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  1. #1
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    Does a beach cruiser have any business in traffic?

    Does a beach cruiser have any business in traffic? I have one I enjoy riding on residential streets but I'm reluctant to take it on busier steets (even those with bike lanes). I've seen others do it, but I fear the lack of gears and bulkiness of the cruiser would make me a nuisance to other vehicles. So what's the verdict? Should I leave the bike lane for "real" bikes?

  2. #2
    Nature Worshipper hillyman's Avatar
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    You have to be comfortable with riding in traffic, doesn't matter what you are on.
    In every walk with Nature one receives far more than he seeks. John Muir

  3. #3
    CARFREE, THE LIFE FOR ME Autokat's Avatar
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    I think the same thing , I have a cruiser and when I think about it it's probably not the best choice in heavier traffic , if you have to take off quick or react fast there definately not the weapon of choice , but then again why not put a rear cassette on the wheel and whack a set of gears on it ? can't hurt to try .
    I'm not myself today. Maybe I'm you.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member GP's Avatar
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    I ride mine regularly on the Coast Highway.

  5. #5
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    Absolutely not! All those pictures of Amsterdam and Beijing are computer generated, as part of a global disinformation campaign.

    Paul

  6. #6
    The Red Lantern Rev.Chuck's Avatar
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    You should never feel out of place in the bike lane, they are for all of the self-propelled.

    If you are uncomfortable on busy streets you might want to stay off just to keep from giving yourself a heart attack. The kind of bike does not matter as much as the attitude of the rider, we are always going to tend to be slower than cars.

  7. #7
    Chicago Cyclist ViciousCycle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Namowal
    I've seen others do it, but I fear the lack of gears and bulkiness of the cruiser would make me a nuisance to other vehicles.
    The lack of gears can be its own benefit -- it means there's less you have to think about. A nice thing about a cruiser is that with a rear view mirror on your helmet or glasses, your upright position allows you to easily see what's going on all around you.
    The Easter Island people were clever, but their civilization collapsed after they chopped down the last tree on their island. You can't be 'resourceful' if you've used up all of your resources.

  8. #8
    Senior Member geebee's Avatar
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    I ride everything from a recumbent trike to a s/s chopper on the main roads, no great difference really a bike is generally a lot slower than a car so a few kph slower isn't a great difference, and I doubt your cruiser is wider than my trike .
    If you feel confident doing so go for it.
    Ps. If the take off speed is a concern, a cheap low powered electric geared hub can, with pedalling allow you to blow any "real bike" and a lot of cars off at the lights
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  9. #9
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ViciousCycle
    The lack of gears can be its own benefit -- it means there's less you have to think about. A nice thing about a cruiser is that with a rear view mirror on your helmet or glasses, your upright position allows you to easily see what's going on all around you.

    Riding a cruiser with helmet and mirror will get your beach pass taken away!

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    Quote Originally Posted by genec
    Riding a cruiser with helmet and mirror will get your beach pass taken away!
    I'm in big trouble then... guess who rides with both?

    I do feel a little silly riding by other cyclists who sport neither- like the only kid in the pool with water wings- but the mirror is helpful and the helmet may come in handy one day.

  11. #11
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    I feel as confident on my Schwinn cruiser in traffic as my road bike, even though the cruiser is a bit slower. But its a six speed 46/ 13-28 so it cranks when needed.

    You sit taller. And when you stand up on the cranks at 3 and 9, with swept bars you can get so tall you are looking DOWN on drivers in Expeditions and Escalades. You have a bigger footprint too, big wide bars like longhorn cattle, drivers are scared of them (how about some punk inspired spike barends, keep those drivers fearful for their paint!)

    You want to assert your right to the lane?? If you add some supersized Wald baskets front and back, a cruiser is almost as big as a Honda Goldwing. And if you're fit, you CAN ride it as fast as the rest of us bikers out there. Half of them anyway. You can totally pull in out of shape racer wannabes if you got the hams.

  12. #12
    45 miles/week Eggplant Jeff's Avatar
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    Seriously does it matter if you're going 10 mph or 20 mph if the traffic's going 45? Either way you are WAY slower. Ride what you've got. You've got just as much right to the road as anyone else out there. Even Lance on a 5-lb racer will be going 10 mph up a large enough hill, and the drivers will still be going over the speed limit (that 400-hp motor doesn't even notice mountains)... My point is that you're fine.

    Don't worry about clogging up the bike lanes, if any other bikers are actually faster than you and are competent VCers they'll take the vehicle lane and pass you on the left like they should .

