Huffy Cranbrook. To motorize or not?

Discussion in 'Motorized Cruiser Bicycles' started by monturacer3, Mar 24, 2015.

  1. mapbike

    mapbike Active Member

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    Personally I have bikes that I didnt put even $250 in and they have been good reliable bikes, but I did this by getting a used bike at a real bargain, one example is my Kulana moon dag bike, yeah not a high end bike and it has had several thing done that has it way over the $250 mark now but I paid $75 for the bike and an old 66cc CG engine and then got it running for pennies and road it that way for a while, only issue I ever hadon it was the rag joint over stressed the 14ga spokes a little and one of them broke on the rear wheel, It will be getting a wheelmaster wheel with 12ga spokes before long, I just dont like 14ga spokes with the rag joint coupler on them, it really bends than out.

    The best bqng for the buck as far as an inexpensive build in my opinion is the Huffy bike, but the builder needs to plan on replacing the rear wheel in time and they should pull it apart and pack the coaster hub with good grease and get the bearing tensioned correctly, Ive got about 1200-1300 miles on my Falcon Huffy hub without a single issue because I did these steps in the beginning, the bearings and every part of the hub still look almost brand new after all these miles and I use the coaster brake as the primary brake on the bike with a C-Brake up front to help, it will get a Shimano 110 hub when its finally wore out its welcome though, the brak3s on the Huffy hubs are really weak compared to the Shimano coaster and no doubt the Shimano coaster is a far superior hub all the way around, but for the rider who just putts around every now and then at 30mph or less, the Falcon hub will usually do a good job if its kept adjusted and filled with a quality grease, this has been m6 experience on mine and I cruise rough dusty dirt roads and rarely ride under 30mph on that bike accept for slowing down to stop or make a turn.

    One more suggestion is get a new and longer chain for the Huffy, and get on ebay and order a Sturmey Archer 22T rear cog/sprocket for the wheel, you'll be amazed at how much easier the bike is to pedal and bump start.

    One bike I just put a 36T on the cranks and left the 18T on the wheel and its a dream to pedal now also.
     
  2. xseler

    xseler Well-Known Member

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    The only reason that I'm on a Huffy is that I already had it (and I hadn't found this forum before I started the build). And it has been certainly adequate to tootle around the neighborhood and go to the convenience store. Now that I'm more than ankle deep in this hobby, I'm slowly upgrading parts. It's just part of the pleasure in 'wrenching' on something.

    Did my finances require a Huffy? Certainly not! A local bike dealer has a Felt Deep Six that I would certainly like to have. Then I think, "would the ride be more satisfying on a $750 bike?" Probably not ---- it's kinda like when you were younger and were able to coax your old jalopy across the country. I just like the experience of making it work.

    With all that being said, I'm certainly glad that I don't have to rely on my bike for daily transportation.
     
  3. boxcar

    boxcar New Member

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    Do your friend a favor. Up the price a bit and add not only front but rear brakes as well.
    He will thank you for it later......
    If it were mine I'd swap the rear coaster for a free wheel. As I did on my wife's Huffy Santa Fee 2 .
    I built it because I had the bike in my junk pile. ( was used as a comparison study against a quality frame)
    After replacing every moving part on the bike , It's ok........
    Thankfully I had the luxury of having all of the parts on hand from other builds.
    The biggest draw back to these bikes is the lack of provision for cantilever or V brakes.
    This can be expensive to remedy.
    Being able to stop this thing suddenly in traffic should be a builders first concern....
    Add $35 to the Cranbrook's retail value and you get V brakes.........
     
  4. BOYGOFAST

    BOYGOFAST New Member

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    I'd suggest tape to those whom are in a hurry to reassemble the brakehub pictured.
     
  5. TheWizard

    TheWizard New Member

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    Huffy Cranbrook is a good bike, I have one myself!
     
  6. fatdaddy

    fatdaddy New Member

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    I recommend a dual u-bolt front mount. About $10 on ebay.
    And NEVER trust the coaster brake!!! I put hand brakes on my cranny. And REALLY, either reinforce the fender bracket with a real steel bracket or just take em off. I've seen what happens when a fender gets under a wheel. I call it a front fender SKI TRIP. I warned a customer that didn't listen and they wound up in the hospital for a week. Just HAD to have fenders. I even offered to build better brackets, NO time, Gotta RIDE. All I can do is TRY!!!
    fatdaddy.usflg
     
    #26 fatdaddy, Apr 21, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2015
  7. bluegoatwoods

    bluegoatwoods New Member

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    ".... I warned a customer that didn't listen and they wound up in the hospital for a week. Just HAD to have fenders. I even offered to build better brackets, NO time, Gotta RIDE..........." --fatdaddy

    Wow! Now that's one dense customer.

    I suppose he thought that you were being overcautious. But to have the danger explained to him, yet still go charging off like the roadrunner in the cartoons is simply dumb.

    Do you suppose you'll have to put your customers in a holding cell until their bike is really finished? There's gotta be a better solution than that. But I'm drawing a blank just now.
     
