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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 09-07-13, 10:38 AM   #1
Cycle_of_life
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A Couple Of Cruiser Questions

Hello, everybody, I'm a newbie here at Bikeforums, and I had a couple of questions about cruisers.

I'm getting back into cycling after a 20 year hiatus.

I'm still undecided on what type of bike to buy, but I have it narrowed down to a few; a cruiser and a comfort bike being the two which are holding my interest the most.

There's a bike shop that I pass a few times a month, and I noticed that they have a few cruisers in there with very wide tires.

They appear to be about 4 inches wide; they almost look like motorcycle tires!

So, my questions are:

1.) What are the advantages, and disadvantages of tires this wide?

2.) Is a multiple speed comfort bike that much faster when compared with a single speed cruiser?

I'm not interested in top speed or racing, I'm referring to the average speed you'll achieve with a comfortable pedaling effort on flat ground.

Any info appreciated.

Mike
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Old 09-07-13, 10:59 AM   #2
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Air in tires in abundance is your most basic suspension .. flotation on soft surfaces..

I think Bikes like Pugsly have become the choice on the AK Idasport Bike race, over snow.


Check these out , fat bike wheels come to the cruiser bike niche ..

http://www.sunbicycles.com/product_d...AT&cl1=CRUISER


folks out here have used their fat-bike cruisers On the beach , and hauled their tools to stalk the Mighty Clam, (in season)..

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Old 09-07-13, 11:40 AM   #3
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Fat tires are better on loose surfaces like snow or sand. A multi speed comfort bike will most likely be "faster" than a general cruiser. Depends on the engine and the gearing.

Aaron
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Old 09-07-13, 11:46 AM   #4
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Fat tires (over 3") will slow you down, unless you ride a lot of dry sand or snow. Replacement tires and tubes demand a premium price, too.

The hybrid vs cruiser debate, really, has a lot to do with preferences in regards to appearance and riding style. If you're comparing a singlespeed or IGH cruiser to a f/r derailer hybrid, with a suspension fork, welll-- at that point, the cruiser has the distinct advantage in terms of maintenance requirements, while the hybrid will have an advantage for top speed.

I feel perfectly fast for slow-duty stuff (light grocery runs, leisurely commute to work, D'ing around town) on my SS cruiser, with about 63 gear-inches on the ratio. I don't think I'd be better off on a hybrid for that stuff, and I have a road bike for fast missions anyway...

hth
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ps-a lot of ppl like fatbikes b/c they think they look cool. I agree, but not to the point where i'd actually buy one. 26x2.35" is fat enough for me.

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Old 09-07-13, 12:01 PM   #5
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I'm not interested in top speed or racing, I'm referring to the average speed you'll achieve with a comfortable pedaling effort on flat ground.

Any info appreciated.

Mike
Cruisers are all about comfort at a low speed for easy riding on flat ground.
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Originally Posted by krazygluon
Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?
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Old 09-07-13, 06:59 PM   #6
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Hey everyone, thanks for the replies.

I suspected that very wide tires would slow a rider down, all other things being equal.

I'm not ready to buy yet, but what do you think of this comfort bike? I'm still looking at cruisers.

http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...cane/jub_x.htm

For my next bike, I'm probably going to keep it at about $300.00

Mike
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Old 09-07-13, 09:15 PM   #7
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For $300, buy something used. Much of that motobecane is suspect. If you must buy new, at that pricepoint, you're better off going rigid and singlespeed, imo.
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Old 09-08-13, 12:51 PM   #8
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Hey everyone, thanks for the replies.

I suspected that very wide tires would slow a rider down, all other things being equal.

I'm not ready to buy yet, but what do you think of this comfort bike? I'm still looking at cruisers.

http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...cane/jub_x.htm

For my next bike, I'm probably going to keep it at about $300.00

Mike
Compare this bike to a true Cruiser to see that this bike is no where near a Cruiser.

Cruisers are simple rigid framed bikes some ,with gearing, most without. So decide if you REALLY want a TRUE Cruiser or not.
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Originally Posted by krazygluon
Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?
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Old 09-09-13, 11:12 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Air in tires in abundance is your most basic suspension .. flotation on soft surfaces..

