Soul XTR Stomper Aluminum framed fat tire cruisers

Adjust the brakes on any bicycle is a tedious process only sped up by experience.  We will go over several steps that can help improve that process for you and get you riding quicker.

  1. Ensure the caliper mount bolts are tight.  There are 4 bolts that hold the caliper onto the bike. 2 that bolt the caliper mount to the frame, and 2 that bolt the caliper to the mount.  Ensure that the two that mount to the frame are reasonably tight.  You dont have to go crazy and crack the paint.  Brake mount bolts
  2. Sight through the top of the brake caliper to check for rotor clearance.  You cant look through the center of the caliper, it has to be from the top on the front brake, and the top back on the rear.  We are trying to identify how the caliper is orientated in regards to the rotor.
  3. Try loosening the caliper to mount arm bolts 1 turn, and adjusting the caliper in regards to the rotor.  If the caliper wont move, loosen a bit more.  You are looking to barely be able to move the caliper, not to be totally free floating.
  4. When you adjust the caliper, aim to have equal clearance between the pad and rotor on both sides.  Tighten the caliper 1/4 a turn while trying to maintain the adjustment.  We try to keep the brakes simple without concave washers for a firm mount that shouldnt come out of adjustment under use.
  5. If you find that you can get some clearance on both sides, but the pad is not parallel to the rotor, you can bend the caliper mount arm to adjust the angle of the pads.
  6. To bend the caliper mount we place a crescent wrench on the black portion below the brake itself.  Using the crescent we tweak the arm slightly, just enough to get the pads more parallel to the rotor.
  7. Continue to adjust the caliper until you have an even gap on both sides between the pads.
  8. On Tektro hydraulic brakes there is no manual adjustment of the pads. You can adjust the lever throw at the lever itself, it is a small 1.5mm allen that is from the inside of the lever to the plunger.

We get asked all the time, do we repair bikes?  We certainly do here at our location in Tempe, AZ. We can fix nearly any bike.

The beauty of a beach cruiser bike is the simplicity.  Generally, keep ample tire pressure going and you are ready to ride.  With Soul Beach Cruisers, we build a premium bike, but it is easy to maintain.

We choose hydraulic brakes because they have little to no maintenance.  Brake pads wear out in perhaps 4-5 years of standard dry weather riding.  If they get wet frequently, they will wear faster.

The Sturmey Archer SX-RK3 3 speed hub is low maintenance as well.  It runs sealed bearings on the rotor side, and everything on the shifter side has seals to prevent contaminants from getting in there.  Basically, adjust the shifter every once in a while and you are good to go.  That is the only real adjustment you do mechanically to the bike. Everything else needs little attention.

Our chains are coated in several ways.  Most of the chains are plated, with a specialty coating over the top to prevent rust.  We run chrome chainrings and cogs, so only the tips of the teeth get wear and could show rust.

Keep good air pressure in all of your tires. When ample air pressure is maintained, you get less flat tires.  On our fat tire bikes we try to keep 30 psi in them. Thinner tires go a bit higher, sometimes to 40.

We recommend a wax based chain lubricant such as White Lightning. This lasts longer, stays cleaner and is easy to apply.

With the advent of manufacturing bikes in Asia, the function of quality has changed significantly.  There used to be a hierarchy where products from Japan were better than from Taiwan and so on. That still holds true today. And, the adage that you get what you pay for rings true more than ever.

If you start studying all bikes on the market, you will see a line, where below you have budget minded choices and above you achieve a premium status.  It becomes quite obvious where corners were cut, and value takes a hit.  With Soul Beach Cruisers, we aim to build that bike that is simple, but offers great value and achieves a premium level.

We do that by offering an internally geared hub to start.  Budget beach cruisers will have cheap drivetrains that use basic derailleurs, poor quality chains and bottom end gears. These rust up, and require more maintenance over time. They are also not simple for the owner to work on and maintain

All of our bikes use premium KMC chains that are nickle plated as a minimum, and most have extra coatings that further protect from rust.  All the gears are chromed as well on our Stomper and XTR models.

We use Tektro hydraulic disc brakes on all of our Stomper and XTR models. Stopping is so easy! One finger is all it takes.

Our frames are purposely overbuilt. We use hydroformed tubing throughout, and then reinforce stress areas with added gussets. This allows bigger riders to enjoy our bikes. But the biggest added bonus is they can accommodate electric conversions very well.

On lower end bikes, you will see the frames are underbuilt, and use lower grade tubing of smaller diameters. These frames lack structural rigidity, so if you were to convert to an electric drive system you will feel less than confident.

Many people wonder why bikes dont last as long as they used to. Schwinn used to be a premium brand. The added cost meant something, and provided a better quality bike that you were proud to own. We feel the same way, and have thousands of proud Soul Beach Cruiser owners.

Generally, basic tires for cruisers have little if any technology built into them. So things like tighter thread casings and belts for flat resistance are not included due mainly to the price point and demand. Funny thing is that people want less flats, there is a demand there.

Most cruiser tires are built with a casing of around 20-25 tpi or threads per inch. Since cruisers are low pressure tire types, the need for heavier or more tpi in the casings is reduced.  Also the bead is made out of steel.

Normally, wire bead tires are less precise and fit fairly loosely onto the rims. The wider the tire, the less precise it becomes since it is difficult to have a tight fit on a wide 2 or 3″ rim.

We try to choose better tire compounds for Soul Beach Cruisers. While the carcass can be basic, tread and compound can be improved easily.  We run two tread types, the Duro Beach Bum style with deeper grooves and the Soul Fast which is lighter weight.

We are researching higher quality casings that reinforce the bead area so that on eBikes you have a stronger tire.  The main sidewall will always be thin for ride quality. Thicker sidewalls may seem good, but on a bike the tire is the main suspension, so a flexible sidewall is important.

High quality tires are very important to bicycle performance. Even for cruisers, some tires actually make riding hard due to rolling resistance. We choose to run a 3″ tire on a 4″ rim to help with rolling resistance and overall performance.

Rock a matching Soul Sudster cup holder on your STOMPER.
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