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Hello. I just got my first Cruiser Bike- I'm having a few issues with it... Plz help!

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Hello. I just got my first Cruiser Bike- I'm having a few issues with it... Plz help!

Old 08-05-17, 06:40 PM
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ptigerstudio
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Hello. I just got my first Cruiser Bike- I'm having a few issues with it... Plz help!

Hi, I just joined the forums. I searched here for my issue, but, couldn't find anything. So, I hope I'm not asking something that I haven't asked before. But- if I am. Please have patients.
Here's my issue:
I live in a backwater town (150 miles from here, 200 from there). We have handicap vans (I am disabled: a mild form of spina bifida, fibromyalgia, disintegrating spine & stenosis of the spine, amung (unfortunately) other conditions) there is no uber. No lyft. No cabs, even. To use the vans we need appointments and had better be ready on time or forget it (no understanding if there is a hold up for some reason out of your control).
I've been walking, but its making my disability conditions worse. My Dr. said I should get a bike.
So, after about 15 years (I'm a 32 yr old female) without a bike, I got a new one. Its a cruiser bike. Never had this type of bike before. Its a yellow ladies nel lusso. There are a few issues though.
#1- it had a built in rack on the back. I needed one, but, I'm having trouble getting my leg swung over it properly (never had a bike with a rack on it, before).
#2-when seated, I can touch the ground with only my toes and the balls of my feet (even in thick soled shoes)- I know that's not really good (scares me a bit that my feet aren't flat on the ground). I lowered the seat, as low as it will go. And then replaced the seat, and lowered THAT.... But, still not flat on the ground.

So, my questions are these:
How do you get on a bike with a rack that is empty or has sometjing on it (for that matter)?
And, would it be:
A. Safe, to put a smaller wheel on the back? (They are 26"- so, is a 24" doable)?
And:
B. Would a cruiser work with a smaller wheel on the back?

The reason I got this bike:
Mountain bikes might do better on the roads around here, but the ones in the stores where I live all have handbrakes, and I've never used those, I tried once, and it scared me to not have coaster brakes.
The stores where I am don't sell any other kind of bikes for adults. Just Cruiser and MTBs.
I tried ordering online, but I can't pay a fortune for the shipping, and then, what if there is a problem with it?

Any advice would be a help. Thanks in advance!

Toria
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Old 08-06-17, 07:56 AM
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Hello and welcome.

1. Have you tried leaning the bike over towards yourself before throwing your leg over it? If not, try that. And lean it a lot. I have one bike that is very tall and that's what I do.

2. I know you won't want to hear this, but you are not supposed to be able to put your feet flat on the ground while sitting on the saddle. In fact, if your saddle height is properly adjusted, you should not be able to reach the ground while seated. If your saddle is low enough that you can reach the ground then it is too low for efficient pedaling. You need to have your legs well extended for efficiency and to reduce the chance of knee injury. Pedaling with your knees up high is really hard on the knees. With the saddle properly adjusted you will need to dismount and straddle the bike when you come to a stop.

There is a "Fitting your bike" sub-forum here. Fitting Your Bike - Bike Forums

You may want to look in there and read a bit. Considering your conditions, I'd say that a proper fit would be really important. You'll be a LOT more comfortable, significantly reduce the chance of injury or aggravating your current stuff, and tackling stuff like headwinds and hills will be less difficult.

Good luck.

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Old 08-06-17, 02:34 PM
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I'll take a look at that forum. I don't really know what to ask, about the fit, though. Should I close this one (can I even do that?).... And just repost it there?

And, if I were to go shopping, and had things tied on the back of my bike, on it's rack, even with leaning it, I think it would be awkward to get my leg over the things on the back.... So, I don't know if that would work (don't want to put anything on it and have issues (and look like an idiot) with getting on the silly thing).