I think Bikes like Pugsly have become the choice on the AK Idasport Bike race, over snow.


Check these out , fat bike wheels come to the cruiser bike niche ..

http://www.sunbicycles.com/product_d...AT&cl1=CRUISER


folks out here have used their fat-bike cruisers On the beach , and hauled their tools to stalk the Mighty Clam, (in season)..
Hey, fietsbob, I'm almost certain the bike that appears in the link you posted is the bike I was referring to in my original post.

It's the same color, has the 4inch tires, and the frame looks the same.

I'll have to go down to that bike shop and check it again. Thanks for the link.

I'm in no rush to buy, but each day I'm leaning more towards a single speed cruiser.

Sometimes, the simpler, the better.

This is a great site; I'm learning something everyday.

Mike
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Old 09-09-13, 11:33 AM   #10
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Sun Spider AT http://www.sunbicycles.com/product_d...AT&cl1=CRUISER

has a kick back 2 speed coaster brake , on my test ride / lunch runs at the shop,
the having a start off from a full stop gear, and then a bit higher full cruise gear is quite nice..

the Spider pattern in the tire is kind of more texture than needed , but lays down a spider imprint in the sand..

the crusher is using a smoother tire , Dealer should do the swap when you buy the bike.

adding a mechanical front disc brake would be a good thing.
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Old 09-09-13, 11:46 AM   #11
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Sun Spider AT http://www.sunbicycles.com/product_d...AT&cl1=CRUISER

has a kick back 2 speed coaster brake , on my test ride / lunch runs at the shop,
the having a start off from a full stop gear, and then a bit higher full cruise gear is quite nice..

the Spider pattern in the tire is kind of more texture than needed , but lays down a spider imprint in the sand..

the crusher is using a smoother tire , Dealer should do the swap when you buy the bike.

adding a mechanical front disc brake would be a good thing.
I hadn't noticed that this bike is 2 speed.

Very tempting.

Thanks again, fietsbob.

Mike
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Old 09-16-13, 01:15 AM   #12
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My Schwinn Cruiser is primarily used as my "work horse" bike and attracts a lot of lookers. I have a road bike in storage that I have invested a lot of money in that is extremely quick. I don't need insane speed on a day to day basis.
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Old 09-17-13, 02:26 PM   #13
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I haven't decided on a bike yet, but I know you're all sitting by the computer, breathlessly awaiting my decision.

Just kidding.

I have a little story to tell that's very pertinent to this thread.

Over the past weekend, I saw a friend who I haven't seen in a while.

We started talking about how our families were, and who from our old group we've either seen or heard from. As the conversation progressed, I remembered my friend was once into bike riding, so I asked him what kind of bike he had, and he replied, "A Huffy, but I bought mine when they were still made in America." He then said, "If you're looking for a good bike, why not check out Worksman?" He then told me where they were located.

I immediately remembered that someone in this thread has a reference to Worksman bikes in their signature. I came back to look, and sure enough, there it was in Nightshade's signature.

So, what's the point of this story?

The Worksman factory is about a mile from where I live; I went down there just to see the place.
http://www.worksman.com/

I don't know if I'm going to buy a Worksman, as they're a little more than I wanted to spend right now, but it shows you what a small world it truly is.

Strange, yet nice.

Mike
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Old 09-17-13, 07:20 PM   #14
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Can't go wrong with a Worksman. I worked at an Alcoa plant where they were in use, some of them had been there since the plant opened in the 1970's.

Aaron
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Old 09-18-13, 11:40 AM   #15
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The Worksman factory is about a mile from where I live; I went down there just to see the place.
http://www.worksman.com/

I don't know if I'm going to buy a Worksman, as they're a little more than I wanted to spend right now, but it shows you what a small world it truly is.

Strange, yet nice.

Mike
IF you buy a Worksman plan on buying either a 3 speed or a 7 speed since these bicycles are built like tanks to last forever which means they are heavy just like the steel Cruisers of the past.

