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Old 04-02-06, 05:34 PM   #1
Digital Gee
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OMG Cruisers!

My 14 year old daughter likes to ride with me, but lately her bike is kept at her mom's house and it's rather a hassle schlepping it back and forth. Been thinking about picking up something used to keep here (where, Oh God, where?) and today we stopped at a bike rental place down at the harbor. They sell off their Schwinn cruisers and MTB's early every summer.

Still had a bit of last summer's cruiser stock, for $130. Some with three speeds, some without. Some with fenders, some without. Just for grins I hopped on a cruiser and OMG! it was a blast! No, not for long rides, but it was just pure grin from ear to ear. Might have to get her one, so I can use it when she's not here.

The playfulness of a simple cruiser with fat white wall tires, coaster brakes, and those amazing handlebars was something I'd completely forgotten. They have one that's not for sale, completely restored, with the fake gas tank (with a built in bell), light, chrome fenders, and it was sooooo retro-sexy it was a screamer! But the owner won't part with it.

I may have stumbled on a whole new thing here!

And btw, my rides with my daughter rarely even go ten miles, and she doesn't ride enough to get her butt in shape so she always complains about her saddle. We tend to do bike trails or flat streets with little or no traffic, as well. I think she could enjoy a cruiser in these conditions, and I'd enjoy being out there with her.

I'm still astonished at how different, and full-barrel fun, this kind of bike can be!
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Old 04-02-06, 05:56 PM   #2
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I've some in the stores and must admit they catch the eye. I joked with one of my buddies in the LBS about trying to take that thing up a climb like Grandfather or Mt Mitchell. Coming down would be a blast!!
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Old 04-02-06, 06:01 PM   #3
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I'm sure there are plenty of "family" bike shops to check out--have you checked around PB or Mission Bay. That's the place to cruise to, so it's likely they have some nice shops there. You will probably end up with a cruiser too just so when you ride with your daughter--that will be a sight (pictures pictures!!!)
Be sure and let her cruise in Coronado, up and down the strand or at Mission Bay or even Balboa Park, you have lots to choose from.
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Old 04-02-06, 07:43 PM   #4
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Whoa.....I haven't locked up the coaster brake and side skidded, foot out, in 45 years or so. Next we'll be putting playing cards and balloons in the spokes. *-)
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Old 04-02-06, 08:49 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Digital Gee
I may have stumbled on a whole new thing here!

And btw, my rides with my daughter rarely even go ten miles, and she doesn't ride enough to get her butt in shape so she always complains about her saddle. We tend to do bike trails or flat streets with little or no traffic, as well. I think she could enjoy a cruiser in these conditions, and I'd enjoy being out there with her.

I'm still astonished at how different, and full-barrel fun, this kind of bike can be!

I'm not going to put down any bike or the fun that a person has on any style of bike. But please don't start waxing fondly about 35 lb cruisers. The fun you're having is due to nostalgia or the pleasure of being with your daughter (and that's cool). Cruisers are the reason that most Americans stop riding bikes prior to or on their 16th birthday. There's a cruiser in my garage that my daughter absolutely had to have for her 12th birthday, it got maybe 15 miles before she realized it was a heavy, badly handling hunk of steel. Two years later, she now rides a Specialized Sequoia and never the cruiser. If you think you've "stumbled on a whole new thing here", I predict it will be a short-lived thing. But have fun with it.
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Old 04-02-06, 10:32 PM   #6
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Admit it DG, you're just testing it out dreaming of cruising on the sidewalk at the beach with all the bikini clad women roller blading around with you.
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Old 04-02-06, 11:34 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Digital Gee
I may have stumbled on a whole new thing here! I'm still astonished at how different, and full-barrel fun, this kind of bike can be!

Steve
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Old 04-02-06, 11:38 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Wildwood
Cruisers are the reason that most Americans stop riding bikes prior to or on their 16th birthday.
I thought the reason was that millions of Americans who became interested in cycling still remember the contortions required to ride, and the harsh unpleasant ride of the 10 speed racers of the 70's and never tried a bike again. Not eerybody is interested in riding in a peloton with the club, on a tour, or in "training". The absence of the cruiser from the American market and the single minded emphasis on performance bikes, high tech gimmicks and weight weenieism for the last 30 or so years has been a loss for many potential cyclists as well as the industry as a whole.
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Old 04-03-06, 12:46 AM   #9
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Gone, but not forgotten.......some of us fat tire terrors graduated!
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Old 04-03-06, 01:03 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Wildwood
I'm not going to put down any bike or the fun that a person has on any style of bike. But please don't start waxing fondly about 35 lb cruisers. The fun you're having is due to nostalgia or the pleasure of being with your daughter (and that's cool). Cruisers are the reason that most Americans stop riding bikes prior to or on their 16th birthday. There's a cruiser in my garage that my daughter absolutely had to have for her 12th birthday, it got maybe 15 miles before she realized it was a heavy, badly handling hunk of steel. Two years later, she now rides a Specialized Sequoia and never the cruiser. If you think you've "stumbled on a whole new thing here", I predict it will be a short-lived thing. But have fun with it.
Gee...I have no idea whether cruisers are the reason Americans stop riding or not. I sure never heard that theory before! But to be honest, I don't even care. And I'm glad your daughter found a bike she likes. Perhaps you'd be interested in selling me the cruiser?

