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turning mountain bike into a cruiser

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turning mountain bike into a cruiser

Old 05-11-21, 12:37 PM
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sha90
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turning mountain bike into a cruiser

i am having a hard time finding a 3 or 7 speed cruiser. i am five feet tall. i could try to buy online but as there are no local bikes for me to try out first that is kind of risky. i was thinking of getting a kid's mountain bike from walmart and asking the local bike shop to make it into a cruiser with trigger shifters. i know people say walmart bike quality is iffy. is there anything that cannot be fixed by a bike mechanic? thank you
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Old 05-11-21, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by sha90 View Post
i am having a hard time finding a 3 or 7 speed cruiser. i am five feet tall. i could try to buy online but as there are no local bikes for me to try out first that is kind of risky. i was thinking of getting a kid's mountain bike from walmart and asking the local bike shop to make it into a cruiser with trigger shifters. i know people say walmart bike quality is iffy. is there anything that cannot be fixed by a bike mechanic? thank you
It isn't that the parts cannot be repaired, but rather, that the quality is so poor that it just doesn't make sense to put money into such a cheap bike.
Look for something like an old Trek 800 or 820. Simple bikes, without suspension, and with 26" tires. An XS frame size should be perfect for someone 5' tall. They sold hundreds of thousands of these bikes, maybe millions, and it wouldn't take much to turn something like that into a cruiser or comfort bike.
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Old 05-11-21, 01:12 PM
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Originally Posted by sha90 View Post
i am having a hard time finding a 3 or 7 speed cruiser. i am five feet tall. i could try to buy online but as there are no local bikes for me to try out first that is kind of risky. i was thinking of getting a kid's mountain bike from walmart and asking the local bike shop to make it into a cruiser with trigger shifters. i know people say walmart bike quality is iffy. is there anything that cannot be fixed by a bike mechanic? thank you
I would recommend against this. The shop labor costs to do this would probably eclipse the cost of the (kinda crappy) bike, and there are still major component shortages so it's possible your shop would have a difficult time getting the parts needed in a timely fashion. You'd be way better buying online, and get your local shop to build the bike and make any adjustments to the fit you need. The used market is also worth looking into. Sorry, the bike market is messed up right now and should be normalish by fall.
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Old 05-11-21, 01:23 PM
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I bought Walmart, Target and other cheapo bikes for my kids when they were growing up. I never had an issue with them. Cheap price yes. Cheap built.... maybe, kind of, sort of, but not to the extent they are unsafe.

Like the bikes that come to the LBS, they also come to the store in a box and have to be put together. Usually that's not the most mechanically inclined person. Sometimes its someone they contract to that hires even lower paid people to do the job. And at that point it means the faster it's put together the better.

So if you do your own bike DIY as I did, they can be a good enough bike. However I've heard of some shops refusing to work on them. So if you don't do your own DIY, check who will before you buy.

You might be on the right track with an old MTB frame since it'll use smaller diameter rims. That's always been an issue for getting my 5'-2" wife a bike. Just not a good selection of road bikes with anything other than 700C wheels.
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Old 05-11-21, 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
I bought Walmart, Target and other cheapo bikes for my kids when they were growing up. I never had an issue with them. Cheap price yes. Cheap built.... maybe, kind of, sort of, but not to the extent they are unsafe.

Like the bikes that come to the LBS, they also come to the store in a box and have to be put together. Usually that's not the most mechanically inclined person. Sometimes its someone they contract to that hires even lower paid people to do the job. And at that point it means the faster it's put together the better.

So if you do your own bike DIY as I did, they can be a good enough bike. However I've heard of some shops refusing to work on them. So if you don't do your own DIY, check who will before you buy.

You might be on the right track with an old MTB frame since it'll use smaller diameter rims. That's always been an issue for getting my 5'-2" wife a bike. Just not a good selection of road bikes with anything other than 700C wheels.
When my son was maybe 9 years old, I went this route instead of buying him a kids bike with 24" wheels. I knew when I bought the bike that it probably wouldn't fit him for long, and it didn't as he went from 5' to 5'7 in about a year, and by then, I had a size medium adult bike waiting for him once he grew past 5'7".

