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  1. #1
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    Looking at this bike, hesitating a bit - Thoughts?

    So, that rental I got the other day is back in the shop. It served its purpose, and got me feeling more comfortable on a bike, at least enough to pull the trigger. The shop has this gorgeous bike, a United brand Lagoon Gent model, except the one at the shop has a small front rack, and a nice full-sized rear rack on it.

    The thing is, some factors have me slightly hesitant. The first is that it's single speed. Now, honestly, this isn't a HUGE deal, it's more of a "What if?" factor, so I can move past that. The other is that it only has coaster brakes, and with the stuff on the bike, they said they couldn't fit a front brake on there.

    So...What do you guys think? I'm not going to get another deal like this($205 before taxes) on anything actually decent(It's a single-speed, steel-framed cruiser, there's not much room to mess it up ) that already has the fenders and racks I wanted, and is brand new, anytime soon. But I don't really like the feeling of coaster brakes.

    So, should I get over my problems with coasters, find a way to get a front brake on there, or just pass on the bike entirely? Thanks, guys.

  2. #2
    Pentapointed Member ahsposo's Avatar
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    I live in the flats and we have a family place at the local beach where there is an assortment of cruisers in various states of repair.

    My wife has a cruiser made by Raleigh with a Shimano Nexus 7 speed rear hub. Only rear coaster brake.

    Top speeds attained on these bikes by ordinary riders is very low. The coaster brake seems to be adequate.

    There is nothing wrong with single speed bikes. I also have a nice Specialized Langster I use as a winter/rain bike. Frame is a road configuration and it is zippy. Caliper brakes front and rear.

    My questions for you would be:

    What's the terrain like on your home turf (assuming this is where you would do the majority of your riding)?

    Where are you going to stash your bike when it's not being ridden? I ask that because this bike is heavy. If you are going to haul it up stairs it's something to think about.

    I like that it has racks. Does it have fenders as well? Might be a nice local commuter/fetch-it bike if you live in the flats.
    Quote Originally Posted by toddles View Post
    If I gotta look up words, it's not worth my time.

  3. #3
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    Pretty flat overall, I'd say. Aside from this one dip I can detour around, or even just walk if necessary, I'd guess there's nothing higher/lower than maybe 15 degrees, either way. It'll be mostly streets, too.

    It'll be stashed in the garage, or on the first floor of my home, depending on weather and space and all that fun stuff. Won't be hauled up any stairs, though.

    It does indeed have fenders. They look to be a thick plastic or thin aluminum, not sure. Nothing too amazing, but for keeping the occasional puddle or blast of sand from slapping against me, they'd certainly do the job, I think.

    So you don't think the coaster brake would bite me in the ass too hard, then?

  4. #4
    Pentapointed Member ahsposo's Avatar
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    Only if you plan on going hell-bent-for-leather playing in traffic.

    These bikes are for cruising. Styling. Waving at the girls kinda riding.
    Quote Originally Posted by toddles View Post
    If I gotta look up words, it's not worth my time.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yalborap View Post
    Pretty flat overall, I'd say. Aside from this one dip I can detour around, or even just walk if necessary, I'd guess there's nothing higher/lower than maybe 15 degrees, either way. It'll be mostly streets, too.

    It'll be stashed in the garage, or on the first floor of my home, depending on weather and space and all that fun stuff. Won't be hauled up any stairs, though.

    It does indeed have fenders. They look to be a thick plastic or thin aluminum, not sure. Nothing too amazing, but for keeping the occasional puddle or blast of sand from slapping against me, they'd certainly do the job, I think.