As to the slightly higher cost.......Pay the money and get a bike that could be a lifetime ride they are that well made.
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Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?
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Old 09-18-13, 03:26 PM   #16
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fwiw, all of my worksmans/worksmen are singlespeed. awesome frames. interesting wheelsets. embarrassingly massive forks, these days. mostly suspect oem components otherwise.
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Old 09-23-13, 09:39 PM   #17
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So for the last couple years my main rider was a black 1978 Schwinn Cruiser 5 I bought for 15 bucks at a thrift shop. So I have a bunch of bikes,,I was a little short on money so I sold it for 175 bucks..it had a replacement back wheel, not a Schwinn. So that was about6 weeks ago,,I have been riding this 85 Schwinn High Sierra MTB. It is not as comfortable, it is fun but not as fun as the cruiser 5. Anyway I missed it, so I found a 1980 Spitfire 5 which is basically the same bike, this one doesnt have fenders but has a drum brake for 70 bucks I scooped it up, cleaned and lubed it and I love it lol So happy to have it.

So if you can find one these I would recommend it.

I actually have one in the basement that might have a mile on it lol,,that one I dont ride.
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Old 10-14-13, 12:49 PM   #18
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Hello again, everybody.

I haven't been here, on bike forums for a few weeks, because I've been busy.

I have some good news, and some bad news.

The good news: I've been busy riding my new bike.

The bad news: I bought a bike at K-mart.

I know, I know; after all the advice everybody gave me, I went and did the opposite.

OK, all kidding aside, I bought a Mongoose Spire.
http://www.kmart.com/shc/s/allmodrev...=seeAllReviews

It was only $140, so I know I got what I paid for.

I bought it a few weeks ago, and to be honest, it's a decent bike.

I'm not looking to go fast, and I will not be attempting any off road adventures, even though it's listed as a mountain bike.

The bad points so far:

1.) The splines on the original seat clamp were stripped. (STRIPPED ON A BRAND NEW BIKE) The seat kept trying to pivot to the vertical, so the second day I had the bike, I took the old seat and clamp to my local bike shop and bought a new, much more comfortable seat and new seat clamp.

2.) The handlebars are pretty straight, and I get a slight pain in the heel of my left palm when riding for more than a few minutes. It's not bad, just annoying, but this is probably telling me I need different handlebars.

Does anyone have any advice regarding this?

The good points:

Overall, it seems to be a decent bike for the money. I go very easy on the bike (I'm in my mid 50s) and am mechanically inclined, so I think I should be able to tell if something's not right. The gears were jumping on their own every once in a while, but this has stopped almost completely. Perhaps they had to settle in?

Speaking of gears, it's an 18 speed, but with the exception of down-shifting for steep hills, I'm riding around in 4th gear almost all the time.

So, now that I have a better frame of reference regarding bikes than I had a month ago, I may be getting another bike soon. It might be a cruiser, it might not.

When I went to my local bike shop to buy the new seat, I had a nice conversation with one of the salesmen there, and he explained a few things to me, and showed me some very nice bikes in the $300 - $500 range.

I want to swap the mountain tires that came with the bike for street tires, but this will cost $60 -$100 dollars, depending on which tires I choose.

Instead of putting more money into a mediocre bike, I think I'll just get a better one.

I don't regret buying this inexpensive bike, because it's been a learning experience.

I can always sell it for a few dollars or give it away.

Live and learn.

Any comments or advice welcome.

Thanks, Mike.

P.S. I will be riding in a memorial bike run this coming weekend for a friend of a friend who passed away. I think it will be about 5 to 7 miles.

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Old 10-15-13, 07:02 AM   #19
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...The bad news: I bought a bike at K-mart.
It was only $140, so I know I got what I paid for.

I bought it a few weeks ago, and to be honest, it's a decent bike.

I want to swap the mountain tires that came with the bike for street tires, but this will cost $60 -$100 dollars, depending on which tires I choose.

Instead of putting more money into a mediocre bike, I think I'll just get a better one.

I don't regret buying this inexpensive bike, because it's been a learning experience.

I can always sell it for a few dollars or give it away.

Live and learn.

Any comments or advice welcome.

