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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 05-12-14, 02:30 AM   #1
woodybr
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Isla Vista

After giving it much thought, I decided I'm probably going to get a used cruiser (in good shape) for my year as an exchange student. Do you have any feedback or comments on the basic 3G Isla Vista cruiser ?
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Old 06-04-14, 12:45 AM   #2
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My wife has one and she loves it. Comfortable, easy riding bike.
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Old 07-02-14, 04:55 PM   #3
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I'd recommend getting the best cheapest bike you can find. Don't know where you're going to school, but my niece lost (stolen) a bike a year during her years in college. When my son went, I found a cheap 90's "mtn bike" for around $40 and he never had a problem with theft. Save your money and buy a nice bike when you're ready. BTW depending on the area, any bike left alone for hours is susceptible to theft. If you're going to leave it unattended for hours or overnight, go with a cheap bike you don't care about and get a good U Lock that'll probably cost as much as the bike!
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Old 07-29-14, 10:56 PM   #4
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My wife has one and she loves it. Comfortable, easy riding bike.
Coincidentally, I'm going to live in Isla Vista
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Old 07-30-14, 11:33 AM   #5
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Coincidentally, I'm going to live in Isla Vista
Get a good lock. Always lock to something solid. Just FYI there are some bike paths leading into campus that go miles, bot sure how far I only had my bike with me one time during a Rugby Tournament and didn't have more than 30-40 minutes at a time to explore. Would not surprise me in the least if the one near the southern entrance goes 20 miles or more.
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Old 07-30-14, 02:00 PM   #6
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Coincidentally, I'm going to live in Isla Vista
I assume you mean Isla Vista near UCSB? My niece was there a few years ago - she and a couple of her roommates bought the crappiest bikes that I had ever seen. In my neighborhood they would have been in the dumpster. They had to have coaster brakes, because the wheels wobbled side-to-side about 1/2". She put a quick release on the seat tube, and took the seat post and saddle in her backpack when she parked. The bearings were so bad, she had legs like a pro racer when she graduated. Locks, we don't need no stinkin' locks.

Last edited by dweenk; 07-30-14 at 02:01 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 08-01-14, 01:28 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by HBCruiser1 View Post
I'd recommend getting the best cheapest bike you can find. Don't know where you're going to school, but my niece lost (stolen) a bike a year during her years in college. When my son went, I found a cheap 90's "mtn bike" for around $40 and he never had a problem with theft. Save your money and buy a nice bike when you're ready. BTW depending on the area, any bike left alone for hours is susceptible to theft. If you're going to leave it unattended for hours or overnight, go with a cheap bike you don't care about and get a good U Lock that'll probably cost as much as the bike!
It will not be left unattended (at least in a public area) for long periods of time. Only during my classes.
And yeah, I'll surely need a good U lock anyway.

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Get a good lock. Always lock to something solid. Just FYI there are some bike paths leading into campus that go miles, bot sure how far I only had my bike with me one time during a Rugby Tournament and didn't have more than 30-40 minutes at a time to explore. Would not surprise me in the least if the one near the southern entrance goes 20 miles or more.
Will do. I've heard the bike paths are really good

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I assume you mean Isla Vista near UCSB? My niece was there a few years ago - she and a couple of her roommates bought the crappiest bikes that I had ever seen. In my neighborhood they would have been in the dumpster. They had to have coaster brakes, because the wheels wobbled side-to-side about 1/2". She put a quick release on the seat tube, and took the seat post and saddle in her backpack when she parked. The bearings were so bad, she had legs like a pro racer when she graduated. Locks, we don't need no stinkin' locks.
Yeah, near UCSB.
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Old 08-01-14, 02:44 PM   #8
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UCSB, yep where my niece went as well. Isla Vista is a wild place to live. Definitely get a crappy bike, don't waste your money on a nice bike. The ocean air will also cause a lot of rust and be hard on the bike so go crappy and you'll be glad you did. The main 2 things to do to keep that bike alive for 4 years is keep the chain oiled and the tires pumped up (low pressure stresses the tires and cause them to fail prematurely) and you'll generally have no problems. It's all flat around there so stick with a single speed, a multi-speed that generally comes with hand brakes will just complicate things and is something for the ocean air to attack and cause maintenance problems that require constant adjustments. Like another commenter said, if the seat is quick release either lock it with a cable lock or take it with you.

A quick note on the lock, it'll not make sense on the surface to buy a bike for say $40-50 bucks and spend $40 on a good U-lock, but if it's stolen you're without a bike until you can get a new one so spend the money and have some peace of mind and not have the hassle of shopping for another bike.

Good luck in your education woodybr.
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Old 08-02-14, 09:27 PM   #9
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I assume you mean Isla Vista near UCSB? My niece was there a few years ago - she and a couple of her roommates bought the crappiest bikes that I had ever seen. In my neighborhood they would have been in the dumpster. They had to have coaster brakes, because the wheels wobbled side-to-side about 1/2". She put a quick release on the seat tube, and took the seat post and saddle in her backpack when she parked. The bearings were so bad, she had legs like a pro racer when she graduated. Locks, we don't need no stinkin' locks.
To be fair, Isla Vista, CA has a lot of bicycles and beach cruisers, mostly because rent is high, parking is poor and its less conspicuous or less far to walk back if you're drunk, so it stands to reason some of them would be POS.
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Old 08-03-14, 03:42 AM   #10
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It will not be left unattended (at least in a public area) for long periods of time. Only during my classes.
And yeah, I'll surely need a good U lock anyway.

Will do. I've heard the bike paths are really good

Yeah, near UCSB.
Yeah, a good lock and use it. Lights too. Fenders wouldn't hurt. You may want to disguise the bike if it's nice, bumble bee stripes, black paint, papier mache, duct tape or something.