  13. #13
    45 miles/week Eggplant Jeff's Avatar
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    I posted that generally exhaggerating all the numbers... but now thinking about it "Lance on a 5-lb racer" creates a mental picture of Lance riding one of those plastic kids tricycles .

  14. #14
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    I ride my beach cruiser to groceries, but to work I ride my Sirrus.
    Sure you can ride it on the road, no problem except on my route, there are steep hills, so single gear is very hard.

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    In heavy traffic I like a bit of agility and the ability to switch to lower gears for more acceleration, esp from a standing start.
    Some of the modern cruisers are made of Al, but most are way too heavy.

  16. #16
    Banned. folder fanatic's Avatar
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    While I do not own a beach cruiser, I have similar bicycles. I have a English three speed roadster and a folding bike. Both have an upright approuch to riding and high pressured but wide tires for traction. I find them far more safer to ride in traffic than my old road bike with it's skinny tires and tendency to be ridden too fast. It doen't matter how heavy or light the traffic is.

    Even my old roadie could not match the speed of a 30+ mph moving car.

  17. #17
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    It's not about the bike.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Gunmetal_Ghoul's Avatar
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    My commute on my cruiser is quite confident with an added front caliper brake. I fell that the bike is more ready for traffic than the rider himself. Yes, there were a couple close calls, but mostly embarrassing starts and stops. I hope drivers get used to me being on the road until I gain some decent riding skills.
    "Ride by faith, not by sight."

  19. #19
    PatronSaintOfDiscBrakes dynaryder's Avatar
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    ^^^^^ +1

    As long as you have a front brake,you should be fine. I would not want to deal with traffic and peds with only a coaster/rear brake.

    C'dale BBU('05 and '09)/Super Six/Hooligan8and 3,Kona Dew Deluxe,Novara Buzz/Safari,Surly Big Dummy,Marin Pt Reyes,Giant Defy 1,Schwinn DBX SuperSport/Qualifier,Brompton S6L,Dahon Speed Pro TT

  20. #20
    Walmart bike rider gpsblake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Namowal View Post
    Does a beach cruiser have any business in traffic?
    Yes, every bit as much as any other bicycle.

    Should I leave the bike lane for "real" bikes?
    These bikes are every bit as real as any other bike. In fact, some people love them because they are so simple to use and so easy to maintain.

    I will agree about getting a front brake is a good idea, especially since the most effective braking is done using the front brakes. Also good to have front brakes if something happens to your chain if only have coaster brakes. Still the idea is to ride and if that's all you got, that'll work fine.

  21. #21
    Commie
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    sure it a bike, i would not feel comfy on one..maybe the sidewalk. I ride my hybrid trek on the road here in vegas, its very nerve racking..of course i have not rode in years up until a few weeks ago..im getting used to it. but always checking my "6"..some really really crazy drivers here..will run you over and not even look back or care..happens all the time. Not to mention the huge amount of large trucks and SUV's on our roads here, i saw a super lifted Ford 350 today..this beast was at least on a 5 foot lift..plain dumb! I bet whoever owns that stupid truck is really wishing they didnt these days..

  22. #22
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Namowal View Post
    I'm in big trouble then... guess who rides with both?

    I do feel a little silly riding by other cyclists who sport neither- like the only kid in the pool with water wings- but the mirror is helpful and the helmet may come in handy one day.
    True about the mirror.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  23. #23
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    I ride both the street and sidewalk depending on the time of day, amount of traffic, etc. I live in Los Angeles and one can easily get killed riding a heavy-weight cruiser on a main boulevard during afternoon rush hour traffic. There is a lot of driver angst in this city. Bikes in the street are not welcome. All one has to deal with riding the sidewalk is the occasional pedestrian that yells "get off the sidewalk". As you know, pedestrian angst is much easier to ignore than driver angst.

  24. #24
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    A cruiser belongs on the road like any other bike. The only problem is that in real city traffic, it's sometime useful, sometimes necessary to be able to maneuver very quickly, to accelerate fast, or to be able to go as fast as the cars can go on some streets. A cruiser may not exactly be the best bike for traffic jamming. For the sidewalk cruisers among us, that's probably the single most dangerous thing that you do on a ride.

  25. #25
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    I sometimes see a fellow commuter on my way to or from work. She rides a turquoise cruiser bike (I think it might be a 3-speed). She wears a helmet and an N95 respirator dust mask (she takes no chances with Houston pollution). The woman can SPIN - she really moves! Sudden acceleration? No problem. She sticks to the bike lanes, and then when the bike lane ends and turns into a 3 lane "shared bikeway" she moves to the sidewalk. It really doesn't slow her down much.

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