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Old 11-21-08, 06:44 PM   #1
recumelectric
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suspension on a beach cruiser?

I'm still in the process of trying to work out my personal "dream bike." I've always loved the upright postion and handlebars on the Beach Cruisers. I'd like to add suspension to one, since I can't find any models with both suspension seatpost and front wheel suspension.

Would it work? Are there suspension parts that would be compatible with the Beach Cruiser? (If so, why don't any of the Cruisers have them?) Would the front wheel suspension have the same effect that it does on other bikes? ...I'm thinking of doing the suspension hub in front, instead of messing around with forks.

...Also, how long do suspension systems last before needing replacement?
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Old 11-21-08, 06:53 PM   #2
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Suspension hub?
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Old 11-21-08, 07:16 PM   #3
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I think the whole point of beach cruisers is that they have balloon tires fitted and thats your suspension right there.

On another level if your beach cruiser really is used for beach cruising then the last thing you need is salt and sand getting in the suspension. Also to be honest I've never used a suspension fork that actually worked anyway. Seriously. Without spending a LOT of money on a suspension unit all you get is a underdamped/undamped spring or maybe they just rely on the friction from a poorly assembled unit to provide some damping. Anyway it doesn't even work.

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Old 11-21-08, 07:52 PM   #4
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I googled suspension hub and found the Pantour, looks pretty hokey and trouble waiting to happen.

I'm also thinking big fat tires on a cruiser style bike should be enough for a smoooth ride. I've seen some with the springer type front suspension but have never used one personally, don't know how functional they are. I wouldn't bother with a suspension seatpost, they're just annoying; a big old spring saddle should work fine if that's something you want.

Anthonyg--There are a lot of good suspension forks out there, have several, although can't say I've seen one on a beach cruiser (as most of those forks would cost more than most beach cruisers).
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Old 11-21-08, 08:45 PM   #5
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I think the whole point of beach cruisers is that they have balloon tires fitted and thats your suspension right there.

Anthony
That and their simplicity.
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Old 11-21-08, 09:40 PM   #6
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Maybe get a Thudbuster from Cane Creek, if you really feel the need.
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Old 11-21-08, 09:43 PM   #7
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a suspension hub?! ok, i own 7 "beach cruisers" and i have poundered this as well. for rear suspension, a good wide spring seat and/or a suspension seat post will be great. for the front, you can get a suspension fork or a classic cruiser style "springer fork" to soften out bumps on the road. nice cush hand grips and big, fat balloon tires are also good. i have been into bikes for like over 15 years and never heard of a suspension hub. im sure you are right and it exists, but i would never use it.

a suspension fork or springer fork will last according to use and abuse. ride hard alot vs riding conservitivly occasionally. they work good and for a cruiser, id look into a springer front fork, get the fattie tires, cush grips and wide spring saddle.
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Old 11-21-08, 11:13 PM   #8
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Cruisers are supposed to be simple, low-maintenance bikes.
You could put a springer fork on the front and find a saddle with bigger or more springs, or just let some air out of the tires.
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Old 11-21-08, 11:15 PM   #9
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Buy a real sprung seat. My favorite would be one of the Brooks. Scwhable Fat Frank or Big Apples for tires. If you feel the need, use a cheap springer fork. They are not nearly as good as the old Scwhinn forks.

It wont be a beach cruiser if you start putting mountain components on it.

Last edited by cman; 11-21-08 at 11:20 PM.
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Old 11-22-08, 12:34 AM   #10
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Thanks for all the ideas. I will be looking around tonight.

I do realize that a bunch of equipment on a Beach Cruiser is kind of oxymoronic. The main features of Beach Cruisers that I like are the big bouncy seat, the upright position, and the wide handlebars. My main gripe is that my hiney gets sore on rides over 5 miles or so. I'm looking for a way to reduce the impact.

I've looked at the "comfort bikes," and I like the cushiony feeling when going over bumps. I don't like the small seats and the fact that I have to lean a bit more to reach the handlebars. I guess my other option would be to install the Beach Cruiser seat and handlebars on one of those. Is that possible and financially reasonable?
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Old 11-22-08, 12:37 AM   #11
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for the front, you can get a suspension fork or a classic cruiser style "springer fork" to soften out bumps on the road. .
Me likes all the other stuff (big fat tires and seats, etc.) you speak of. What exactly is a springer fork and how is it different from a suspension fork?
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Old 11-22-08, 12:43 AM   #12
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Anthonyg--There are a lot of good suspension forks out there, have several, although can't say I've seen one on a beach cruiser (as most of those forks would cost more than most beach cruisers).
Thats kind of what I was getting at so I guess I could have been more to the point. A good suspension fork that works is EXPENSIVE and my only experience with suspension forks was on cheaper bikes and my opinion of them was that they were worse rather than better than a rigid fork.


