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  1. #1
    Eschew Obfuscation SesameCrunch's Avatar
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    experience with cruzbike conversion kit?

    Does anyone here have first hand experience with the Cruzbike conversion kit? I have a Specialized Y-frame bike and am interested in converting it to a recumbent. I've done some web search and have seen their Wiki pages, but can't find helpful info for beginners on the conversion experience.

    My questions are:
    - how much wrenching skills does one need to have? I can assemble a bike from scratch, but can't weld or do metal work. will that be enough?
    - how much time did it take you?
    - how well did the kit work? did you have to do a lot of customizing/adapting of the kit?
    - are you happy with the results?

    Thanks in advance for your help.

  2. #2
    Senior Member defjack's Avatar
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    cruzbike

    Check out cruzbike@yahoo groups.com .there is plenty of build information.The higher end donor bikes with better forks and componets really make a nice conversion.I did a Gary Fisher Joshua.. It is a bolt on kit and took me about 2 days but im not much of a bike mechanic. Go for it you wont be sorry. Jack

  3. #3
    Eschew Obfuscation SesameCrunch's Avatar
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    Yes, I've been there. Couldn't really find answers to my questions.

    I'm very interested in doing this conversion as I think I have the perfect bike for it.

    How was your experience? Can you take a shot at answering my specific questions?

    Thanks,

  4. #4
    Senior Member defjack's Avatar
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    cruzbike

    Im really happy with the way my bike rides and handles.The front wheel drive is a lot more efficient so you can use fewer gears.If you didnt know this was a kit you would think the bike was designed as a recumbent. No frame modifications are needed but you will need some special tools I borrowed a bottom bracket remover and crank puller. If you get into trouble with the build any bike shop can help you out.The next bike I do I plan on doing the whole build myself. You might want to post this question on the yahoo site as there are alot more expierenced builders than me. Jack

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by defjack
    [snip]..The front wheel drive is a lot more efficient so you can use fewer gears.
    A "lot more efficient" than what? A typical rear wheel drive recumbent, absent of idlers and tubes, isn't anymore inefficient than an upright, so what, exactly, are you comparing your assumptions to?

  6. #6
    Eschew Obfuscation SesameCrunch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by defjack
    Im really happy with the way my bike rides and handles.The front wheel drive is a lot more efficient so you can use fewer gears.If you didnt know this was a kit you would think the bike was designed as a recumbent. No frame modifications are needed but you will need some special tools I borrowed a bottom bracket remover and crank puller. If you get into trouble with the build any bike shop can help you out.The next bike I do I plan on doing the whole build myself. You might want to post this question on the yahoo site as there are alot more expierenced builders than me. Jack
    Good idea to ask the Yahoo group, I'll do so. I have the tools to pull cranks and remove BB's. If it's not more complex than that, I'll be OK with the build.

  7. #7
    Eschew Obfuscation SesameCrunch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amyd
    The cruzbike is not all roses.

    The kit is expensive - about the same as a used, ready to ride EZ-1
    Expect to add about 9 pounds to your donor bike
    The bike is unsuitable for short legged riders
    I like the looks of the cruzbike. I have a pretty decent Specialized Y frame MTB that would be a quality donor bike. I recently had a bad accident on the MTB, resulting in a fractured neck and some nerve issues. So, I'm giving up mountain biking and the recumbent position would be good for my neck. Somehow seems serendipitous to convert this MTB to a recumbent.

    BTW, I'm 6' tall with 34" inseam (haven't measured my X-seam yet). I would guess that I'm OK leg-length wise?

  8. #8
    Senior Member mrgrunt99's Avatar
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    Check ebay.....there are some good deals right now......for example:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/RECUMBENT-BIKE-B...em300070047560
    I am the ubberest of ubberific ubbers!

    "(suck it hardtail h8ers!!!)"-ed

  9. #9
    Eschew Obfuscation SesameCrunch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrgrunt99
    Check ebay.....there are some good deals right now......for example:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/RECUMBENT-BIKE-B...em300070047560
    Nice looking bike, but it's very different from the Cruzbike. The Cruz is front wheel drive and also not USS. I really like the advantages of FWD because it lets you use your arms when cranking hard.

    I ordered the kit and will converting an existing, unused Specialized mtb. It will be a fun project for $400.

    I'll post with installation experiences after the project is done.

  10. #10
    Senior Member mrgrunt99's Avatar
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    $400? Is that with the price of the cruzebike conversion included? I thought the cruzbike kit was more than that, if not heck thats a great deal!!
    I am the ubberest of ubberific ubbers!

    "(suck it hardtail h8ers!!!)"-ed

  11. #11
    Eschew Obfuscation SesameCrunch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrgrunt99
    $400? Is that with the price of the cruzebike conversion included? I thought the cruzbike kit was more than that, if not heck thats a great deal!!
    It's $375 plus $30 shipping for the entire conversion kit, including the seat.

