Hello all - first time builder - road-to-cruiser conversion

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by ccasey75, Nov 19, 2013.

  1. ccasey75

    ccasey75 New Member

    Hello everyone! I am a first time builder working on a road-to-cruiser conversion. I have always been equally interested in riding and working on bicycles. My goal is to build more of a toy than transportation. I bought a china kit from the cheaper side of the spectrum available, so I expect a few more issues and problems. That makes it even more interesting of a project to me.

    A picture of my starting bike is posted below. It is a 58 cm vintage 1991 Miyata 914SE. This was actually a very high quality steel frame bike in its day. I have made the following changes so far...

    - Replaced drop bars with 5" rise cruiser bars
    - Installed a dual-pull brake lever
    - Replaced bottom bracket with a wide axle version so that the cranks clear the engine
    - Replaced pedals with pegged bmx style platform pedals
    - Had to remove the front derailer
    - Replaced 700cX23 tires/tubes with 700cX28 tires/tubes

    I am having major issues with the engine drive chain clearing the chainstay, so I pulled engine to re-mount in a higher position. I am hoping this will make the chainstay issue easier to resolve. I am also looking at a hub mounted sprocket instead of the rag-joint. Either the Staton-inc version or the Grubee HD fixed. I may also go with a 36 tooth threaded sprocket to help my chainstay clearance issue.

    I have read through a significant portion of the most active threads related to 2-stroke china kits in this forum. If you have any feedback or advise, I would love to hear it.


  2. Fyre Koiss

    Fyre Koiss New Member

    I dunno about those narrow tires... everything and everyone says wider is better and safer. Other then that sounds like you are headed in the right direction.

    I had considered a hybrid cruiser before discovering that they too had narrow tires. Ended up going with a standard Cruiser (Huffy Cranbrook) instead which I am currently building on.

    Perhaps it is just because I am building my first one as well, but I try to imagine myself going 35mph+ on the bike. My Cranbrook just feels more solid and secure then any of the Hybrids or Streets I got on. Not to mention, that thin tire makes me cringe. I can just imagine hitting a good bump or something on the road and losing control/damaging the bike. Then, how would braking work? Logically smaller tires means less surface area touching the road. Less surface area means less traction... and less traction means longer braking distances.
  3. paintgun

    paintgun New Member

    Having flashbacks of my 1974 Schwinn Varsity Sport. Looks pretty much the same. I have an old Huffy now. Not sure what year it is. Only thing I had to do to it was remove the front derailleur. Will be looking for you finished product.
  4. ccasey75

    ccasey75 New Member

    Engine is off to raise position, but here is the bike with new bottom bracket, pedals, bars, and dual-pull brakes...
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2013
  5. LR Jerry

    LR Jerry Well-Known Member

    My personal preference when it comes to bikes is having front and seat post suspension. This will give you much greater comfort.
  6. sublunacy

    sublunacy New Member

    your fine. dont let cars push you into the shoulder of the road..... new gravel will take you down. and stopping in rain.... if your a good rider go for it...
  7. ccasey75

    ccasey75 New Member

    I ended up deciding on the Grubee HD fixed hub. I called and spoke with Staton-inc, but he managed to talk me out of using his hub. I went ahead and bought rims and spokes to build a new wheel. I have my wheel assembled, and I am working on my final engine prep before mounting it to the frame. I also am looking at raising the engine mounting positon to improve my chain angle, and to end up wiht a flush fit between the seat tube and the engine.

    photo 1.jpg
    photo 2.jpg
  8. ccasey75

    ccasey75 New Member


    Here is my first completed build (lacking chain guard and speedometer). Had a few bumps to overcome when getting it started, but running ok now. I'm assuming that it will smooth out a bit more once I cut the oil fraction back.
  9. Fabian

    Fabian Well-Known Member

    :iagree: and add front and rear disk brakes to make the bike safe to ride.
  10. ccasey75

    ccasey75 New Member

    I am finding that the shimano 105 brakes (even on a double pull lever) are pretty effective. This was a semi-pro grade road bike (as opposed to a low-cost donor bike). Thanks for the feedback!!!