I already feel really stupid for having to ask, anyway.
But, never having had a bike with a rack before is making me wonder.... Anyway, thanks, I'll check out that forum when I get a chance. See if just reading it gives me some info, even if I have no idea what I should be asking.

Last edited by ptigerstudio; 08-06-17 at 02:41 PM.
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Old 08-06-17, 06:10 PM
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Can you step over the top tube of the frame?
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Old 08-06-17, 06:27 PM
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Understanding your limitations and what's been said. You have a women's frame /step through frame, normally you would just lift your leg over the lower bar and step through. If your disability prevents this just lay the bike over on to its side and just stop people over it and pull the bike up.

As it's been said you shouldn't be able to sit on the seat properly and touch the ground. If you need to you might want to look into an Electra with a pedal forward or flat foot design. They are set up with the seat more at an angel and the pedals forward on the frame so the seat is lower to the ground and you can still get good leg extension without hurting your knees. Specially designed to sit and have your foot on the ground.

More expensive than the Huffy you own yes. But by the time you modify it with a new wheel and tire you will still have a bike that's not right and be only slightly less expensive than what you built. Off this is your only middle off transportation a little more money up front will be worth it in the long run. Check out Electra bicycles online and see it there is a Trek store in a major city where you live.

Hope that helps

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Old 08-07-17, 06:00 AM
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Me too

Originally Posted by ptigerstudio View Post
I'll take a look at that forum. I don't really know what to ask, about the fit, though. Should I close this one (can I even do that?).... And just repost it there?

And, if I were to go shopping, and had things tied on the back of my bike, on it's rack, even with leaning it, I think it would be awkward to get my leg over the things on the back.... So, I don't know if that would work (don't want to put anything on it and have issues (and look like an idiot) with getting on the silly thing).

I already feel really stupid for having to ask, anyway.
But, never having had a bike with a rack before is making me wonder.... Anyway, thanks, I'll check out that forum when I get a chance. See if just reading it gives me some info, even if I have no idea what I should be asking.
"disintegrating spine & stenosis of the spine, amung (unfortunately) other conditions)"....sounds like me, but I will wear out before I rust out. Doc told me I would probably be in a wheel chair by now if I wasn't a cyclist. I ride almost every day, short distances, and usually get in 1500 to 1800 miles a year. Painful and tiring at times yes, but I won't give up and I hope you won't either! Just say the hell with it and go out and ride, any distance, just try.

Having said that, here's how I cope. I have 1 balloon tire (cruiser bike single speed). Fun ride but heavy (like your bike) and it takes me a lot of effort to pedal. They come in multi speed configuration and that may help you.

Second, I've not found any cruiser that is my size. I need a 23" frame and most are much smaller or he chain ring/bottom bracket are so far off the ground, my knees hit the bar when I pedal.

My bikes of choice are road bikes/hybrids/3 speeds. These come in a much wider range of sizes and are much easier to pedal. And you can configure them any way you like. For instance, I add riser handle bars so I don't need to lean over so far. Mine have 4 to 6" rise. The mountain bikes you mention are usually flat bars or have very little rise.

As to your rear rack, the picture I saw shows it sits 2 or 3" over the fender which may be the reason for your leg swing problem. Just remove it. I use a bag for tools/spare tube, etc that attaches to the rear of my seat. My pump is mounted on the frame just under the water bottle mount. There are hundreds of bags available to suit your needs so you won't have to use a heavy carrier that gets in your way.

As to handbrakes, I only have 2 bikes with a coaster brake and much prefer handbrakes. After you get some practice I think you will too. Much easier to get the pedals in a good location for mounting /dismounting the bike if the rear wheel free wheels. I think your bike has a place to mount a front caliper and installing a front brake assembly would be a piece of cake and very inexpensive if you have a knowledgeable friend with spare parts like me. That way you could practice with the security of a coaster to back you up.

