I get off the road as much as possible. This means that I ride rough shoulders and such a lot. My bike does take a bit of a beating. Yet the Cranbrook frame has not shown any sign that it's not up to the task.

Take care of that hub. Add some handbrakes to take part of the load. And while you're at it, reinforce those fenders. (This is important! On any bike. Not just the Huffy)

If you do that, then I'd say that the Cranbrook is likely the best $100 bike you can buy. I'd bet that you'd have to get into multiples of that amount to see any real improvement.
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Old 03-24-2015, 07:15 PM
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2door 2door is offline
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Default Re: Huffy Cranbrook. To motorize or not?

I've never owned a Cranbrook but simply judging from the number of builders here who have had them, rode them and put lots of miles on them, I certainly can't say anything bad about them.
Yes, they are one of the most inexpensive bikes out there to choose but the popularity and their success rate speaks for itself.

I just typed in, "Huffy Cranbrook" into out search feature and got this > http://www.google.com/cse?cx=partner...ook&gsc.page=1

Lots of reading on that popular bike.
Good luck and keep us informed on your build.

Tom
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Old 03-24-2015, 07:29 PM
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Greg58 Greg58 is offline
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Default Re: Huffy Cranbrook. To motorize or not?

I have a cranbrook that I built about 3 1/2 years ago and haven't had any problems. Remove the fenders and add good brakes to assist the coaster brake and it will do OK. Be sure to grease the bearings in the wheels, especially the rear because mine had very little grease from the factory.
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  #5  
Old 03-24-2015, 08:43 PM
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xseler xseler is offline
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Default Re: Huffy Cranbrook. To motorize or not?

I also use a 'Cranbrook'. As stated above, the rear hub is the weak link. I've got about 300 miles on this "service" (grease, adjust, etc).

I've had this bike on some fairly severe trails in NW Arkansas and northern New Mexico. While I had some damage (cracked my tailbone on a fire trail in Arkansas), the bike had no issues. The success rate depends on how you maintain your equipment.

Good luck in your decision!
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Old 03-24-2015, 09:05 PM
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YesImLDS YesImLDS is offline
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Default Re: Huffy Cranbrook. To motorize or not?

My Huffy Cranbrook has taken a beating. Other than the pedal brakes being worthless, it's been good to me and has seen many miles and many modifications. Also been off-roading a couple times with it.

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  #7  
Old 03-25-2015, 12:15 AM
monturacer3 monturacer3 is offline
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Default Re: Huffy Cranbrook. To motorize or not?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bluegoatwoods View Post
Yep. You'll hear both yes and no. There are some knowledgeable folks here who won't touch a Huffy. But there are some others who think the Cranbrook is just fine.

I have a Cranbrook that I've ridden many, many miles motorized. It's been in retirement for the last 9 months or so. But it's soon to be resurrected with a new motor. Plus one or two other improvements.

That frame is strong. So are the wheels. It was those 12 gauge spokes, as a matter of fact, that sealed the deal for me. I'd been looking that bike over for a while. Then I noticed those spokes and bought the bike on the spot.

The Cranbrook does have one weak link; the rear hub. They're really not all that good. And that's important, of course. I toasted a few bearings and small internal parts before I learned how to keep that hub in good working order. But it's not all that hard. In a nutshell, be prepared to take that hub apart, regrease, put it back together and keep the bearings adjusted regularly. Seasonally, say, on the re-greasing. As often as needed on the bearing adjustment.

So I'd urge you to start looking right now along curbsides for single speed bikes that have been thrown away. You're likely to want those hub/brake parts.

I'd also urge you to take that brand new hub apart right now and become familiar with the parts inside plus how to put them back together properly. Not hard at all. But it's a little difficult if you're unfamiliar. You'll want to become familiar immediately.

Add two hand operated rim brakes to the bike. This'll allow you to take some of the braking load off of that coaster brake. Besides, the coaster brake alone is not enough.

I'm 180 lbs. And while I do ride rather slowly, I get off the road as much as possible. This means that I ride rough shoulders and such a lot. My bike does take a bit of a beating. Yet the Cranbrook frame has not shown any sign that it's not up to the task.

