What to do? How to do it? Rebuilding my road cruiser.

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May 28, 2016
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New here and I've been looking around. I ended up here while looking for information and ideas for what I was thinking of doing.
Looking for some help and ideas and experience.
I am okay mechanically; not afraid of small jobs on my motorcycle and I have some tools.
I've never done anything on my bicycles except loosen and adjust a few basics like seats. Zero experience with chains, gears, spokes, etc.
I'm not sure what to do but here's a quick rundown on what I got and how I got here.

Since growing up I've liked bikes, bicycles, but after getting near 6 feet tall I always felt that the frames were too small and it always felt like I was riding around on a little kid's bike. The top bar between the head and seat tubes was always way down because my seat post was always high and before that, I could no longer get any good length between the peddles and the seat. I always wanted a bike that was longer so that I was not feeling so cramped up on it. Or if I got the space by extending everything I then feel like it looks ridiculous.

I finally found Dyno about 15 years ago and I did notice that it seemed longer than other bikes. This bike shop also was cruiser friendly and had other accessories that I had not see elsewhere like a laid back seat post to give me more length at the peddle. So I ended up investing in the Dyno Deuce and modifying it. However I still never felt like it was a bullseye. It's still a little frame although I think the bike looks alright.
Dyno Deuce.jpg

Now years later I found the Electra Cruiser 1 in a Tall frame. I could see immediately that is was taller than the other bikes at the shop (I was helping a girlfriend get herself a bike - which she did, a Linus Mixte). The tall Electra seemed longer too, but I wasn't sure.

I was going to get on this site and ask if I should sell the old Dyno and get the Electra, but I ended up getting a small sale and bought the single speed Electra tall Cruiser 1. So now I have both bikes.
Electra Crusier 1 Tall.jpg

Now I can't seem to settle on what to do.
The frames seem remarkably similar as well as very different. So I was hoping to find some experienced folks here that really know what they are looking at and have tried some variations and understand what I mean.

Hooked on front axle, wheel straight, measured at back axle. The Electra Tall Cruiser 1. About 49.25 inches.


Hooked on front axle, wheel straight, measured at back axle. The Dyno Deuce with springer forks. About 49 inches.


From about the center of the head tube to the center of the seat post. The Electra Tall Cruiser 1. About 27.5 inches.


Frome about the center of the head tube to the center of the seat post. The Dyno Deuce. About 24 inches.

I've been thinking of moving my Nexus and other customizations to the new bike and selling the Dyno. However since getting the Electra I have been riding it and honestly I have not minded the single speed set up. I really like the clean, uncluttered lines of the simple, plain bike. In the long run though I think I'll have to settle for one that works for more than flat surfaces and that's why I put the Nexus in the Dyno back in the day in the first place.

By the way, is it difficult taking the Nexus off and lacing up the wheel? Is that a more experienced type job? I don't want the wheel to come off or the gears to seize up because i did it wrong to save some money.

I presume it will be easy to switch to a nice fat Brooks (B190? - I forget the exact model number - the wide one with the spring in the front too, unless you all know and like a better one. I'm all ears). How about a different fork from the springer? Or keep it? Or keep the original forks. Are they extra long so that other forks won't fit? I was thinking of a cool looking suspension I found here that came from some older off-roading bikes. Tubes + a spring type of thing.
Electra Custom Cafe with Brooks seat.jpg

Electra Flying Sue Custom Brooks Springer.jpg

Electra Front Disk Brake Custom.jpg

A front disk would be nice.
That's all I can think of right now. Time to pass out. :happy:

Thanks for any help or guidance.
I hope you all had a good holiday weekend.
I bought a bike. :grin: :cool2:
Apr 18, 2015
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central ohio
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All I can tell you is find the parts you want to put on it and put them on. When it comes to customizing there are no rules, specially if you're building for yourself.
Jul 25, 2016
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How about an older full size 26" frame, that will get you on a larger size frame. Then you can go to 24"rear wheel, and or lay out the fork to set bike height you want. From there it's seat and bar placement to get you comfortable.

I notice both handle bars on your current bikes are swept back at the grip. A new set of bars that sweep out instead of back will put your hands forward and a more forward lean riding position, you could get rid of some seat post set back.

Take a few pics on your bike riding, look at riding position, and where you want to change it, get new bike parts to put you in that position.


