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Beach Cruisers Do you love balloon tires and fenders? Do you love riding the simplicity of a single gear and coaster brakes or a single gear cluster? Do you love the classic curves in the tubing of a cruiser that takes you back to the 1950's and 1960's, stylistically? Here's your home! Welcome to the Beach Cruisers and Cruisers forum!

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Old 10-02-16, 01:27 PM   #1
epnnf
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can ya ride a cruiser on the road?

Ive always ridden 'hybrid' bikes- flat bar, triple w/low gears, about 1" or so tires; usually ride 40-60 miles (all on road or bike trail), maybe 3x week. The idea of a cadillac (softer) ride appeals to me, but not if its so slow or heavy. For my next bike, Im considering the kona big rove al; while not technically a cruiser, it has 2" tires. Its everything I like, but Ive never ridden on such fat tires.
Is this the bike for me?
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Old 10-02-16, 02:40 PM   #2
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The big issue will be the tires themselves. The stock tires are 740 grams which is very heavy.

If you are coming from 25mm tires, you may find 35mm or 38mm tires pretty comfy. Kinda half way between the two sizes. 35s and 38s can be found in high TPIs and light weights. Above that, for some reason, they are always heavy.

I really like Scwhalbe Kojaks. 100% slick, folding bead, roll great, grip great, 330 grams. I also like Compass's Bon Jon Pass in the Extra Light spec. Folding bead, they roll great and really suck up the bumps. They are only 303 grams.

I do dig 50 and 54 mm tires, but only in their 26" versions. Seems like when you get that much rubber, that far out (700c), you really feel the weight.

Last edited by SquidPuppet; 10-02-16 at 02:46 PM.
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Old 10-02-16, 09:40 PM   #3
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My first five centuries and my first 200k were on a Worksman cruiser. So yes, you can do a lot of things. Whether that's what you want to do, whether that's the best tool for the job are different questions.


My Worksman was geared 2:1 (either 42:21 or 44:22, I forget which), which is fairly low. I could climb some fairly substantial hills on it, but also, comfortable cruising speed was 12-13 mph. I think a lot of the cruisers are geared more like 2.5:1, which gets you some speed on the high end at the expense of hill-climbing capability.
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Old 10-03-16, 12:27 AM   #4
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I'm a bit confused by your post, you ask about a cruiser but your interest is a road bike with fatter tires. Seems like a wash to me. If you want a fatter tire, perhaps you can put a fatter tire on your hybrid and see if you like it.

You want a fatter tire but not if it's slow or heavy, which is counter intuitive.

If you're looking for a robust roadbike then perhaps your choice is a good one and if you don't like the tires you can try replacing them with one of squid's suggestions.
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Old 10-03-16, 07:57 AM   #5
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my friend Tad rode this 1934 Rollfast on cracked 50s Western Auto tires on an early Sunday morning group ride - and led the group, pacing 18 mph the whole way

Tad is an animal. (the bike weighs 55 lbs)
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Old 10-03-16, 10:15 AM   #6
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I commute on a single speed commuter every day and even ride it on the weekends. The huge, heavy 26" cruiser tires were the only downfall of the bike and made it somewhat cumbersome. I switched to 26x1.95 urban tires and this made all the difference in the world........



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Old 10-03-16, 02:08 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HBCruiser1 View Post
I'm a bit confused by your post, you ask about a cruiser but your interest is a road bike with fatter tires. Seems like a wash to me. If you want a fatter tire, perhaps you can put a fatter tire on your hybrid and see if you like it.

You want a fatter tire but not if it's slow or heavy, which is counter intuitive.

If you're looking for a robust roadbike then perhaps your choice is a good one and if you don't like the tires you can try replacing them with one of squid's suggestions.
understand how it could be confusing. For 20+ yrs, Ive been ridin hybrids w/bout 1.0"-1.25" wide @ 80-100psi tires. Now, the only thing Im thinkin bout changing is tires; only for a more comfortable ride. (so, what would ya call a bike like that?) I assume the wider the tire, the slower? I currently do ...13-14mph (its hilly round here). W/2", 70psi tires, how much slower? Im willing to sacrifice some speed.
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Old 10-03-16, 02:33 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by epnnf View Post
understand how it could be confusing. For 20+ yrs, Ive been ridin hybrids w/bout 1.0"-1.25" wide @ 80-100psi tires. Now, the only thing Im thinkin bout changing is tires; only for a more comfortable ride. (so, what would ya call a bike like that?) I assume the wider the tire, the slower? I currently do ...13-14mph (its hilly round here). W/2", 70psi tires, how much slower? Im willing to sacrifice some speed.

1. Wider tires aren't going to make you slower. Heavy tires and tires with a lot of rolling resistance will make you slower.

2. With 50mm tires you won't need anywhere near 70 psi.

3. Speed will depend on your fitness level and gearing. 15 mph should be a piece of cake.
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Old 10-03-16, 05:00 PM   #9
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Tires?


