Recommended upgrades to front wheel, fork, brake? 26" Cranbrook™, Cruiser Bike

When mounting an engine on a 26" Cranbrook™ Cruiser Bike 56387, some upgrades to other parts of the bike are appropriate.
  1. Replacing front wheel with one that can accept a disk brake
  2. Adding a suspension fork on the front.
  3. Adding a front (and perhaps another rear) brake
  4. Bottom bracket conversion from one-piece crank to 3 piece, with square holes.
  • Where is a recommended place to buy a strong front wheel with disc mounts?
  • I'm in the process of buying a Botton Bracket Conversion kit to accommodate the wide crank & sprocket set.
  • In terms of a new front fork, is anybody happy with some particular replacement? I would prefer something with suspension and a brake (preferably disk).
  • I know springer forks are popular with this kind of "Cruiser" (and what does that really mean anyway? What are you cruising for?), but I don't see any advantage of them over the cylinder-plunger arrangement - except for appearances.
  • And while I"m on the subject, do those disk brake adapters actually work?
 

waynesdata

Active Member
Jul 10, 2017
254
107
43
42
A good set of wheels and tires. Would make more difference than that stuff. I commuter bike about 800 miles a week. That is rain or shine.
 

5-7HEAVEN

Well-Known Member
Aug 2, 2008
2,546
150
63
A good set of wheels and tires. Would make more difference than that stuff. I commuter bike about 800 miles a week. That is rain or shine.
Is that 80 miles/week or 800 miles/week?

So that's 4,000 miles/yearly or 40,000 miles/yearly?

I find that riding 4,000 miles impressive.
 

KCvale

Well-Known Member
Feb 28, 2010
3,967
52
48
Phoenix,AZ
The Huffy Cranbrook is a notorious POS <$100 wally world bike and not suitable for motorizing, their back hub is junk.

I suggest is you want a good bike with disc brakes, start with a bike that already has them like this $340 (delivered) FITO.

Note: I changed the front fork for a suspension like you want, but the bikes disc caliper bolted right, and this is a shifter but that changes nothing other than I could keep the back disc by jackshafting.

This one had an internal 3-speed hub that actually makes for a cool, fast, safe ride.



Or this Genesis, it at least has a front disc and good suspension and a rear V brake.



Trust me, it is far better to start with a bike with everything you want on it as after market parts prices make the price soar.

I am learning that the hard way right now as they no longer make that dual disc Fito bike and I have 2 more gas tank frames to do before I retire and move up north for a cooler climate.

The bottom line is, if you start with ****, it will always be ****.
Buy a bike equipped with what you want first, and then motorize it from there is my advice, surprisingly it less expensive that way ;-}
 
Last edited:

5-7HEAVEN

Well-Known Member
Aug 2, 2008
2,546
150
63
I'd visit the local bike shops first to see what kind of wheels they had to offer.
You might be able to just install stronger spokes on your rims.

I've had a few ROCKSHOX forks. I'm happy with their street performance, but I don't go offroading.

My first suspension fork was on a girlie cruiser. It was set up by a shop to use rim brakes.

I installed my other forks and used disc brakes.

Springer forks are for "the look" on cruiser bikes.
You'll never see them on mountain bikes.
 

waynesdata

Active Member
Jul 10, 2017
254
107
43
42
Is that 80 miles/week or 800 miles/week?

So that's 4,000 miles/yearly or 40,000 miles/yearly?

I find that riding 4,000 miles impressive.
We do not have a car. That is going to work and getting things around town. I even buy grocery on my bike. Keeping my bike going is like a full time job. Biking is much cheaper than getting rides or even catching the bus. :( Lost everything in a divorce.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Nehmo

waynesdata

Active Member
Jul 10, 2017
254
107
43
42
I had a Genesis. I loved that bike.

Had to replace the stem because it would allow my handle bars to move.

The wheels are not strong enough. I was constantly having to true the wheels using youtube videos.

The disk breaks were only better in the rain than my current v breaks. A set of kool stop pads makes a BIG difference.

At $149.00 I call the Genesis a power buy. You cannot get any better without spending more money. Was a much better buy than my bayside.
 
