John Tolhurst's blog

Choosing a y-frame bike for converting to a Cruzbike Recumbent

Submitted by John Tolhurst on Sat, 18/04/2009 - 3:15

When choosing a bike for the conversion, pay attention to the following notes:

  1. Low cross bar height makes for a comfortable seat position
  2. Traditional style seat clamp fits the Cruzbike Seat support rails
  3. 17" frame, rather than 19" gives a lower centre of gravity
  4. Alloy chainwheel and cranks reduce the weight on the front triangle
  5. 22.2mm (7/8") stem (requires you buy an ahead adapter), or threadless stem 28.6mm
  6. Linear pull V brakes are best, not centre pull or cantilever type
  7. 26" x 1.5" or x 1.25" high pressure road tyres are much much better than knobby tires
  8. Fork leg is aligned with axle, is slightly better than offset, because fork leg has easier clearance to the wheel sprokets
  9. Standard style fork crown - the motorbike style triple clamp is too wide

Will the conversion work on my/this/that mountain bike?

There are hundreds of kinds of mountain bikes out there. Can you find a link that shows a picture of this model? The best place to ask is on our forum, as the collective experience now exceeds our own and we read every post there anyhow. Please post a link to the conversion candidate that interests you in our forum.  We actively participate in the forum like others to be able to see what new conversions are coming through. There are some surprising and wonderful stories there, for doing the conversion and for making special modifications.

What about disc brakes?

Some otherwise-suitable donor bikes come equipped with disc brakes. When you use the front fork adapters to mount the rear wheel on the front, the fork legs occupy the space that the disc would need to operate in. So, unfortunately, disc brakes don't work on a converted bike, at least not on the front. We don't really recommend using discs on the rear alone because they will be hard to balance against front V-brakes or road calipers.

John Tolhurst's blog
mikespenturningz's picture

Cannondale Super V be converted?


John Tolhurst's picture

Here is the place where

Here is the place where answers to such questions are discussed:

schwinnstingrayman's picture

I do need to post a photo of

I do need to post a photo of my cruz bike build I uesed a 12.5" GT aggressor aluminum frame with V brake adaptor on the rear,$44 total with shipping. and 700c rigid fork  as i didn't want shocks on it that would add weight and it is great, I am changing to a striat fork very soon and that will help line up the brackets at the front better.I tell every one about, I will build your Cruz bike at reasonable cost here in the Greater Sacramento area.

Marklacour's picture

I'm considering the following

I'm considering the following donor bikes.
Please let me know if they will work with your conversion kit and if you have a preference between the 2.  Any other feedback would be appreciated.

From Wal-Mart:
Mongoose XR-75 26" Men's All-Terrain Bike.  Details can be found here:

There is a ladies version of this bike that has a lower cross bar.

Another choice from Wal Mart:
NEXT 26" Men's Power Climber Bike

cmcherry's picture

I have an 'OLD' Schwinn High

I have an 'OLD' Schwinn High Plains Mountain Bike ('girls' with low bar) from the 1990's. I'm toying with converting it although it has no suspension and I'll need to get new tires. Comments?

Kevinosbern's picture

Oh, was that really possible

Oh, was that really possible to convert a Y-frame bicycle into a Cruzbike? I thought, one would need to buy such a bike as stock. But this sounds like great idea, as it would leave out so many options to us in the whole design.
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