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  1. #1
    Senior Member Chris Chicago's Avatar
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    advice for cruiser buying

    A friend of mine is going to buy a cruiser. she asked me for advice but I have no experience with this type of bike. she sends me a link for some cool looking blue huffy at walmart. nel or something. are huffy's junk? where do you get the best bang for your buck in the cruiser genre or what should you look for to distinguish a better cruiser from a bso? or are they all kind of the same once tuned correctly?

    all Ive had to offer her so far is "look for aluminum rims"

  2. #2
    Junior Member HBCruiser1's Avatar
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    Some Walmart Huffy bikes are absolute tanks/heavy so beware.

    When it comes to bikes, buy the bike you'll ride. For some folks looks are huge, for others not so much.

    It really depends on how much riding, terrain and storage. Most bikes are well enough that as long as the tires are pumped up, they'll provide a nice smooth ride.
    I'm not a retail guy, but I know enough about a bike to understand if it's a good bike and often buy off Craigslist. You can save 30-50% off retail especially on women's bikes.

    The problem most people do is think more money is a better bike, it can be, but most people don't ride long enough to get the extra value from a more expensive bike so it really depends on ride expectations and budget.

    Personally, I say buy cheaper, if they're still riding it and enjoying it after 2 years then it's time for an upgrade. Why spend $500+ on a bike, ride it 2x and then it sits in the garage? Save some money, go a little cheaper, upgrade important things like the seat and enjoy the ride.

    I rode a Huffy 7 speed (tank!) for 18 months then stepped up to a 3G cruiser given to me. I've ridden that free bike for 8000+ miles and enjoy the heck out of it.

    Best bang for your buck is a bike with properly inflated tires and a lubed chain. It really is that simple.

  3. #3
    Senior Member SquidPuppet's Avatar
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    Ask her these questions and then we can figure out what to look for as far as weight, quality and price.

    Does she want a single speed or gears?

    Does she want hand brakes or is a coaster brake enough?

    Does she want to casually putt around around for a few miles every once in a while, or does she want to put in some mileage.

    Cruisers aren't much different than road bikes when it comes to enhancing the experience. The right saddle, properly adjusted, comfy bars set in a good position, and good tires that are properly inflated will all make the experience more enjoyable.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Chris Chicago's Avatar
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    single speed
    coaster is fine
    mostly putt around. run short errands maybe a few miles ride at most
    it's all about looks for her.

    do the alum framed cruisers offer much benefit? my instinct is looking for alum wheels and frame but I know nothing.

    this one is top of the list but out of stock
    26" Huffy Nel Lusso Women's Cruiser Bike, Gloss Blue - Walmart.com



    Quote Originally Posted by SquidPuppet View Post
    Ask her these questions and then we can figure out what to look for as far as weight, quality and price.

    Does she want a single speed or gears?

    Does she want hand brakes or is a coaster brake enough?

    Does she want to casually putt around around for a few miles every once in a while, or does she want to put in some mileage.

    Cruisers aren't much different than road bikes when it comes to enhancing the experience. The right saddle, properly adjusted, comfy bars set in a good position, and good tires that are properly inflated will all make the experience more enjoyable.

  5. #5
    Senior Member SquidPuppet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Chicago View Post
    single speed
    coaster is fine
    mostly putt around. run short errands maybe a few miles ride at most
    it's all about looks for her.

    do the alum framed cruisers offer much benefit? my instinct is looking for alum wheels and frame but I know nothing.

    this one is top of the list but out of stock
    26" Huffy Nel Lusso Women's Cruiser Bike, Gloss Blue - Walmart.com
    Personally, I'd stay away from Huffy. That's just my experience though. The price is great, but.....

    She could go aluminum frame or steel since she'll just be putting around. Lot's of contemporary cruisers with aluminum wheels come in around 30lbs.

    Have her look at this page to gain an idea of "looks" that she may prefer. They are good bikes too.
    Save up to 60% Off Cruiser Bikes - Beach, Town and City Cruiser Bikes | Cruiser Bicycles from bikesdirect.com

    Are fenders and racks and baskets required?

    This company (Felt) makes a bunch of "cute" ladies cruisers and I have read that they are good bikes. They also offer a "theme rich" variety of cruisers that you friend might dig since she is tinto the look of the bike.

    Women's 1-Speed - Felt Bicycles

    Scroll down for the wild ones.

    Men's 1-Speed - Felt Bicycles

  6. #6
    Senior Member Chris Chicago's Avatar
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    have you ridden some huffy cruisers?

    i sent her the bd link. but none of them have whitewalls. or look as cool as the huffy. I'm just letting you know, not arguing. mostly I;m dealing with "i want a cute bike" and "that one is twice as much as the cute bike at target"

    i can assemble the bike, grease bearings etc. I know the felts are better but it would take a big push from me to get her away from huffy. unless they are total garbage I'm probably not going to try

  7. #7
    Senior Member GP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Chicago View Post
    have you ridden some huffy cruisers?
    Yes and I think they're POS. One of my coworkers has one for a short commute and she likes it. If you have the money, get an Electra.

  8. #8
    Senior Member SquidPuppet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Chicago View Post
    mostly I;m dealing with "i want a cute bike" and "that one is twice as much as the cute bike at target"
    Gotcha

    it would take a big push from me to get her away from huffy. unless they are total garbage I'm probably not going to try
    Now I'm thinking the Huffy would be perfect for her.

    Probably nothing there that could go wrong that you couldn' tackle, and it doesn't sound like she'll be doing weekly 50 mile bike trail runs to wear it out.

