There is no real difference between mountain bike frames and cruise frames other than aesthetics. Cruisers are known for their balloon tires, and their relaxed sitting position. Mountain bikes are known for their knobby tires and aggressive flat sitting position. By addressing these two factors, you can turn a mountain bike into a bike that performs exactly like a cruiser. It might not look the same, but it will handle the same.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Utility knife
- 4mm hex wrench, (Allen wrench)
- High-rise handlebars
- Cruiser hand grips
- Bike stand
- Tire levers
- Balloon tires
Cut the handgrips off the mountain bike handlebars with a utility knife and discard them.
Loosen the brake and gear lever clamps with a 4mm hex wrench and slide them off the handlebars. Let them hang by the cables.
Remove two bolts from the front of the handlebars using a 4mm hex wrench. There is a small plate that will come off revealing a notch that the handlebars sit in. When it comes off, pull the handlebars straight out and off. Insert the high-rise handlebars into the notch. Put the plate back on and tighten.
Slide the brake and gear levers on the handlebars. Position them where you like them best and tighten the clamps. Slide on the new handgrips.
Put the bike in a bike stand and take off both wheels. Remove the tires and tubes from the wheels using your tire levers.
Put the tubes and balloon tires on the wheels. Put the wheels back on the bike.
Tips and warnings
- It's not necessary, but to get the look of a cruiser, you can also add an extra wide seat. But be aware that this will decrease the efficiency of your bike. And don't worry about the front end shocks, they don't need to be changed.
- Check your brake and gear cable length. Don't buy extremely high handlebars if you don't have enough slack in the cables.
- Make sure to get the right size tires. Mountain and cruisers both use 26 inch tires, but mountain bike tires are only 2 inches wide. Balloon tires are 3 inches wide, but will fit on mountain bike rims. The tubes from the mountain bike tires will work fine in the balloon tires.