Where to find front end.

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I am not new to bicycles but am starting a new project and could use a quick tip. Here goes; my project starts with a 1960's schwinn 26 inch frame. What I want to end up with is a Krate style bike but big enough for me to fit comfortably and go cruising. My question is this; if I want to use a 20 inch front wheel and a 26 inch rear wheel to retain that hot rod 70's Krate styling, what size of springer front end should I buy? I am afraid that the bike will be off balance from front to back if I use the OEM Krate front end. Any help on the matter will be greatly appreciated. BTW, I saw a pic of a very similar bike on the Ape Hangers only club pics so I know it is possible.
 
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Jiveturkey said:
I am not new to bicycles but am starting a new project and could use a quick tip. Here goes; my project starts with a 1960's schwinn 26 inch frame. What I want to end up with is a Krate style bike but big enough for me to fit comfortably and go cruising. My question is this; if I want to use a 20 inch front wheel and a 26 inch rear wheel to retain that hot rod 70's Krate styling, what size of springer front end should I buy? I am afraid that the bike will be off balance from front to back if I use the OEM Krate front end. Any help on the matter will be greatly appreciated. BTW, I saw a pic of a very similar bike on the Ape Hangers only club pics so I know it is possible.
You would have to use a 26 inch springer fork.
 
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Chimi,

Thanks for the reply. I guess my worry would be that since the 26 fork would be made for the bigger wheel would using a 20 inch wheel drop the front end too much??
 
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think of it this way, if all the parts of the bike are 26 in., and the only part you change is the front wheel/tire, the front end would be dropped down the difference between the 26 in. wheel/tire and the 20 in. wheel/tire.

My guess without measuring them is about 3-6 inches drop with a 20 inch wheel/tire - depending on the tires.
 
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Thanks again guys for the help. I think the 24inch rear idea may be the best way to offset the difference. I appreciate the input.
 
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mikesbikes36 said:
u could go with a 24 out back and a 20 in front ... someone did that here with a yellow lookin krate type bike

i agree. if you wanted to stay with a 26" rear, i think i'd look around for a 22" front. you don't see them too often but they exist, and would be more proportional to a 26" rear.

there'd also be the fork. i think a stingray krate uses a 24" fork, so with a 24" bike a 26" springer fork with the 24"/20" combo works out pretty well proportionally. even if you found a 22" front wheel, there's no springer type fork bigger then 26" (or is there?) to try and keep those proportions..
 
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If you put a 20 inch wheel on the front of an otherwise stock 26 inch bike, it will drop the front by about 3 inches (the difference in radius), and the crank, being about halfway back, by about 1 1/2 inches. If you then put a 24 inch on the back, you'll drop the rear by an inch, and the crank another half. Plus or minus for differing tire "width" #'s or discrepancy of actual sizes, you may (or may not) hit the ground if pedaling through a turn unless you use a smaller "kid's bike" crank. :|
 
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Thanks again everyone you have been a great help. Here is the plan, pretty much what Dr. T described but on a 24 frame instead of a 26. I think that will get me enough clearance for my pedals and a good balance from front to rear. :) I will let you know when I acquire the donor bike. I found one already but it looked like I probably would only be using the bars and frame ($150).. Seems a tad high to me but I have to start somewhere. :)
 
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