    When they are back in stock, have her test ride it. It'll start squeakin' and creakin' after a while though, so warn her.

    Has she any interest in the "Townie" type of bikes? Some of these are HUGE on the "adorable" scale. Comfy but with 700c instead of 26 inch wheels.

    Aluminum frame, beter quality, etc....

    http://www.electrabike.com/bikes/ams...on-3i?g=ladies
    Last edited by SquidPuppet; 08-28-14 at 01:39 PM.

  9. #9
    Quirky Grifter LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    My favorite cheap cruisers are the Kent La Jolla. Nice light frame, fun to ride. Rear hub is crap, though. Crank isn't so hot either but they usually last longer than rear hub. All bearings should be repacked before riding.

    If price is no object, then Merlin Newsboy, of course.

    One of these days I hope to find a nice KHS Brentwood cruiser. CL searches for Brentwood are such a drag, though, cuz they're all Brentwood comfort bikes.

    Last edited by LesterOfPuppets; 08-28-14 at 01:55 PM.
    1980ish Free Spirit Sunbird fixed * 1996 Mongoose IBOC Zero-G * 1997 KHS Comp * 1990-ish Scapin * Lemond Buenos Aires Triple

  10. #10
    Senior Member Chris Chicago's Avatar
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    I would like to compare them sometime down the road. maybe get hers tuned up to its potential and then test ride an electra or trek.

    thanks all for the advice.
    Last edited by Chris Chicago; 08-28-14 at 01:39 PM.

  11. #11
    Junior Member HBCruiser1's Avatar
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    haha, Squid is right, it'll start squeaking and creaking alright but if she's set on that bike, what can you do. My wife wanted a bike, I knew she'd only use it several times a month MAYBE, so I got her the Schwinn 7 speed Roxie from the local Target ~$160 (she wanted a pink bike). Not a good bike, every now and then I wrestle with the crappy derailleur getting it adjusted just right, but it works for her and it works really well as long as the tires are pumped. She enjoys it, it's pink and has nice chrome (for now) fenders and white walls (I could have spent $500 and if she didn't like the color it wouldn't have mattered how much better the bike was!). There's a lot of really nice bikes sitting in garages all over this land!

    Note, the cheaper bikes often have a pretty small frame so indeed have her sit on it and see if it feels too small. Also plan on upgrading the seat, they are often hard as a rock on the cheaper bikes. The right seat makes everything nice and encourages people to ride.

    Keep those tires pumped up and the chain lubed and she'll probably enjoy it.

    Good luck.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Chris Chicago's Avatar
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    This is what was purchased. It arrives wed. I'm not even sure if the rims are alloy.

    http://www.huffybikes.com/Products/P...d=769%7C5%7C17

  13. #13
    Quirky Grifter LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    I don't really think alloy rims make much difference on coaster braked bike. Sure lighter wheels might be nice but that thing's so damn heavy anyways. Probably has two pound tires on it...
    1980ish Free Spirit Sunbird fixed * 1996 Mongoose IBOC Zero-G * 1997 KHS Comp * 1990-ish Scapin * Lemond Buenos Aires Triple

  14. #14
    Bicyclerider4life
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    nice bike I want to get the men's version.
    "Whenever I see an adult riding a bicycle, I know there is hope for mankind." (H. G. Wells)

  15. #15
    Senior Member surreal's Avatar
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    I think ya done good by her. The problem with truly awful dept store bikes is, ppl buy them, they break immediately, and then the new riders decide that all bikes are crap. With you around to politely say " i told you so", your friend may decide to give it a more sincere effort next time.

    I used to try to give ppl excellent bike-shopping advice, but I've found that neophytes who are extremely price-conscious will not listen to reason at all. I generally try to get them to pull the trigger on any bike, and then offer advice for bike #2 if/when necessary....

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    i like those expanding luggage racks. wish I could cut one off for one of my projects.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LesterOfPuppets View Post
    My favorite cheap cruisers are the Kent La Jolla. Nice light frame, fun to ride. Rear hub is crap, though. Crank isn't so hot either but they usually last longer than rear hub. All bearings should be repacked before riding.

    If price is no object, then Merlin Newsboy, of course.

    One of these days I hope to find a nice KHS Brentwood cruiser. CL searches for Brentwood are such a drag, though, cuz they're all Brentwood comfort bikes.

    I'll leave this here for Lester. My Fleetwood.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  18. #18
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    Schwinn Phantoms were built like tanks... not the fastest bike in the world but those tires contributed to a plush ride.

    Of course, a classic heavyweight cruiser isn't suitable for every one.... when it weighs 40 lbs.

  19. #19
    Bicyclerider4life
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    Quote Originally Posted by NormanF View Post
    Schwinn Phantoms were built like tanks... not the fastest bike in the world but those tires contributed to a plush ride.

    Of course, a classic heavyweight cruiser isn't suitable for every one.... when it weighs 40 lbs.
    40 pounds?!? You had a light weight! My old J.C. Higgins weighed in at 63.25 pounds (bathroom scale, with and without the bike when I was on the scale.) I'm not sure how much weight the 3 speed internal geared crank I put on added to the tonnage.
    "Whenever I see an adult riding a bicycle, I know there is hope for mankind." (H. G. Wells)

  20. #20
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    For a cruiser bike I think of Electra. They are way cool.
    Where I grew up you'd get beat up if you rode a Huffy...........just kidding. But their reputation is kinda below average I've always thought.

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