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Old 11-22-08, 01:12 AM   #13
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I put a cruiser bar on my Mt. bike and love it. The ride is nice, but feels more like my old Raleigh 3-speed than my cruiser, owing to the "sportier" geometry.

I'm definitely sitting upright, but I cant put my feet flat on the ground while in the saddle like on my cruiser, well, I guess I could if I dropped the seat, but I don't wanna. No suspension, either, but there is a gigantic spongy seat involved...


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Old 11-22-08, 01:19 AM   #14
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I think the whole point of beach cruisers is that they have balloon tires fitted and thats your suspension right there.

On another level if your beach cruiser really is used for beach cruising then the last thing you need is salt and sand getting in the suspension. Also
to be honest I've never used a suspension fork that actually worked anyway. Seriously. Without spending a LOT of money on a suspension unit all you get is a underdamped/undamped spring or maybe they just rely on the friction from a poorly assembled unit to provide some damping. Anyway it doesn't even work.

Anthony
you need to upgrade from dept store bikes

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Old 11-22-08, 01:20 AM   #15
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to OP, check here, i thought i recalled the mention of suspension fork here.

http://www.wildfirecycles.com/home.html

mx
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Old 11-22-08, 01:34 AM   #16
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you need to upgrade from dept store bikes

mx
You need to go WAY up from a dept store bike to get a decent suspension fork. Entry level RoxShox forks are pretty ordinary in my experience.

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Old 11-22-08, 01:55 AM   #17
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A good suspension fork that works is EXPENSIVE and my only experience with suspension forks was on cheaper bikes and my opinion of them was that they were worse rather than better than a rigid fork.


Anthony
How expensive? What companies?
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Old 11-22-08, 05:29 AM   #18
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How expensive? What companies?
These are acceptable shocks for starting with

RockShox Tora 318 Coil U-Turn
Magura Odur Fork

Better forks
Marzocchi XC 600
RockShox Reba

However, I can't see what you need suspension for on a beach cruiser. Suspension forks are designed for people who cycle off road and need it. What horrific bumps on the pavement are you expecting that require more suspension than giant tyres and a seat which looks more like an armchair?
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Old 11-22-08, 06:03 AM   #19
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How expensive? What companies?
Sorry, I have no experience with what's currently on the market to hazard a guess at what the good suspension units are. A good suspension unit requires precision and good damping to start with. The lower range units don't even bother with damping.

When considering suspension units I came to the conclusion that there wasn't really a good unit out there for street use anyway. A good unit for road use would require short travel, a not too heavy spring and good damping and since suspension units mostly go on the cheap models there isn't really a market for developing a good street unit. The money is put into developing high quality long suspension travel models for off road. Thats the market that will spend the money for a high performance suspension fork.

Anthony

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Old 11-22-08, 07:02 AM   #20
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How expensive? What companies?
Here is Nashbar's MTB fork page: http://www.nashbar.com/results.cfm?c...ory%3A%20Forks

The cheapest Rock Shok is $120 and the most expensive Marzocchi is about $400. However, these all have 1-1/8" steerers and use threadless headsets. I'm not sure any beach cruiser can be adapted to them. Even if you can, the cost will have to include a new headset, stem and bars along with the fork. It won't be cheap.
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Old 11-22-08, 07:22 AM   #21
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Suspension on a bike is no guarantee that the seat will feel better. Leaning forward on the bars takes some of the weight off the seat, that helps. The wide seats may chafe the back of your legs too.

Almost everything is wrong with the beach cruiser position and components for more comfort on longer rides. Good quality bike shorts worn under your pants may totally solve your problem. No underwear between you and the bike shorts. If you are uncomfortable on a five mile ride, you may need to ride more consistently with a day off in between rides. You do get more comfortable with time.

Look at a touring bike designed for long rides. No fat seat and high handlebars.

Beach cruisers are built for short rides.
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Old 11-22-08, 03:11 PM   #22
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I've looked at the "comfort bikes," and I like the cushiony feeling when going over bumps. I don't like the small seats and the fact that I have to lean a bit more to reach the handlebars.
One way or another, saddles are just about always replaceable. And for bars - get a North Road bar, and for even easier reach - mount it with a short stem turned backwards. It'll look weird, make the bike just about unrideable out of the saddle, but it will work just fine for sedate riding.
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Old 11-22-08, 08:23 PM   #23
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What exactly is a springer fork and how is it different from a suspension fork?
Off bike:


On bike:


They're usually $50-60 new.
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Old 11-23-08, 07:33 AM   #24
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i think electra makes a beach cruiser model with a front suspension fork. supposedly their beach cruisers are considered the cadillac of beach cruisers so i have been told.

www.electrabike.com
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Old 11-23-08, 11:53 AM   #25
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I thought some of the old Schwinn beach cruisers has that springer front on them at some point,no?
They're heavy,probably expensive now,but they looked good and worked well.
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