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Beach Cruisers Do you love balloon tires and fenders? Do you love riding the simplicity of a single gear and coaster brakes or a single gear cluster? Do you love the classic curves in the tubing of a cruiser that takes you back to the 1950's and 1960's, stylistically? Here's your home! Welcome to the Beach Cruisers and Cruisers forum!

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Old 08-11-13, 10:00 PM   #1
bajajoaquin
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Sturmey-Archer and Schwinn Cruiser Questions

So, I'm not sure if this should go here, but I've been thinking about making some mods to my Schwinn/Ward hybrid. It started out as a '47 Montgomery Ward girls crusier (New Departure Model D skip-link) with full fenders. I found it in a trash pile during spring move-out back in college 20 years ago. I got it back together, but treated it like crap and broke the frame.

Shortly after that, my friend destroyed the rear hub on his Schwinn cruiser, so I swapped parts over. It was an 80s cruiser, with the BMX-style forks, so the fender only just fit on the front. I rode it like that for most of college, and then held on to it. It's pretty beat at this point.

Since I have another Schwinn that's all original, except for tires and grips, I figured I could mod my other cruiser without worrying about originality.

My brother offered to trade me his blade forks form my BMX-style forks, and I wanted to put on Sturmey-Archer hubs, 5-speed with 90-mm brake in back (XL-RD5(W)) and Dynamo/90-mm brake in front (XL-FDD). From what I've read, the 70mm will be totally adequate, but it's only another $10 for the big brake, and I'm obviously not worried about weight, so I figured I'd have a bit of an indulgence. So here are my questions:

1) Anyone know about rear cog interchangeability? I'd like to keep the skiplink drive, and the current gearing is about right for my direct drive ratio.

2) Will the forks hold up to a drum brake?

3) I'd like a bit more pressure than the balloon tires hold. Are there any other options for tires in the 50-60psi range that have the same width and outside diameter?

4) I'm totally new to LED lights, but I'm pretty sure I want to run them front and rear. Any suggestions?

Thanks!
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Old 08-11-13, 11:36 PM   #2
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1. The SA hub use the same three tabbed cog as pretty much every brake hub, so if you still have the cog, it will probably fit.

2. Forks really only become an issue if you were using something from a lightweight road bike. Although the brake is on only one side of the hub, it doesn't apply the twisting torque of a disc brake.

3. Off-hand, I know CST's standard round and square section cruiser tires max out at 65 psi.
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Old 08-12-13, 05:31 AM   #3
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Issues I see:
1- the XL-RD5 is spaced at 130. The 70mm, 3speed X-RD3 is spaced at 116mm. That would be an easier fit for your frame.
2- the bladed forks will likely require that you modify the front brake clip,or possibly have to fabricate your own. FWIW, SA does make a few sizes of front clips, but none are flat, for those old-school Schwinns.
3- My experience is that skip-tooth cogs are a bit different from the modern. Some folks have modified the old cogs to fit, but I've never tried this and cannot recommend it. Some folks have also taken modern cogs w/ an even number of teeth and grinded every other tooth off;I personally wouldn't try this, but maybe it's something to look into? If it were my bike, I'd sell the skip-tooth stuff while it's still worth something, and run modern stuff. Have you priced a skip-tooth chain lately?
4- If you do decide to stick with the XL versions, you'll likely want to lace at 2x; with those massive flanges, the spoke angles would be pretty dramatic at 3x.

hth
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Old 08-12-13, 10:47 AM   #4
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Issues I see:
1- the XL-RD5 is spaced at 130. The 70mm, 3speed X-RD3 is spaced at 116mm. That would be an easier fit for your frame.
Not too worried about this, but I appreciate the heads-up. I measured the dropouts last night, and it came to just over 4-3/4", or about 120 mm. I can probably get a third of an inch by spreading.