Anyhow, the bike I got him was a Trek 800, with Altus 3 x 7 shifters, and Altus/Acera derailleurs. He rode that bikefor maybe 2 seasons. And not just tooling around the neighborhood. I would take him with me on 30 mile rides and he pretty much had no trouble keeping pace with me or my wife. I always thought that if there was a shorter adult in my household, I would have kept the bike, because it was really well built.
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Old 05-11-21, 01:41 PM
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If you are set on going through Walmart they have a few multi-speed "cruisers" available. What's your spending limit? There are some for under $130 that would be cheaper than converting a $70 kids mountain bike. Also noticed that WM lists bikes by the tire size apparently and not by frame size so some further digging for info may find something that fits you. If you have to order it and it doesn't fit just return it. Bicycles - Walmart.com Mostly single speeds listed but the multi's are listed here too.
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Old 05-11-21, 02:37 PM
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thank you all for your advice. i have gone to walmart and their cruisers are too big for me anyways. their kids' mountain bikes were more my size but if quality is an issue i do see some good (i think) options on craigslist although there seem to be a lot more men's bikes than women's on there. i have emailed my local bike repair shop and am hoping they can help me figure out a way to retrofit or get a bike.
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Old 05-11-21, 03:18 PM
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Originally Posted by sha90 View Post
... there seem to be a lot more men's bikes than women's on there. i have emailed my local bike repair shop and am hoping they can help me figure out a way to retrofit or get a bike.
The Bike Police will not give you a ticket for riding a man's bike; if you find one which fits you get it and ride it. .
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Old 05-11-21, 05:02 PM
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Originally Posted by dsbrantjr View Post
The Bike Police will not give you a ticket for riding a man's bike; if you find one which fits you get it and ride it. .
i know i can ride a man's bike but many have a high top tube.
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Old 05-11-21, 05:17 PM
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I just wanted to say that I love my old Trek 800. Sure I do have nicer bikes but I think the Trek will outlast me.
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Old 05-11-21, 05:23 PM
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What is your riding goal.....many people buy a bike and then out grow it.

these my not be in your budget but could be some ideas

https://publicbikes.com/collections/...ucts/public-c7

https://publicbikes.com/collections/...ucts/public-m7

you might also consider a mixte...which can often be found used in smaller sizes (bikes from the 80's)
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Old 05-11-21, 05:32 PM
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You really are going to be sorry if you actually intend to use a Big Box bike regularly for any sort of bicycle related activity.

I don't intend to be mean or holier-than-thou or anything like that. So please don't take me the wrong way. There just isn't anything on a Big Box bike that is a high enough quality to fix. They are intended to be disposable items to people who like the idea of owning a bike, but have no intentions of riding a bike.

We had a Next come into the shop this week with "shifting issues." All of the suspension linkage was completely blown out, so the bike rode like a big, klunking spaghetti noodle. The bearings & races were so shot that the rear wheel had about an inch of play. Yeah, a new wheel would've been a good short cut. But, there was simply nothing left of the rest of the bike to fix, even if we had the parts.

We had another full suspension bike we took in as a repair job. It was less than 3 months old & we were feeling charitable. The bike was new enough, maybe a repair or cheap wheel would be inexpensive & we could earn a customer. A bent axle, blown out bearings that crumbled, ball retainers that came out in 3 pieces, & the races were so cracked that we had to call the customer & deliver the sad news that that bike can never be safely riden again. It was a $200 repair job or a $60 wheel on a $150, 3 month old bike that'll need another overhaul or parts replacement of something else in another 3 months...AFAIK the customer was taking it back to the Box store he got it from & we were out a bunch of shop-time. Wasted time, money & effort all-around. Low quality has a high price.


You'd be better off with an Electra Townie with 24 inch wheels @~$550 new, or a used small sized Specialized Northrock comfort bike for $100..You still aren't into free hubs at that price point, (weak/cheap freewheels instead,) but at least the components themselves will last a few summer-times with out issues.