As to your stand over "problems," your saddle (seat) may be adding 2 or more inches of height. My wife prefers a very flat saddle with some gel padding....minimal rise compared with your Huffy saddle. I'd bet with a saddle like hers you could touch the ground like you want and be more comfortable.

Thing is, people like us need to get creative and be prepared to modify. I redid this old Schwinn with riser bars, plastic fenders, and alloy wheels. Very comfortable and rides well. 600 miles so far this year on the bike. You can do it too!
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Old 08-07-17, 12:26 PM
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Originally Posted by okane View Post
... As to your rear rack, the picture I saw shows it sits 2 or 3" over the fender which may be the reason for your leg swing problem. Just remove it...
The Nel Lusso has the rear rack welded on.

The women's Nel Lusso should have a fairly low step-through design so I'm guessing that would be the best way to get onto the bike.



Originally Posted by okane View Post
"disintegrating spine & stenosis of the spine, amung (unfortunately) other conditions)... Second, I've not found any cruiser that is my size. I need a 23" frame and most are much smaller or he chain ring/bottom bracket are so far off the ground, my knees hit the bar when I pedal...
Cruiser frames are usually just one size so I hear you on the sizing issue but I'm willing to work around it because I like the looks of them so much. Besides one speed is really all I need for most of the riding I do and the coaster brake is such a nice simple design.

okane... good on ya, keep riding!

ptigerstudio... did you get the step through frame Nel Lusso?

As SquidPuppet mentioned, seat height is very important because pedaling efficiency is affected. With these small cruiser frames I am tasked with welding up longer than usual seat posts to work.



*****UPDATE****

Derp... I'm such doofus sometimes, ptigerstudio, I see that you did mention that you had the lady's step-through frame. How high can you lift your leg?

Last edited by BassNotBass; 08-07-17 at 01:03 PM.
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Old 08-07-17, 01:17 PM
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Originally Posted by BassNotBass View Post

Holy smokes. I thought I was extreme with nine inches of 6061-T6 rod exposed. Those hollow steel ones just bend in no time. What did you make yours from and how long is it? Have some closer photos?


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Old 08-07-17, 01:52 PM
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Originally Posted by SquidPuppet View Post
... What did you make yours from and how long is it?...
I have yet to find a cost effective solution so I go the swamp-yankee route and use whatever is on hand. I've gone several different routes on various bikes. On some I welded two of the longest seatposts I could find in my metal scrap bin and braced it internally with tight fitting angle iron. With others I've used 3/4" Schedule40 black pipe, chucked it in the lathe and turned it down and welded on an appropriate sized reducer for the saddle mounting hardware. They're heavy but they don't bend and I'm not a weight-weenie anyway... I just go out and ride these things.

IIRC the longest chromoly or aluminum seat post I could find was 450mm but I'd want something closer to 500mm. You would think I could find something appropriate from the folding bike community but the cruiser frames tubing diameter is too narrow. My Brompton has a 530mm long seat post and easily handles my weight but then the diameter is 31.6mm.
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Old 08-07-17, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by BassNotBass View Post
I have yet to find a cost effective solution so I go the swamp-yankee route and use whatever is on hand. I've gone several different routes on various bikes. On some I welded two of the longest seatposts I could find in my metal scrap bin and braced it internally with tight fitting angle iron. With others I've used 3/4" Schedule40 black pipe, chucked it in the lathe and turned it down and welded on an appropriate sized reducer for the saddle mounting hardware. They're heavy but they don't bend and I'm not a weight-weenie anyway... I just go out and ride these things.

IIRC the longest chromoly or aluminum seat post I could find was 450mm but I'd want something closer to 500mm. You would think I could find something appropriate from the folding bike community but the cruiser frames tubing diameter is too narrow. My Brompton has a 530mm long seat post and easily handles my weight but then the diameter is 31.6mm.

