Help me pick out a bike for my 15 year old

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videoranger

Wore out three sets of tires already!
a schwinn cruiser 7 might be a good choice with nexus multi speed hub and coaster brakes. They have a rather low stand over height and are a fun ride.
1599236


well worth looking for one.
 
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mrg

Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe
The plates/shoulder bolts are correct but definitely missing the 2 sleeves that go over the axle ( rides up & down in those slots ), unfortunately people leave them on the axle/rim, depending on year there are other parts/washers so if you search here you can probably find a breakdown/pics.
 

ozzie

Wore out three sets of tires already!
I like all the late model shimano geared hubs. The 7 speed is harder to find and the coaster brake on them is weak compared to the 3 speed so you would need a front brake. The 4 speed is not easy to find as are shifters and parts for them. Fortunately all these hubs are well made and seem to do lots of miles with minimal maintenance.

Some of the 3 speed nexus hubs have 127mm wide spacing. Most steel frames can be widened easily to fit any of the geared hubs. Check out how to do it on the Sheldon Brown site.

Buying or building a set of wheels with a geared hub can be expensive. Look for a cheap barely used Schwinn or Electra ladies bike. I have bought them for as little as $30 with 3 speed nexus wheel sets and most were barely ridden. Never had a dud one either.

Also look for a bike with a natural alloy finish wheel set as a painted rim with a front brake can squeal.

These are some of the bikes I have bought for their wheel sets and a few bikes I have built.

Your kid is going to be the coolest kid on the block with that Rollfast!
1599666

Built this one with a 3 speed wheel set which cost $40

1599667

Old electra bought for $60 for the rare 4 speed nexus, like new.
1599668

Used the 4 speed nexus wheel set from the above bike on this trek cruiser.
1599670

68 Typhoon with 7 speed/Araya wheel set. I purchased the wheel set for $10 on facebook marketplace!

1599675



Another cheap lady’s electra i just bought for USD$30/Aussie$$50 for the 3 speed wheel set. Look at the front wheel to see if they have marks from the pads. The front wheel on this one is like new, a sign it was barely ridden.
1599695

My 51 Panther with a wheel set from a late model Schwinn heavy duti. No gears but the wheel set has a Shimano coaster with thick 12ga stainless spokes.
 
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Rivnut

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Google Rollfast bicycle springer fork a d look at some images as to how it's assembled and you'll see where the plates go and you'll see how the missing parts described allow the ankle to move in the springer bracket. The way it's sitting now, there is no spring in the springer.
 

Late To The Party

Look Ma, No Hands!
I like all the late model shimano geared hubs. The 7 speed is harder to find and the coaster brake on them is weak compared to the 3 speed so you would need a front brake. The 4 speed is not easy to find as are shifters and parts for them. Fortunately all these hubs are well made and seem to do lots of miles with minimal maintenance.

Some of the 3 speed nexus hubs have 127mm wide spacing. Most steel frames can be widened easily to fit any of the geared hubs. Check out how to do it on the Sheldon Brown site.

Buying or building a set of wheels with a geared hub can be expensive. Look for a cheap barely used Schwinn or Electra ladies bike. I have bought them for as little as $30 with 3 speed nexus wheel sets and most were barely ridden. Never had a dud one either.

Also look for a bike with a natural alloy finish wheel set as a painted rim with a front brake can squeal.

These are some of the bikes I have bought for their wheel sets and a few bikes I have built.

Your kid is going to be the coolest kid on the block with that Rollfast!
View attachment 1599666
Built this one with a 3 speed wheel set which cost $40

View attachment 1599667
Old electra bought for $60 for the rare 4 speed nexus, like new.
View attachment 1599668
Used the 4 speed nexus wheel set from the above bike on this trek cruiser.
View attachment 1599670
68 Typhoon with 7 speed/Araya wheel set. I purchased the wheel set for $10 on facebook marketplace!

View attachment 1599675


Another cheap lady’s electra i just bought for USD$30/Aussie$$50 for the 3 speed wheel set. Look at the front wheel to see if they have marks from the pads. The front wheel on this one is like new, a sign it was barely ridden.
View attachment 1599695
My 51 Panther with a wheel set from a late model Schwinn heavy duti. No gears but the wheel set has a Shimano coaster with thick 12ga stainless spokes.


This is very helpful. Knowing which parts bikes to look for makes the search so much easier! Nothing close on MP yet but I will keep looking and my search list is getting longer.

Lots of great looking rides posted up so far. I am very appreciative of everyone's help.

I have figured out the missing fork bushing/spacers from an old thread on here. They look simple enough to make from round stock. I do not have a lathe or anything but I do have a drill press and with some fixtures, files and bits and cutoff wheels I can get close enough.
 

PCHiggin

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Have you looked at Electra? It's still a cruiser, and affordable. At sub $1k, relatively cheap to buy, but they are solid (I owned one). Availability might be a problem, but if you have a Trek dealership in your area, give a call.

Edit: Another thing to think about is that the Nexus coaster hub on the above bike could be adapted to any frame with a 135mm dropout spacing, by using a tensioner idler gear to take up the chain slack. So since you're willing to tinker, but are short on time, you could pick up a decent used (or new) quality steel bike (thinking Rivendell, Surly, Handsome, All City), and retrofit. In fact, I think Handsome already offers Nexus, with adjustable drop outs. So you can swap to the coaster hub, and forget the idler. Obviously if wheel building isn't your thing, hand this over to a shop, and DIY the rest.
I bought the bride a new Electra Hawaii coaster brake back in ‘12. Very solid and comfy bike. I should have bought the Nexus hub version, Well worth the extra money.
 

ozzie

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Would an older 70's bike like this work for parts or should I hold out for a newer model? This one is is listed as a 3 speed Murray on MP not too far away for $75View attachment 1599749
Sorry, I don’t know anything about that bike.

I would try to find a cheap late model electra or schwinn with at least a 3 speed hub. They have lighter alloy rims and would make the bike easier to ride.
 
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