It's mostly how little old me, Mr. H. R. Huffnpuff is running.
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Old 10-03-16, 05:53 PM   #10
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I assume the wider the tire, the slower?
Not as a general rule, no. People often think that wide tires are slow for a few reasons:

1-Lots of wide tires aren't very speedy. This is true. Mountain bike tires, for instance, are very poor on pavement. But really, this is primarily because of the knobs. A lot of wide urban/touring road tires are also somewhat sluggish, but this is primarily because they're often built as thick kevlar-belted slabs of rubber, lacking the suppleness required for low rolling resistance.

2-Beach cruisers use wide tires, and tend to not be great at high speeds. But there are a lot of things that often slow them down relative to racing bikes that have nothing to do with tires. Like upright posture, high weight going well beyond tire choices, and often a low number of gears. The fact that the tires are wide isn't significant.

3-In tests performed by rolling wheels against steel drums, higher PSI shows less rolling resistance. Wider tires can't accept high PSI, therefore people sometimes assume they're slow. However, in reality, wider tires don't need to be pumped as high as narrower tires to achieve comparable rolling resistance in such tests.
Furthermore, in the real world, you can actually lose speed by pumping tires too stiff due to transmission of shocks to the bike and rider. The rougher the surface, the lower the PSI sweet spot will be for a given tire+bike+rider combination. On extremely rough surfaces, wide tires can have an advantage, since they can be run softer without damaging their sidewalls or rolling off the rim than narrower tires. This is easily seen in the mountain biking world, with people doing blazing fast performances over rough ground on very wide tires that are being run ultra-squishy.

4-Wider tires have a bigger aerodynamic profile. This is true, although it's worth keeping in mind that even a very wide tire will be responsible for only a small fraction of the total aerodynamic drag of bike+rider. Also, the lower your speeds, the less significant aerodynamics is compared with other things holding you back. At 15mph I wouldn't even think about tire aerodynamics when making choices.

5-Wider tires are heavier. This is also true. Is it significant? A couple pounds added to the outsides of your wheels might slow you down by 1-2% on extremely steep climbs, and will make acceleration feel a little bit less snappy, but otherwise won't really affect speeds at all.

Additional benefits you get from wide tires are more confident cornering grip, and greater versatility for riding on bumpy and loose surfaces.

Quote:
W/2", 70psi tires, how much slower?
70PSI is extremely high for 2" tires, and you quite possibly wouldn't gain much or any comfort over what you're doing right now.

I have a bike with Compass Rat Trap Pass Extralight tires, which inflate to 53mm on my rims. At 165lbs, I inflate them to around 35-40PSI. That bike seems to do about the same on level pavement as my Emonda ALR 5 with 23mm Bontrager R3 tires that I pump to 90-100PSI, when I'm riding in the 20mph ballpark.

The Big Apple tires on that Kona? They're pretty thick and heavy, and the tread pattern looks like a compromise to improve sand performance. It'll be alright on roads but I'd guess somewhat behind a good pure road tire. If you try it and want to be speedier without giving up much width, you could look into something like a Compass Snoqualmie Pass.

Last edited by HTupolev; 10-03-16 at 07:16 PM.
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Old 10-17-16, 10:52 AM   #11
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Ohhh sure you can ride a cruiser on the road. It helps if you have fenders. That way if it rains you wont get wet streaks up your back and front lol... If I find a steep hill along the way. I just get off and walk the bike up the hill and off I go.
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Old 10-18-16, 11:19 AM   #12
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Riding a Cruiser means You are not in a Hurry. Enjoy the Ride..
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Old 02-17-17, 03:15 PM   #13
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The highway itself is more of a hindrance then the tires for me. The 2 lane running past our subdivision is like a death trap, no shoulder and too much traffic at 70 mph.

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Old 02-19-17, 09:14 AM   #14
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Yes you can! My wife has a Nirve Sunflower and from about 4 years is riding mostly on the road and when it rains she's the one who's coming home without mud in her mouth and her back. I don't have fenders so......
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Old 02-21-17, 06:08 AM   #15
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Agreed with HTupolev 100% on every account. Just read that response and be done with it.
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Old 03-09-17, 08:58 AM   #16
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Nice find!
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Old 05-06-17, 08:54 PM   #17
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Yes you can. I rode an old Murray cruiser throughout much of college years and aside from the occasional flat, it hardly broke down. When I decided to get a little more adventurous and tackle the hills, I went down to the local bike store and got a new sprocket that was 2-3 teeth lower than stock, and that helped. Of course top speed suffered but you are on a cruiser so it's okay.
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Old 05-07-17, 07:10 AM   #18
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the cruiser will be more comfortable but you're not going to ride as fast as your other bike. buy a cruiser and enjoy the ride!
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Old 05-07-17, 09:37 PM   #19
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Be my guest .. cruising , remember, is never about speed.
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Old 05-08-17, 10:04 AM   #20
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What are your thoughts on an Electra Cruiser Lux 7D Fat Tire bike for neighborhood rides with a front mount child bike seat? I'm not worried about it being slow because that is not my intent, but I'm worried about it being too heavy with a child bike seat up front. I would like to test ride one, but no LBS stocks this one it seems.
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Old 05-11-17, 02:21 PM   #21
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If I ride a single speed I need high handlebars because I need to put all my weight on them while pumping up roads. I had some medium sized "ape-hangers" on my last cruiser. I enjoy sitting completely upright when I ride although and that might not be for everyone.
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