Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Around here somewhere
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Originally Posted by Mynameisquatron
Are any of the new-school cruiser bike brands that sprung up in the wake of Electra's success making muscle/wheelie bikes with banana seats and ape hangers? I don't know how well a 45+ year old bike would hold up, but I really want that old school look
In case you weren't aware, TREK purchased Elektra recently. In my opinion a new Trek Pure S might make an excellent lab specimen, keep in mind they are around $400. I have even been toying with a fully functional tank design for one (with integrated horn, light and TOOLKIT), wouldn't mind owning it.
With good care and sound brazing/welds you shouldn't have too much trouble with a 45 year old bike such as that. I gather you mean a 26" frame and not the small frame of the original Stingray, Krates, Rollfast Skoots and store bikes sold for the countless kids of the 60s and 70s...they are not the same size!
The main difference is the presence of a strong brace/bar from the rear axle to the back of the banana seat of these small frames. The modern Stingrays and Choppers are larger and not the same at all. They are more of a response to the custom motorcycles of Jesse James and Orange County Choppers.
As I recall, the juvenile muscle bike of the 60s was either 16" or 20". Don't quote me though...my brother and I used to wear the cheater slicks off our sisters' bikes 38 years ago
The only limiting factors are probably your current weight and leg strength-those will contribute to frame failure over time. Fortunately I have not experienced this much if at all with the classic Schwinn 26" cantilevered middleweights and I weigh just over 240 lbs. I have had a Schwinn and other bikes with diamond (straight bar) frames break and I had to weld a crossbrace at the crank housing on the over 50 year old Rollfast in my avatar to stop it from separating from the seat tube...almost lost it, as I've related several times.
20" frames are too small for adults to pedal without standing and it's like a tiny car in a Shriner's formation at a parade, really silly to operate otherwise and I can go faster sitting. Stick with a frame you fit on and can stroke the pedals efficiently (it's exactly like a car engine, it needs the correct stroke length to turn well.
My disaffection is severely affected.
Last edited by Rollfast; 07-28-14 at 03:54 AM.