Beach Cruisers Do you love balloon tires and fenders? Do you love riding the simplicity of a single gear and coaster brakes or a single gear cluster? Do you love the classic curves in the tubing of a cruiser that takes you back to the 1950's and 1960's, stylistically? Here's your home! Welcome to the Beach Cruisers and Cruisers forum!

Cruiser Handlebars

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Old 12-02-17, 04:39 PM
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swiftycoop
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Cruiser Handlebars

I don't really care for the handlebars on my Electra Cruiser, they aren't uncomfortable, but as I get more miles on my bike I find that I just don't like the hand position of the grips.
Today I stopped by the LBS where I purchased my Cruiser 7D and sat on a Townie. The handlebars on the Townie are a bit shorter and have a different hand angle (don't wrap around as much). I mentioned to the sales person that I liked the feel of the Townie handlebars and was considering putting a Townie bar on my Cruiser. The salesman said no, you can't do that....he says the Cruiser was designed with the larger wider handlebars and if I changed them I would throw off the geometry of the bike and it would not handle well anymore. I'm thinking about calling a BS on that one....but could I be missing something? What do you think? Looking for your expertise on handlebars.
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Old 12-02-17, 06:23 PM
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I just hold the bars in my hands, hold them as if in the stem while seated , and form first hand opinions, do what feels best for you..



cannot help you over the internet ... literally a hundred different bars ... center diameter is:[_] ... remaining bar is typically 7/8"..
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Old 12-02-17, 07:23 PM
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He's full of hooey. Check out a bunch of bars until you find one with a bend that suits your hands and wrists. When holding them out in front of yourself, try to simulate the same distance and height that they would be while on your bike. Height and reach play a big role in how your hands naturally angle themselves. Meaning, a bar that feel great at the same height as your saddle, might feel lousy six inches higher than your saddle.

I use a very specific bar on my bikes and I cut them to the exact width that suits my riding style. I also wrap my bars like roadies do so that I have multiple hand positions available for downhill, uphill, standing, and into the wind.

Experiment and use what fits you.



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Old 12-02-17, 09:22 PM
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Thanks for your help folks, I'm going to try some other styles.
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Old 12-02-17, 11:20 PM
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I have heard all the complaints about cruiser bars. Too close, too far apart, and I don't like how it feels. All valid complaints I feel but almost all can be remedied with a few simple adjustments. People transitioning from road or mountain are used to having their hands even with the stem so as a result the bars always feel too close and this is something people generally get used to. Once you've ridden a cruiser for a while you wouldn't have it any other way. Seat height, your height, stem height, and bar angle all can make for an uncomfortable ride. If you are low in the saddle and your bars are flat then your wrists bend at a unnatural angle often just angling the bars down so your wrist is straighter helps a bunch. Having the seat at the proper height helps improve the angle. Sometimes to do this you need to max out your stem to maintain proper height and for tall riders I have even installed a stem extension to get the bar up higher. Here on the West Coast, guys like to point their bar ends straight up in the sky and the seat slammed as a fashion statement I suppose or that's what's comfortable to them. Try any bar/stem combo you want there is no right or wrong just personal taste but do try to experiment with what you have because I've had many an Electra and the bars are unique and super comfy for me.
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Old 12-03-17, 07:53 AM
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Thank you for your insight Crossthreaded88,I really appreciate your comments and agree that I should try a few adjustments on my Cafe bars before I switch to something else.
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Old 12-03-17, 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Crossthreaded88 View Post
. Here on the West Coast, guys like to point their bar ends straight up in the sky and the seat slammed as a fashion statement
I've never understood this. To me it looks ridiculous because it's so ergonomically goofy. It's like they deliberately adjusted things as poorly as possible. Reaching out and down naturally positions your palm down and your thumb angled up, like reaching for a door knob or shaking someone's hand. With bar ends angled up and out like that you are forced to flare your elbows WAY out to accommodate, or, contort your wrist into a horrible bend. You'd waste a ton of energy just maintaining the awkwardly inefficient body position. And end up sore. Not to mention the knee abuse.




For the OP...

I like mine sloping down and out so my hands can just fall on them. The amount of "sweep" or pull back angle should allow your elbows to drape where they naturally would, without you being forced to poke them out or to hold them in. So that will vary depending on bar width and the rider's shoulder width.

And get those legs stretched out nice and proper. They'll thank you, and you'll go way faster, way farther, way easier.

Modify the cockpit to suit you while in a relaxed, efficient position. Make it come to you. Don't contort your body to adapt to poorly laid out cockpit.




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Old 12-04-17, 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by SquidPuppet View Post
I've never understood this. To me it looks ridiculous because it's so ergonomically goofy. It's like they deliberately adjusted things as poorly as possible. Reaching out and down naturally positions your palm down and your thumb angled up, like reaching for a door knob or shaking someone's hand. With bar ends angled up and out like that you are forced to flare your elbows WAY out to accommodate, or, contort your wrist into a horrible bend. You'd waste a ton of energy just maintaining the awkwardly inefficient body position. And end up sore. Not to mention the knee abuse.




For the OP...

