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Old cruiser frame to host modern parts?

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Old cruiser frame to host modern parts?

Old 11-19-14, 03:37 PM
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OrangeBike
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Old cruiser frame to host modern parts?

My kid has a newer curb-find mountain bike, Walmart brand Roadmaster or something...

We thought it might be fun to find an old cruiser frame to paint up and put the new parts on. Nothing fancy, something inexpensive. Looking for something that would have threadings compatible with newer parts. I'm not familiar with these bikes and am not sure where to start, Schwinn, Murray, Huffy, Sears? We have a local bicycle swap meet coming up and it would be nice to score something there.

Thanks.
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Old 11-19-14, 03:52 PM
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Do you mean a cantilever frame, like this?




My money would be on Schwinn.
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Old 11-19-14, 03:54 PM
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If you're going to the trouble of putting parts on a frame that wasn't meant for them, you might as well get some decent parts. Walmart MTB parts will probably just give you trouble.

That said, if you want to go through with it anyway for the challenge, low-end cruisers are pretty much all the same; find one that fits and go with it. The Roadmaster is likely to have a 1-piece (Ashtabula) crankset, which ought to fit on a cruiser -- but whether it'll line up with the rear is a different story. The first thing you'll want to consider will be the rear hub spacing. It's likely that the MTB rear hub (likely to be 130mm) will be too wide for the cruiser's rear dropouts (either 110 or 120). The cruiser also won't have a derailleur hanger, so if the MTB's rear derailleur doesn't have a claw, it won't work. Finally, consider whether the cruiser has mounting holes for brake calipers. This is a pretty quixotic challenge you've set for yourself, but hey, have fun with it!
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Old 11-19-14, 04:25 PM
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Originally Posted by icepick_trotsky View Post
Do you mean a cantilever frame, like this?

My money would be on Schwinn.
Yes, that would be correct, I wasn't sure of the terminology.
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Old 11-19-14, 04:29 PM
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Originally Posted by brianinc-ville View Post
If you're going to the trouble of putting parts on a frame that wasn't meant for them, you might as well get some decent parts. Walmart MTB parts will probably just give you trouble.
Take it from someone who wanted to see if a BSO could be made awesome.. parts of any quality level will give you trouble on a walmart mountain bike.
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Old 11-19-14, 04:31 PM
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Originally Posted by brianinc-ville View Post
If you're going to the trouble of putting parts on a frame that wasn't meant for them, you might as well get some decent parts. Walmart MTB parts will probably just give you trouble.
I also have a newer Schwinn mountain bike that may serve as a donor, that definitely has a three piece crank. Mix and match time.

Originally Posted by brianinc-ville View Post
...first thing you'll want to consider will be the rear hub spacing. It's likely that the MTB rear hub (likely to be 130mm) will be too wide for the cruiser's rear dropouts (either 110 or 120). The cruiser also won't have a derailleur hanger, so if the MTB's rear derailleur doesn't have a claw, it won't work. Finally, consider whether the cruiser has mounting holes for brake calipers. This is a pretty quixotic challenge you've set for yourself, but hey, have fun with it!
I figure I'll end up with some cold forming, frame bending fun.
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Old 11-19-14, 04:47 PM
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I guess my main question here is which brand/year etc. should I be looking at for compatible components?

Are headsets, bottom brackets going to to be easy to swap, or maybe find new replacements in standard sizes?

I wouldn't want to put the Ashtabula cranks back on a bike, looking to modern it up a bit with some old school flare.
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Old 11-19-14, 07:55 PM
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I redid one of those Walmart schwinn point beach aluminum cantilever frames. I ditched pretty much ever single part except the frame. Turned out nice but had wicked bad wheel flop. I built it into klunker but with a vintage road bike flare. Chrome lugged fork, molteni style paint job but with my last name on the downtube and a sweet pair of Bullmoose bars. The frame was surprisingly light at just a little over 3 lbs. I've got pictures of it somewhere.
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Old 11-19-14, 08:30 PM
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Clunkers are cool Alan Bonds CLUNKERS

Good luck with the project.
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Old 11-19-14, 09:36 PM
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Originally Posted by bane View Post
Clunkers are cool Alan Bonds CLUNKERS

Good luck with the project.
So it looks like I would be building a clunker!
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Old 11-20-14, 01:46 PM
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So this is the style of frame we're thinking of:
Vintage 1952 Schwinn Chicago 26" Bike Ladies Single Speed Tank Bicycle Frame | eBay

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Old 11-20-14, 01:49 PM
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Go for it. I'm not sure about the threading and what not for a frame that old, but I'm sure others can help you with that.
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Old 11-20-14, 02:00 PM
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Probably not that frame in particular, but in that style. Ladies/step-through version of the cantilever.

We have a swap meet coming up locally I was hoping to grab a frame at. I also have an co-op called Vulture Space that may have something.

I just don't want to get into something with obscure threading or sizes that I can't find parts for, any direction would be great.

Thanks.
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Old 11-20-14, 02:04 PM
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This article has a little info.

Parts for older American Bicycles

Those older Schwinns had massively heavy, one-piece cranks called "Ashtabula." There are conversion kits readily available to switch in more modern cranksets.
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Old 11-20-14, 02:29 PM
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Be the first kid on your block to put a Dura-Ace crankset into your Schwinn Varsity!
Good info, thanks.
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