    So you don't think the coaster brake would bite me in the ass too hard, then?
    I saw from your other thread (http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?664625-Finally-got-on-a-bike-again-running-into-some-new-problems......) that you are only 18 years old. Unless you have physical issues, which are none of my business, I think you have to ask yourself honestly what you really plan on doing with your new bike as someone as young as yourself may outgrow a single speed coaster break cruiser very quickly. Even though I am much older than you (44), about a month ago I was in nearly an identical situation as I never really rode a bike until then (about an hour or 2 my whole life; no exaggeration). I decided to put my faith in my local bike shop and so far I am really happy with my choice. I, too, was thinking cruiser or maybe a 3 speed with hand brakes. My area is a bit hilly and he convinced me to purchase a Trek 7100 hybrid (21 speed true hybrid with handbrakes and 700 by 35mm tires). It took some time, but now that I am riding about 4 miles a day and getting more competent, I am happier and happier with the fact that I have a bike that I have a lot of room to grow in to. I am not saying that you have to get a new Trek; but you may want to take a look at something like their Navigator (you may be able to get one off of Craigslist). If you start doing anything even remotely serious such as riding in traffic or even going up and down hills at an even moderate speed would you rather have a coaster brake or a pair of nice hand brakes that would allow you to concentrate on having your feet just do pedalling and being positioned properly for turns (this last statement is directed more at your other post that I mention above).

    In short, there is a real good chance that once you start to feel more comfortable on the bike that the 'bug' will hit you (as it has hit me) and that you will want a bike that does not obstruct your enthusiasm.
    2012 Pinarello FP Due,2010 Scattante X-330(Cyclocross),1988 Fuji Sagres SP (Road Bike)

  6. #6
    Pentapointed Member ahsposo's Avatar
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    Hey, he's looking at $205 for a cruiser.

    He's gotta start N+1 somewhere...
    Quote Originally Posted by toddles View Post
    If I gotta look up words, it's not worth my time.

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    This is true, knobd, and is definitely something to consider on the one hand.

    On the other hand, while we don't have many bikes at home, everyone knows how to ride, and I could see a casual utility-capable cruiser like this getting used a lot for going to the grocery store a mile away and stuff like that, even if I were to abandon it for something more awesome.

    EDIT: Oh, something I forgot. They didn't have a catalog there at the time, but a rep from the company is coming by the store tomorrow with some and some more info, so I'll see if they've got a simple three-speed or something that might not be listed on their general site.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by ahsposo View Post
    Hey, he's looking at $205 for a cruiser.

    He's gotta start N+1 somewhere...
    I didn't tell him to get a new Trek; I told him to look at the Navigator and contemplate something like it. Wherever or however he gets it (used or new) is up to him but $205 can somehow accomplish it. I'd hate to see him drop $205 on a cruiser and be bored with it in a few months. I also pretty much started totally from the beginning.

    With all that in mind, cruisers are seductively good looking and are real easy to ride so you can't blame the temptation. I was looking at them real seriously but I am now very very happy that I have a lot more than that.
    Last edited by knobd; 07-22-10 at 04:42 PM.
    2012 Pinarello FP Due,2010 Scattante X-330(Cyclocross),1988 Fuji Sagres SP (Road Bike)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yalborap View Post
    This is true, knobd, and is definitely something to consider on the one hand.

    On the other hand, while we don't have many bikes at home, everyone knows how to ride, and I could see a casual utility-capable cruiser like this getting used a lot for going to the grocery store a mile away and stuff like that, even if I were to abandon it for something more awesome.

    EDIT: Oh, something I forgot. They didn't have a catalog there at the time, but a rep from the company is coming by the store tomorrow with some and some more info, so I'll see if they've got a simple three-speed or something that might not be listed on their general site.
    You'll be happy no matter what you do as this bike riding thing is a blast but I do have very recent experience with the level of bike riding that you are going through right now (once again referring to your other thread). At the very least, I'd strongly suggest hand brakes.
    2012 Pinarello FP Due,2010 Scattante X-330(Cyclocross),1988 Fuji Sagres SP (Road Bike)

  10. #10
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    Well we could probably give you better advice if you could tell us more about why you want to bike, what led you to think about buying a bike, etc...

    I got to this thread from your other thread, and you're right - a cruiser style bike has funny feeling steering, it's not meant to be ridden fast - at all. I think part of the goal of the steering is to keep you from going to fast, ever. I mean, with a shoddy coaster brake you wouldn't want to be going very fast to begin with.

    A cruiser bike is meant for people with no real destination in mind, or something 1/4th of a mile away.