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2- the bladed forks will likely require that you modify the front brake clip,or possibly have to fabricate your own. FWIW, SA does make a few sizes of front clips, but none are flat, for those old-school Schwinns.
Hadn't considered this, but some light fab isn't a problem.

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3- My experience is that skip-tooth cogs are a bit different from the modern. Some folks have modified the old cogs to fit, but I've never tried this and cannot recommend it. Some folks have also taken modern cogs w/ an even number of teeth and grinded every other tooth off;I personally wouldn't try this, but maybe it's something to look into? If it were my bike, I'd sell the skip-tooth stuff while it's still worth something, and run modern stuff. Have you priced a skip-tooth chain lately?
This was my main worry. I figure I can pull off the cog and see if it works. If it doesn't, I can use the cog that came with the hub, and I'll just go source a set of cranks. They'll fit better anyway, since the BB on the Schwinn is wider than the Wards. If I remember correctly, there's only like half a turn of threads engaged on there now. Probably not optimal, but it lasted daily use for four years, and occasional use for the next 15.

I like the idea of selling stuff. That's kind of novel for me. More likely, it will just get hung from the ceiling of the garage, and in 50 years my grandkids will be rifling through it all asking why Grandpa kept these crappy old bicycle wheels.

I'm guessing you're right, and I'll end up moving to modern chain and sprockets. But for now, the dream is alive!

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4- If you do decide to stick with the XL versions, you'll likely want to lace at 2x; with those massive flanges, the spoke angles would be pretty dramatic at 3x.
hth
More good advice. I've read that in reviews, but good to be reminded.

Now to swap forks first, and then start saving my toy allowance for the hubs!
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Old 08-12-13, 11:06 AM   #5
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Something else I'd forgot: your bladed forks may well be spaced at 91mm; the SA drum hubs are spaced at 100mm. Again, something you can work around, but it's best to be prepared.

Lucky brake with the frame being spaced at 120mm; likely your frame was a 5speed derailer model...
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Old 08-12-13, 11:14 AM   #6
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Yes, I thought they were 110mm.

Some time in the 80s they must have standardized on the wider dropouts, because this bike was originally a coaster brake bike. I still remember when my friend got it new for his birthday.
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Old 08-12-13, 02:03 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by flyingtaco View Post
3. Off-hand, I know CST's standard round and square section cruiser tires max out at 65 psi.
Interesting. I see they come in 26x2.15 and 26X2.35 sizes. Do you know how close each tracks to the classic cruiser tire in size? They seem to be discontinued, so I might have to buy some on closeout.
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Old 08-12-13, 03:09 PM   #8
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The classic balloon tire is nominally a 2.125"; CSTs in general run a bit small compared to their nominal size, but I do not have any specific measurements for the model in question. A lot of cruiser guys run Fat Franks, which take a lot of pressure, run a true-to-size 2.35", and roll very quickly for their size.

As for the 120mm spcing: that's cool. I've got a new-model Schwinn Heavy Duti with 116mm rear spacing, and most of the older schwinns were 110 with CB or 120mm with derailer, but you're probably right. They possibly needed to streamline porduction methods as the Chicago days drew to a close. Making one frame spec that could support either set-up would make the most sense....
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Old 08-12-13, 04:20 PM   #9
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<snip>
CSTs in general run a bit small compared to their nominal size, but I do not have any specific measurements for the model in question. A lot of cruiser guys run Fat Franks, which take a lot of pressure, run a true-to-size 2.35", and roll very quickly for their size.
<snip>
That was exactly what I was trying to get at with my post. Thanks.
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Old 08-12-13, 04:37 PM   #10
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Yvw
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Old 08-12-13, 08:26 PM   #11
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I'd like to keep the skiplink drive
sorry ... Un realistic desire... any thing you can get parts for now is 1/2", evenly spaced pitch, chains ..

need a Time machine for Skip link stuff in 2013.. thats long gone into Museum Nostalgia stuff..
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