What is the smallest diameter you have to deal with? Mine is 7/8" for long posts and 13/16" for shorties. I was surprised at the low prices of aluminum solid rod and tubing when I first began looking into making my own posts. I bought a 42" scrap for about $12.00 and made three posts. Perhaps 7075 would work for you?
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Old 08-08-17, 04:41 AM
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Originally Posted by SquidPuppet View Post
What is the smallest diameter you have to deal with? Mine is 7/8" for long posts and 13/16" for shorties. I was surprised at the low prices of aluminum solid rod and tubing when I first began looking into making my own posts. I bought a 42" scrap for about $12.00 and made three posts. Perhaps 7075 would work for you?
6061 or 7075 tubing would be awesome but I would still need to epoxy and pin an appropriate receiver to fit a saddle... I no longer have my TIG so I can only weld steel. Also my lathe can only handle 12" stock so turning a solid rod of 20" just isn't feasible. What have you done to make your posts?

(sorry folks for high-jacking the thread)

Incidentally all of my cruisers take 25.4mm seat posts.
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Old 08-08-17, 10:59 AM
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Originally Posted by BassNotBass View Post
6061 or 7075 tubing would be awesome but I would still need to epoxy and pin an appropriate receiver to fit a saddle... I no longer have my TIG so I can only weld steel. Also my lathe can only handle 12" stock so turning a solid rod of 20" just isn't feasible. What have you done to make your posts?

(sorry folks for high-jacking the thread)

Incidentally all of my cruisers take 25.4mm seat posts.
I took a piece of 7/8 rod to a machine shop. The roll up doors were open so instead of going to the office I asked one of the guys approximately how long it would take to turn it down to 13/16, leaving about an inch at one end at 7/8. He asked what it was for and how smooth I would need it. We got shooting the breeze and kinda got along well, so he just said, "We close at 4:30, bring it back at about 4:35 and I'll take care of it for you." I did, and he did. No charge. He did a nice little angle on the size transition to help avoid stress risers. They do HUGE stuff there for the mining industry (Lathes the size of Winnebagos) so he said doing paperwork for a little stick like that was a waste of time. I made sure to go back the next day with a little something for his time and effort. He invited me to come back if I ever needed any small and simple doo-dad items done. I've been back three times.

For clamping I just use an old fashioned generic $3.00 7/8" saddle clamp. It's far from high tech, but that actually makes the bike more period correct, and they lock down good and tight.

You could just get 1 inch rod or tube and hand sand it if it's +/- is off to the big side by a few thousandths. I actually did that on the post below. We stopped the lathe work when it was a bit too snug, and then as I went through the different grades of sandpaper to bring it to a high polish, it lost enough material to fit nicely into the tube.




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Old 08-08-17, 12:26 PM
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Originally Posted by SquidPuppet View Post
... You could just get 1 inch rod or tube and hand sand it if it's +/- is off to the big side by a few thousandths. I actually did that on the post below...
Ah, there's the rub. A solid billet of aluminum wouldn't offer me any advantages and with aluminum tubing I would still need to find a saddle clamp solution. It would be much easier if my cruiser frames could accept larger seat posts since parts are readily available to fabricate an extended post but unless I got lucky in finding the right size tubing scraps, it just isn't worth the effort for what I consider the econo-bikes in my stable.
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Old 08-08-17, 12:36 PM
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Originally Posted by BassNotBass View Post
Ah, there's the rub. A solid billet of aluminum wouldn't offer me any advantages and with aluminum tubing I would still need to find a saddle clamp solution. It would be much easier if my cruiser frames could accept larger seat posts since parts are readily available to fabricate an extended post but unless I got lucky in finding the right size tubing scraps, it just isn't worth the effort for what I consider the econo-bikes in my stable.

