What cruiser is best for the predator 212?

Tony01

Well-Known Member
Nov 28, 2012
1,366
730
113
sf bay area
You could probably get away with doing this build for less than $900 if you buy enough used parts. Find an old Schwinn frame, gonna be cheaper than $300 for a felt and stronger than a Walmart frame. You can drop the 212 down enough to be able to remove the valve cover if needed.

The added benefit of the old Schwinn is that even though it's got a 1"
Headset, you can easily convert it to a 1.125". For a fork I been looking at suntour xcr. Coil spring with oil damping and can be found as low as $90 on eBay. Stay away from air forks I think. Put a front disc brake something like a cheap Hayes 2-piston hydraulic to start they can be found for around $40. Your wheels and brakes are gonna be the most expensive part that can't be bought used. Front wheel maybe. If ya find a sealed bearing disc hub wheel like I did on CL for $40. It's a 32spoke and I've never had to true it in 5000mi, but about two weeks ago I hit a huge bump in the road that nearly knocked me off the bike and now it looks like it's a quarter inch out... first time it's ever gone out of true.

I bet you could register it in ca and ride it in Oregon. I'm building a trailer and wondering if I could ride across state lines.

Unfortunately you can't really build it with cheap parts if you actually plan on riding it a lot. Stuff falls apart on normal builds but with the 212 it just happens all the time unless everything is built right. Why build two bikes just start building one right. You can always upgrade it later.
 
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ultralight01

New Member
Oct 30, 2016
337
0
0
Hood River, Oregon
You could probably get away with doing this build for less than $900 if you buy enough used parts. Find an old Schwinn frame, gonna be cheaper than $300 for a felt and stronger than a Walmart frame. You can drop the 212 down enough to be able to remove the valve cover if needed.

The added benefit of the old Schwinn is that even though it's got a 1"
Headset, you can easily convert it to a 1.125". For a fork I been looking at suntour xcr. Coil spring with oil damping and can be found as low as $90 on eBay. Stay away from air forks I think. Put a front disc brake something like a cheap Hayes 2-piston hydraulic to start they can be found for around $40. Your wheels and brakes are gonna be the most expensive part that can't be bought used. Front wheel maybe. If ya find a sealed bearing disc hub wheel like I did on CL for $40. It's a 32spoke and I've never had to true it in 5000mi, but about two weeks ago I hit a huge bump in the road that nearly knocked me off the bike and now it looks like it's a quarter inch out... first time it's ever gone out of true.

I bet you could register it in ca and ride it in Oregon. I'm building a trailer and wondering if I could ride across state lines.

Unfortunately you can't really build it with cheap parts if you actually plan on riding it a lot. Stuff falls apart on normal builds but with the 212 it just happens all the time unless everything is built right. Why build two bikes just start building one right. You can always upgrade it later.
I appreciate the info! That really helps.
If I had a cruiser with a coaster brake, do I have to replace the hub (or whole wheel?) for safety reasons?
As far as old schwinn frames go...
http://portland.craigslist.org/wsc/bik/5910617471.html
http://portland.craigslist.org/wsc/bik/5908252130.html
Those are about it on Craigslist.
I agree about the spring/oil fork.That's what I was planning to buy, Air forks are... complicated.
It also makes sense that things fall apart more easily. Much bigger motor, much more vibration.
That's exactly what I was thinking. Register it in California, use it here... I even have family that live in California. I could use their address for registration with their permission :p :p

Is hydraulic the only good option? Are mechanical disc brake any better than rim brakes on this weight of a bike with big rotors? As far as I've seen the cheapest sets of brakes are $50 for mechanical and $120 for hydraulic as a brake set. Hydraulic is probably more worth it even though I've never worked with them before.

Could I use a rotor adapter on a normal bike wheel?

I need to figure out a mount for the engine too. I will probably make an in frame tank from thick (and heavy) steel since it's easiest to weld with a mig.

Do I need a wheel with a disc brake hub or is there some kind of adapter I could use to make a rim brake wheel have a rotor on it?

Seems like buying a whole bike and adapting the parts would be cheaper than buying the parts seperately. I should look out for mountain bike deals on craigslist also...

If I just buy a brake set I can make the back caliper and rotor fit on the jackshaft with a mini hub and some drilling/cutting of the rotor.

I'll sell my walmart HT engine bike to someone for a couple hundred.
 
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Tony01

Well-Known Member
Nov 28, 2012
1,366
730
113
sf bay area
You can buy a whole bike but there isn't much you'll be able to use except the frame, and maybe the seat and seatpost. The 212 is wide so you'll need a wide crankset. The rear wheel is the most important part. There are many options but I'd stay away from coasters. Have a buddy that blew up several of them. In my opinion the best setup is a moped rear drum hub with sprocket, laced with 12g spokes from husky bicycles to a rim of your choosing. It handles the rear brake, rear sprocket, pedal freewheel, and good bearings all in one shot for $65 or so. Search for motobecane rear hub. You can research wheel lacing an spoke length calculation. ~$180

If buying a xcr fork might as well do disc brakes. You'll need a wheel with a disc hub. You kinda need it for the weather there. In fact it's pouring rain right now and I'm about to go for a ride. I have the trp 4-piston on the front with a 200mm rotor. It's $120 and is a good step up from the Hayes which I had before.

