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BBSHD on an Electra Cruiser

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    My Electra 7D Lux is not the best shifting bike and I feel I should have a slightly taller gear. I bought this bike for $250 from a bike shop. It is an older model so it is technically not a 7D Lux but it has an aluminum frame and the fenders are a nice touch. I was told that the bike got lost in the back of a container and a with a pile of used bikes on top of it. That looked like it could be true so I bought it took it home pumped up the tires and took it for a ride.

    It rode OK but shifted awful and the chain was rubbing on the tire. Back at my barn I realized that the derailleur tab was bent and on closer inspection the rear dropout was bent. Now I knew why it was in the back of the container. I used some of my press and puller tools to straighten the dropout and put the bike together. Shifting was still iffy.

    The original freewheel was a Shimano mega-range with the following sprockets 14-16-18-20-22-24-34. I replaced this with a Shimano 14-16-18-20-22-24-28. It wasn't much different but it shifted better or I was getting better at adjusting the derailleur. I still needed a taller gear and found this online.

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    This is an Epoch freewheel with 11-13-15-18-21-24-30. I had found that on my rides I was using 4 through 7 with my gearing and 4th is little to low. The Epoch freewheel came in yesterday and while I had the bike on the rack I cleaned and lubed the axle bearings and stole the derailleur from my Specialized road bike.

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    The reviews on this derailleur aren't the greatest but it is a couple of steps up from what Electra uses stock. This was a huge upgrade for me. second and third are to low but good for hay fields or rougher but flat walking paths. At 67 I am not by any means a mountain biker. Forth, the 18 tooth sprocket is a perfect for starting off and the top 3 gears are all I use on the bike path and roads around here. The 11 tooth sprocket will give me 20 mph at quick but not crazy cadence. 20 mph is what I feel is the top "comfortable" speed for my bike.

    Oh and that derailleur switch was brilliant! Shifting is smooth and precise and all thoughts of a Sram dual drive or an IGH are gone, for now. BTW I have a 42 tooth chain ring on the BBSHD.

    I hope this wasn't boring but I thought it was important to record what certain tooth counts will give you for relaxed Cruiser rides with a BBSHD. It would have been a good read for me before the build as I could have saved $25 on the second freewheel.

    That will be all of the mods for a while because disc brakes will require a new hubs and relacing the rims..........unless I can scrounge up something.........calfee


      HAH! There's always something. I refuse to list all the upgrades in fear of Madame Sheriff seeing the list.


        I have had NO Madame Sheriff for 25+ years.


          I almost broke down the other day. I was riding hard to get home because of the rain and all at once the chain started jumping and slipping. I thought it was the new free wheel but after I limped home and got it on the stand I found a bent over chain wheel tooth. I cut the tip off and filed the burrs. Back in business but I guess I will have to get an Eclipse chain ring.


            My latest mod. I made a mud flap.........try not to laugh. I got into junk on the bike path and the bobbed rear fender kicked up a bunch of stuff onto the underside of the battery. So I made this up and it cost zero. I love it when scrounging pays off.

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            I put that strip of aluminum on to give it shape. Well I can't go back because of the holes in the fender.


              Nice! Well done!


                I agree...well done, sir!
                Last edited by spinningmagnets; 07-12-2016, 06:03 PM. Reason: spelling sue to whiskey-osis


                  I went out today after a rain and traveled on one muddy clay road. The rear flap worked perfectly. Not a spec of mud under the battery or anywhere in the back. Plenty got kicked up by the front wheel however. Mostly the motor unit and front tube got mucked up. I will have to make a front one soon but smaller because the front fender has better coverage than the rear.


                    I can't seem to leave the bike alone. I decided to install a water bottle bracket but there were no threaded holes in the frame. I installed 2 with a rivnut tool that I used in my automotive days.
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                    I just Click image for larger version

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                    I had to put some aluminum spacers under the bracket because of the curve of the tube. Those spacers went under the speakers of an old Honda Civic. I have been hoarding them for 30 that scares the crap out of me.

                    Last edited by calfee20; 08-10-2016, 04:49 AM.


                      In post number 46 I talked about an epoch freewheel that I installed along with a Shimino 8 speed trigger shifter. Well that was a disaster. I had shifting problems that kept getting worse. I was blaming the 8 spd shifter that didn't match the 7 spd freewheel but it turned out to be a bad freewheel. The #6 sprocket had a wobble in it and when I was in 7th it was always trying to climb into 6th.

                      I reinstalled one of my Shimano freewheels and everything was nice except for my top speed which leads to the next post.


                        Back in post #32 I talked about a Sram Dual drive but I decided to go with a Sturmey-Archer instead. I got the hub for less than $100 and it had the small parts kit. I don't know if I was supposed to get the small parts kit but I was happy. The SA hub is supposed to work with 3 spd front derailleur shifters so I will use the one from an older bike. I got an Alec DX-32 rim and some triple butted spokes and assembled the rear wheel.
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                        Last edited by calfee20; 08-09-2016, 06:46 AM.


                          To use my Shimano trigger shifters I installed the magnetic reed switches that Luna sells. They have nice long leads too.
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                          Here it is installed on the backside of my Shimano 3 spd trigger shifter (note the magnet on the brake cable)
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                          With the switches mounted as shown just taking up the slack in the brake levers will kill the motor.

                          Electra has a few brackets under the down tube to hold the derailleur shift cable and housing. There was enough room in there to run another cable for the 3 spd hub.

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                          After I was done building the wheel I couldn't find a spoke protector so I decided to use the number one cog as one. There is no way I would need this much gearing in the bike anyway so I adjusted the derailleur to stop at cog 2.

                          Last edited by calfee20; 08-10-2016, 05:03 AM.


                            Well that is all for now. I can't think of anything else to do.............but I saw this on a youtube video.

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                            Note the battery under the rack. I was at my LABS looking at bike racks but none were wide enough. I will have to go where they sell touring supplies. But aside from that what do I need.........headlight, taillight. How about breaking into the harness and pulling a signal off the brake levers to operate a brake light hhhhuuummmmmmm.


                              I have been thinking of adding a battery to add to my range. I am thinking of a Mighty Mini as a kind of reserve tank for my cruiser. A Topeak under seat bag fits kind of neat on my cantilever frame. Here is one that is a size to small. They do make one that will fit a Mini

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                              I really want to do this but it will have to wait because I have ordered a new rack to hold my 52 volt slim line and I am running out of money. To bad we have to pay real estate tax.......rats.


                                Eric has requested some info on rides that we go on so I will start with a very basic one. There is a short but very nice path in my home town of Fairhaven MA. Sometimes I think it is the only thing they have done right. We have been waiting for years for Mattapoisett to connect up. When they do maybe Marion and Wareham will follow suit. Here are a couple of snips from "ridewithgps" if you haven't been there you should check it out. Click image for larger version

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                                There is a little spur here that the map does not register. Click image for larger version

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                                It is a very good stopping place and you frequently get it to yourself. There is also a bench so it is a good place to take break.

                                Here are a couple of shots from an old stone pier that goes back to at least before WW2. It could be older but I don't want to be caught lying Click image for larger version

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                                This is looking south from Little Bay. It opens into Buzzard's Bay and if you could see it Martha's Vineyard would be on the horizon with our fearless leader playing golf.

                                Finally a view to the East........I hope this isn't boring. Click image for larger version

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                                That is all for now I will be back with a write up of some bike paths on Cape Cod.
                                Last edited by calfee20; 09-10-2016, 09:22 PM.