Are cruisers harder to pedal start?

Discussion in 'Motorized Cruiser Bicycles' started by Lunatuck, Aug 15, 2019.

  1. Lunatuck

    Lunatuck New Member

    Aug 8, 2019
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    I’ve ridden a lot of mountain and road bikes, but my first motorized bike is a cruiser. I’m finding it very difficult to just pedal off with it.

    I changed the handlebars and it made a considerable difference. I’m actually able to get leverage on the pedals. But without gears, I have a tough time starting it. Not so much on flat ground, but on an incline, it seems impossible.

    I’m considering changing out the sprocket, but wonder if I’ll have trouble getting up to 8-10mph. With the current gear ratio, its hard to start off but helps support the engine when it needs an assist.

    Am I just spoiled by mountain bikes and road bikes? Or are cruisers inherently poor riding bikes?
  2. bairdco

    bairdco a guy who makes cool bikes

    Aug 18, 2009
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    Cruisers are made to cruise. Heavier, slower, and relaxing.

    I smaller gear up front (or a bigger cog in the rear) helps a lot.

    My bikes always started up within 10 feet or so. Never had to worry about pedaling a lot.

    If it's hard to start on an incline, turn around.
  3. waynesdata

    waynesdata Active Member

    Jul 10, 2017
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    What makes a bike easy or hard to pedal start is gear ratio and bike geometry "fork angle and length, seat height and angle, stem etc etc."
    LR Jerry likes this.
  4. PeteMcP

    PeteMcP Well-Known Member

    Jun 27, 2017
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    Or just fit your motor with a pull start.
    LR Jerry likes this.
  5. Joshua Gill

    Joshua Gill New Member

    Dec 19, 2019
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    I also have a cruiser that's hard to pedal starg but after I raised the seat a lil and changed handlebars it rides like a champ but now I'm having throttle problems after i cleaned the carb any advice?
  6. LR Jerry

    LR Jerry Well-Known Member

    Dec 19, 2011
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    When it comes to multi geared bikes if you find a gear ratio is too easy or to hard to maintain a cadence (crank rpm) of 70 to 90 It means you're in the wrong gear. So my next questions to you are

    1) What size wheels are you using?

    2) How steep are the hill you're trying to go up?

    3) What is the tooth count on the front chainring?

    I live in Tennessee and some hills here go up to a 30% grade. The two steepest streets in the world are a 37% grade; Baldwin St in Dunedin New Zealand and Canton Ave in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania USA. I've set up many multi geared pedal only bikes here. Using a 22t chainring and a 34t rear sprocket 22:34 on 26" wheels at a 70 cadence gives a speed a little over 3 mph and allows you to climb 30% grade hills. What the 22:34 means is for every 3 turns of the crank the rear wheel turns 2 times. I also like to put a bicycle computer on them which has a cadence meter and heart rate monitor. Then I teach a system where cadence and gear selection is used to control heart rate.

    Perhaps the hills aren't that steep where you live. If they are really steep it may be better to not try and bump start going up them. Once you've given me a front chainring tooth count and a wheel size I can then tell you what size rear sprocket to use to get 8 mph at a 90 cadence.

    In all honesty on a cruiser bike any hill steeper than a 10% grade it's going to be very difficult to obtain a pedal only speed of 8-10 mph up it.
    #6 LR Jerry, Jan 14, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2020
  7. Goergedave

    Goergedave Member

    Oct 23, 2015
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    I realize this is an old thread.

    Riding a motorized beach cruiser is, for those used to bicycles with multiple gears, a bike of pros and cons. You've realized the agony of dufeet and legs as you attempt to push start a bike uphill. There's nothing abnormal about that. When I am facing an uphill battle such as the one you encountered I turn my bike around and go the "wrong" way for a little ways so I can get it started.

    People do motorize mountain bikes for just that reason. The possible issue is the quality of the rear hub. Should it be very low end, the extra torque provided by the engine has torn many cheap(Hello Huffy) hubs from their wheels. The mag wheels I purchased Back tire.jpg arrive without a cassette or a sprocket so it's up to the rider to determine what kind of bicycle they want. They, unlike regular bike wheels, were specifically designed to be used on a motorized bicycle so the hub is ready for that torque. Imo they have a few advantages such as there's no spokes(14 or 12) to break. There's 10 spokes on my wheel but I've had and seen busted spokes on motorized bikes and I think the mag wheel spokes are a little more beefy. Secondly because they lack traditional spokes the wheel won't be pulled out of true. People who utilize that rag joint run the biggest risk of failures. The middle ground for some is a Hub adapter which moves the torque from only the left side of the tire and spreads it out more even over just the hub.
    #7 Goergedave, Jan 14, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2020
    LR Jerry likes this.

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