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Sunday, December 14, 2014

A Cruzbike

Fitting a Cruzbike Kit....

to a Ladies "Ricardo" Bike

and learning to ride it in the street.
The bike conversion needed a custom headset like this one if the bike doesn't have a standard 1 1/8" threadless headset.  I managed to make the half painted blue one from bits in the shed.


In the last month or so I've been putting together a Cruzbike kit which I swapped with an acquaintance for some bike parts.  It started with buying a $30.00 ebay bike from a neighbouring suburb and then slowly reconfiguring it using the kit bits.

The kit has 3 parts to let you modify a standard bike.  In order of increasing complexity,
  •  a long axle with spacers lets you fit a front wheel where the back wheel was.
  • the standard bike seat is replaced by a larger 2 part recumbent seat.
  • The steerer assembly and front wheel mount get adapters to mount a higher steerer, a pedal assembly, a derailleur and the back wheel.
  All these parts act and can be installed indepedently, and you can come up with your own versions of the modifications.

Naturally what bike you start with determines what it ends up like.  Generally the lower and further back the seat is mounted relative to the front wheel, the faster the bike will go.  Leaning the seat back helps the bike go faster as well.  You can look at the cruzbike web page   (click on bikes) and the bikes run down the page from fastest to slowest. There is a plethora of Cruzbike conversion pictures on the internet here, and its interesting to see what people have done with the kit. As well,  I made another bike of this type 2 years ago. 

Even though its not really finished, the Cruzbike has been fun to ride around the block.  When you ride, you have to use your arms to push back on the steering a bit to counter the leg force.  Its sorta good to learn this technique, which exercises the arms as well as the legs and is said to improve hill climbing.  The bikes are moving bottom bracket front wheel drive machines.  Its a fairly unique bike style and Cruzbike seem to be the only mob promoting it commercially.  (There are prototype commercial  and guided self-build versions.)

 I'll keep tinkering with the Cruzbike kit (which may still be available but are no longer in production) and hope to come up with a faster version.  Its already been great fun building up the bike I've made!

For a really broad view of what moving bottom bracket bikes can look like, have a look at this link.  For sheer differentness though, you can't go past some of the creations of Sergei Zemin: scroll down this page a bit to have a look.

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