    In general, I would suggest anyone who has any aspirations of going anywhere at all on their bike buy a "hybrid". Entry level ones are about $400 - yeah, I'm sure that's not the $200 you're looking at, but unless your needs are way different than I imagine, it would handle like a normal bike, the brakes would work better, and you wouldn't get tired of it taking *forever* to get anywhere in 2 months. If you're just learning to ride a bike, you can lower the seat so your feet can touch the ground while you're learning to ride it. Here's a random suggestion from around me -
    http://www.eriksbikeshop.com/ride/pr...pf_id=PR3C2973
    - a Globe Vienna 1. $360.

    Like I said, I might be able to give you better advice if I knew more about what you're goals/background are with the bike...

  11. #11
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    My needs are a maximum of 5 miles or so, mostly a mile or two. I have little intention of trying to work amongst traffic or anything anytime soon, so I'd say I'd be going maybe 10 miles an hour or so, tops.

    My biggest thing is that I'm just looking for a simple, cheap, relatively solid way of getting around faster than my own feet. What led me to bikes was...Well, compared to a car, even a good bike is cheap as all hell. I can't afford a great super awesome bike right now, but need a way to grab my own independence by the horns. Or handlebars, as the case may be.

    As for the turning, I definitely had more of a handle on it by the time I returned the rental. It was the general leaning to turn thing that was stopping me up, not so much the specifics of the cruiser format. Once I got used to how to do it without feeling like I was going to fall off the thing, and how to encourage it to go into or out of a turn, it was going pretty smoothly.

    EDIT: As for taking everywhere to get around: With the details of traffic, waiting for buses, waiting for someone else to get ready to take me somewhere, etc. etc. etc., I could probably make most short trips significantly shorter via even a casual cruiser.

  12. #12
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Lots of choices, the bike you are picturing is fine for what you are describing. One of my first bikes was a Western Auto Flyer (circa 1970), very similar to the one you are looking at. I rode the crap out of that bike for several years. I even did a couple of 20 mile tours on it. Add baskets and enjoy.

    If you are getting if from a decent shop they should include a free tuneup for the first year.

    Nothing wrong with coaster brakes, thousands of Dutch and Danish riders use them every day. If you want something different as time moves on...so be it.

    You have to start somewhere, as long as you are riding you are good to go!

    I have way too many bikes, but that comes with time and experience...N+1= the perfect number of bikes with N being the number you currently own.

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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yalborap View Post
    My needs are a maximum of 5 miles or so, mostly a mile or two. I have little intention of trying to work amongst traffic or anything anytime soon, so I'd say I'd be going maybe 10 miles an hour or so, tops.

    My biggest thing is that I'm just looking for a simple, cheap, relatively solid way of getting around faster than my own feet. What led me to bikes was...Well, compared to a car, even a good bike is cheap as all hell. I can't afford a great super awesome bike right now, but need a way to grab my own independence by the horns. Or handlebars, as the case may be.

    As for the turning, I definitely had more of a handle on it by the time I returned the rental. It was the general leaning to turn thing that was stopping me up, not so much the specifics of the cruiser format. Once I got used to how to do it without feeling like I was going to fall off the thing, and how to encourage it to go into or out of a turn, it was going pretty smoothly.

    EDIT: As for taking everywhere to get around: With the details of traffic, waiting for buses, waiting for someone else to get ready to take me somewhere, etc. etc. etc., I could probably make most short trips significantly shorter via even a casual cruiser.
    I think you're right with what you're saying about time, transportation, etc.

    I think that as long as you're not reckless, the cruiser would work ok for you. The steering will always be kind of weird, but you'll get used to it. You may have trouble getting up hills with the single speed, but you'll manage it (you can always get off and walk as a last resort). The brakes will probably last, though they'll be weak. You'll get used to it and compensate by giving yourself more room before you need to brake.

    I'm not saying the bike would necessarily be "dangerous" or "a totally terrible idea" or anything like that.

    But - you asked for thoughts. My other thoughts are if your goal was to have a cruiser you'd use occasionally, for sight seeing around the lakes, then that's not a bad choice.

    I just think that for any sort of regular commuting, you'll get tired of how slow it is. You'll get tired of having to watch out for stuff 100 feet up the road in case you need to brake for it. As you bike more and your legs get stronger, you'll probably get tired of the low gearing and you'll probably be spinning your legs fast on the flat and not going that fast.

