New guy, cruiser build bike questions

Discussion in 'Motorized Cruiser Bicycles' started by JSSuper, Mar 14, 2012.

  1. JSSuper

    JSSuper New Member

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    Hi forum,

    New to the site, but have some questions on building a MB Cruiser for a 5mi (one way) work commute in town. This may be kinda long, so I apologize but I want to give as much background as possible.

    Have been doing quite a bit of reading and have some questions on what bike I should look at for a build

    First, I have ridden the box store specials before and the minute a friend let me ride his Felt cruiser, it was over. I immediately sold my cheap cruiser and purchased a 2010 Giant Simple Single for recreational riding.

    Having ridden my Giant quite a bit, and having spent time on several Felts and a Schwinn Mark V I wanted to purchase another quality cruiser to project into a MB cruiser for my summer ride.

    Options:
    2012 Giant Simple Single: Knowing the quality my 2010 has proven to have, plus the new 2012 frame design with smaller Ø tubing looks like it will work much better with an engine conversion and has me thinking of going this route. The only problem here is the aluminum frame (Giants fancy term is ALUXX). Some say steel frame only and others seem to have converted aluminum frame bikes with no problem. What is your take?
    PIC:
    [​IMG]

    New Schwinn Corvette or Mark V:
    Kinda like this but the frame design has me wondering how to mount the tank. Like the cup holder though

    The local bike shop has suggested the following bikes...
    Torker Boardwalk: Looks like quality and I like the price but I have never heard of it until yesterday. Reviews seem to be good but completely unknown to me.

    Raleigh Special and/or Retroglide: Have heard of these, but have never ridden one. The sales consultant suggested I come back and check them out tomorrow as they will be in the showroom then. Looking at the website I am not really digging the graphics, but thats a minor complaint.

    This particular shop didn't carry Felt or Schwinn, but spoke highly of the Torker. Price is comfortable on all of them, the most expensive being the Mark V @ $400+ with the Simple and Corvette next @ $350 MSRP.

    As for the engine kit I am looking seriously at the GT5 Skyhawk kit from www.pistonbikes.com. From what I have read it seems to be a quality kit, but if someone has other suggestions I am all ears, err eyes... lol

    Thanks for your time and input.
     
  2. thegnu

    thegnu New Member

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    I recomend steel aluminum is a soft metal an prone to work hardening an cracking , also a 5 mile commute is short an should be no problem , I put 30 mi. on mine yesterday just because it can do it .
    Gary
     
  3. rustycase

    rustycase Gutter Rider

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    That's a nice looking cruiser bike!

    IMO...

    We kinda have different things going on here in MABland.
    We don't pedal much.
    We clamp a kit engine assembly onto a frame.
    We need good brakes because it's kinda like going downhill, all the time!

    Continuing a bit further, pedals cranks and gears are not so important to us.

    Steel frames are better because we are going to squeeze the tube with our mounting clamps.
    Weight is less of a consideration because we now have power.

    In the least, coaster brakes shall fade, in any extended braking action.

    Inline rim brakes, (what shimano calls V-brakes), or center pull caliper brakes, are the least I would consider using, if I could not get disk brakes.
    I feel having both front, and rear brakes, is very important.

    A larger seat is more valuable on a motorized bicycle than on a pedal bike.
    (We rarely stand and pedal.)

    Front suspension is more important than on a pedal bike, because customary speed is faster, and subsequent impact with pavement irregularities is more treacherous.

    A good exhaust muffler is beneficial !

    Best
    rc
     
  4. JSSuper

    JSSuper New Member

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    Thanks for the input guys. I am pretty excited for this project.

    I have always been a fan of a "quality" coaster brake, but I do plan to add a front brake for additional stopping power.
    I have some time today to go check out the Diamond Back and Raleigh bikes they carry so I will update on them after I check them out.

    I am going to order the engine kit today, but I am in no hurry for a bike for it so if someone has a suggestion on a good bike LMK.
     
    #4 JSSuper, Mar 14, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2012
  5. Al.Fisherman

    Al.Fisherman New Member

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    My all time favorite frames are cruisers, maybe because that's what I've grown up with. I've have had other frames, and built MB on them. I had a thin steel frame and the down tube cracked in half. Aluminum isn't any better, in my opinion. Also the tubes crush too easily, so particular attention is needed.
    [​IMG]
    So I stay away from them. You want a frame as close to a 75 degree "V", but you can work around that. Since the cruisers have a curved down tube, I find that a custom front mount is needed, as a engine out of the box won't last long. There are a number of options. Now the coaster brake, at first I had one but changed it for pad brakes, which is easy. Using the coaster set up.
    HT with a coaster brake set up.
    [​IMG]
    I recommend taking the sprocket and enlarging the axle hole, keeping the dust cap intact. Some cut the dust cap. Here is a video I made.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=krm2XO27FPQ
    Whichever you decide to build, I know you will have a ball on it. To build one correctly, disregard the 2-3 hours they tell you that it can be built in.
    Here are some recommendations I have for installing a China HT.
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1GcesQihc7-mm3hJGf7UPiqOaRXZ8ekUT99QUZq2qXXE/edit
     
    #5 Al.Fisherman, Mar 14, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2012
  6. JSSuper

    JSSuper New Member

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    Good to know, thanks for the tips.

    I notice you have built yours on a Huffy. Since I struck out at the local bike shop, and others on here have said that the Huffy Cranbrook and other cheap Schwinns and such seem to work very well for these builds with a few upgrades such as wheels and bearings. Is that true? Maybe I am over thinking on what bike I need.
     
  7. Al.Fisherman

    Al.Fisherman New Member

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    The picture is of a $100.00 WalMart bike, going on a year, with no problems. I have 2 other cruisers (only one with a engine the other for a spare) just over 3 years, zero problems, not sure where they were made. I'll investigate.
     
  8. truckd

    truckd Active Member

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    Can you please! tell me how much you charge for the clutch pulley set up? sure would like to have one for my 1911 Indian Build itsure looks like a much more intelligent and functional piece of eqp.
     
    #8 truckd, Mar 15, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2012

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