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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 08-14-13, 10:21 PM   #1
jellospore
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Exclamation Necessities to install a front brake on a cruiser?

Hello there!

I just brought home a 29 inch Genesis Onex beach cruiser. It's stylish and has big 29 inch wheels. This is my first beach cruiser bike ever. I've always had mountain and BMX bikes. I can get used to the coaster brakes it has but I'm weary that in an event of brake failure...I have no back-up. So I wanted to install front brakes..but I have no idea where to start.

So, what parts do you need to install front brakes on a beach cruiser? Any help? Thank you.
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Old 08-14-13, 10:50 PM   #2
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I'd run it down to the local bike shop and say "I'd like to put a front brake on this thing. Can I?"

I think the fork can vary in what, if any, attachment points it has for brakes, and the front rim may or may not be intended for a brake- pictures of both would help, I think.
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Old 08-15-13, 07:01 PM   #3
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get a caliper break set. check google. several places sell them.
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Old 08-15-13, 07:30 PM   #4
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There's a couple of ways to skin that cat, but IIRC, those wheels have powdercoat on them and will be touchy with rim brakes until the powder wears thru or you scrape it off yourself or you get a different wheel. Also, I can't be sure that those rims are even s'posed to have a braking surface on them, so please do be careful, whatever route you go, as there are some safety considerations.

As someone mentioned, you could get an 890-style caliper like they used on very old BMX bikes and still use on inexpensive bikes today. This would likely be the cheapest option, as all you'd need is a short-pull lever, the cable/housing, and the brake. (Keep in mind what I said above about rim brakes, too, though.)

A slightly more expensive/better braking performance option would be to buy an adaptor plate for V-brakes, which mounts to the bolt hole at the fork crown, and allows you to attach V-brakes (or cantilevers, if you prefer) to the front fork. For the v-brake conversion, you'd need the adaptor plate, a long pull brake lever, cable/housing, and a v-brake.

More expensive still would be to put a front drum on there. I don't know of a stock 29" drum front wheel on the market, and I don't know if you lace your own wheels yet, but if you have one made, it'll likely cost you more than the Genesis Onex.

From here, the prices for things go up dramatically. Theoretically, you could run discs, but that'd require a new fork, a new headset, a new stem, a disc caliper/rotor, lever, and a disc-compatible 29" wheel. That would probably run you at least $200 if you got the parts online and installed it yourself; it'd be far more to have a shop get the parts and install them for you.

If i were in your shoes, I'd ascertain whether or not that front wheel is safe to use with rim brakes, and then I'd go the v-brakes & adaptor plate route....

hth
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Old 08-16-13, 06:44 AM   #5
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These miiiiiiiight work for your application. Just make sure and check to see if the fork has a hole drilled for you to place them, and go query Google to see if anyone has ever fit something similar onto a 29" Cruiser.

Edit: I installed the front brake on my Schwinn Sanctuary a year or so ago. It worked fine with plenty of room to spare, and the only reason I took it off was because I decided against commuting on it...only low-speed riding.
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Old 08-17-13, 03:17 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StephenH View Post
I'd run it down to the local bike shop and say "I'd like to put a front brake on this thing. Can I?"

I think the fork can vary in what, if any, attachment points it has for brakes, and the front rim may or may not be intended for a brake- pictures of both would help, I think.
+1
Myself I like the clean look and the simplicity of the coaster brake, but then I only use my cruiser to do just that CRUISE. But if it was my only bike to commute and haul stuff home for the store, you bet I'd have one big disc brake on the front.
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Old 08-17-13, 07:04 AM   #7
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+1
Myself I like the clean look and the simplicity of the coaster brake, but then I only use my cruiser to do just that CRUISE. But if it was my only bike to commute and haul stuff home for the store, you bet I'd have one big disc brake on the front.
My commuter/cruiser has a coaster rear/ drum front set-up. Works just fine.

Disc brakes on cruisers: I've never been a fan b/c cruisers are low-maintenance, but disc brakes are needy...
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Old 08-18-13, 03:11 AM   #8
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My commuter/cruiser has a coaster rear/ drum front set-up. Works just fine.

Disc brakes on cruisers: I've never been a fan b/c cruisers are low-maintenance, but disc brakes are needy...
That's odd, if find disc brakes to be the lowest in maintenance and the easiest/fastest to take on and off when I have a flat in my 20 mile a day commute. I've been running them on my recumbent bike for 21,500 miles and 5,750 on a Globe Pilot Disc bike and I'm still on the same OEM brake pads on both bikes. They are also the best in all around stopping power in the dry and in the wet. And yes wet stopping is number one here in the NW where I ride in the rain most of the time.
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