    I just think that if you bought a $400 or so hybrid like I mentioned, in a few months from now it will still be a good bike for you. It will be faster to begin with. And with gears, as you get stronger the bike will go faster (if you want it to). The brakes will be solid (though traditional brakes are a little more susceptible to longer braking distances in the wet than coaster brakes). It won't shift as cleanly and easily as a more expensive bike, but it will be totally fine. And frankly, while a full on road bike is somewhat faster, it's not *that* much faster than a hybrid. If I bike with my road bike on the greenway by me during commute time, I regularly get passed by a number of people riding hybrids (or "mountain bikes without suspension") because they bike more regularly than me (and heck, I'm not particularly slow myself) and that more than makes up for the difference in speed between the bikes.

    When people ask me, including my friends, what a good bike for commuting would be, I say the cheapest reliable bike I'd recommend is a $400 entry level hybrid ($400 retail - if you can find one on sale or used for less, great). I think the bike you mentioned would "work", I just think a hybrid would be a far better long term investment for your needs.

    To try to put this in perspective, nowadays a "really nice" bike costs between $1,200 and $2,300. You can spend $5k to $8k on some of the really top end stuff.

    Good luck, and have fun. :-)

  14. #14
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    I ended up pulling the trigger on it. The bike is now mine.

    It's certainly true that I might outgrow it in a few months. But you know what? I'll cross that bridge when I get there. Right now, all I'm needing is something that can go a bit faster than I can sprint, for a lot longer. And this thing can do that.

    And hey, $223 after tax isn't much more than I would've spent on an X-Mart beater, except I got a solidly built, comfortable bike out of the deal.

  15. #15
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    Lol, that's fine, though I'm bookmarking this thread to remind myself not to write out such long or thoughtful replies in the future.

  16. #16
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    Good Choice Yalbora
    I rode worse bikes to the far corners of Hanoi and Saigon in 2007, 40 or 50 miles a day. $60 brand new and worth it. Actually, they had a freewheel and drum brakes. You could use a drum brake hub, on the front, also.
    Just take a sack of tools. haha ( a crescent wrench anyway) My bikes had too much stuff attached to the axels.
    My dad is 86 and still rides an old and too big coaster bike.
    If you want to go faster , later, get a more conventional handle bar and pedal faster. No problem.

    And about that Trek 7000 , its a piece of crap. The worst designed frame i have ever seen. It belongs at Wal-mart.
    Last edited by GamblerGORD53; 07-24-10 at 08:33 AM.

  17. #17
    Pentapointed Member ahsposo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaulRivers View Post
    Lol, that's fine, though I'm bookmarking this thread to remind myself not to write out such long or thoughtful replies in the future.
    They were thoughtful. Sometimes there is too few of 'em on the BF.

    I think every rider needs a cruiser or two in their stable. These are primal bikes and IMHO are the essence of pure pleasure riding.

    Hey, Yalborap! Enjoy your new ride. Now you can start working on N+1...
    Quote Originally Posted by toddles View Post
    If I gotta look up words, it's not worth my time.

  18. #18
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    It was definitely solid advice, even if I didn't follow it in the end, PaulRivers.

    I actually didn't get a chance to see it before I went out and got the bike. Sorry.


    Also: I'm back home from vacation, with the awesome bike. Few things I've noticed.

    -I live in the desert. It's matte black. Perhaps I did not entirely think this one through. Currently storing it inside. May have to get a white tarp or something to toss over it.

    -It's a FANTASTIC ride, overall. Buttery smooth, turns excellently, easy to ride. The hybrid tires on it also work great on the road, but it remains to be seen how they'd handle offroading, and how much I might gain if I were to switch to fullblown slicks. I still need to blow a bunch of cash on the basics(light, horn/bell, possibly a mirror, etc.), though.

    -Turns out my suburb is on a slight incline. This translates into coasting out, and pedaling a bit hard coming back. Nothing too bad, though, even if it was a bit freaky to just be manning the brake instead of actively pedaling.

    -Keeping it straight's a bit finicky still. I think this is less the bike and more my inexperience, though.

    Overall, I'm quite satisfied with my purchase. Might eventually see if a more local shop can swap out some different gears for a different ratio, but that'll come when I feel more in control and am in better shape.

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