Take care of that hub. Add some handbrakes to take part of the load. And while you're at it, reinforce those fenders. (This is important! On any bike. Not just the Huffy)

If you do that, then I'd say that the Cranbrook is likely the best $100 bike you can buy. I'd bet that you'd have to get into multiples of that amount to see any real improvement.

I have already started taking apart hubs and the cranks greasing the bearings and all the internals. I do that on every bike I buy. I will take apart the rear hub tomorrow and grease it up. Should I use any certain motor mounts for it?
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  #8  
Old 03-25-2015, 01:33 PM
frank66 frank66 is offline
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Default Re: Huffy Cranbrook. To motorize or not?

i have one aswell. its ok but a quality Del Sol or GIANT for about 250 dollars seems a much better starter point.
its finished but all the things im not happy with are the bikes fault due to the brand and price range.
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  #9  
Old 03-25-2015, 03:19 PM
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mapbike mapbike is offline
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Default Re: Huffy Cranbrook. To motorize or not?

I also have a Huffy bike, its the same frame as the Cranny, mine was bought through Amazon and is called the "Huffy Karaoke" I build mine into a motorized bicycle in 2010, since the bike has seen 1000+ miles of hard fast riding on rough dusty dirt roads and several 40-50 mile round trips in the Texas heat at 32-36 mph with an engine that has horrible vibrations above 34mph, never a single failure related to the bike itself, the engine on it now is the second engine this bike has had since it was built up.

Mine has the Falcon-SHA rear coaster hub, I just tore it down for maint. yetsreday for the first time since 2010, still had lots of grease in it, bearings and races look like new, brake shoes show very little where also, I'm not sure if all of them use the same Falcon-SHA hub or not but judging from what I have seen with mine, I'd put mine up again the Shimano E110 hubs I have as far as staying in good condition after 1000+ miles, the Shimano E110 has better brakes but the Falcon hub has held up great in mine.

plenty of grease and correct bearing tension is critical for any hub to give good service, bearings tight enough not to have any slop and plenty of good tacky high temp water proof grease and you should have good service from the hub if it's in great condition from the start.

Blow are pix of how good the internals of my hub were yesterday when I took it down for cleaning and a fresh packing of water proof green grease.

The hub shell itself also looks like new metal inside, no cracks in the races or rough spots.



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Last edited by mapbike; 03-25-2015 at 03:24 PM.
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  #10  
Old 03-26-2015, 12:46 PM
monturacer3 monturacer3 is offline
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Posts: 11
Default Re: Huffy Cranbrook. To motorize or not?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mapbike View Post
I also have a Huffy bike, its the same frame as the Cranny, mine was bought through Amazon and is called the "Huffy Karaoke" I build mine into a motorized bicycle in 2010, since the bike has seen 1000+ miles of hard fast riding on rough dusty dirt roads and several 40-50 mile round trips in the Texas heat at 32-36 mph with an engine that has horrible vibrations above 34mph, never a single failure related to the bike itself, the engine on it now is the second engine this bike has had since it was built up.

Mine has the Falcon-SHA rear coaster hub, I just tore it down for maint. yetsreday for the first time since 2010, still had lots of grease in it, bearings and races look like new, brake shoes show very little where also, I'm not sure if all of them use the same Falcon-SHA hub or not but judging from what I have seen with mine, I'd put mine up again the Shimano E110 hubs I have as far as staying in good condition after 1000+ miles, the Shimano E110 has better brakes but the Falcon hub has held up great in mine.

plenty of grease and correct bearing tension is critical for any hub to give good service, bearings tight enough not to have any slop and plenty of good tacky high temp water proof grease and you should have good service from the hub if it's in great condition from the start.

Blow are pix of how good the internals of my hub were yesterday when I took it down for cleaning and a fresh packing of water proof green grease.

The hub shell itself also looks like new metal inside, no cracks in the races or rough spots.
I just tore into my hub yesterday. I cleaned out all of the old grease from it and packed it and the bearings with hi-temp wheel bearing grease. I got the tank and engine mounted yesterday on the frame and I'm currently waiting for my billet sprocket adapter to come in. Then I'm completing the build.
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