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Sep 17, 2013
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The middle of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan
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Switching parts is never as easy as it should be. Lots of problems come up that you will have to research to solve. I personally, if I was a beginner, wouldn’t try to spoke the Nexus to another rim. Buy a new wheel with the nexus. Then there are the different Nexus positioning guides for the new drops that may require some net searches. The Nexus axle may not fit the drops, all kinds of things frustrat something that looked straight forward. The only way to learn is to do it but it probably will take more fiddling than you thought.
Jan 21, 2009
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"So now I have both bikes." Good choice. Always have an extra bike at the ready.

I think the Dyno should stay as it is. There will be unseen problems when swapping parts from one bike to another. But if they are taken apart, they can always be put back as they were later. It might be fun to tear both bikes down completely and see how all the parts may or may not interchange with the other frame. Check the spacing in the dropouts to see how wide a hub will fit. See how everything works and adjusts. I wouldn't open up the Nexus hub though.

The head tube on the Electra is extra long so new forks might be a problem. The springers come with extra length that gets trimmed down for your specific bike, but you'd have to check it first for length. Measure your fork tube when it's off the bike.

If you wanted gears but the brakes and shifter aren't going to work, maybe try a IGH that fits the dropouts that has a coaster brake. I use a kickback 2 speed on my go to bike. No cables or shifter, but only low and high gear. They make 3 speeds, also Nexus with coaster brakes too, but you need to run a shifter and cable.

25 apr 22 drivetrain.jpg

Whatever you do is fine, as long as you're doing it the way you want.
Apr 24, 2007
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If you want to redo the wheels, the number 1 check is the spoke count. the number of spokes needs to match hub vs rim. A 36 spoke hub and a 32 spoke rim won't work. Older bikes were mostly 36, newer and better mountain bikes are 32 and most fat bike wheels are 32.

next check is the erd. Effective rim diameter. That is the circle where the threaded ends of the spokes should be. Each brand of rim will be slightly different. Swaping the nexus hub with the rim on the other bike might require a different length spoke.

OLD, is the outside locknut dimension. or overall lock nut dimension. That is also the inside width of the frame. The locknut to locknut dimension of the hub should be pretty close (within 1-2 mm). The old can be adjusted with different washers/locknuts to match. Bending aluminum frames isn't an option. Steel frames can be cold set to match. Single speed bikes are usually narrower.

Take the wheels off both bikes and measure the frame width. If they are close, you can just swap the wheels.

Another fit item is crank arm length. Longer cranks usually work better for taller riders. Typical crank lengths are 165mm or 170mm. They make 1-piece BMX cranks in 180mm that will fit either bike.

Seat posts come in about 40 diameters. A longer and stronger seat post will allow the seat to higher. There needs to be 3+ inches in the frame so you don't damage the frame. Correct diameter is a must. They come in .2mm increments. I've seen frames ruined when someone tried to hammer in an oversized post. Too small and the seat lug gets crushed. Many have the mm stamped right on them. 1" or 25.4mm is pretty common on gas pipe frames so they might match

A note here on tools. The best first tool to buy is a 2 or 3 mode digital caliper for accurate measurements of bike parts. They will pay for themselves in 1 botched parts order.

Some of the Brooks saddles are taller than others. The B68 is the lowest slung saddle.. The Brooks B135 with the big hair pin springs and double coil springs is a few inches taller so you don't need the longest seat post. Brooks makes many 'wide' saddles. The leather is the same on them but hard ware varies quite a bit. 2 rail clamps, rail clamps, 6 rail clamps. no springs, a simple loop, coil, twisted coil, double coil, the crazy hair pin spring versions. Chrome or black finish. There are some knockoffs for much less $$$.

The electra seat tube is set back several inches from the bb shell. Most bikes have the seat tube going directly to the bb shell. Both bikes have a similar wheel base but with the electra seat tube set back 3-4 inches, that sure gives you more room.
Apr 1, 2014
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So I'm reading the recent comments, then I think (runnin on first cup of coffee, yawn) What bikes the OP cuttin' up? So, back up the thread, thinking thes bikes are nice and how come I missed seeing them before?
THEN the punchine, 2016.
Great advise guys to bad the OP didn't hang around long.
P.S. I wonder how the bike came out.