When building a 'Cruiser' ....



I'm new to the forum so maybe the following items have long been posted. But I thought I'd share some things I learned from building the Retro look cruiser I have posted in the Gallery : Before even looking at your new engine, prepare the particular cruiser parts that make it 'retro' ... the front/rear fenders and supports crack at thier bracket ends and where the fender hanger will meet the front caliper brake nut,chainguards usually have a flat ribbon or double ribbons of thin strap like molded in metal that crack as well, and most of the really retro looking beach cruisers have coaster brakes.If the chain bounces off or breaks at speed with the coaster brake you will have no braking ability at all unless you install a front caliper brake ($15)

For the first problem, I made the fenders work long term with a quart of liquid fiberglas resin with hardener and mixed about 1/3 of a quart, then poured it into the cupped inside of the front and rear fenders. About 20 drops of hardener to a 1/3 quart will set in about 25 minutes as you hold the fender and just keep rocking or tipping it left n right.

Drys to a thick 1/8 inch inner shell if you've used enough and feels like a cycle fender does after 15 hours or so.You can control the roll of the lava like slow flow away from the strut nuts n bolts,or remove them and tape or use a dab of clay to cover the holes before you pour.

With a Dremel tool I cut off the flimsey hanger tabs that are usually only on the front fender but on this particular cruiser I have were also on the rear. Use a cut off wheel to cut in a slot as wide as your new thicker L bracket, slide it thru and I epoxy it after roughing the metel of the fender and bracket with JB weld.

Optionally, you can address all fender struts as well. Any Ace hardware sells steel rod stock either threaded or unthreaded. I used threaded and layed a length behind all front/rear fender struts right up to the strut nut/bolt hole after first laying a bead of liquid epoxy all the way along the channel cupping in the struts.when dry you have absolutely rigid and firm fenders that do not vibrate nor even move when you touch them as most fenders do.

next, look at the chain guard and since all bikes are different there is no way to say where bolt placement will be but what i did was use a 1/4 inch bolt CLAY EPOXIED to the narrow rear end of the guard with the threads pointed downward and drilled thru the frame that runs just under most cruiser chainguards.

I clay epoxied a bolt inside the circular chain sprocket section of the guard where it wraps around the pedal sprocket and that bolts threads point toward and thru the front downpost as all cruiser chainguards must span. This creates a chainguard suspended from the bolts with no stress holes because the bolts are epoxied on not passed thru the guard.

The engine kits chainguard was not mounted at the rear or front with a nylon wire tie as many use. I attached a short length of 1/4 inch thick rubber, epoxied (syringe type) to each end so the guard is suspended rather than pierced thru by bolts, and has nothing to vibrate against to make it crack.

All nut n bolts were dressed with Red locktite, the most powerful of the 3 colors. Red locktite must be heated to 500 degrees to remove a bolt and any jet flame from a torch type lighter works as a mini blowtorch to do this.

Use hard long - stemmed retro look mirrors, none of those rubber flexi armed type will stay adjusted at 35 miles an hour due to either vibration or to windspeed.

Only cruisers that want to retain the classic fenders, chainguards, coaster brakes, and mirrors have these prep problems !!

Hope this all helped, but as a newbie I'm betting all of this is already somewhere else on the site .. If so, pardon me n my bad ....


Thats some good tips on the fenders because I have a cheap Moon Dog and everybody in here has told me that they WILL come loose and become a skid plate under the wheels.
Thanx for the info!


Attention to the fender HANGERS too

Thanks, in reviewing the post I noticed I mentioned but did not address the fender hangers at the high noon position at front n rear which are more critical than all else and become a worse problem if you add the epoxy liners but fail to create much thicker L - brackets to replace the flimsy hangers ... in fact, rule of thumb with fenders and chainguards is to simply expect thin metal hangers or chainguard brackets to vibrate and snap off.