Yes, the bike paths are good. Some can be thought of as bicycle freeways. Very high traffic in the mornings.

Have fun!
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Old 08-04-14, 02:31 PM   #11
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UCSB, yep where my niece went as well. Isla Vista is a wild place to live. Definitely get a crappy bike, don't waste your money on a nice bike. The ocean air will also cause a lot of rust and be hard on the bike so go crappy and you'll be glad you did. The main 2 things to do to keep that bike alive for 4 years is keep the chain oiled and the tires pumped up (low pressure stresses the tires and cause them to fail prematurely) and you'll generally have no problems. It's all flat around there so stick with a single speed, a multi-speed that generally comes with hand brakes will just complicate things and is something for the ocean air to attack and cause maintenance problems that require constant adjustments. Like another commenter said, if the seat is quick release either lock it with a cable lock or take it with you.

A quick note on the lock, it'll not make sense on the surface to buy a bike for say $40-50 bucks and spend $40 on a good U-lock, but if it's stolen you're without a bike until you can get a new one so spend the money and have some peace of mind and not have the hassle of shopping for another bike.

Good luck in your education woodybr.
Thank you for educating me on bike maintenance. I'm actually only going to live there for a year, the duration of my exchange program. After that, I'll probably sell my bike to the next Brazilian student that comes. I might keep the U-Lock, though. People there are always selling their used bikes on craigslist so I might get a used cruiser (not too wrecked, though) and a good u-lock.

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To be fair, Isla Vista, CA has a lot of bicycles and beach cruisers, mostly because rent is high, parking is poor and its less conspicuous or less far to walk back if you're drunk, so it stands to reason some of them would be POS.
Besides, I'm going to live really close to campus. I could walk, but a bike might just make my life easier.

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Yeah, a good lock and use it. Lights too. Fenders wouldn't hurt. You may want to disguise the bike if it's nice, bumble bee stripes, black paint, papier mache, duct tape or something.

Yes, the bike paths are good. Some can be thought of as bicycle freeways. Very high traffic in the mornings.

Have fun!
I certainly will !

People comment that one of the common 'attractions' in the beginning of each quarter are the freshman not knowing how to properly bike through their roundabouts and bike paths. I hope I don't do too poorly.
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Old 08-04-14, 07:11 PM   #12
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cruiser bicycle

With a simple cruiser- if the wheels and pedals turn smoothly you're good to go. $50 today, use it and sell it for $50 next year! Cruisers especially around campus will hold their value.

Artkansas smartly said get a light, these are a steal at $45. 350 lumens will allow you to see obstacles and dangers, not just be seen which will help on the dark campus and streets. If you're not responsible though, pass as it'll promptly be stolen if you don't remove it from your bike whenever you walk away from it. They just slide off the mount and pop in your pocket or backpack and recharge via USB. They double as a really nice flashlight when you need one. If you don't get one like this, shoot for minimum of 200 lumens to see, the cheap blinky lights are only designed to be seen, not actually see what you are about to hit! The prices have really dropped in the last several years so there are a lot of options.
NiteRider MiNewt.350 Cordless LED Headlight - Bike Headlights

Good luck.
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Old 08-06-14, 12:23 AM   #13
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You will find plenty of used bikes here on CL. The ones in decent shape go pretty fast. Bikes in I.V. deteriorate awfully fast with the ocean air. Theft is very high as well. Get a beater and tune it up if you want to go on the cheap. Lots of bike shops here too. And yeah the bike path is great! Enjoy your time here and good luck with your new wheels.
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Old 08-09-14, 12:58 PM   #14
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cruiser bicycle

With a simple cruiser- if the wheels and pedals turn smoothly you're good to go. $50 today, use it and sell it for $50 next year! Cruisers especially around campus will hold their value.

Artkansas smartly said get a light, these are a steal at $45. 350 lumens will allow you to see obstacles and dangers, not just be seen which will help on the dark campus and streets. If you're not responsible though, pass as it'll promptly be stolen if you don't remove it from your bike whenever you walk away from it. They just slide off the mount and pop in your pocket or backpack and recharge via USB. They double as a really nice flashlight when you need one. If you don't get one like this, shoot for minimum of 200 lumens to see, the cheap blinky lights are only designed to be seen, not actually see what you are about to hit! The prices have really dropped in the last several years so there are a lot of options.
NiteRider MiNewt.350 Cordless LED Headlight - Bike Headlights

Good luck.
That's probably what I'm going to do. A cheap used cruiser (not too banged up) and some accessories that I could take back with me when I return to Brazil (U-lock, lights).
Thank you very much for the tips.

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You will find plenty of used bikes here on CL. The ones in decent shape go pretty fast. Bikes in I.V. deteriorate awfully fast with the ocean air. Theft is very high as well. Get a beater and tune it up if you want to go on the cheap. Lots of bike shops here too. And yeah the bike path is great! Enjoy your time here and good luck with your new wheels.
Thank you
Many UCSB students say 'don't get a cruiser' because they are relatively slow and big. I would love to own one, so I think I'm still going with the cruiser.
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Old 08-24-14, 07:27 PM   #15
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As it turns out, my dorm is giving away used bikes that other students have left there. I might not need to purchase one after all.
I will keep you updated
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Old 08-28-14, 09:47 AM   #16
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Haha, I never thought of that but it makes sense. Bikes take up a lot of room and when everything is packed and ready, the bike is still sitting there with no room. Would be cool if you get a nice one. Good luck. Post a pic.

Learn how to maintain it using this forum and Youtube.

Cruisers to some are supposed to be slow, "cruiser"! The keys are gearing, tire pressure and the motor (you). I ride my 3G Isla Vista cruiser like a road bike, about 17-20 mph and anywhere from 30-100 miles, great workout.
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