Innovative suspension cruiser bicycle/frame, custom designed and built in Southern California by Cycles U.S. Read more
This project was successfully funded on August 16, 2012.
About this project
We want to continue to get people off the couch, away from computers, video games and smart phones and get families riding bikes again! Our frame/bicycle is designed to get taller/larger riders onto a bike that not only fits them correctly, but is a blast to ride and even better to be seen on (and if you are above 5'5" you can ride it too!). I have spent quite a bit of time and money researching, developing and prototyping what I think is the ultimate bicycle design for this purpose – I call it the Cruisers U.S. Suspension Cruiser. Through working with our friends, fans and enthusiasts on Kickstarter you can be a part of helping us build this frame/bicycle and get it into the hands of riders. The funds raised will be used to prepare tooling and jigs, purchase raw materials, buy machine time and to fabricate 100 limited edition frames.
And by pledging you can play a role in getting these on the road. And at higher pledge levels, we can even provide one-of-a -kind unique versions of the frame to express your personality! We hope this gives us the start to produce more of these down the road and thank everyone in advance for their support.
DEVELOPMENT OF THE CRUISERS U.S. SUSPENSION CRUISER FRAME
A couple of years ago, when I couldn’t find a comfort bicycle frame in the market that was built to a high quality standard, looked cool, fit my riding needs and physical size, I embarked on a design project to build the ultimate cruiser bicycle frame. Starting with a blank sheet of paper I studied popular stretch, limo and classic designs, from vintage to contemporary, and spent countless hours sketching general frame designs. I worked through numerous iterations, working and re-working the design until it was exactly what I wanted. Then, I began drawing and prototyping each detail, often working for endless hours to get each frame component just right. Once hand sketches were completed I moved into the computer, working each area in full size, giving careful consideration to find the balance between components scaled to fit larger riders and the universal standards that exist in the market, and then printing each out to get a feel for the final product before we started even bending or cutting any tubing. Along the way I made sure that the scale of each component or section not only worked on its own, but also as a part of the overall frame as a whole. And since this was a cruiser, it had to be comfortable to ride, so suspension, the ability to accommodate wide wheels (those of you already into cruisers know this is a rapidly growing trend), and a relaxed riding position for legs/feet, arms/hands, back, etc. were all crucial to the design. And while function was important, in the end this was a true creative statement – I wanted the design to be something that stopped people in their tracks.
Working with a friend who owned a machine shop and another who fabricated motorcycle frames, we were able to prototype the frame/bicycle you see here – an American inspired, designed and built classic cruiser on steroids, and the only true suspension cruiser frame design that combines strength, function and beauty. Something I call the Cruisers U.S. suspension cruiser.
I carried the prototype frame and bicycle to Interbike, the largest bicycle trade show in the U.S. and it got rave reviews. People clamored around it telling me it was the coolest thing they had ever seen and that I had to put it into production. And although I had good industry contacts in my circle of friends (like Gary Turner, founder of GT Bicycles who also encouraged me and shared many key industry suppliers and contacts with me over the years), was not concerned about finding the right suppliers and getting the frame produced, (not to mention hundreds of people asking me to make them one), our existing bicycle parts and accessory business is relatively small and supporting putting a new frame/bike design into production can be very expensive (tooling, materials, labor, transport, etc.). That is until we found Kickstarter and realized we could put the power of building a limited release of these frames in the hands of our friends, fans and other enthusiasts.
As a side note, after a great amount of R+D and a number of iterations, we have only produced 4 final sample frames in our prototype run – 2 of which have been road tested for endless miles by myself and a friend, and I am proud to say they look and function today as well as the day I built them. One was stolen – someone broke the glass on my shop door in the middle of the night, and with the alarm blaring, dragged it through the glass shards and road off into the night. And the fourth one is still in its “raw” state, ready to be used as a sample for putting the frame into a limited run.
CRUISERS U.S. SUSPENSION FRAME FEATURES
I was successful with the prototypes in that anyone who has seen them does indeed stop in their tracks. Not because it is a way out, crazy design, but I believe because, if I do say so myself, it is a work of art, asking to be engaged and ridden. And the design has so many features that make sense and work together. It’s gentle, flowing curves and long list of, in some cases, new to the world (or at least cruiser world) features, really make this frame look (and ride) like the high end luxury car of the cruiser bike industry. And everyone that rides it doesn’t want to stop!
