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Old 09-28-11, 08:11 AM   #1
JeffOYB
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A high performance stretch cruiser?

I test-rode a stretch beach cruiser once. It was a blast. A very nice, mellow ride. A perfect parade bike.

I wonder what would happen if you stripped one down and put light, fast wheels on it.

I've also thought that they could be converted to a recumbent by installing an Easy Racers recumbent "Cobra" seat. Looks easy. ... (link to Cobra seat: http://www.rockymountainrecumbents.c...Code=easyracer)

Then get some ape-hanger bars and tilt 'em back. Maybe even install clipless pedals.

Would you end up with a fairly swift, yet still comfy -- and very CURVY -- ride?

I often think that stretch cruisers have the sexy frame that recumbents wish they had.

What the heck? : )
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Old 09-28-11, 11:00 AM   #2
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The making of a cool recumbent...........

That's a worthy project. Keep us posted.
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Old 09-28-11, 09:51 PM   #3
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can't really claim high performance, but i did start with a hybrid mountain bike instead of a beach cruiser like i normaly stretch. it also has higher pressure 1.5" tires instead of the ballon tires on my other bike. i can tell a bit of performance difference, but i got the ergos a little better on my main cruiser so i still like it better. i chose my first one for the mayors bike ride this past labor day, when i had actually built the newer one to take it's place.



there's about a 15lb difference bettween the two, but the lighter of the two is still around 40lbs, so that's not saying much. the black one actually does have clips on it. i just found some in a thrift store and put them on it. don't make much difference though.

i may change the front sprocket on the newer one, and i'm looking for the biggest alloy beach cruiser handlebars i can find to get the reach a little better (alloy to try and keep with the lighter weight idea). it should become a faster bike, at least faster than the black one.
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Old 09-29-11, 06:15 AM   #4
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I would guess that this is what a lot of people aim for when building stretch bikes.

People have been building these forever. There was one good example I thought was on the BR&K site, but I can't find it now.

One of the more recent commercial examples is the Vision Thoroughbred, which I think came out in the late-1990's. http://www.hostelshoppe.com/atp_arch...oroughbred.pdf
Vision went out of business after offering them only a couple of years, and unfortunately many people didn't realize how nice these bicycles were to ride until after that. It is not a recumbent, but only recumbent enthusiasts usually have ever heard of it. (-if you happen to come across one of these frames cheap, buy it & ebay it as a "recumbent". A lot of recumbent people still want one-)

The Vision Thouroughbred was the inspiration for the RANS crank-forward bikes, such as the Zenetic- http://www.rans.com/zenetik

When RANS designed the original Fusion, they elected to use the bottom of one of their recumbent seats instead of a regular bicycle saddle like the Thoroughbred used. The reason that upright road bicycles use the tiny narrow seats is because their hunched-over-forward riding positions don't allow for anything else. If you are sitting upright more, it is possible to mount a much larger seat that still won't interfere with pedaling well.

Some people who own Thoroughbreds and and other "comfort" bikes have mounted RANS seats to them instead. http://www.bentrideronline.com/messa...ad.php?t=70042
The RANS crank-forward seat has a much-thicker seatpost (1-3/8") than a normal bicycle does so it will not simply bolt directly on to any normal bicycle.

I own a 2006 Fusion. It is very comfortable for casual riding--not as good as a recumbent, but still much better than a normal upright bike. The downsides are that it is difficult to keep up a fast pace on and there is only one riding position, which does get tiring on long rides.

Last edited by Doug5150; 09-29-11 at 06:19 AM.
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Old 09-29-11, 10:57 AM   #5
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i looked around some for the rans seat for my lighter bike, but couldn't find one, and was a little afraid i wouldn't be able to afford it anyway. i figured it would be lighter than my homemade one, but i ended up making one for it anyway



the lighter bike has suspension though, so it doesn't have the springer. having something to push back against really helps with hills and trying to accelerate.

also, here is my basic stretch. no gears and fancy bits.



about 35lbs. someone who could start with an aluminum beach cruiser (i can barely weld steel), maybe be more careful about parts selection (alloy wheels, maybe a 3sp internal hub, etc.) might be able to keep pushing the weight down.
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Old 09-30-11, 08:05 PM   #6
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i looked around some for the rans seat for my lighter bike, but couldn't find one, and was a little afraid i wouldn't be able to afford it anyway...
RANS sells the seats separately.
Some parts are listed on the RANS site, but not a complete crank-forward seat.

Look around or ask on the crankforward forums for more info.
If you are in the USA you might have to get it from a RANS dealer, but they may ship it outside of the US (since I don't think that RANS has any foreign dealers).
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Old 10-01-11, 11:11 PM   #7
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I'm thinking on a stretch cruiser, you wind up with your body basically upright, even though the bike is lower, whereas the recumbents try to lean your body back for aerodynamics.
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Old 10-02-11, 06:36 AM   #8
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yeah, i tend to think of stretch cruisers more as stylish semi-recumbents. descritions and designations tend to get blurred though, depending on who's talking about them. i mean, for me, i'm not too interested in calling it a lowrider bike. i feel like that's an altogether different thing.

* and just catch the right group of people and get them going on the difference bettween a stretch cruiser and a burrito.. oooh boy*

Last edited by Philphine; 10-02-11 at 06:40 AM.
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Old 10-02-11, 08:02 AM   #9
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The main thing to me is the beautifully curved and elegant frame design of the new stretch beach cruisers. The home-welded ones tend to have a visual impact that is broken-up. The Vision/RANS items just are kinda ugly -- at least in comparison to a true Typhoon-like stretch beach cruiser. They have straight tubes like any diamond-frame bike -- or any recumbent. Easy Racers (Sun?) has a slightly curvy recumbent, the EZ Sport -- but really it only has one curved tube hiding amid a bunch of straight ones and basically fails the Typhoon good-looks test.

Yeah, some 'bents are fairly upright -- like the Tour Easy. They still get an aero benefit from being lower, from putting the rider more "inside" the bike frame/wheels profile. The angle of the crank to the seat kinda determines how much you can lean back. A stretch cruiser could use a seatback and some more lean if it has longer handlebars, but if the crank remains low then the pedaling angle opens up and becomes weaker. However, with time one can still learn to pedal pretty strong with an "open" pedaling angle. A homebuilder could install the crank higher, though, to give good power-cranking with a reclined position.

At any rate, I'm just curious about a faster stretch cruiser, not necessary a true racer or truly fast. If you want speed your critter would look a lot different. Altho, if you used light parts and put the crank way up there and the seat way back, heck, something pretty fast -- and comfy -- might happen. The RANS XStream is a fast long bike, showing the angles needed. -- Now just add a Typhoon-esque frame somehow...
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Old 10-04-11, 01:19 PM   #10
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Very Elegant!
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