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Old 05-02-12, 01:00 PM   #1
endefreitas
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Replacing Cruiser Tires with 26X1.25 wheels and tires

My wife has a cruiser and I have a hybrid. Sadly she is pretty set on the frame, seat and handlebars on her bike, but when we go on rides together she falls far behind. I was thinking about changing her 26X2 wheel and tire set to something thinner and lighter. Has anyone done this before? And does this seem like something that would be possible? My only concern was the weight of the frame, but honestly that shouldnt be too much of a problem. She only weights 120 soaking wet.

Thanks in advance for any tips!!
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Old 05-02-12, 01:22 PM   #2
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You are stronger than her, so you rider faster. Be a gentleman and slow down, or stop and wait periodically.
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Old 05-02-12, 07:55 PM   #3
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If she changes her tires, she's still going to be riding a cruiser. I don't think tires will help much. But if you want to try, a pair of 26x1.25 Primo Racers shouldn't be very expensive; or, if her rims are too wide to mount 1.25 wide tires, Primos also come in 26x1.5.
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Old 05-02-12, 08:18 PM   #4
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It might help some. I put 26 x 1.25" slick tires on my mountain bike and pumped them up to 100psi. It turned into a speedy, comfortable road bike. I'd be careful about doing this to a cruiser- the rims may be too wide to fit narrow tires properly. Narrower rims would work, but at that point it's more practical to get her a more speed-oriented bike.
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Old 05-02-12, 08:20 PM   #5
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I've run these on a mtn bike on the street, and they are *great*: http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product...39_-1___202472
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Old 05-02-12, 09:02 PM   #6
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What kind of cruiser are we talking about here?
Does it actually have gears? or is this a coaster brake 1 speed cruiser?
if the latter case, then lack of gearing is going to be a bigger hurdle to keeping a sustainable pace.
in which case you should just get a different bike; maybe an Electra

If it has a derailer drivetrain, then swapping wheels for narrow rims and road tires is plasuible.
mtbs and cruisers have a common ancestory, shouldnt be too hard to make it more suited for speed....
When shes not looking, between each ride scoot the seat forward a few millimeters, and hacksaw a tiny bit off the ends of the handlebars; so she gets a more forward position over time. eventually it'll be a mtb; a mtb with road tires can race with a hybrid.....
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Old 05-02-12, 09:10 PM   #7
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Just go for the tires, at least at first. You should have absolutely no problems mounting the 1.25's! They're made for wide mountain bike rims. (I'm running a 26MM tire on a 20MM wide 700C rim with absolutely no problem. A 1.25" is 32MM)

I'm not sure what kind of gearing etc. the cruiser has, but if it's a coaster brake, new LIGHTER wheels may be a bit more problematic. You might have to have them built, depending on how the bike is equipped.
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Old 05-02-12, 11:13 PM   #8
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I like 1.25 tires on a MB. They will help pick up some speed compared to 2 inch tires. They are a nice general purpose bicycling tire.

I did have them on the narrowest possible mb rims.

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Old 05-03-12, 01:31 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by xenologer View Post
When shes not looking, between each ride scoot the seat forward a few millimeters, and hacksaw a tiny bit off the ends of the handlebars; so she gets a more forward position over time. Eventually it'll be a mtb; a mtb with road tires can race with a hybrid.....



If it is a single speed coaster brake you could change it to an old S-A 3 speed, Nexus 4 speed (now available cheap), or a nice new Nexus 8 speed.
Depending on the type of brakes and brake reach you could also consider a conversion. I converted a Raleigh Easy Ridin' 6 cruiser to 26x1 3/8 (650a) and was very happy with the results.
You could even keep the front 26" and change the rear to 650a or 650b which would tilt the bike forward a little for a more performance oriented geometry (Rat-a-Terry).
A 26x1 3/8 coaster brake 3 speed should be pretty cheap.

Last edited by NightShift; 05-03-12 at 01:55 AM.
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Old 05-03-12, 06:34 PM   #10
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Before trying to mount any skinnier tires, make sure she's got aluminum rims with hook beads. If she's got steel rims and rolled beads, the max tire pressure they'll take is something like 65 psi. Putting lipstick on a pig is one thing, but don't buy a new Easter outfit for it -- if skinnier tires isn't enough or can't be done, then start by buying another bike.
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Old 05-03-12, 08:48 PM   #11
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BlazingPedals, I get your point, but you may not realize a 650a wheelset (old steel rim) can be had for less then the cost of a good set of tires. And the OP said his wife is set on this frame and bars. Better wheels may be a requirement for better tires, but if it's not coaster brake (and maybe even if it is) they can be used with/shared with another bike, so I wouldn't rule that out.
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Old 05-03-12, 09:55 PM   #12
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Attached is a picture of my Schwinn Jaguar sport cruiser. The rims, seat, and bars are from a GT mountain bike. The tires are 26 x 1.5. This is one of the few bikes I wish I'd kept. Worked well as a town bike and looked cool. All the changes really helped increase pedaling efficiency and aerodynamics. Because I bought the GT off Craigslist with some damage, the whole project cost $40 + $30 for tires.

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Old 05-03-12, 10:10 PM   #13
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1.25" or 1.5" should make it easier for her, but a big +1 on slowing down and riding with her! You can always hammer some other time.
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Old 05-03-12, 11:14 PM   #14
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You are stronger than her, so you rider faster. Be a gentleman and slow down, or stop and wait periodically.
+1 she just rides slower. when my wife wants to come for a ride I knock down a few gears and pedal at a higher cadence to make up the difference and I pace her.
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Old 05-04-12, 02:05 AM   #15
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Merkel, nice build. The only cruiser frame I have to play with right now is a "PT Cruiser"; heavy POS. I've looked at the Jaguar and it seemed like a much nicer frame. Still, I have 26x1 3/8 and 26x1.5 on other bikes; I could try it with a mixed wheelset pretty easy, but I'd have to change the rear brake.
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Old 05-04-12, 10:25 AM   #16
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How fast are you talking about?

Once you get up to around 15 MPH most of your energy goes to pushing your torso through the air.
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