Question for hardtailcruzer re: Cruzbikes

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Question for hardtailcruzer re: Cruzbikes

Post by BluesCat on Sat Feb 21, 2009 6:29 pm

Doug:

As promised, here's a first question about the Cruzbike kit:

I understand that the kit can be put on about any frame which does not have a horizontal top tube, such as a women's frame or one of the newer mountain bike frames. What are the most successful frames that you have worked with and does that include any inexpensive big-box department store types of frames?

Thanks,

BluesCat cat

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Re: Question for hardtailcruzer re: Cruzbikes

Post by Hardtailcruzer on Sun Feb 22, 2009 8:09 pm

Hi Cat,

In general, to make the bike manageable at stops in traffic, you'd like to have the seat pan at least 3" lower than your inseam length. So if you're tall, there are more frames available to you.

The inexpensive bikes tend to follow frame design trends established by the leading maufacturers about 5 years prior, which is why the classic Y-frame is disappearing from Walmart and Toys R Us. Consequently most of the big-box bikes now have high top tubes, and the low-tube frames tend to be made of steel.

The walmart "Tiara" girls bike seems to have survived a very long time, and makes a good base frame. It usually requires a bent seat post to get adequate backrest recline, and you will need to implement a rear brake solution if you use 26" wheels on it; there is adequate room in the swingarm for the 26" wheel. It works fine as a 24" bike, but the tire selection is very limited.

http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_id=5412095





13" frame (the frame dimension is the distance from the bottom bracket axle to the top of the seat post tube) hard tail ATB's can also work:

This Toys R Us $48 "comfort bike" became my first Cruzbike:



These bikes work better for taller riders. The photo shows the original configuration, where the seat was too far to the rea, making the top tube in kit too short. This increases the pedal effect, which is not what you want to do when you're first learning. A good rule of thumb is to have your knees ahead of the steerer tube when the bike is completely adjusted.

Good-utility used bikes are available out there, too. A lot of the initial kit development was carried out on the Trek Y-26, and there are several Gary Fisher frames that work well. Sveral of these have been built by folks whose names I see in the member list; hopefully they'll chime in.

Things to watch out for on big-box bikes:

If you intend to use the original drivetrain, make sure the crank is 3-piece instead of the classic American (Chinese?) one piece stee crank.

The wheels on these bikes are frequently single-wall steel or aluminum. These are dangerous from two perspectives: the rim walls are not strong enugh to clinch a high-pressure tire (they spread open) and the tubes are exposed to the frequently-mangled spoke nipples, resulting in a guaranteed violent flat. In any case, you should use a good-quality fabric rim strip such as Velox.

The kit requires a 34.9 mm front derailler band. These derailleurs are available from Nashbar or the "second tier" internet bike parts sellers for very little money.

Please ask any quaetions you might have. The old Yahoo group has a pretty fair collection of kit bike pictures.

Best,

Doug

Hardtailcruzer


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