Just get 1 inch rod and machine one end down to 7/8" for the clamp. No big deal, no big hassle, you just need to go buy a big metal lathe. Simple. Solved.
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Old 08-08-17, 09:08 PM
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Wow. Thank you all who offered advice. Sorry it took me so long to respond. I tried riding the bike, and had a bad fall.
I returned it.
I'm not comfortable with just the balls of my feet on the groun (I fell because I couldn't reach the ground, the way I needed, when I stopped. I can barely walk ATM. Good thing I had a helmet on. That was cracked in the fall).

I looked into some of the suggestions, like the Electra. And somehow found my way to adult trikes.
My mother and I are going to have to take out a loan to get one (along with a smart lock (probably a smart halo or a linka lock (have to contact company to see if it would be usable on a trike) or a noke unlock - anything around where I live, that isn't ugly or locked down, gets snatched if you just look away for a few minutes).
But I will be likely getting a schwinn meridian 24" adult trike.
Thank you all for the advice.
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Old 08-08-17, 10:17 PM
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Originally Posted by BassNotBass View Post

***UPDATE****

Derp... I'm such doofus sometimes, ptigerstudio, I see that you did mention that you had the lady's step-through frame. How high can you lift your leg?

Its OK. Easy to miss things. I can lift my leg to the height of about 18" (they tell me I might be wheelchair bound in about 20 years or so.... If not sooner)... The bar to step over is about 20" high. Thank you for the help. I'm going to give up on this bike, though. I got hurt too badly (a fall like that wouldn't have hurt most people, I'm sure).
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Old 08-10-17, 05:17 AM
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I'm glad you decided on a trike. I think you'll really enjoy it and that huge rear basket can really come in handy.
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Old 08-13-17, 03:48 PM
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Sorry about your fall. I see Walmart sells Adult Trikes. It seems to have alot of positive reviews.

https://www.walmart.com/ip/26-Schwin...&wl13=&veh=sem
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Old 08-14-17, 12:57 PM
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Coming in late here lol, I was thinking the trike myself. Ive seen a few of them around on the mup. Im gonna guess that Nellie was the male (black with red tires) rather than the female (yellow creme with yellow tires or last years pink version). Every person has a different fit and that even changes over time so for what ive read trike on and enjoy!.....
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Old 08-14-17, 02:00 PM
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I use the curb and lift that leg high. Not always easy but I use my bikes like mules now and then, I have few alternatives and have to plan ahead if I need a car.


One thing to remember is that tricycles only power one rear wheel and this makes hill climbing more difficult. I don't recall seeing many multi-speed trikes.
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Old 08-14-17, 03:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Rollfast View Post
I use the curb and lift that leg high. Not always easy but I use my bikes like mules now and then, I have few alternatives and have to plan ahead if I need a car.


One thing to remember is that tricycles only power one rear wheel and this makes hill climbing more difficult. I don't recall seeing many multi-speed trikes.
Miami Sun has a 3 speed IGH or a 7 speed derailleur setup as options.
I think the Schwinn has a 3 or 5 speed IGH option.
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Old 12-13-17, 05:23 PM
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I would suggest you step through the frame to get on the bike. Lifting your leg over the rack does not sound like a good idea given some of the medical conditions you have. As for fit I would go to a good bike shop if there is one near you. It does not sound like you have a proper fitting beach cruiser. As one other poster noted, your feet should not be flat on the ground while in the seat. You need to have your seat adjusted so that you get full extension but not over extension of the leg for proper peddaling.

There are also some websites on line that provide a bike fit calculator. You put in your measurements and they calculate tire size, frame size etc. You may want to look at that as well. Then you would have the important information to be able to order online. A lot of online retailers will ship for free. Check around and you will find them.
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Old 12-13-17, 08:41 PM
  #23  
Crossthreaded88
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This would be the ultimate bike to get. Unfortunately they are German made and really expensive. This one is selling for $400. Wish I could be of more help. An adult trike is probably the best solution if you can find one cheap enough.
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Old 05-26-22, 02:40 PM
  #24  
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I would add. you may want a "flat foot" bike like the Townie. and a step through solves the swinging your leg problem
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