Mountain Bike to Beach Cruiser Conversion “FrankenCruzer”

Now that summer is here, I spend less time on the pedal generator and more time on my mountain bike and going for casual rides with family.  I’ve found that the more aggressive forward leaning position of the mountain bike isn’t the most comfortable for just tooling down the canal path or open road when I’m out with the family, so decided to make a beach cruiser of sorts out of an old mountain bike.  The goal was a more comfortable, upright riding position, along with some accessories to allow for a more pleasant and safe family outing. 

The finished product.
The original mountain bike configuration.

To do the conversion from MTB to beach cruzer, I sourced a few items to accomplish this:

  • A cushy bike seat – I chose this Schwinn model, but there are others like Cloud9 or Bikeroo.  
  • Some flat pedals more suitable for flip flops or even bare feet.  I picked up some from the local bike shop, but these Sunlite pedals would be even better for barefoot riding.
  • To get the upright and casual riding position, some wide beach cruiser handlebars are what is needed.  I added  a shorter  stem  as  well.
  • Now to carry a picnic lunch, fleece, bottle of wine or whatever – the basket is just what you need!
  • Safety is always a must, so let people know you are coming up behind them with a little ring of your bell.
  • Ditching the front suspension fork was also in order, no need for that on smooth paved or cinder trails – I found this rigid fork replacement that has mounts for disc brakes and fenders – so perfect!
  • Those mountain bike knobbies are not ideal for the bike path, so I opted for some Schwalbe Fat Franks balloon tires to smooth out the ride.  To make the tires especially flat resistant, I put in come Continental tubes with removable cores, and put Stan’s NoTubes inside the tubes to seal up any thorn leaks or pinch flats.
  • Puddles on the bike path?  No problem, these Planet Bike fenders will keep you dry.

This has been a fun little project, and I feel much more relaxed on family rides, just cruising along with one finger on the handlebars, not a care in the world.

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