  8. KCvale

    KCvale Active Member

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    There is.
    Put a 10-15 day window for build time when you get payment and don't let it go until it's right.

    Let 2 customers lean over our shoulders to 'hurry up' and both needed fixing.
    Don't let them.
     
  9. fatdaddy

    fatdaddy New Member

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    I got a sign that says,
    LABOR- $35 per hour
    YOU WATCH- $45 per hour
    YOU HELP- $65 per hour
    fatdaddy.usflg
     
  10. boxcar

    boxcar New Member

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    You are to cheap. I get $100 if they help.....
     
  11. KCvale

    KCvale Active Member

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    AAAHaaahhh !
    I like it.

    There is however a difference between what we have built and some other builders repair.
    If we built it we drop what we doing and take care of it, usually for free.

    For OP builds we tend to let them watch if they like while we point out everything that is wrong first and then send them on their way until it's done.

    I don't do much of the OP builder repairs now though, they are always a time consuming dirty frustrating job that don't pay squat for the time even at $35 an hour as there usually is always 'something else' that needs done before the 'symptom' problem can be done right and the cost ends up more than just staring over with new bike and biting the loss.

    A lot of Huffy Cranbrooks end up in the 'bone yard' for POS $200 builds, yet people keep building them...

    The difference between ignorance and stupidity is ignorance simply means you didn't know better to start with, stupidity is repeating the same mistake expecting a different outcome the next time.

    A $100 new bike is a POS to motorize as is, PERIOD!

    'nuff said?
     
    #31 KCvale, Apr 22, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2015
  12. mapbike

    mapbike Active Member

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    KC that isnt always the case, I know how much you hate the Huffy Bikes and like to express that on here as much as possible when the topic comes up, but I personally have a Huffy Karaoke that has well over 1000 miles on it since 2010, has not been ba ied around at all and has been a very good riding dependable bike from the beginning, no issues with wheels or frame.

    Now I know others have had problems, Im not sure if all of them were the bike or the builder and I know the coaster hu s aren't top notch, but mine has been a good bike and the Falcon coaster hub has held up ver6 good.

    Proper set up and lubrication to all bearings is gonna determine reliablity on them since some come with very little grease in bearings and such, but I have several bikes that have been good ones and none are "high end" bikes, so to say a good motorized bike cant be had from a cheaper bike just isnt the truth.
     
  13. fatdaddy

    fatdaddy New Member

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    The 2010, 2011 cranbrook came out with extra heavy frame welding and steel rims with 12 guage spokes. I have no idea about before or after those years. I got mine in 2011 and I've had a few engine problems but the ONLY problem with the bike is the coaster brakes, DONT trust them. And like any bike ya wanna motorize. service it first. Ya cant trust the Chinese guy to get enough grease in the bearings. My Cranny has been a nice ride.
    fatdaddy.usflg
     
  14. mapbike

    mapbike Active Member

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    I agree on all points, I have had good service from my 2010 Huffy, I wish I knew more about the newer ones so I dont have to just assume they're the same quality as the older one I have, I tend to defend the Huffy cruiser bikes based on my personal experience but this may not be true for the newer ones.....shrug...?????
     
  15. wolframore

    wolframore New Member

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    The Cranbrooks are ideal for an inexpensive build. Solid steel frame and 12 ga spoke offer a leg up on most bikes.

    Take off all the fenders. We just had a crash from the rear fender brackets breaking off.

    Check your spoke tension, check the grease and bearings. Get real brakes. You guys need to charge more for a build.
     
  16. Kartooo

    Kartooo Member

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    i find very little grease that's like a tar and bearings super tight on the crank and steering head on most if not all of the low $$ bikes. cheap coaster brake = broken bones.
    grease em good, pre load ALL bearings and add brakes and a decent tensioner is my formula for reliability....
     
  17. scrollerguy

    scrollerguy Member

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    Take a look at my bike. at lest 1500 miles. No problem with the bike at all.

    Search My old bike by Scrollerguy.
     
  18. scrollerguy

    scrollerguy Member

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    If you read my post, you will see I have a Drum rear brake, along with a rear brake, also with a front brake.

    The fenders are bullit proof, the front end has been replaced. And just because I am retired
    I hve been a Master Mechanic for 40 years. Money is tight, I have to make it right.
     
  19. KCvale

    KCvale Active Member

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    Agreed, but as far as I am concerned "Huffy" means "Cheap Toy" in some language and I sure won't build on a bike for the 99ยข store ;-}

    Save
     
  20. Going2Hell

    Going2Hell Member

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    I have put over 5,000 miles on my Huffy Panama Jack which is basically the same frame but the rear cargo rack is welded to a Cranbrook frame. I mounted a Huasheng 4-cycle 50cc but I also replaced the spokes and hubs while using the Huffy rims. This frame is still strong and accepted a 2" widening of the rear fork with no effort at all! Make sure you check the welds!

    Search "Paragraphs" in the searchbox and you'll find my Huffy!
     

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