Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Cruiser Style.

I've always loved cruisers. It's just the curvy frames, smooth lines, laid back seating position, I just dig it. I've had a few cruisers in the shop over the years now, and they seem to sell just okay. They seem really polarizing bikes, either you love 'em or hate 'em. One particular bike had been laying around the shop for a few years. Sure, it was a little rough, but I saw it's true potential. It started here.

A long time ago, Salsa had some of their Delgado disc rims on close out, 26", 36h, Black only. Seemed like a good place to start. The markdown was something in the 75% range, so why not buy a few sets right? Got it. So wheels. With just a coaster brake to work with, cruiser wheels are inherently simple. Front hub, just some bearings, rear hub, bearings and a brake. You gotta love it. The hubs are pretty standard on this build, I wanted affordable stuff, but nice. The front hub is a 36h Dimension cartridge bearing bmx hub. You can't argue with the price, and the bearings are dead smooth. If they wear out I'll throw some Phil's in there and be set for life. I really like these hubs. The rear is a standard Shimano Coaster. It's not up to Appetite Seminar duty in Marin, but it'll suffice for around here just fine. The build is rounded out with 14g spokes and brass nips. Nice round wheels that should go around for a long time.

The first step in the bike's progress was to strip the handlebars, stem, fenders, chainguard and big ass seat off. Add the heavy as sin stock wheels and tires to that pile, and we're well on the way to a real bike. The bike has some alright stuff on it. The alloy cranks aren't that bad, the headset has bearings in it, and the chain is pretty good. So yeah, the stock frameset and not much else. The bike's new cockpit centers around an old school Tioga stem, cork grips, and an allow cruiser bar from JB Island. The weight savings on these parts alone is huge, and the lower, longer stem makes the seating position much better for bombing. The seat and seatpost are also standard Bontrager alloy fare, dropping further weight off of the 8lb tractor seat that was originally on there. The wheels are shod with my favorite 26" and 29" tire, the WTB Weirwolf LT. They are big, and they fit perfect. Combined with the wheels the roll like crazy and are so much lighter than stock it's not funny. They really complete the look of the bike as well. Plastic pedals are left on for flip-flop-ability.

So, in an afternoon of caffeine induced genius, (or madness, boredom, etc...) we went from mundane stocker to this. I like it, hope you do to.


Head Honcho said...

Yep. Pretty cool. Now what you do is to take up to Lebanon and rip it up!

Ben said...

Is that a challenge?