We do not have a car. That is going to work and getting things around town. I even buy grocery on my bike. Keeping my bike going is like a full time job. Biking is much cheaper than getting rides or even catching the bus. :( Lost everything in a divorce.
Getting along with a bike-only is feasible in many cities. In Amsterdam or Copenhagen, it would be normal. In many American cities, it's rough.
I live in Kansas City, Kansas, and it's the most bike unfriendly city, I've ever lived. On the main street near me, literally a thousand cars will go by before you will see a bike.
I lost my driver's license several years ago, and for a few years, I had to use only a bike. It was very hard. During that time, I've used ebikes, 4-stroke bikes, and regular bikes.
Now, I have a license and a car again. However, I'm almost through motorizing a Cranbrook. Sure, it's not the best bike to start with, but I didn't buy it, and it's what I'm working with right now. After I put a brake and a suspension fork, it shouldn't be too bad.
 

malatious

Member
Sep 23, 2014
61
15
8
Riverside, CA
I have a Cranbrook and have not had any issues with some of the parts that people talk about. I did disassembled the rear hub, clean, and re grease it. I built mine from several use bikes I purchase from second hand stores. I ride mine regularly and have had no issue. I don't go off road, try to avoid potholes, and try not to overuse the rear coaster brake. I have mountain bike forks on the Cranbrook with disk brakes and they definitely ride smoother than the springer forks on my Roadmaster. The Roadmaster frame is longer and handles better, it also has Sturmey archer drum brakes on the front which seems to work better, but just might be my imagination. A lot of these options will work well and just come down to preference and how much you are willing to spend. You definitely want to be able to stop and you want to be seen, so don't forget lighting. Here are pics of 2 of my bikes.
IMG_4562.JPG IMG_4561.JPG IMG_4123.JPG IMG_4122.JPG
 
I have a Cranbrook and have not had any issues with s some of the parts that people talk about. I did disassembled the rear hub, clean, and re grease it. I built mine from several use bikes I purchase from second hand stores. I ride mine regularly and have had no issue. I don't go off road, try to avoid potholes, and try not to overuse the rear coaster brake. I have mountain bike forks on the Cranbrook with disk brakes and they definitely ride smoother than the springer forks on my Roadmaster. The Roadmaster frame is longer and handles better, it also has Sturmey archer drum brakes on the front which seems to work better, but just might be my imagination. A lot of these options will work well and just come down to preference and how much you are willing to spend. You definitely want to be able to stop and you want to be seen, so don't forget lighting. Here are pics of 2 of my bikes.
View attachment 95375 View attachment 95376 View attachment 95377 View attachment 95378
On the Cranbrook 56387, the head tube outside diameter is 1 3/8 inches. The steering tube :confused: that goes into it from the top, is 7/8 inches in outside diameter. The top of the fork (fork stem measured below the crown) going into the head tube is 1 1/4 inches OD. I'm not familiar with sizing forks. Most references say they come in 1" and 1.125". Neither of these measurements matches. So, what size fork does the Cranbrook take?
 

5-7HEAVEN

Well-Known Member
Aug 2, 2008
2,546
150
63
You've measured every place but the obvious.

Measure center of the shaft (aka steerer tube) itself.
 
Last edited:
You've measured every place but the obvious.

Measure center of the shaft itself.
I can take it out and measure, but does someone already have that number?
Also, I was hoping to replace the existing fork with one from a bunch of damaged bikes I may have access to. I won't be able to disassemble those until I buy them. It seems there should be an outside measurement I can take.

BTW, I have 4 other bikes around here (some don't work). None of those has a matching fork to the Cranbrook. When I moved last time, I had to abandon my prize collection of junk bikes. (Nobody else understood the value in them :-( ) It was heartbreaking, but I gave them to this dumb guy who planned to take them to the metal recycler. If I still had that pile, I would already have a replacement fork.
 

5-7HEAVEN

Well-Known Member
Aug 2, 2008
2,546
150
63
Since it's a late-model bike, there's a 99% probability it's 1.125" wide.

A 1% probability it's 1" in diameter.
 

waynesdata

Active Member
Jul 10, 2017
254
107
43
42
Have you found a good place to get wheels and tires? The stronger, the better. What are you using?
Running 12g spokes on stock wheels. I held off saving money for 2.5 Maxxis Hookworm and a frame that can fit them. Reserhing mag rims because I am tired of spoke adjustnents.
 

5-7HEAVEN

Well-Known Member
Aug 2, 2008
2,546
150
63
Be sure to measure the shaft's crown, where the shaft meets the fork. It'll be either 26.4mm or27mm.

Then make sure the correct bottom race comes with your order.