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  1. #1
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Jan 2007
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    Old road bike... convert to a cruiser... 'lil help please

    My 21 year old daughter suddenly gained interest in riding. She bought a lead-tubed cruiser at a yard sale but soon caught on that riding a 55# bike ain't no fun.
    I have a my wife's old Austro-Daimler I would like to convert to a trendy street bike for her but don't even know where to start or if indeed this is even possible.
    The question is, what do I need... bars and stem obviously but what about the drive train?
    I know this is a very broad question but I would really like to do this for her for all of the support she is giving me as I recover from having a HUGE Abdominal aortic aneurysm.

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: JCavilia's Avatar
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    Sep 2005
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    11,790
    First of all, best of luck on the recovery from the triple-A. Scary stuff (killed my father).

    On the bike, not sure what you mean by "trendy street cruiser," but I assume you mean upright or straight bar, and single-speed drivetrain. If so, what you need depends in part on how old the bike is. I'm guessing it's old enough to have a thread-on freewheel, rather than the freehub and cassette of modern bikes. If so, SS conversion is pretty easy. Thread off old freewheel, thread on SS freewheel, remove one chainring, shorten chain. It's possible you'll have to re-space the axle to get a good chainline, which means re-dishing the wheel, but that's not as hard as it sounds.

    This might be helpful:
    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/singlespeed.html

  3. #3
    Cumudgitude
    Reputation: UrbanPrimitive's Avatar
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    Jun 2009
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    JCavilia covered it pretty well. It's really just a question of how much money you want to put into it and what areas of the bike build are your priorities. The easiest single-speed conversion is to take the chain out of the derailleur and shorten it until it loops around a chainring and one cog. Done. Most people looking for a trendy street bike aren't going to be too happy with the look of a rear derailleur hanging out in space.

    You know, I had written this really in depth response that meandered on and on. Then I re-read Sheldon's article. Follow the link. You'll be glad you did.

  4. #4
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: ukiahb's Avatar
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    Jan 2003
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    would only add that AD's are really nice bikes and well worth fixing up...had mine built as a fixed gear for awhile then set it up for loaded touring and it works great for that
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Old road bike... convert to a cruiser... 'lil help please-crowe1.jpg  

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