Here are some of the features I have built into the design:
- Classic cruiser stretched design with pedal forward bottom bracket accommodates taller riders and gives a super comfortable riding “stance” – as opposed to normal frames where the pedals are directly beneath you, by having the pedals in front, you use both your leg and back muscles to ride while in an almost reclining position
- Sweeping design of top tube that provides a clean, smooth line from the front of the bike to end
- Oversized tubing, tig welding, ¼” laser cut plate all make the frame super strong. Incorporates rear “swing arm” style suspension, popular on motorcycles, but the first time used on bicycles. The mono-shock’s tension is fully adjustable based on rider weight and stiffness of ride desired
- Top bosses for attaching accessories, such as cell phones, MP3’s, etc.
- Seat tube bosses accommodate a drink holder (for your Starbucks or wheat grass)
- Custom rear axle blocks with engraved covers provide a cleaner look on the back of the frame; Rear opennig is designed to accept multi-gear internal hubs and wide wheels
- Tubing ends are finished with threaded inserts to accept custom billet caps in a variety of styles (I’ve also got some cool ideas for lighting on the drawing board too)- Multiple brake options including coaster, roller and disc mounts, all built in
- Popular size 1-1/8” head tube accommodates our standard, triple tree or even a springer fork to make the frame “full” suspension
- Removable tank plates, framed by twin curved top tubes, provide a great canvas for customizing the frame and changing the look of the bike to suit the owner’s personality
- Excellent platform for motorizing due to its strength and open frame design
- Special, limited edition metal embossed head badge
- This design uses a custom chain tensioner to keep the chain functioning properly as the frame’s suspension flexes (although if we go into production as a result of this project, we have been thinking about replacing that with a jack shaft)
- Rack and fender mounts, compatible with suspension feature are also included
CRUISERS U.S. SUSPENSION COMPLETE BICYCLE FEATURES
While the components for the complete bicycle are all universal fit and can be customized to suit the rider’s needs, here is the basic list of components we like to use to accompany the frame when building a the Cruisers U.S. frame into a complete bicycle:
- Super Fat anodized wheelset with stainless steel spokes and Shimano internal 8 speed rear hub with roller brake
- Matching, wide 26” Kenda flame tires (3” in rear and 2.125” in front)
- Diamond stitched retro hairpin style addle with chrome rear springs and rail with chrome plated seatpost (layback post also available)
- Billet seat clamp
- Show chrome plated front fork with polished and engraved billet triple trees and engraved trim caps
- Oversize chrome plated round cruiser handlebar
- Leather stitched hand grips
- Integrated Shimano brake lever and twist shifter
- Billet 4 bolt handlebar stem and spacer
- Oversize, heavy duty, chrome plated headset
- Oversize American crank set with polished arms and stamped, polished chainring (many designs available)
- Alloy platform pedals with rubber inserts for beach riding (i.e. barefoot, sandals, etc.)
- Removable music station including docking kit, speaker, amplifier and inserts to fit a variety of popular MP3 players
- Removable cell phone carrier and docking kit
- Stainless steel insulated mug with logo and aluminum holder
- 650 lb. adjustable mono shock
- Nickel plated drive chain
- Custom chain tensioner
- Durable 2 step powder coated finish on frame components
- Revolutionary photographic process steel tank plates – everyone swears the plates are wood, but they are actually durable powder coated steel!
- Machined billet end caps on tubing ends and cover plates with engraved logos on rear hidden dropouts
- Black finish retro bullet light with rocker switch and high beam
- Alloy valve caps
- We are also working on a line of fenders, racks and other cool custom accessories
- Additional options are available and only limited by your imagination
Will the Cruisers U.S. Suspension Cruiser be available after your Kickstarter project ends?Yes! If successfully funded we will be producing enough frames to sell them through our distribution partner, Cycles U.S. You can contact them at 1-866-946-5888 or online at www.cyclesus.com.
What size rider will the frame accommodate?
The Cruisers U.S. Suspension Cruiser is meant for taller/larger riders. It can accommodate riders from 5’6” to 6’5” and taller. The frame can also handle heavier riders as long as quality components are used in the final bicycle build. In our complete bikes, we make sure all of the components are designed for this purpose.
What options are available?
Please see the various pledge rewards categories for details.
I have special needs - can you build a frame just for me?
Let us know what you are looking for and if it is a simple modification of the current frame design we might be able to accommodate your request. This project does not cover, nor are we in a position to offer, completely custom frames at this time – sorry!
Can you ship outside the U.S.?The short answer is yes! Since the frameset can be broken down into 2 parts (the frame and the swingarm) is qualifies for shipping via postal service - please contact us for details.
