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Upgrades for the softcruise
[attachment=2569][attachment=2568][attachment=2567][attachment=2566]Upgrades installed on the softcruise bike.
I had been drooling for a front (disc) brake set-up but the springer fork presented some problems. I did find two suppliers for an attaching bracket that allows disc brakes on the springer (popular with the motorized bicycle folks) but the downhill tires were just too wide for the springer forks.
After a long search I found a company that offered threaded (1”) MTB forks for less than a hundred bucks. They’re not pro-quality but very responsive (better so than the springer’s even though that old technology worked fairly well).
I haven’t been appreciated as a customer at bike shops (due to my no-name ride) but was surprised to see my local shop owner get right to work at installing the new fork. I still needed the caliper and brake lever/ cable but he had those items on-hand and I left the shop happy to pay the $80 bucks (parts and labor).
The rake angle is a bit shallower with the new fork but the bike is still very stable at low speeds and more manageable in rough terrain. The modern forks buffer more of the bumps but I’ve found the dual suspension robs power when the bike is cranked off-seat. It’s a fair trade-off since my lower back appreciates not feeling pot holes so much. I also added a new seat that surprised me with a new level of comfort even though it’s a cheap add-on. This doubled my ride time alone.

Weight is this bikes biggest flaw. Steel is tough but heavy. My endurance has increased but it’s clear the softcruise is meant for flat/ beach environment. Had the bike been made from an alloy the cost would have been out of my range but the hills would have been less menacing (the resistance is still a benefit for my cardio anyway).

It may be a tank but it handles rugged terrain like a champ and even capable of tight turns at questionable speeds. A benefit of the tires and change in rake I suppose. The retro styling gets a lot of attention but without the springer fork, half of its personality is lost. This is the trade-off for the modern forks and additional braking power.

In the future I may opt for 3” riser handlebars and perhaps a lay-back seat post but for now I’ll cover as many summer miles as I can.

“Striker, listen, and you listen close: flying a plane is no different than riding a bicycle, just a lot harder to put baseball cards in the spokes.”
Airplane (1980) – Rex Kramer (Robert Stack)

Nice mods! Looks quite a bit different than the original pictures you posted when you first got it. I'm sure you are enjoying it, brand name or not.
HCFR Cycling Team
Ride Safe...Ride Hard...Ride Daily
I like the look of it! Looks a lot different than the original picture you posted, but its good to show individuality in your bikes.
I had wondered what had happened to that bike (and you, too) !!
That's great, SC. A serious case of BADD going on there, bro.
Can you set the rear so that you don't get the 'pogo effect' while pedalling?
Those big, fat, knobbies. BADD. Really. Smile
Wheelies don't pop themselves. (from a QBP fortune cookie)
Thanks to all for the reply's!!!

I've set the rear shock as firm as possible. My 200lbs have the same effect as a pothole when I try to "power pedal" so force is rerouted to the suspension (I believe the front also absorbs some of this effort). I rarely need to power pedal unless I'm crossing a road in a hurry or climbing a hill but its a trade off I can live with. My local bike shop mentioned that I should consider investing in a bike better suited for travel but I'm happy with the S/C. If I had a bike that was super efficient then I would lose some of the workout I need. Once I've worn out the tires I may opt for a set thats "less aggressive" (which will ease some of the power needed to move) but I'll miss the road hugging characteristics of the current tires (which I have yet to lay down the bike even in sharp turns covered in mini-gravel).

In rough terrain the chain guard rattles against the chain so I'm already considering my options for a quality crank with a shield (and dropping the "old school" guard). I'll get advice from the forum folks when its time for the upgrade.

“Striker, listen, and you listen close: flying a plane is no different than riding a bicycle, just a lot harder to put baseball cards in the spokes.”
Airplane (1980) – Rex Kramer (Robert Stack)

There are two kinds of people in the world, "Those who help themselves to people, and those who help people!"
Looks great, although every time I look at that bike, I feel there is something missing on the rear frame from upright post to rear hub, lol.
Sweet ride there!

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