You seem more frustrated with having a "heavy, badly handling hunk of steel" in your garage than anything else.

Maybe there aren't many cruisers in your neck of the woods, but here, there are hundreds that get ridden every day, on the boardwalk, along the beach, and in the urban neighborhoods. I see them all the time. I think they represent the biggest portion of the used bike trade on craigslist aside from MTB. Are they the perfect bike for everyone? Hardly. So? Who cares?

We both had fun riding one today.
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Old 04-03-06, 01:05 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by GrannyGear
Gone, but not forgotten.......some of us fat tire terrors graduated!
GG, that looks a lot like me, when I had the paper route!
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Old 04-03-06, 01:06 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cheeseflavor

Steve
Steve, I have made a note of this. I shall get even. You are warned!
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Old 04-03-06, 01:22 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Digital Gee
GG, that looks a lot like me, when I had the paper route!
Are we not all cycling brothers under the skin....childhood is universal and timeless...especially in the 50's & early 60's when, it seems, we all had the same striped tee-shirts, Schwinn or J.C. Higgins bikes, Keds or Convers, and watched the Mickey Mouse Club.

Incidentally, I can't imagine a more suitable bike for a pleasant after dinner neighborhood spin or cruise to the grocery store (especially with wire basket) than a fat tire cruiser....the original single speed! Go ask about a gazillion Europeans, Chinese, etc about theirs.

Mine was d*mned near indestructible, seldom flatted, stopped short with the briefest of skids, and cost about $40 new...with two tone paint. As for heavy-- yes, it was, but it carried 60 lb. squirty me into and over some wild and distant parts of my county.

***Hey Deege, we two West Coasters are the only ones on the forum...all the others are off to bed. Maybe Stapfam is just getting his first cup a tee going...I'm turning in...have to get to work tomorrow so I can tune back in to BF until I come home again. LOL.
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Old 04-03-06, 04:52 AM   #14
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Incidentally, I can't imagine a more suitable bike for a pleasant after dinner neighborhood spin or cruise to the grocery store (especially with wire basket) than a fat tire cruiser....the original single speed! Go ask about a gazillion Europeans, Chinese, etc about theirs.[/COLOR]
I got rid of my last single speed cruiser in 1997 when I had to get rid of stuff to make the weight limit for an overseas move. It was a schwinn ballon tire (26" x 2.125 tires) with knee action front suspension. A friend gave it to me me for nothing in 1971 because it was just taking up space in his garage. I frequently used it for weekend rides and took a trip up the Delaware Canal Tow Path from Philadelphia to Easton (80 miles) as well as a charity ride to Atlantic City with it. Missed it, so I sprung for a new updated version with a 7speed hub. I added a Brooks B73 saddle. One real plush ride, built for comfort, not speed.
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Old 04-03-06, 06:32 AM   #15
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Steve, I have made a note of this. I shall get even. You are warned!
OK

Cheeseflavor (Steve) is going to get even with me (DnvrFox), and DG is going to get even with Steve. now, DG, what have you done that I can get even with you?

We could have a perfect triangle.

Hmm!
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Old 04-03-06, 06:48 AM   #16
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Steve, I have made a note of this. I shall get even. You are warned!
Apologies for the bad photoshop, Gary

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Old 04-03-06, 09:51 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike
I thought the reason was that millions of Americans who became interested in cycling still remember the contortions required to ride, and the harsh unpleasant ride of the 10 speed racers of the 70's and never tried a bike again. Not eerybody is interested in riding in a peloton with the club, on a tour, or in "training". The absence of the cruiser from the American market and the single minded emphasis on performance bikes, high tech gimmicks and weight weenieism for the last 30 or so years has been a loss for many potential cyclists as well as the industry as a whole.
Boy Howdy! This is a mouthful of truth. It's little wonder that Boomers who want to bike again give
up after a visit to a LBS to see a sea of hi tech Lance wannabe bike and nothing familiar!!