While actual costs can vary by location, shipping a frame via the USPS postal service will cost approximately $200 (2 large boxes) and a bicycle can be shipped for about $300-350 (3+ boxes). If air freight is required or preferred, then we estimate the costs for shipping everything in one single box would be about $500 for a complete bike. All prices are in U.S. dollars and are estimates. We work with all major carriers and charge only the actual shipping charges - we do not mark up shipping costs.
I don't have a bike shop or rental business but I want to team up with my friends and buy the 5 bike package - is this OK?
Absolutely! Although the $3500 pledge category was designed for people who would re-sell or rent the bikes, this category is really about people who can purchase the bikes in quantity and reap the benefits of extra savings any way they wish!
What will the retail price point be once the Kickstarter project is complete and they are sold through Cycles U.S.?
The price point will be close to the $1350 listed in the Kickstarter rewards for the fully loaded model as shown - 8 speed, roller brake, wide wheels, suspension, music station, etc. If we get funded through this project we will be building enough frames for 100 bikes, many of which will likely be used as rewards for our kickstarter patrons. So if you are interested I would respectfully encourage you to jump on board now!
Pledge $5 or more
Along with our sincere thanks and appreciation, you receive a cool sticker with the Cruisers U.S. logo including shipping to your door. Put it on your car, toolbox, desk, computer, etc. to show the world you love cycling! (Pledges outside the continental U.S. please add $1 for shipping to your pledge amount)Estimated delivery:
Pledge $25 or more
Along with our sincere thanks and appreciation, you get a Cruisers U.S. logo tee shirt in your choice of sizes, and of course, big sizes are available! Includes shipping in the continental U.S. Please specify your size needed. Adult sizes only. (Pledges outside the continental U.S. please add $20 for shipping to your pledge amount).Estimated delivery:
Pledge $50 or more
Along with our sincere thanks and appreciation, we will send you a stainless steel Cruisers U.S. travel mug and holder for your bike. Fits standard water bottle bosses. Great way to bring your Starbucks with you when riding! (Pledges outside the continental U.S. please add $20 for shipping to your pledge amount).Estimated delivery:
Pledge $100 or more
Along with our sincere thanks and appreciation, you get all three of the above rewards! (Pledges outside the continental U.S. please add $20 for shipping to your pledge amount).Estimated delivery:
Pledge $500 or more
Along with our sincere thanks and appreciation, you will receive one of the first Cruisers U.S. Suspension Cruiser frames to roll off the line. These frames are sent in a raw (unpainted) finish, ready for you to paint or powder coat any way you want. Includes shipping to the continental U.S. or pickup in our So Cal location. (Pledges outside the continental U.S. please contact us before pledging to discuss shipping costs).Estimated delivery:
Pledge $1,350 or more
Along with our sincere thanks and appreciation, you get a complete Cruisers U.S. Suspension Cruiser bicycle, along with all the components shown in the photos above including wide wheels, 8 speed internal gearing, chrome triple tree fork, and a standard powder coated finish (when shipping, some assembly will be required). Amount includes shipping to the continental U.S. or pickup in our So Cal location. (Pledges outside the continental U.S. please contact us before pledging to discuss shipping costs).Estimated delivery:
Pledge $2,500 or more
0 backers Limited (10 left of 10)
Along with our sincere thanks and appreciation, we will send you the sticker, t-shirt, stainless mug and holder and a complete Cruisers U.S. Suspension Cruiser bicycle as described above, but in your choice of any custom color frame and with custom graphics too. We can personalize the bike to match your business, a theme, etc. and include your logo, name or whatever you have in mind. And we upgrade the gearing to an infinite gearing planetary drive Nuvinci hub too! Amount includes shipping to the continental U.S. or pickup in our So Cal location. (Pledges outside the continental U.S. please contact us before pledging to discuss shipping costs).Estimated delivery:
Pledge $3,500 or more
Do you have a bike rental business or are you thinking about starting one? Do you own a bike shop and are always looking for hot new bikes to carry? Our bicycle is the perfect combination of what the wholesale and rental industries want – attractive, fun to ride, easy to ride, super strong, can accommodate a broad range of riders, etc. And since we have had a bunch of inquiries from both bike dealers and rental businesses we thought we would put together a special package deal for those companies. For your pledge you get a fleet of five (5) complete Cycles U.S. Suspension Cruisers with the eight speed Nexus hub system and all of the features described above. That’s only $700 per bike – that’s $650 off the normal retail price. But this special offer is only available to those interested in buying a minimum of five (5) bikes at once. And we’ll even send you some stickers, shirts and mugs to promote the line too! Please feel free to contact us with any questions.Estimated delivery:
- (30 days)