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Bicycles

Cruzbike… Protecting What-Whats since 2009

For my birthday this year I decided I was finally going to get the bike I’ve always wanted. This bike first popped up on my radar about 3-4 years ago and I never thought I’d actually own one because they’re pretty expensive, starting at $1200. It’s a Cruzbike. I’ve seen videos on YouTube and they look like they’re super comfortable and fun to ride, but that price was just something I couldn’t swallow for recreational exercise.

[youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yzxDKo9-f4Q&w=640]

softrider

Then earlier this year I realized they have a conversion kit on their website. It’s about a 1/3 the cost of a complete bike. So I began search Craigslist and eBay for a suitable donor bike. It wasn’t easy because the top tube should ideally be no higher than the rear tire. It should be 26″, have suspension components, and threadless headset. I was striking out pretty much every week, then I noticed in the corner of my garage that I had almost all the requirements met in my Giant Suede hybrid bike that my wife bought me for my birthday almost 5 years ago!

Doctor, the donor is ready!

So I ordered the conversion kit and a few other needed pieces to make the swap. I wasn’t as easy as I thought it was going to be. Thankfully I had the necessary bike tools from Park to remove the crank arms and bottom bracket. I also had to visit a few of the local bike shops which was kinda neat to get a new seat post and shim. As time allowed, I was able to work on it and a week later I have a finished Cruzbike!

Completed Cruzbike conversion!

Riding a Cruzbike is almost like learning to ride a bike all over again! Moving the bottom bracket and crankset over the front wheel makes it very “floppy.” My bike is also now front-wheel-drive which feels very weird. As you push down on one pedal, it kinda pushes the front wheel in the opposite direction. I practically spilled the bike when trying to turn around at the end of the street.

After about 15 minutes, I was really starting to get the hang of it. I put my new toy back in the garage that night and the next day I decided to move the chain to the biggest chain ring up front and tighten up the brakes. I was going to do a speed test the next time I took it out for a spin! So I fired up Endomondo on my iPhone and did a quick 5 minute ride around the block. According the the app, my top speed was 25 mph!

 

That’s a lot faster than I’ve ever been on any other bike on flat ground. I need to hook up my cyclometer tomorrow night, calibrate it, and take it for another spin. ¬†After the speed test, I must’ve ridden the bike around my neighborhood for about an hour, probably with a goofy grin on my face the whole time.

Now that I know I’m really going to enjoy this bike, I think I’m going to save up for an official Cruzbike frame and maybe switch out the wheels and tires for some 700C road wheels to get even more speed. My ultimate goal is to get comfortable enough on the bike and strong enough that I could do some cross-country touring, like riding the Great Allegheny Passage (the GAP) next spring/summer.

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