Hydraulics are the way to go. They are pretty much a set and forget. With mechs you'll be adjusting them constantly. the brake below comes pre-bled all you'll need is an adapter for the fork.

Do your research better! It's the low end of hydraulics but works. https://www.walmart.com/ip/2010-Hay...62491&wl11=online&wl12=32292776&wl13=&veh=sem
 

Amarion1

Member
Sep 15, 2012
99
1
8
33
Bellingham WA
I researched wheel building and truing to build my own wheels. Its not difficult at all. Made a truing stand and a dishing stick. All with supplies laying around or very cheap.

Ive gotten 3 sets of spokes from this guy on ebay. 40$ with free shipping. 12 guage custom length with nipples

http://m.ebay.com/itm/36-Custom-len...ilver-spoke-nipples-/262687590662?nav=SEARCHy

I did 4 cross pattern on my wheels and had to re order my spokes a few mm longer than the spoke calculators told me
 
Jan 21, 2015
610
20
18
Portland, Oregon
About disc brakes... I saw you mention "the cheapest sets of brakes are $50 for mechanical and $120 for hydraulic as a brake set" You do not want to get the cheapest set available. I spent almost $400 on my disc brake set for my lifan bike, and it was worth every cent. Also about mechanical vs hydraulic, hydraulic are more powerful, but IMO they are harder to service yourself. I prefer mechanical and to compensate for the slightly less power I just use huge 200 mm rotors. On my lifan bike they're powerful enough that I can lock both wheels if I wanted to, and once you get to that point, any extra braking power is not really all that useful.
 

Tony01

Well-Known Member
Nov 28, 2012
1,366
730
113
sf bay area
Hi Ultralight01

The first CL bike looks like the fork crown and cranks are wrong.

The second is a newer China bike, that has the larger down and top tubes.

This is what your are looking for:
Schwinn Middleweight - $100 (Oak Grove)
http://portland.craigslist.org/clc/bik/5893033929.html
and
http://portland.craigslist.org/clc/bik/5893047988.html

Best of luck.
Oh man I wish those were here. I'd snatch up both of em. And they got the good fenders too ($40 new). Be easy to rebuild drumbrakes into those wheels. You can also put a sturmey 90mm drum on the front, not as good as a disc but a lot of people use em.
 

KCvale

Well-Known Member
Feb 28, 2010
3,967
51
48
Phoenix,AZ
About disc brakes... I saw you mention "the cheapest sets of brakes are $50 for mechanical and $120 for hydraulic as a brake set" You do not want to get the cheapest set available.

I spent almost $400 on my disc brake set for my lifan bike, and it was worth every cent. Also about mechanical vs hydraulic, hydraulic are more powerful, but IMO they are harder to service yourself.
I prefer mechanical and to compensate for the slightly less power I just use huge 200 mm rotors.

On my lifan bike they're powerful enough that I can lock both wheels if I wanted to, and once you get to that point, any extra braking power is not really all that useful.
I totally agree with mechanical over hydraulic disc brakes on an MB.
You can cut and size them just like any other pull cable so you can route them the way you want, and being pull cable you can put both on a dual pull lever, and STILL have plenty of brake power!



That is a ~40mph bike with a stock Skyhawk 66 and shift kit.
The last thing you worry about on that is brakes, they are fantastic, and it don't look too bad either ;-}
 

mat_man

New Member
Jan 29, 2011
224
1
0
athens ga
Hi Tony,

Yes, very good deal for their condition. Portland has a great market for vintage Schwinn.

Schwinn made some HeavyWeights that looked the same as Cantalever MiddleWeights except for wider tire clearances and rims, that allow many more tire options:
(More standard rim diameter)

http://www.schwinnbikeforum.com/index.php?topic=16244.0
http://thecabe.com/forum/threads/wh...a-heavy-weight-and-middle-weight-frame.22518/


Also on my wish list.

Worksman Bike - $100
http://charleston.craigslist.org/bik/5893157678.html

Strong rear triangles. 11 Gage spoke wheels with very heavy steel rims.
I would extend the front triangle and add a drop-loop for a flathead Briggs.

The 1" BMX and early Cruisers that have larger diameter headtubes than the most common 1" size, can make 1 1/8" adaption less painfull.

Dead pocket/pit bikes are great for cheap Hydraulics.

A budget 212cc Grange Racer was using rim brakes.
 
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ultralight01

New Member
Oct 30, 2016
337
0
0
Hood River, Oregon
I'll have to call this guy about the middleweight. That's my bike, I have cash in hand. Problem is it's nearly 70 miles away.