Thanks, Mike.
Congrats! IMO the ride quality and longevity of a K-Mart etc bike can be improved with proper assembly and adjustment.
It has been my experience that when an inexpensive bike is pulled from the shipping box it is rare that the hubs, headset, and bottom bracket are sufficiently lubricated and/or properly adjusted. Often the bare minimum is done to get the bikes onto the sales floor so they go, shift, and stop good enough to get out the door and down the street. Problem is unless you have a friend that will do it, you'll have to either fine-tune the bike yourself or pay a competent mechanic. Theoretically this is one of the reasons a bicycle costs more at a bicycle shop. Guess if you plan on keeping the bike only for a short time it doesn't really matter.
As for tires, if your comfortable with tools, change them yourself
There might be a local bicycle swap in your area where a good deal on some new or used tires could be found. Tires can be ordered online and they'll be at your door in a few days. Either way should cost less than the low estimate.
Handlebars: try adjusting the angle and height of the bars and seat until you find a position that is comfortable. A pair of padded cycling gloves might help also.
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Old 10-15-13, 09:43 AM   #20
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Thanks for the encouragement, and advice, rustjunkie!

I actually do like this bike, I just have to decide whether I want to invest any more money in a bike that I may not keep.

I am very easy on the bike. I don't stand up on the pedals, I don't jump curbs, and I probably haven't gone over 15 miles per hour downhill.

Assuming that the components are of second grade quality, as some of the reviews suggest, the fact that I am not an aggressive rider will probably extend their life.

The bike seems to be settling in; the gears hardly ever jump now.

Since I have almost a month of riding under my belt, I'm falling into a pattern of where I ride; I either avoid destinations with long, steep hills (there are a few in my area) or simply walk the bike up the hill, and then ride slowly downhill.

Yes, I am boring.

And I don't shift gears much. This is making me think hard now about getting a real cruiser. Perhaps I'll get a 3 or 5 speed cruiser just to have the lower gears in case I need them.

I do love riding around my neighborhood again, something I haven't done in many years. Destinations that take 10 to 15 minutes to walk to take a third of that by bike.

Thanks again for the kind words.

This is a nice forum.

Mike
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Old 10-16-13, 11:19 AM   #21
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Hello again, everyone.

I have a question, and thought I'd ask it here rather than start a new thread.

Is there a best time to buy a new bike at a local bike shop?

I would guess that after the summer a lot of people don't think about buying a bicycle until the spring.

Mike
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Old 10-18-13, 11:01 PM   #22
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Hello once again.

I was really getting to like the Spire, but I couldn't ignore the reviews, and advice I heard from other people about how something was going to break within a year, since all the components were just adequate.

I bought another bike, this time I went to my local bike shop.

I bought a Trek 820. http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes...sport/820/820/

I was going to swap the mountain tires for street tires on the Spire, but after I realized this was going to cost in the neighborhood of $75, I decided to buy another, better bike.

The salesman told me about how much better the frame, and everything else was on the Trek, and that I also get a one year limited shop service warranty.

The Trek seems to take less effort to get up certain small hills than the Spire, and the gears shift much smoother. It also rides nicer overall, possibly because it came with tires which are much more street friendly.

Now, why all this mountain bike talk in the cruiser section?

I was a noobie when I came here, and I really was thinking of getting a cruiser, it just didn't turn out that way. I saw a few cruisers in the bike shop; I can see myself picking one up sometime soon.

I absolutely love the fact that I've discovered riding again.

I'll post a photo of the Trek when I get a chance.

Thanks for listening.

Mike
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Old 10-19-13, 01:05 PM   #23
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It really does not matter what bike you ride. Ride something you are happy with.
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Old 10-29-13, 06:39 PM   #24
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1: They're snow tires, for bicycle racing on fresh snow.
2: A little bit, mostly when you deal with hills or wind in either direction.
There are also cruisers with gears, either internal hub or derail type. I prefer the internal hub kind, since I have learned that chain guards are awesome. As an aside, having a rolled up pantleg is assumed to be a "gang uniform" by some public schools. Lends to odd interactions with staff when coming in to work.
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Old 10-29-13, 06:41 PM   #25
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Is there a best time to buy a new bike at a local bike shop?
As with everything in a bike shop, "on a rainy and miserable day".
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