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Now I don't want to take all the credit for this bike, but I'm pretty sure Trek must've lovingly had me in mind when they made this. I mean come on. This bike is awesome. Buying their beach cruiser was one of the best decisions I've ever made. Now I've got my eye on this puppy.

So speaking of the beach cruiser, I really liked that it braked when you pedaled backward. I also liked the single gear splendor. I'd rather be climbing in a single gear at 3mph than zooming past all the ladies in top gear. More time to ask them whether you're supposed to floss before or after you brush. Just kidding. But seriously. The answer is after.

Back on point, can you modify a bike to be single gear and do that backward pedal brake thing? Think Trek would do this for me if I requested it with my order? How hard is it going to be to custom mod my rig with tools and stuff?

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

The desired conversion is possible, but maybe Trek won't do it as a "default" service. You could consider going to the local bike shop and trade some of the bike parts (specially the gearing system) for a coaster brake wheel.

If your bike is like the one in the photo, you need to replace the rear hub, and get rid of the cogset, the derailer and the twist-shifter. You can do this at home if you have some mechanical skils, but replacing the hub and relacing the spokes is not very simple.

And if you're so chatty with the lovely ladies as you are when asking questions on the internet, they sure get a lot of talk! ;o)

EDIT: As Freiheit has correctly pointed, when you put a single cog and get rid of the derailer, something must be added to compensate for the almost inevitable chain slack. I suggest a tensioner like this, of DMR brand (with a bolt, to be placed in a fixed position, not a spring):

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MORE EDIT!!!! As people correctly pointed out, you CANNOT use a chain tensioner if you use a coaster brake. So the solutions are:

  • Use a chain tensioner but not a coaster brake;
  • Choose a magic combination of chainring and cog size (very difficult, might not give you a good gear ratio, cannot compensate for chain slack;
  • Use an adaptor (usually not the most robust solution, but ok for a cruiser if you really want the coaster brake):

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You just confirmed to me that bicyclers are everything that is good and right with the world. Thank you, Helton! – Tyler Langan Dec 4 '12 at 14:07
And this bike is not any beach cruiser, it's a Bitchin' Cruiser!!! – heltonbiker Dec 4 '12 at 15:16
Since that's a vertical dropout, wouldn't you also need to do something to tension the chain in a way that allows backpedaling? – freiheit Dec 4 '12 at 19:57
lol, "Bitchin" cruiser... I just got that. Is there some uber space material perfect size chain I can buy so my bike is simple and doesn't have the tension wheel thing? Thanks for your help! – Tyler Langan Dec 5 '12 at 1:52
As @freiheit pointed out, using a chain tensioner will prevent you installing a coaster brake because any serious back pedaling tension will tear off/bend the mounting hardware on a chain tensioner! It is possible to adjust chain tension through half-links and mixing cogs/chainrings to take up slack (but it will be tedious.) – WTHarper Dec 5 '12 at 2:53

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