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  1. #1
    Senior Member spaceboy's Avatar
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    Turning a single speed cruiser into a three speed

    Hello,

    I was wondering how I would go about turning a single speed cruiser into a three speed (if it's possible). Also, how much should I expect to spend if I do this? Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Gear Hub fan
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    It should only take a new rear wheel and chain. As you describe the bike as a cruiser I presume you will need a coaster brake hub version. Here is a link to a complete rear wheel listed on Amazon for about $91.50 including shipping.

    http://www.amazon.com/Shimano-Nexus-.../dp/B000C19206

    If different overall gearing is wanted then the rear hub sprocket size can be easily changed. Installation might require changing dropout width which is not hard as long as the bike frame is steel.
    Gear Hubs Owned: Rohloff disc brake, SRAM iM9 disc brake, SRAM P5 freewheel, Sachs Torpedo 3 speed freewheel, NuVinci CVT, Shimano Alfine SG S-501, Sturmey Archer S5-2 Alloy. Other: 83 Colnago Super Record, Univega Via De Oro

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  3. #3
    tcs
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    Quote Originally Posted by tatfiend View Post
    It should only take a new rear wheel and chain...
    ...and a shifter!

    A bigger project, if you're up to it, would be to source an older Sturmey hub and shifter off ebay and relace your rear rim.

    Best,
    tcs
    "When man first set woman on two wheels with a pair of pedals, did he know, I wonder, that he had rent the veil of the harem in twain? A woman on a bicycle has all the world before her where to choose; she can go where she will, no man hindering." The Typewriter Girl, 1899.

    "Every so often a bird gets up and flies some place it's drawn to. I don't suppose it could tell you why, but it does it anyway." Ian Hibell, 1934-2008

  4. #4
    Gear Hub fan
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    tcs;

    As pictured on Amazon the rear wheel I linked to appears to include the shifter.
    Gear Hubs Owned: Rohloff disc brake, SRAM iM9 disc brake, SRAM P5 freewheel, Sachs Torpedo 3 speed freewheel, NuVinci CVT, Shimano Alfine SG S-501, Sturmey Archer S5-2 Alloy. Other: 83 Colnago Super Record, Univega Via De Oro

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  5. #5
    Senior Member spaceboy's Avatar
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    Thanks for the input guys. I think I will go with the new rim as it is the easier way to go. I've never laced a wheel but I plan to learn it in the future. Now that I actually think about it, I think it's aesthetically more pleasing the have the single speed since it doesn't have any wires. I'll think about it for a while but I appreciate the quick help.

  6. #6
    Senior Member mike's Avatar
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    It doesn't have to be such a big project. You don't need to re-lace the wheel. Simply changing out the wheels from a single speed to a three speed is easy. The only problem is the braking.

    The easiest thing is to get a coaster brake three-speed hub wheel which are availble. Three-speeds add so much more to your riding pleasure - especially if you ride where there are even small hills.

    If you enjoy riding an older single speed, go ahead and upgrade it. It is worth the expense and minimal effort.
    Mike

  7. #7
    Gear Hub fan
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    My LBS is an Electra dealer, as well as other makes, and I note that virtually all of the Electra cruisers he orders are 3 speed versions. If you live in an area with any hills at all or windy conditions it is definitely worthwhile IMO.
    Gear Hubs Owned: Rohloff disc brake, SRAM iM9 disc brake, SRAM P5 freewheel, Sachs Torpedo 3 speed freewheel, NuVinci CVT, Shimano Alfine SG S-501, Sturmey Archer S5-2 Alloy. Other: 83 Colnago Super Record, Univega Via De Oro

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