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Old 08-12-08, 06:46 PM   #1
BalooLightning
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I have an enourmous Phat chopper...

...that I think I really need to put gears on.
It is just TOO hilly around here for riding this beautiful blue whale {6'8" with current shoes on!** the way it is - one speed, coaster brake. BELIEVE me, this chopper has helped me find hills in this neighborhood I never recognized walking!!! LOL!!!! Seriously.

On to the build:
It has wonderful 2 inch horizontal dropouts, really more like track fork ends. The frame spacing is just barely over 4.5 inches. {Sorry, haven't done the metric conversion yet!**

I have thought about internally geared hubs, flip-flops, and derailleurs, but can't decide. I have also considered that each option will likely have it's own braking requirements - disc, etc..

Despite reversing the spacer, I'm still having the chain-rub I had when I rode it home from the LBS. Apparently what is there hasn't been *quite* right from the get-go, so I'm not too concerned about making anything worse. I just want to make my whale FUN to ride!!!

I'd also LOVE to save the 24x3; 36 spoke (rear) rim, if it can be blended in. That is mostly due to it matching the front so well, and an attempt to keep costs down. (Down? Once we get into the wheel building, I guess all bets are off...?)

Right now I'm thinking the conversion will need at least seven speeds. I KNOW three will not cut it.

1.** Starting places?
I realize each option will require a different "set" of info/specs on the frame, etc. What do I most need to know? Measure?

2.** Experience?
Have you cooked up a conversion like this that worked out GREAT? Please tell me about it!

3.** Links?
I think the info on Sheldon's site is more for after I figure out what I want. I have spent quite a bit of time there comparing options...

4.** Other considerations and/or misc.?
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Old 08-12-08, 07:21 PM   #2
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Well the ideal option for you would be a 24x3 3 speed coaster, which really could just be a 24 inch wheel that you can fit the 3 inch wide tire on. The shimano hubs retail for $60, which I'd definantly go for instead of a flip-flop if I were going to have it laced in.
I mean I guess that it's possible to set up a derailer, you'd have spacing issues though and it would be tougher with the dropouts, I know that one company did when the mountain bike craze hit.
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Old 08-12-08, 07:33 PM   #3
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mastershake, that sounds wonderful -- not too mention cheap!!!

I just don't think three gears are quite what I need - unless something to push back against like a recumbent seat, or "lumbar support" like the old GIANT Zooms might help.... Hmmm...
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Old 08-12-08, 08:06 PM   #4
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get a shimano nexus 7 speed hub. They are like 100 something bux unfortunately but you can just get it laced in to your existing rear wheel.

you've got a 36 spoke rim, so you'll need a 36 spoke hub.

http://www.jensonusa.com/store/produ...b.aspx?sc=FRGL
...it ain't cheap.
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Old 08-12-08, 09:10 PM   #5
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Well I know someone who has a kustom kruiser stretch that made a backrest out of part of a skateboard deck and a the fork blades from a pair of schwinn straight-blade forks. It work well, he also has the seat right down against the frame. and back a little bit with a stem instead of a seatpost.

EDIT: here's a like to a pic of it:
http://i224.photobucket.com/albums/d...oligans021.jpg

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Old 08-12-08, 10:30 PM   #6
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thats cool...I ride a Kustom Kruiser stretch too...same frame just in Orange with chopper forks.
I really dig the HUGE front chainring.
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Old 08-13-08, 04:50 AM   #7
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Thanks for the nexus link. Didn't think I'd be able to keep the coaster brake, but maybe I can.

That backrest idea is great!!

Unfortunately this chopper is not really a stretch, and that's part of my problem. I think I could get alot more out of my strokes if it were -- more leverage? The seat tube is at a great angle, but the bracket is only 3 or four inches forward of it's base.

I'll have to try to load some pics after I wake up some more. That might help everyone advise me better, and/or lead to some more ideas...
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Old 08-13-08, 10:07 AM   #8
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If we're talking geometry I think you'd get the best leverage if the seat were closer to the pedals but higher up...Stretch Cruisers can be hard to crank up hills since you can't really stand on the pedals

here's my stretch.



picture trying to stand up on the pedals and crank that. It's nearly impossible. Its a great bike for comfort and flats but the riding position is meant for comfort rather than performance.

This is Juggler's bike.


A bike like this you can stand on the pedals and power it up a hill, even with a banana seat. The Banana Seat puts you further back from the crank so you can stretch out your legs without having the seat jacked way up. You won't get as much power from your legs like this as you would with the seat over the crank and just jacked up to a comfortable height....but you'll look quite a bit cooler and IMO be more comfortable on the 'nanner.

Thats kind of the tradeoff with cruisers. You get to look cool and be comfortable as heck but you will trade off a noticeable amount of climbing ability and speed. and when you go from a regular cruiser to a stretch you trade off even more of that climbing ability.

Last edited by deez; 08-13-08 at 10:14 AM.
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Old 08-13-08, 10:36 AM   #9
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Here's a link for you to check out:

24 Inch Redline Cruiser

Here's a pic you'll find when you get there:



The story's all there. It really was a fun build and I still use it a few times a week. Those 'worms are great, but they're only 2.5". They are a somewhat tight fit. I have to deflate them when I remove the wheels. Good luck on your build!

GD
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Old 08-13-08, 11:42 AM   #10
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Depending on what your hills are like- having something to push against may not help all that much. Once your legs get tired, it doesn't matter if you have anything to push against.

Coaster brakes are fine for moderate speeds and flat ground. If you go whistling down hills at high speed, you may be underbraked.

Something else to consider on the gearing is a single speed but with lower gearing.
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Old 08-13-08, 12:45 PM   #11
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I have a Nexus 3-spd hub w/ coaster brake on my Electra cruiser (rat-rod) and it works great. The gearing is 44/22 and the 3-spd hub gives ratios of .75 / 1.00 / 1.33 (or something close to that). I'm in Portland, OR and nothing is flat around here, and I do fine with the 3 spd. I frequently pass the infrequent cyclists on their deraileur equiped bikes going uphill, I'm pedaling they're walking and pushing! All the 5 or 7 speed hubs do is get you more options. The specs are on shimanos site. I worked out the wheel inch equivanents and used that as a comparison to my MTB gearing before I bought. It's not an exact comparison but it's a good ballpark guess.
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Old 08-13-08, 02:10 PM   #12
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I'm assuming you have a Phat Cycles factory built chopper. IMO, you should have bought the next model up, the Whopper Chopper, it comes with a 7-speed Nexus hub. Even so, Phat gears these bikes for the flats and I had to put a much smaller chainring on my 7-speed in order to deal with hills, that bike is heavy! Before you go to gears you might want to experiment a bit with lower gear ratios to see if you can't gear it down to where it functions better as a single speed.
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Old 08-13-08, 07:52 PM   #13
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Okay, I was just looking at some new "chopper" bikes online, most of which were either the WCC or new stingray frames, with various stuff on them, some of the kind of cool.
Here's one that has a 6 speed on single-speed dropouts, and even though it has Disk brakes, I think that a drum brake would be really cool. I know that a 5-speed drum brake 24" wheel came on the Sears Spyder muscle bike. It's a Grimeca drum brake hub, one of which I have.
http://www.cruiserstyle.com/6speed-c...rake-p-71.html

EDIT: but if you do want a disc brake wheel, try contacting them and asking if you can but one of those wheels individually, a bunch of websites sell those same bikes, most likely they're the same people though.
Example: http://www.xyzbikes.com/catalog/6spe...ake-p-153.html

Last edited by mastershake916; 08-13-08 at 07:58 PM.
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