  12. #12
    Cruzer johntolhurst's Avatar
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    no flex issues suggest it is more efficient

    Quote Originally Posted by amyd
    A "lot more efficient" than what? A typical rear wheel drive recumbent, absent of idlers and tubes, isn't anymore inefficient than an upright, so what, exactly, are you comparing your assumptions to?
    With a long drive train it is more difficult to resist flex. With a short compact one, structured as a tetrahedron as per a diamond frame bike, flex is no longer an issue. That is where the added efficiency comes from, when compared to other recumbents. It is not more efficient than an upright.

    I think now that your theoretical understanding of how a cruzbike is developing, it might be time for you to get some actual experience with one, and put some reality behind your opinions.

  13. #13
    Eschew Obfuscation SesameCrunch's Avatar
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    As an update:

    I have received my conversion kit and am almost finished with the build. I've spent about 10 hours of wrench time so far (taking my time). Quality of the kit is very solid. I started with a pretty decent bike, so the end result is a very nice riding machine. The installation instructions could be a bit better, but I got through it OK. Had some obstacles, such as a non-standard front axle and rear derailleur hanger, but they got resolved.

    Took my first short ride today too! It's different, but I got going for about 100 yards or so down the street until I reminded myself that I haven't cabled the brakes yet.

    Looking forward to finishing the bike and starting training for my double century on it. Will post pics later...

  14. #14
    Cruzer johntolhurst's Avatar
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    happy customers are what its all about

    Quote Originally Posted by amyd
    What "flex", exactly, are you referring to? And you do have quantitative data to backup your claims?.. yes?.. No? Or is this just another uneducated supposition?
    Hi amyd,

    The difference in structural effectiveness between a boom and tetrahedron is pretty self evident.

    I don't really like the suggestion that we continue to do things without taking an educated, researched approach, I feel that's beginning to be a personal attack, which then undermines your credibility and detracts from the value of this thread.

    But anyhow, don't listen to me, listen to what customers are saying, for example in the post right above your last it says:

    "Quality of the kit is very solid. I started with a pretty decent bike, so the end result is a very nice riding machine. "

  15. #15
    Eschew Obfuscation SesameCrunch's Avatar
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    Here are the before and after pictures...
    Before...

    During...

    After...

  16. #16
    bobkat
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    Nicer conversion, Sesame! Really thinking of trying it on my old Raleigh 20! Wonder if anyone has done the conversion on a 20 inch wheeled folder?

  17. #17
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    That bottle cage doesn't look very useful now.

  18. #18
    Eschew Obfuscation SesameCrunch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlazingPedals
    That bottle cage doesn't look very useful now.
    Sorry, but I don't understand why you say that... I know for loooong rides, I'll rig up a cameback behind the seatback. But, I thought the bottle holder would be good for 30-40 mile rides. What were you referring to?

    Thanks,

  19. #19
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    I'm referring to its position. It's so low that you'll have to stop and get off in order to reach it. That position would be awkward to reach, even on an upright. Maybe Mr Tolhurst will consider putting brazeons on the handlebar riser so you can have a bottle at the front of the cockpit.

  20. #20
    Eschew Obfuscation SesameCrunch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlazingPedals
    I'm referring to its position. It's so low that you'll have to stop and get off in order to reach it. That position would be awkward to reach, even on an upright. Maybe Mr Tolhurst will consider putting brazeons on the handlebar riser so you can have a bottle at the front of the cockpit.
    I see what you mean. Thanks for clarifying...

  21. #21
    Junior Member jp308's Avatar
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    Very nice looking conversion, Sesame. I hope you get as much enjoyment from yours as I did from mine, which is to say I hope you love it! I prefer the more reclined seatback angle as you have chosen. My wife likes hers a little more upright. You can move the water bottle holder to the pre-drilled holes in the seat back, which I find easy enough to access while riding, or you can add a hydration pack to the seat pack. I show how I attached a hydration pack to my Cruzbike at the end of the "Turning demo" video. I modified a back pack using needle/thread, scissors, and $1.50 worth of Velcro and made a very functional hydration pack... excellent for carrying a couple liters of H2O plus maps, cameras, lunch, etc. - Jim Parker

  22. #22
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    Ah, if there are brazeons in the seat, like the RANS seat has, (behind your hips?) then that would be a good option. I really like having one on my tiller, though - it's right below my line of sight and almost too easy to use - I tend to empty it way too fast!

  23. #23
    Eschew Obfuscation SesameCrunch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jp308
    You can move the water bottle holder to the pre-drilled holes in the seat back, which I find easy enough to access while riding, or you can add a hydration pack to the seat pack. I show how I attached a hydration pack to my Cruzbike at the end of the "Turning demo" video. I modified a back pack using needle/thread, scissors, and $1.50 worth of Velcro and made a very functional hydration pack... excellent for carrying a couple liters of H2O plus maps, cameras, lunch, etc. - Jim Parker
    Thanks for the tips, Jim. NOW I know what those "extra" holes in the seatback are for LOL! I will indeed check out your hydration pack idea since I have been thinking about how to do that!

    Good job with the product and your company.

    PS: I love the looks of the Silvio!

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