Gary, Get your daughter a Crusier. Every kid deserves the fun memories they bring.
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Old 04-03-06, 09:51 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike
I thought the reason was that millions of Americans who became interested in cycling still remember the contortions required to ride, and the harsh unpleasant ride of the 10 speed racers of the 70's and never tried a bike again. Not eerybody is interested in riding in a peloton with the club, on a tour, or in "training". The absence of the cruiser from the American market and the single minded emphasis on performance bikes, high tech gimmicks and weight weenieism for the last 30 or so years has been a loss for many potential cyclists as well as the industry as a whole.
Boy Howdy! This is a mouthful of truth. It's little wonder that Boomers who want to bike again give
up after a visit to a LBS to see a sea of hi tech Lance wannabe bike and nothing familiar!!

Gary, Get your daughter a Crusier. Every kid deserves the fun memories they bring.
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Old 04-03-06, 09:52 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike
I thought the reason was that millions of Americans who became interested in cycling still remember the contortions required to ride, and the harsh unpleasant ride of the 10 speed racers of the 70's and never tried a bike again. Not eerybody is interested in riding in a peloton with the club, on a tour, or in "training". The absence of the cruiser from the American market and the single minded emphasis on performance bikes, high tech gimmicks and weight weenieism for the last 30 or so years has been a loss for many potential cyclists as well as the industry as a whole.
Boy Howdy! This is a mouthful of truth. It's little wonder that Boomers who want to bike again give
up after a visit to a LBS to see a sea of hi tech Lance wannabe bike and nothing familiar!!

Gary, Get your daughter a Crusier. Every kid deserves the fun memories they bring.
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Old 04-03-06, 10:05 AM   #20
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Del Sol make some nice looking cruisers and also a flat foot cruiser the "Low Boy".
http://www.delsolbikes.com/index.html
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Old 04-03-06, 10:07 AM   #21
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Yesterday morning I was on my way to meet the Clubbers for a ride and I stopped to let a guy cross the street on a bike. I thought he was a bum cuz he had a bike like the one in your thumbnail shot. As I got closer I discovered how wrong I was! That bike was exactly like yours, highly polished and obviously pampered. One beautiful Schwinn 'tanker'. The guy was heading over to get some groceries at the supermarket and he simply took off in his morning sweats. So cool watching those torsion bars work over the curb! Couldn't tell what saddle he had, but I do love the B-73. It's a real hammock.

DeeGee
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Old 04-03-06, 10:18 AM   #22
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I think the real virtue of cruisers is convenience -- you just hop on and go with no preparation necessary. That makes them good "car substitutes" Today's typical bikes with their road or mountain bike geometry, exposed chains, and no fenders don't work nearly as well in this role. A European commuter bike like mine does this even better, but the cruiser does a lot of it for only 1/10 the cost. That is quite a bargin!

The fact that a lot of cruiser riders quit at 16 could also be taken as a measure of the extent to which they were used as car substitutes. A cruiser is (fun) transportation; most other bike types are exercise equpment. In any case, the cruiser became nearly extinctin the US thirty years ago, and has only recently reappeared. It was a very important and useful bike type, and I am glad to see it back in the mix.

Here's the deal -- you need to pick up something at a store a mile away. You could drive, but you would spend 15 minutes circling the block looking for a parking space. You could ride your Lightspeed, but it would take fifteen minutes to dress and undress. Or you could hop on your cruiser and make the trip without any hassles.

Of course, the best part is that they are time machines. Suddenly, your are thirteen again. There is a small island we fly to where there are no rental cars, so we rent cruisers. Great way to get around -- even for 14 mile round trips towing a child.

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Old 04-03-06, 01:42 PM   #23
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I am glad that I live in the UK.Cruisers are very thin on the ground but in the 60's? there were the Raleigh Choppers. What a bike that was!!!!. Never had one as I was into cars and motorbikes when they came out, but They have reappeared in a more Crutch friendly form (The Gear stick has been moved from top tube) We now have the BMX crowd trying to wreck them but just like the originals- they will go on and on and--Just like this thread will with the old photos being scanned in.
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Old 04-03-06, 03:32 PM   #24
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Chop-chop!
http://www.raleighusa.com/items.asp?deptid=8&itemid=256
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Old 04-03-06, 06:30 PM   #25
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Electra sells a ton of Townies (neo-cruisers) just because they're fun. Don't discount the fun factor!
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