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  1. #1
    Senior Member squirtdad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    San Jose (Willow Glen) Ca
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    '89 Miyata 1400, '82 nishiski (current utilty/commuter project)
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    father son cruiser project - retrofit front brake? othe input

    I am looking at a father/son bike project........He likes cruisers (he still loves his BMX). I have my eye on a schwinn frame. As we commute sometimes, I would like to have a little extra braking power.....any ideas on retrofitting the front brake?

    And while I have your attention any other thoughts....single piece crank or user conversion for 3 piece (i have a rx100 crank and bottom bracket in the parts pile) and good sources for wheels?

    thanks

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    Chicago, IL, USA
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    1974 Raleigh Sports
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    For brakes: use top quality brake shoes. Kool Stop gives silky, rock-solid braking power on alloy rims. I wish I could comment on their performance on OEM vintage steel rims; soon I will learn, as I am going to retrofit my old steel-rimmed Raleigh with new brake shoes/cables/levers as soon as the parts come in.

    For the crank: If the crank needs replacing, retrofit to the three-piece. It's lighter, and the available one-piece bottom bracket bearings are lousy in my opinion. They're made out of relatively soft, easily pitted/damaged metal. But those one-piece cranks are extraordinarily strong, so if that's what you value, then opt for the one-piece.

    For wheels: build your own. It's the hardest bike work I've done so far, but you'll be proud as a peacock of your bike when you're done! Plus, you can easily surpass crummy, spoke-breaking factory issue wheels in terms of build quality. 650a (ISO 590 mm) rims aren't too much smaller than the original Schwinn 597s, assuming that's what you have right now.

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