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Old 06-22-11, 11:12 AM   #1
LagrangePoint5
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CraigsList Retro Beach Cruiser - Questions

Greetings! I was unsure which forum to post this under, this one or the single-speed/fixed gear one. Figured this the most appropriate.

So, to get down to it, we have exhibit A:

http://richmond.craigslist.org/bik/2455338555.html

I have contacted the seller and plan on meeting him to check it out, and then perhaps purchase it. However, some questions before our appointment happens.

This seems to visually be a good deal to me at $120 (if I had the money for a FCU from BD I would get it for sure, but alas). I asked him some questions via e-mail:

Very interested in this bike. Do have some questions though.

1. Approximate weight? Guessing it is steel, hopefully chromoly.
2. Does the rear wheel have a flip-flop hub? Guessing this is fixed gear, and I would be wanting to have it be single-speed after I get it (unless you would do that for a little extra). I would get front and back brakes afterwards too.
3. Are the decals removable, or say under a clear coat and cannot be gotten to easily?
4. Is it drilled to accept brakes even? Also, does it have the capability (bosses and eyelets) for fenders and a rack later on?

Excited!


His replies in turn were the following:

Umm
Im not sure what your asking?...This is a beach cruiser....with coaster-brake(Back pedal)brakes...it is drilled for hand brakes...as for weight,its lighter than normal cruisers but not a featherweight...The decals can be removed,but they were cleared over at the factory when made...Hope this helps you....


and

There are eyelets for racks on the back..but not the front....But most newer fenders attach to the axle nuts

So, it sounds like it may be chromoly and not hi-tensile steel. Possibly removable decals. I mean, "Body Glove"? Sounds like a store-window item. Which leads me to worry a bit over its possible quality. Maybe the clean aesthetics are the siren's call here, but I have been getting tired of the rusted heaps that have inundated CraigsList. It also sounds like a future rack and fenders, along with front/rear brakes, will not be an issue either (awesome if so). Granted I cannot tell too well from the pictures if the needed holes/eyelets/bosses are there or not. Can those contacts be added later on without too much hassle?

The big question I suppose is whether this fixed gear with coaster brake can be changed into a single-speed with handbrakes, without sacrificing the back wheel. He seems not to know if it has the "flip-flop hub" and I myself do not know what to look for necessarily. I very much want the simplicity of a single-speed, but definitely do not want to be peddling all the time and have to go backwards to brake.

Look forward to your input!
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Old 06-22-11, 11:47 AM   #2
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1 - probably around 30lbs, and almost certainly hi-ten steel, not chromoly.
2 - no, it's a coaster brake and there is no such thing as a fixed gear coaster brake hub.
3 - answered by seller.
4 - it's impossible to tell from the photos if it's drilled for brakes, but there are eyelets on the rear drops for a fender and rack.

You'd have to replace the rear wheel if you want a freewheel or a flipflop hub (but I don't know why you'd want one if you "don't want to be pedaling all the time.")

It doesn't look like a great deal to me, I don't think it's much different from a cheap cruiser that you could buy new from a department store for about the same money. You can certainly do better if you're patient.

I wouldn't suggest posing these questions to the SS/FG crowd...
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Old 06-22-11, 12:00 PM   #3
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Oh, I knew it was a coaster brake. Fixed gear and all. I just know some bikes can come with a flip-flop hub that allows you to flip the wheel around and (if the other side has a freewheel attached) use that instead. Granted handbrakes would be important if one chose to do that. Just was not clear to me by his photos if it had such a hub that could be flipped. My guess is no though after some more research.

Bummer about having to replace the wheel or respoke it. Guess I will look for a geared one to convert to single-speed, one already a single-speed, or one with a flip-flop hub already installed. I would never really use the fixed gear side of a flip-flop hub, but since that seems to be often what the non-geared bikes come with, oh well.

Thanks for the input.
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Old 06-22-11, 12:02 PM   #4
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I'm so confused
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Old 06-22-11, 12:16 PM   #5
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It's not a fixed gear, and you're not likely to see one (or a flipflop hub for that matter) on a beach cruiser unless someone added one later. I wouldn't bother asking sellers about that since it will only confuse them, best to go check it out in person.

I have seen plenty of single-speed cruisers with a freewheel and handbrakes, it shouldn't be too difficult to find one. Are you specifically looking for a cantilever frame like that one, or would you consider a diamond frame? The latter might be a bit more common as a single-speed freewheel bike. If so, Jamis, Boss Cruiser, Schwinn. and Raleigh made plenty of those.
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Old 06-22-11, 12:26 PM   #6
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This is pretty close to what I think you're looking for (assuming you're not set on a classic cruiser shape) - http://richmond.craigslist.org/bik/2453706142.html

I'm not a big fan of single speed conversions, but this is a good quality bike.
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Old 06-22-11, 01:55 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Chris_in_Miami View Post
It's not a fixed gear, and you're not likely to see one (or a flipflop hub for that matter) on a beach cruiser unless someone added one later.
Ohh, my mistake. I was thinking things were similar when they were not. Makes much more sense now. Thanks!

