Dept Store Bike Experiment!?!

tyrslider

New Member
Sep 26, 2008
958
0
0
RainCity
So I built this bike as an experiment and to learn how to make these kits work properly. I wanted to see if you could just buy a dept store cruiser, slap on a kit and go. Well it turns out you can. But I don't recommend it.

I've put about 80 mi on my bike since I built it and I've noticed the cup & cage style bearings are not up to the task. They loosen up regularly and can become dangerous fairly quickly w/o much attention. The steel components "are not made like they used to be made". As you'll see.

These bikes can be retrofitted w/ upgraded componants and modifications and be made to work ok. But I don't think it's worth all the $ and work it will take when you can buy bikes w/ quality componants that are overbuilt bicycles. And for not a whole lot more $

My kit I'm totally happy w/; my Schwinn Windwood Cruiser nasomuch!
don't get me wrong, it's a fine cruiser bicycle, and that's it.:ride2:

I've learned so much and been introduced to so many interesting people and ideas since I started doing this. So my next bicycle is going to be up to the task!:D

Why Yes, That Is My Rear Hub! rotfl
 

Attachments

Goat Herder

Gutter Rider
Apr 28, 2008
6,248
12
38
N.M.
Wow! it fell apart bummer. Some of the quility has sure gon down hill these day! Thanks for the heads up. Your cranks can be conquerd the cups have't settled into the frame? All the way I think.
 

Dan

Staff
May 25, 2008
12,775
107
48
55
Moosylvania
I have the same bike from wally world sold as a point beach.(was $99, now 160 last I looked) It is funny how it is shaking it self apart. But dang she is pretty dressed up as an MB. The front fender is a boobie trap waiting to happen. The book rack succeeded from the union and the paint job falls off in a good wind. But she's pretty.

Tyrslider, that is great advice though, start with a good platform.
 

deacon

minor bike philosopher
Jan 15, 2008
8,117
3
0
north carolina
I built my mtb three times with thrifts store bikes and always had them run till I got tired of them. I have no idea about new bikes since I only have one newer bike and it has a chainsaw motor on it. It does seem to be doing okay. It was originally my grand daughter's bought for under a hundred bucks about five years ago.
 

greenephantom

New Member
Oct 5, 2008
12
0
0
Portland, Oregon
The modern coaster brake hubs are pretty much junk. Find a Bendix coaster hub from the 1960s or 1970s, overhaul it with fresh grease, and build it up into a wheel. The Bendix hubs are pretty great, and then came on all different kinds of bikes back in the day, so they're pretty common.
Cheers, Geoff
 

wheelbender6

Well-Known Member
Sep 4, 2008
4,016
143
63
TX
You can buy a cheap bike now and replace the crummy parts as they break. It's a means to an end, but a troublesome one.
 

Retmachinist

New Member
Oct 21, 2008
637
1
0
Urbandale Ia
So far I have used a couple Dept. store type beach cruisers with no problem. I think these type bikes are all made in China no matter what the brand. They should be a good match for these Chinese engine kits. They will probably need alot of Maintenance, I just hope I catch it before it becomes dangerous. I pretty much check everything over before each ride. The build I am working on now is on an old (20-25 yrs.) Huffy 10 speed. I wonder if it is any better built?
 

tyrslider

New Member
Sep 26, 2008
958
0
0
RainCity
I haven't read of mass breakdowns or anything so I imagine that they're somewhat reliable. I agree w/ retmach I check everything all the time and would add that I'm pretty much always prepared to come skidding to a stop!rotfl
Too much maintenance though, for my taste.(^)
 

Dan

Staff
May 25, 2008
12,775
107
48
55
Moosylvania
So far I have used a couple Dept. store type beach cruisers with no problem. I think these type bikes are all made in China no matter what the brand. They should be a good match for these Chinese engine kits. They will probably need alot of Maintenance, I just hope I catch it before it becomes dangerous. I pretty much check everything over before each ride. The build I am working on now is on an old (20-25 yrs.) Huffy 10 speed. I wonder if it is any better built?
That drives me nutz! Bikes evolved since the '40s. Bike engines are still made with mounts designed for 1940s, metal starved England. All with in the same boarders. But the flip side is that it is the challenge that is half the fun.

Dunno, just makes me crazy. Some new kits come with "Large frame mounting" hardware. It is a bolt with a bracket so you can drill a hole in your aluminum, Chinese frame at a very important part of the support structure. Not a good idea to drill your frame IMHO. But is done with succes and posted on the web, So the manufactures are listening (reading) our input. (output?)
 

pole-sitter

New Member
Oct 20, 2008
18
0
0
weeki wachee, florida
when my 1st eng wouldn't work for my orig intention I took a look at wally worlds bikes and saw a HUFFY, cruiser style, for 59.99 that for all purposes that "looked" like it would do the job...It was beachy..and bulky, fat tired, like for a really fat dude...and would have thought about it... if I werent try to do the occ.
It 'd be hard to beat the price.....oh yeah...plus tax !!!
 

Motoschwinn

Member
Jun 27, 2008
434
1
18
Independence MO
I have the same bike from wally world sold as a point beach.(was $99, now 160 last I looked) It is funny how it is shaking it self apart. But dang she is pretty dressed up as an MB. The front fender is a boobie trap waiting to happen. The book rack succeeded from the union and the paint job falls off in a good wind. But she's pretty.

Tyrslider, that is great advice though, start with a good platform.
OK. With the exception of the front fender problem, my Point Beach is a much smoother running bike than the 1973 Suburban I had the motor on. Maybe I'm lucky as mine is holding together fine. Maybe built in a different village?

Personally I think it's all in the motor mounts. Nice and tight!
 

Goat Herder

Gutter Rider
Apr 28, 2008
6,248
12
38
N.M.
I'am not thrilled about drilling a hole anywhere , and definitaly not at the idler!!!! I weigh in at 250 , I've cracked rear triangles from plain old peddling. Its usually at the lower trailing arms
 

Saddletramp1200

Custom MB Buiilder
May 7, 2008
1,445
51
48
Houston, Texas
I hung a little brass bell from my Point Beach right behind the crank peddles. Keeps grimlins away. No problems yet, 400 miles. And I check the bike day after day.