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Old 05-11-21, 06:42 PM
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In the mid-1990's I purchases two 17" Trek 730 Hybrid bikes for my daughter and daughter-in-law. Both of them are about 5'-nothing and the bikes fit them very well. Trek made those bikes down to 15" so even a shorter person should be able to find one that fit. I would highly recommend starting with something like them rather than a Walmart bike of any kind. These Treks had 700c wheels, 7-speed cassettes, triple cranks and twist shifters and would make an excellent cruiser for you.
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Old 05-11-21, 07:24 PM
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Originally Posted by sha90 View Post
i know i can ride a man's bike but many have a high top tube.
Do you want a step through frame? I think a lot of ďwomenísĒ frames are kind of the worst of both worlds in that you canít step through, but arenít as light weight as a menís frame.
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Old 05-11-21, 08:18 PM
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okay, i hear you all. don't get a walmart bike;p yes i would love a step through. i don't mind heavy bikes. they are probably better for our bumpy roads. i didn't want to spend a lot. it's just for my one-mile commute. there is a slight incline. i am totally bummed i missed out on an electra townie on craigslist which was half price. one lbs has one in stock for about $530. i don't think it is a 24". i did check out electra's sizing and they said a regular townie would fit me but i will test ride it. my budget was about $400 but it might be too much work to find something at that price. another lbs has the liv flourish but it won't be in stock till august. that is why i was thinking of retrofitting a mountain bike. tk you all.
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Old 05-12-21, 07:24 AM
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Originally Posted by sha90 View Post
i know i can ride a man's bike but many have a high top tube.
Better quality bikes are sold in several frame sizes. The smaller frames have top tubes that are lower

Last edited by alcjphil; 05-12-21 at 12:37 PM.
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Old 05-12-21, 08:33 AM
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sha90 do you just want a step-through frame, or do you have a mobility issue that would keep you from using a conventional diamond-frame bike? As it's been mentioned before, the big brands like Giant, TREK, and Specialized all made 26" wheel MTBs in Small/XS 13"-15" frames. Swap the bars and stem, and add some smooth tires, and they do very well as 'townie' bikes.

If you don't mind, what's your metro area? Lots of us enjoy cruising Craigslist for good bikes, especially if we're spending someone else's money
We can help find bikes that may work for you.
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Old 05-12-21, 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Ironfish653 View Post
sha90 do you just want a step-through frame, or do you have a mobility issue that would keep you from using a conventional diamond-frame bike? As it's been mentioned before, the big brands like Giant, TREK, and Specialized all made 26" wheel MTBs in Small/XS 13"-15" frames. Swap the bars and stem, and add some smooth tires, and they do very well as 'townie' bikes.

If you don't mind, what's your metro area? Lots of us enjoy cruising Craigslist for good bikes, especially if we're spending someone else's money
We can help find bikes that may work for you.
let me second this idea...... there can be some great deals out there.

Known what you are doing helps.... really just about any bike that has a lower top tube will meet your needs. I would not focus on cruisers, unless you totally love the style, as they often are heavier
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Old 05-12-21, 11:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Ironfish653 View Post
sha90 do you just want a step-through frame, or do you have a mobility issue that would keep you from using a conventional diamond-frame bike? As it's been mentioned before, the big brands like Giant, TREK, and Specialized all made 26" wheel MTBs in Small/XS 13"-15" frames. Swap the bars and stem, and add some smooth tires, and they do very well as 'townie' bikes.

If you don't mind, what's your metro area? Lots of us enjoy cruising Craigslist for good bikes, especially if we're spending someone else's money
We can help find bikes that may work for you.
i don't have any mobility issue. i don't know what a diamond frame bike is?
i am in honolulu (island of oahu). i have been checking craigslist but pls feel free to check out the listings. you all know a lot more than i do. tx!
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Old 05-13-21, 09:57 AM
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this is what is see on oahu craigslist the that look like might work

This Giant is my my favorite of the bunch pretty well equipped including fenders and rack good brand

Giant Cypress Comfort Bicycle (S) 700c + Extras - $395 (Honolulu)

https://honolulu.craigslist.org/oah/bik/d/honolulu-giant-cypress-comfort-bicycle/7311550110.html

Classic dutch bike comes in a close second

utch Bike: Gazelle Chamonix Pure - $500 (Makiki)

https://honolulu.craigslist.org/oah/bik/d/honolulu-dutch-bike-gazelle-chamonix/7319040345.html




Woman Schwinn hybrid/cruiser 7 speed - $90 (Honolulu

not a super high end bike but for $90 cold get you started
https://honolulu.craigslist.org/oah/...320966862.html