My choice of frame is quite open. I would prefer something relaxed (more upright than aggressive, minimal toe-overlap), but it certainly does not need to be a cruiser. While trying to stay under $300 I had also been looking at some on BD. Such as those under that price point in the http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/trackbikes.htm group. Granted I know they are a bit less relaxed in geometry.

Also thought about a Schwinn Speed or Schwinn Courier as mentioned on their site. Looking to avoid the hi-tensile of their other Urban offerings thought the quality of an aluminum frame at that price point is worrying.

It would be nice to avoid having to do a conversion at all, true. Having it like that as it, or at least the capability to add a freewheel would be nice.

I actually had that one up to look at as well. I just looked initially at the other due to the rusting on this one. But that should be fixable I would imagine. Believe it is sold by the same guy too. Thanks for the input.
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Old 06-22-11, 02:38 PM   #8
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I mean, "Body Glove"? Sounds like a store-window item
Body Glove is a well-known and respected manufacturer of wetsuits. between them and O'Neil, they probably have 90% of the market for surfing applications . If you were to cruise this beach cruiser around just about any California beach town, you'd fit right in.

Probably a promotional item made in China for Body Glove to distribute.
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Old 06-22-11, 03:27 PM   #9
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First of all, no, this bike is not worth $120. This is definitely a Pacific Cycle - They make BSOs under many names. You can buy this exact bike, albeit with different decals, at any megamart.

As for fixie vs. coaster brake, coaster hubs use a cog similar to a fixie cog although coaster cogs are splined instead of threaded. There's a freewheel-like mechanism in the hub, engaging the hub shell and wheel when you pedal forward, and the brake when you pedal backward.

You'd probably be better off buying a cruiser frame/fork combo, wheels with a flip-flop hub, and brakes off the 'net and assemble the bike yourself: You'll end up spending about the same amount of money.
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Old 06-22-11, 03:47 PM   #10
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It looks perfect for cruising along the beach front.

hills and long rides, not so hot.
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Old 06-22-11, 04:58 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by sillygolem View Post
First of all, no, this bike is not worth $120.
Sure it is, if that's the type of bike he's looking for.

The cheapest cruiser Target sells is $149.99, and then you have to pay tax and another $30 extra for poor assembly by an untrained store "associate". As far as building one - not everyone has the tools, knowledge, time, or inclination to do so.

This one is in perfect shape for $120 out the door, fully assembled by someone who looks like they know what they're doing. Were I looking for a cruiser, this one would be a no-brainer. I can't see how you can go wrong for $120.

OP, if it floats your boat buy it and be happy.
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Old 06-22-11, 08:28 PM   #12
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Well, it's gone now.
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Old 06-23-11, 07:06 AM   #13
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Thanks for the explanation sillygolem. Yep, sure did go quick, but some points made here definitely made me not want to go for it. I think I will save up a bit and go for the Windsor TimeLine at BD in about two months when they likely will have more in stock. It is pretty much what I am looking for except the handlebars, but those are easily changeable. In the mean time I can just check CraigsList and my LBS to see if something catches my eye instead.

Thanks.
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Old 06-23-11, 08:18 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by bigbossman View Post
Sure it is, if that's the type of bike he's looking for.

The cheapest cruiser Target sells is $149.99, and then you have to pay tax and another $30 extra for poor assembly by an untrained store "associate". As far as building one - not everyone has the tools, knowledge, time, or inclination to do so.

This one is in perfect shape for $120 out the door, fully assembled by someone who looks like they know what they're doing. Were I looking for a cruiser, this one would be a no-brainer. I can't see how you can go wrong for $120.

OP, if it floats your boat buy it and be happy.
What he said.
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Old 06-23-11, 03:27 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by bigbossman View Post
Sure it is, if that's the type of bike he's looking for.

The cheapest cruiser Target sells is $149.99, and then you have to pay tax and another $30 extra for poor assembly by an untrained store "associate". As far as building one - not everyone has the tools, knowledge, time, or inclination to do so.
The Target bikes are pricey because they have the word "Schwinn" on them. Not sure where OP is, but if there's an Academy nearby you're looking at $100 for a Huffy pre-assembled...er...as far as that counts for a big box store.
http://www.academy.com/webapp/wcs/st...ruiser&Ntk=All
And since he's thinking about swapping wheels and adding brakes anyway, there wouldn't be much difference work-wise between modifying a bike or starting from scratch.
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