Thanks to everyone for the input. I would not buy the cheapest set of brakes, and I'm used to adjusting rim brakes so maybe mechanical are fine...

This will be a massive project with this bike though. New paint, brakes, wheels, engine, gear reduction jackshaft. I'm ready! :p
I'm ndecided between black, blue, or green paint for the frame. I'm not a fan of red. Hehe

This bike will be completely different when I'm done with it.

So, wheels. Building is probably cheaper than buying a wheel-set, people charge a lot for what I'm looking for ($400+) already built and they're often narrow rims. Hopefully I can get a set of wheels for under 250 to compensate for my budget.
Brakes. I'll spend up to 200-250 for everything. If it's better than rim, I'll buy it. Because rim sucks (This is a guy who ran into a car's bumper with rim brakes at 5mph, making a fool of himself).
Still need a 3/4" maxtorque clutch, 420 chain, a sprocket, hub adapter...
I'll make an exhaust out of flexitube. I'm making a tank out of fiberglass/bondo OR thick welded steel. New handlebars and fork @~$130.

About the jackshaft. The two pillow block bearings I have are crooked. The bearing is not straight in the cast iron holder. Do you need two pillow blocks or can you straighten a bearing and somehow it will not move?

I'm literally buying the frame, pedals, seat, and seatpost. At least, that's all I'll probably use...
 
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Jan 21, 2015
610
20
18
Portland, Oregon
I'll have to call this guy about the middleweight. That's my bike, I have cash in hand. Problem is it's nearly 70 miles away.

Thanks to everyone for the input. I would not buy the cheapest set of brakes, and I'm used to adjusting rim brakes so maybe mechanical are fine...

This will be a massive project with this bike though. New paint, brakes, wheels, engine, gear reduction jackshaft. I'm ready! :p
I'm ndecided between black, blue, or green paint for the frame. I'm not a fan of red. Hehe

This bike will be completely different when I'm done with it.

So, wheels. Building is probably cheaper than buying a wheel-set, people charge a lot for what I'm looking for ($400+) already built and they're often narrow rims. Hopefully I can get a set of wheels for under 250 to compensate for my budget.
Brakes. I'll spend up to 200-250 for everything. If it's better than rim, I'll buy it. Because rim sucks (This is a guy who ran into a car's bumper with rim brakes at 5mph, making a fool of himself).
Still need a 3/4" maxtorque clutch, 420 chain, a sprocket, hub adapter...
I'll make an exhaust out of flexitube. I'm making a tank out of fiberglass/bondo OR thick welded steel. New handlebars and fork @~$130.

About the jackshaft. The two pillow block bearings I have are crooked. The bearing is not straight in the cast iron holder. Do you need two pillow blocks or can you straighten a bearing and somehow it will not move?

I'm literally buying the frame, pedals, seat, and seatpost. At least, that's all I'll probably use...
Those bearings can be straightened out easily, just stick a piece of 5/8" shaft in it and push on it till it's straight. They are not meant to be used individually, you have to use them in pairs otherwise they go crooked (which I found out the hard way when I attempted to use a single one as a bearing for a chain tensioner).

About brakes, when buying a disc brake, try to get ones with calipers that squeeze with both pads instead of just one, they are more powerful.

About the wheels, have you considered mag wheels? Some people don't like them (not sure why) but I love them. You can get a pair of good ones for about $200-250.
 

ultralight01

New Member
Oct 30, 2016
337
0
0
Hood River, Oregon
Just want to share some things I would love to do with this build of future ones.

I want to make a hybrid bike, with an electric front hub. Run out of gas? No problem. Feeling illegal? No problem. An alternator could charge the batteries and lights could run off the batteries. If I did that with this 212 bike I'd feel more comfortable getting a VIN and registering it as a motorcycle... In fact, without an electric setup I want to register it somehow. Seems like it would sell for a lot more if it was a motorcycle.

Also, I adore side panels with a cruiser frame. Look at these beautiful bikes:
panels2.jpg

panels.jpg
Particularly the green one. Incredible.

The last thing would be a full suspension Mountain bike with a China girl and jackshaft. I say China girl because it comes with a manual clutch (wth, I get a $60 engine with a manual clutch but have to pay $180 for a predator manual clutch?)
I'd like a HT engine for that because I've still learned very little about these and at least it would be a trial bike, not something I'm worried about breaking on the road with CARS. It's all downhill to home on the trails here.

Those body panels on the bikes though... :O

Back to this 212 cruiser, I feel like finding a deal on a high-end mountain bike will give me a lot of the parts I need for a cheaper price.

Edit: wow. These mag wheels... are awesome http://www.ebay.com/itm/26-MTB-Bike...ed-/201374098729?_trksid=p2141725.m3641.l6368
 
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mat_man

New Member
Jan 29, 2011
224
1
0
athens ga
All Santana Road Tandems $3k - $11k come with rim brakes on the front wheel because of better raw stopping power.

The Rear wheel normaly can only use 25% of the stopping power of the front before skidding, Santana will gladly sell you a Disk for it.