Three speeds are better than one

My '15 Electra Cruiser 1 now is a 3 ... as in 3 speeds, with its
new wheelset that includes a Shimano 3-speed internal-gear
hub. Note also the new "stubby" chrome fenders and the stem-
mounted Electra "gear logo" bell.
As much as I like love my new Electra Cruiser 1, it's not immune to a little modification.

And I have enjoyed a few mods, a couple of which came straight out of the Electra catalog - a bell and the chrome "stubby" fenders - and one that didn't.

The one that didn't, though, is probably my favorite of my recent mods. It is the addition of two gears, accomplished by swapping the original wheelset for new Weinmann AS7X wheels that include a 3-speed Shimano internal-gear hub. As computer folks would say, it was a "plug-and-play" swap; the only difficulty was in routing the shift cable up the frame to the right handlebar, but that wasn't a big deal. Zip ties every few inches hold the cable in place.

The performance of the bike is greatly improved. The low first gear makes for easy starts on hills and in the grass (if you do have to go "off-roading"). Second gear is the same as the bike's original single gear, and is good for 9-10 mph. Third (or high) is an "overdrive," allowing the bike to hit 13-14 mph without much difficulty on flat terrain.

The look of the bike is likewise better - instead of the all-black wheels before, these include stainless steel spokes, which combine with the accessory fenders to brighten the bike's appearance considerably.

Perhaps the only downside I could tell you about is the price: I lucked into this set, brand new and still in the box and plastic wrapping, for $75 on Craigslist, but you can drop $150+ without trouble if you order them (some places are cheaper - shop around!). That said, it is a worthwhile investment if you want to ride more than just occasionally. If your single-speed bike is an everyday conveyance, you will easily note enough enhancement in its capabilities to be well worth it, in my opinion.

PRODUCT DETAILS:

  • Weinmann AS7X wheels with Shimano Inter-3 #SG-3C41 internal-gear 3-speed hub
  • Black rims with stainless steel spokes 
  • Rotary grip shifter, sprocket, cable and shifter crank all included
WHERE TO BUY:
  • Can be ordered through your local bicycle shop, or online through various retailers such as Amazon.com.

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