Liv Alight (Liliha) $350

https://honolulu.craigslist.org/oah/bik/d/honolulu-liv-alight/7319826168.html

BEACH CRUISER - LIKE NEW! - $200 (McCully-Moiliili)

another scwhinn
https://honolulu.craigslist.org/oah/...320446856.html
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Old 05-13-21, 09:57 AM
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Originally Posted by sha90 View Post
i don't have any mobility issue. i don't know what a diamond frame bike is?
i am in honolulu (island of oahu). i have been checking craigslist but pls feel free to check out the listings. you all know a lot more than i do. tx!
A diamond frame refers to a bike with a top tube. The reason women's bikes traditionally didn't have a top tube is because back when women wore dresses and skirts all the time, the top tube got in the way of the dress. That is the only reason. The triangle shape actually has an important function, as it gives the bike strength without adding weight. Unless you plan to ride your bike while wearing a dress, you are actually better off going with a standard diamond frame.
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Old 05-13-21, 09:38 PM
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sha90
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Originally Posted by squirtdad View Post
this is what is see on oahu craigslist the that look like might work

This Giant is my my favorite of the bunch pretty well equipped including fenders and rack good brand

Giant Cypress Comfort Bicycle (S) 700c + Extras - $395 (Honolulu)

https://honolulu.craigslist.org/oah/bik/d/honolulu-giant-cypress-comfort-bicycle/7311550110.html

Classic dutch bike comes in a close second

utch Bike: Gazelle Chamonix Pure - $500 (Makiki)

https://honolulu.craigslist.org/oah/bik/d/honolulu-dutch-bike-gazelle-chamonix/7319040345.html




Woman Schwinn hybrid/cruiser 7 speed - $90 (Honolulu

not a super high end bike but for $90 cold get you started
https://honolulu.craigslist.org/oah/...320966862.html

Liv Alight (Liliha) $350

https://honolulu.craigslist.org/oah/bik/d/honolulu-liv-alight/7319826168.html

BEACH CRUISER - LIKE NEW! - $200 (McCully-Moiliili)

another scwhinn
https://honolulu.craigslist.org/oah/...320446856.html
i didn't see that sentence where you preferred the cypress. i thought it would be too big for me as it is a men's small. but maybe i should have checked it out. i had actually checked out the gazelle a few days ago but it was too big. i checked out the 7 speed beach cruiser today. i had passed on it before because i thought it was a single speed. it was comfortable and in good condition but there was no incline for me to test ride it on but i bought it anyways. i hope i made the right decision. if not, i will sell it and look again. it's at the bike shop right now and they are checking it out for me.

i really appreciate your help in sifting through the listings for me!
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Old 05-13-21, 09:41 PM
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Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
A diamond frame refers to a bike with a top tube. The reason women's bikes traditionally didn't have a top tube is because back when women wore dresses and skirts all the time, the top tube got in the way of the dress. That is the only reason. The triangle shape actually has an important function, as it gives the bike strength without adding weight. Unless you plan to ride your bike while wearing a dress, you are actually better off going with a standard diamond frame.
i will bear this in mind. tk you!
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Old 05-13-21, 10:19 PM
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Originally Posted by sha90 View Post
i didn't see that sentence where you preferred the cypress. i thought it would be too big for me as it is a men's small. but maybe i should have checked it out. i had actually checked out the gazelle a few days ago but it was too big. i checked out the 7 speed beach cruiser today. i had passed on it before because i thought it was a single speed. it was comfortable and in good condition but there was no incline for me to test ride it on but i bought it anyways. i hope i made the right decision. if not, i will sell it and look again. it's at the bike shop right now and they are checking it out for me.

i really appreciate your help in sifting through the listings for me!
great..... once you ride you need to report and provide pic... it is the law

also good time to learn about maintaining the bike this is a good place to start https://www.parktool.com/blog/repair-help and this forum of course

and if you really get into it you can always upgrade
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Old 07-05-21, 03:21 PM
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hi, this is a very belated update. i bought the cruiser but made the mistake of not test-riding it on an incline. found out too late that inclines were too much of an effort. the bike shop said they could adjust the gears a little but could not guarantee it would make much of a difference. didn't seem worth it so i sold the bike. am taking a break from looking for a bike. tk you again for all the help!
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