I haven't seen a lot of hands-on info on the BikesDirect.com Gravity EZ Cruz Cruisers, so I thought I'd add my first-impression review here.
After years of riding a road bike, then a Gary Fisher Wingra hybrid, I switched to using my Electra Zarape 3 speed cruiser as my main bike, including my 5 mile (each way) commute. Although it's more work on hills than the 24 speed Wingra, the cruiser was easier on my aging wrists, and more comfortable overall. Plus, lots more fun! So, I decided to get a second cruiser, something less expensive and less fancy, and ordered a single speed cruiser from BikesDirect.com for $159.95, including shipping. I'm no expert on specs, so I'll let you read all that stuff on their site. There are numerous color combinations available; I liked the glossy black with red rims. Five days after ordering, UPS showed up with my bike. (Note: You have to sign at the time of delivery. I was at a dental appointment at the first attempt, and even though I left a signed note with tracking number, the driver had to return the next day. So just be prepared if you order one.)
Here's how the bike was packed:
Zip-ties held everything tightly together, and cardboard sleeves and foam tubes prevented scratching. The box itself was pretty beaten up, to the point that the UPS driver noted the condition in case there was damage to the contents. More on that later.
Once I cut the zip-ties and removed the foam and cardboard, I had to install the pedals, seat-post, seat, front wheel, handlebar, and reflectors. All I used was a hex wrench and a crescent wrench. Everything went together smoothly, and I checked all the pre-installed bolts for tightness as well.
The pedals are a rubberized plastic, but better quality than I was expecting. I don't see any need to replace them with something better.
As for shipping damage: there were a few scrapes, but nothing serious, especially for as bad as the box looked. The handlebar had a scrape on the black paint, and each rim had a spot of red paint scraped off:
This was a little disappointing, but a little bit of nail polish lessened the unsightliness considerably. Plus, in a few months of riding, there will probably be more scratches anyway.
The bike has decals declaring GRAVITY and EZ-CRUZ, which are ugly, so I removed them. They peel off easily:
With the Gravity and Cheezy-Cruz decals removed, I think the bike has a great retro stealthy look:
I'm no expert on bike building, but my initial impression was that the bike was very good quality, and pretty lightweight as well, for a cruiser. (UPS says the package weighed 30 pounds.) I had a slight snag when filling the tires: one of the tubes sprung a leak! When I examined it, it looked like a flaw in the seam around the valve. I put in a new tube, added slime to tubes, and took it for a test ride.
Initial impression was very good. It was very quiet and smooth riding. It felt a little "small" since I'm used to the more stretched geometry of the Electra Zarape's pedal-forward design, but I soon acclimated. The gearing seems just right for me (I'll do some tooth-counting later) and it felt nimble and responsive. I didn't take it up any of the uphill blocks I usually face on my commute, but I don't anticipate it being very difficult, especially since the geometry and handlebar placement make it easy to pedal standing up.
This is not a "fast" bike by any means; like any single speed, it will go as fast as you can pedal. But the thick sprung saddle was surprisingly comfortable, and the handlebar angle and height can be adjusted quite a bit to suit your preference. The coaster brake was responsive and quiet.
Overall, I was very impressed! I think the bike looks great, feels great, and seems solid and quiet. I'll ride it on my work commute Monday, and have a better idea of how it does on hills and over a longer distance. I added a black wire basket to the handlebar, since I always need to carry work items and bike-related tools/jacket etc. This slightly ruins the streamlined look of the bike, but it has to be practical. (Edit, I was able to put the rear rack on right away so I took the basket back off.) I may swap the basket for a rear rack, depending on practical needs. (One note: there are threaded lugs near the rear axles, but no lugs near the seat post; I anticipate needing to buy a seat post clamp with lugs to attach a rear rack.)
If anyone has any specific questions, let me know. Meanwhile, I'll keep giving it a thorough shakedown and report back here.