For starters, I have a "forward pedal" 7 speed beach cruiser...

NOOBfromSoCAL

New Member
Jul 15, 2017
4
0
1
41
It has 26 inch rims with cantilever brakes. I purchased this bike with hopes that I can eventually put an engine on it. I'm a noob as my name states, so please help any way you guys can.
I want to start off small and safety is essential. I was thinking of trying to modify it to disc brakes so it would have more stopping power. I think it may cost a lot to do so because I would either have to change the hubs or buy new rims.
The new rims would have to be able to allow my freewheel gears in back. The new hubs would have to be the same diameter as the current ones, so I don't have to change the spokes. And I don't think I want quick release because it seems unsafe to me.
The cruiser frame is not made for disc brakes so I'm told that I have to either weld tabs for the calipers to attach to, or buy some kind of special attachment piece.
I heard that I could try and swap out the forks for mountain bike type with shocks, so it has the attachments for caliper, but I'm not sure if the forks would fit the beach cruiser? (The shocks themselves might be good for the motorized bike though). Then that still leaves the rear, OMG!
Help! I know its a lot to read, but I'm new.
Thanks in advance,
-NOOB
 

xseler

Well-Known Member
Apr 14, 2013
2,883
126
63
OKC, OK
Howdy & welcome to the forum!

There's lots of info in the threads pertaining to what you envision for your project. Spend some time and read through to benefit from other's successes and failures. On all things related to the bicycle part of the build, www.sheldonbrown.com is an invaluable resource!

I have a beach cruiser that's been converted to a fork with shocks and a disc brake (it also utilizes a quick-release axle)........though it's not a simple, straightforward process. Sheldonbrown has lots of info regarding threaded, threadless, and different diameter headsets. This conversion has made my bike more comfortable to ride and much safer because of the shorter stopping distances.

Best of luck in your upcoming adventure!
 
  • Like
Reactions: NOOBfromSoCAL

wheelbender6

Well-Known Member
Sep 4, 2008
3,990
120
63
TX
"I was thinking of trying to modify it to disc brakes so it would have more stopping power".
A disc brake on the front provides the most benefit. Not so much on the back.
Its much easier to mount a front drum brake than disc.
I got my front drum wheel from a retired Worksman trike for cheap.
 
  • Like
Reactions: NOOBfromSoCAL

NOOBfromSoCAL

New Member
Jul 15, 2017
4
0
1
41
Howdy & welcome to the forum!

There's lots of info in the threads pertaining to what you envision for your project. Spend some time and read through to benefit from other's successes and failures. On all things related to the bicycle part of the build, www.sheldonbrown.com is an invaluable resource!

I have a beach cruiser that's been converted to a fork with shocks and a disc brake (it also utilizes a quick-release axle)........though it's not a simple, straightforward process. Sheldonbrown has lots of info regarding threaded, threadless, and different diameter headsets. This conversion has made my bike more comfortable to ride and much safer because of the shorter stopping distances.

Best of luck in your upcoming adventure!
Thanks for the info. I tried looking on sheldons webpage and there is a plethora of info there.
I think I want to try a front disc for now and shop around for some forks with shocks that are compatible with attaching to my frame. Trying to keep it cheap.
Thanks again. -noob
 

NOOBfromSoCAL

New Member
Jul 15, 2017
4
0
1
41
"I was thinking of trying to modify it to disc brakes so it would have more stopping power".
A disc brake on the front provides the most benefit. Not so much on the back.
Its much easier to mount a front drum brake than disc.
I got my front drum wheel from a retired Worksman trike for cheap.
Thank you for the info, its definitely something for me to think about and look into.
Tell me... would a front drum brake be as good with stopping power and in maintenance compared to a front disc brake?
Thank you. -noob
 

5-7HEAVEN

Well-Known Member
Aug 2, 2008
2,543
149
63
Thanks for the info. I tried looking on sheldons webpage and there is a plethora of info there.
I think I want to try a front disc for now and shop around for some forks with shocks that are compatible with attaching to my frame. Trying to keep it cheap.
Thanks again. -noob
Welcome to the club, NOOB!

For a cheap front disc conversion, take the complete fork and disc brake assembly (including cable and brake lever) off a used/discarded mountain bike.

Before doing so, determine if you have a 1" or a 1.125" headset.

Most mountain bikes have the larger headset. If your frame has the smaller headset, then look at something like this:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/SunTour-Fork-26-XCM-Coil-1In-Threadless-QR9Bk-Dis/132253335936?_trksid=p2047675.c100623.m-1&_trkparms=aid=222007&algo=SIC.MBE&ao=2&asc=41376&meid=be076fadb3014324a2075dcb917b2f3e&pid=100623&rk=4&rkt=6&sd=311793977833

My number one mod I like on my bike is the front suspension fork. Then comes the engine, then the disc brakes.

I also have a 7-speed cruiser I'm converting to suspension fork, front and rear disc brakes, 8-speed cassette.....

and twin engines in the mid-frame.

Welcome aboard.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: NOOBfromSoCAL

NOOBfromSoCAL

New Member
Jul 15, 2017
4
0
1
41
Welcome to the club, NOOB!

For a cheap front disc conversion, take the complete fork and disc brake assembly (including cable and brake lever) off a used/discarded mountain bike.

Before doing so, determine if you have a 1" or a 1.125" headset.

Most mountain bikes have the larger headset. If your frame has the smaller headset, then look at something like this:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/SunTour-Fork-26-XCM-Coil-1In-Threadless-QR9Bk-Dis/132253335936?_trksid=p2047675.c100623.m-1&_trkparms=aid=222007&algo=SIC.MBE&ao=2&asc=41376&meid=be076fadb3014324a2075dcb917b2f3e&pid=100623&rk=4&rkt=6&sd=311793977833

My number one mod I like on my bike is the front suspension fork. Then comes the engine, then the disc brakes.

I also have a 7-speed cruiser I'm converting to suspension fork, front and rear disc brakes, 8-speed cassette.....

and twin engines in the mid-frame.

Welcome aboard.
Thanks for your post.
I would like to see pics of your cool ride!?
Yes I was thinking about taking a mountain bike and using it for parts only... forks, rims w/disc brakes, maybe the crank.
I was told to be careful of the "head" set-up...
(where the bearings connect to the frame.) If its a compression fit or the other kind? I'm sorry I don't know the terminology? And that's besides the diameter..?
Anyhow, I appreciate any and all info!
Thanks again. -noob