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  1. #1
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    Beach Cruisers and Intersections

    Hi everybody. I'm new to the forum and haven't rode a bicycle in more than 20 years but recently got a $100 beach cruiser from Walmart which I actually like very much. It's a single speed and all steel. The problem is I despise intersections because I have to stop and when I try to accelerate again...well..I can't do so very easily. I get so embarrassed when the cars wave me on to let me cross and I try to wave them on to go before me because I don't know how to let them know it's going to take me 10 minutes to cross the street!

    Are there any techniques that I can use to help remedy this problem? Once I get going I'm fine, and if the timing works out I just ride ride across the intersection with no problem, but I really do dread intersections in general and I've taken to simply walking my bike across them. However, I find this cumbersome and was hoping that you experienced riders can steer this gal in the right direction.

    Or maybe I just need to work my legs more until they are fit enough to pump faster from a complete stop.

  2. #2
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    probably the easiest thing, without changing anything on the bike or your physical conditioning at this moment, is to have the pedals set in best position to accelerate from a stop.

    one pedal would be slightly forward of the top of it's rotation, so when you're ready to go you can literally stand on the pedal for the quickest acceleration.

    beyond that, it would be you getting stronger and/or changes to the bike. either sprocket changes for easier pedaling (at the possible expence of lower top speed) or some kind of multigear setup.

  3. #3
    Senior Member spdracr39's Avatar
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    Just keep in mind as a new rider you are trying to be overly courteous so as not to draw attention. Most people get it and don't mind the wait. Just remember if you were walking it would take longer so it really isn't a big deal just enjoy your ride !!

  4. #4
    Senior Member billnuke1's Avatar
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    Hi b-kid,
    Welcome! Have some one who knows bikes look over your bike for over tightness! Chain, bottom bracket, front, rear hubs and such that may be working in concert to slow your initial take off! Check your tire pressures, too.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Cubey's Avatar
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    That's why I like something with lots of gears. I love the style of beach cruisers but hate single speed setups which is why I don't have one.

    I liked that kind of setup fine as a kid.. riding in the nice, level, clean well paved apartment complex parking lot.. and locking the rear wheel and skidding to a stop sorta sideways and such.. but for real world riding it's not my cup of tea.

  6. #6
    Bendo Bendopolo's Avatar
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    Just push harder. Its a lot less about your body and way more about your mind. Just get out there and ride, it gets never gets easier, you just get faster...

  7. #7
    Senior Member Cubey's Avatar
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    But I should also mention, we have brutal hills around here similar to the ones in San Francisco. If I lived in a relatively flat place like the central plains, maybe a single speed would be ok or rode within a neighborhood of level streets.

  8. #8
    Humvee of bikes =Worksman Nightshade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bayareakid View Post
    Hi everybody. I'm new to the forum and haven't rode a bicycle in more than 20 years but recently got a $100 beach cruiser from Walmart which I actually like very much. It's a single speed and all steel. The problem is I despise intersections because I have to stop and when I try to accelerate again...well..I can't do so very easily. I get so embarrassed when the cars wave me on to let me cross and I try to wave them on to go before me because I don't know how to let them know it's going to take me 10 minutes to cross the street!

    Are there any techniques that I can use to help remedy this problem? Once I get going I'm fine, and if the timing works out I just ride ride across the intersection with no problem, but I really do dread intersections in general and I've taken to simply walking my bike across them. However, I find this cumbersome and was hoping that you experienced riders can steer this gal in the right direction.

    Or maybe I just need to work my legs more until they are fit enough to pump faster from a complete stop.
    You can upgrade you bike for a small amount of money if you swap out your rear hub for 3 speed /with coaster brake rear hub (and a new 34 tooth front chain ring) to get a bike that is very easy to ride everywhere.
    My preferred bicycle brand is.......WORKSMAN CYCLES
    I dislike clipless pedals on any city bike since I feel they are unsafe.

    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?

  9. #9
    Rhapsodic Laviathan
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    I always find beach cruisers to climb hills pretty easy. I prefer single speeds to derailure models. Well, some hills. both of mine have 1pc cranks from mtbs and I push both of them hard. Starting at an intersection shouldnt be that hard, one of mine has a 12 tooth rear sprocket and the other a 24, both have good acceleration. The problem is the freeplay in the coaster, I find having the pedals in near verticle position helps because of the inch or two of nuetrality between the brake disengaging and the sprag unit catching.
    The speed is break neck, faster than a high speed dual cassette tape deck.

  10. #10
    Junior Member ChillinWillin's Avatar
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    Walmart gives you a 90 days guarantee. You can take it back and upgrade to one with gears and the 90 days starts again from the day you picked up the new bike. You can do this over and over at no charge.
    But it's important that you take any Walmart bike to you lbs and have them lube it and tune it for you.
    I just switched my 29" OneX single speed cruiser for the 29" GX7 with 7 speeds.
    Last edited by ChillinWillin; 05-01-14 at 07:18 PM.

  11. #11
    Senior Member blacksapphire08's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nightshade View Post
    You can upgrade you bike for a small amount of money if you swap out your rear hub for 3 speed /with coaster brake rear hub (and a new 34 tooth front chain ring) to get a bike that is very easy to ride everywhere.
    Mine has the 3 speed hub and while its not hard to take off, even the slightest incline is a total bear.

  12. #12
    Humvee of bikes =Worksman Nightshade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blacksapphire08 View Post
    Mine has the 3 speed hub and while its not hard to take off, even the slightest incline is a total bear.
    This can remedied by swapping out your front chain ring to a 34 tooth ring. Makes a world of difference for riding ease !!
    My preferred bicycle brand is.......WORKSMAN CYCLES
    I dislike clipless pedals on any city bike since I feel they are unsafe.

    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?

  13. #13
    Senior Member blacksapphire08's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nightshade View Post
    This can remedied by swapping out your front chain ring to a 34 tooth ring. Makes a world of difference for riding ease !!
    Edit: Current size chainring is a 44t so yeah it would make it easier to pedal in 3rd gear but id also lose a lot of speed. I was thinking about swapping the tires for thinner, slicker ones instead with idea being to decrease rolling resistance.

    Edit 2: I got home and checked my tires, they were at 20 psi. No wonder it was so hard to pedal. Gave it a test run and much improved.
    Last edited by blacksapphire08; 05-08-14 at 04:30 PM.

  14. #14
    Humvee of bikes =Worksman Nightshade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blacksapphire08 View Post
    Edit: Current size chainring is a 44t so yeah it would make it easier to pedal in 3rd gear but id also lose a lot of speed. I was thinking about swapping the tires for thinner, slicker ones instead with idea being to decrease rolling resistance.

    Edit 2: I got home and checked my tires, they were at 20 psi. No wonder it was so hard to pedal. Gave it a test run and much improved.
    Speed?? It's a cruiser, mate, not a road bike!! Change the front chain ring for crying out loud!!

    Oh, yeah........keep tires pumped up hard for a smoother & faster ride.
    My preferred bicycle brand is.......WORKSMAN CYCLES
    I dislike clipless pedals on any city bike since I feel they are unsafe.

    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?

  15. #15
    Senior Member billnuke1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nightshade View Post
    Speed?? It's a cruiser, mate, not a road bike!! Change the front chain ring for crying out loud!!

    Oh, yeah........keep tires pumped up hard for a smoother & faster ride.
    Edit 2: I got home and checked my tires, they were at 20 psi. No wonder it was so hard to pedal. Gave it a test run and much improved

    Hmmm....see #4 ...just sayin'.

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