I like mine sloping down and out so my hands can just fall on them. The amount of "sweep" or pull back angle should allow your elbows to drape where they naturally would, without you being forced to poke them out or to hold them in. So that will vary depending on bar width and the rider's shoulder width.

And get those legs stretched out nice and proper. They'll thank you, and you'll go way faster, way farther, way easier.

Modify the cockpit to suit you while in a relaxed, efficient position. Make it come to you. Don't contort your body to adapt to poorly laid out cockpit.



From best I can tell it's a beach culture oddity. Flat ground so the slammed seat doesn't really impact the knee so much and they almost never have grips so your hands are just draped over the bars ends palm side down. Like "hey what's up dude?" When they need to haul ass, stand up pedaling is the way they go and the grip angle of the bars is really not too bad for stand up pedaling. I do not subscribe to this belief but I can see it's about style as much as anything. It's like wearing your pants half way down your butt I don't get it but millions of kids do. Just glad I don't have to be 16 years old again in this friggin day and age. Here's another off CL notice he had to slide the shifter down the bar to make the cable reach.

Side note your bikes are so clean and concours I'd be afraid to ride them among regular folk (this is a complement)
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Old 12-04-17, 04:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Crossthreaded88 View Post
Just glad I don't have to be 16 years old again in this friggin day and age.
And how!!!

Side note your bikes are so clean and concours I'd be afraid to ride them among regular folk (this is a complement)
Thanks. It's funny. Lot's of folks assume I baby my bikes because they are clean and scratch free. But the reality is, I ride the snot out of them. Lots of sweat and dirt, jumping up and down curbs, etc. I'm just careful when I park them. I don't understand the mentality of, "Hey, scratches and dents are a normal part of a bike's life. No biggie." To me that just seems more like laziness or lack of care. It's so easy to pay attention.

Yesterday on an unrelated search I stumbled across this photo. To me it epitomizes the perfect ergonomic positioning for casual riding. No, it's not efficient for high performance out-of-the-saddle-climbing, but for cruising and commuting this nails it. I can just feel the comfort. Plus it's a cool photo.




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Old 12-06-17, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Crossthreaded88 View Post
I have heard all the complaints about cruiser bars. Too close, too far apart, and I don't like how it feels. All valid complaints I feel but almost all can be remedied with a few simple adjustments. People transitioning from road or mountain are used to having their hands even with the stem so as a result the bars always feel too close and this is something people generally get used to. Once you've ridden a cruiser for a while you wouldn't have it any other way. Seat height, your height, stem height, and bar angle all can make for an uncomfortable ride. If you are low in the saddle and your bars are flat then your wrists bend at a unnatural angle often just angling the bars down so your wrist is straighter helps a bunch. Having the seat at the proper height helps improve the angle. Sometimes to do this you need to max out your stem to maintain proper height and for tall riders I have even installed a stem extension to get the bar up higher. Here on the West Coast, guys like to point their bar ends straight up in the sky and the seat slammed as a fashion statement I suppose or that's what's comfortable to them. Try any bar/stem combo you want there is no right or wrong just personal taste but do try to experiment with what you have because I've had many an Electra and the bars are unique and super comfy for me.
To this day I look at bars angled like yours and cringe. Extremely uncomfortable for me. Don't like the width either, but that wouldn't stop me from riding like the bar angle would.
I prefer the bars that came stock on my middleweight schwinn (I believe they were made by Wald?)
So as Squiddy says above, to each their own.
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Old 12-06-17, 10:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Crossthreaded88 View Post
Here on the West Coast, guys like to point their bar ends straight up in the sky
Funny, I'm in California and only a few people I've seen like that bar position. And they only like it until you fix it for them and their wrists stop hurting.
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Old 12-07-17, 12:33 AM
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Originally Posted by n0+4c|u3 View Post
Funny, I'm in California and only a few people I've seen like that bar position. And they only like it until you fix it for them and their wrists stop hurting.
Really, maybe it's a Venice Beach thing. Can't swing a cat by it's tail without hitting someone with their bars like this. (i do not condone the swinging of cats by their tails) I do not subscribe to this set up but people who seem happy as clams about it so to each his own is the order of the day.
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Old 12-07-17, 12:40 AM
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Originally Posted by SquidPuppet View Post
And how!!!



Thanks. It's funny. Lot's of folks assume I baby my bikes because they are clean and scratch free. But the reality is, I ride the snot out of them. Lots of sweat and dirt, jumping up and down curbs, etc. I'm just careful when I park them. I don't understand the mentality of, "Hey, scratches and dents are a normal part of a bike's life. No biggie." To me that just seems more like laziness or lack of care. It's so easy to pay attention.

Yesterday on an unrelated search I stumbled across this photo. To me it epitomizes the perfect ergonomic positioning for casual riding. No, it's not efficient for high performance out-of-the-saddle-climbing, but for cruising and commuting this nails it. I can just feel the comfort. Plus it's a cool photo.




Too be sure I believe you ride hard. You must be very tall or like picking low hanging fruit not sure which LOL.

Are your bikes painted or powder coated or some of each?

Great pic Amsterdam I'd say from the bike, how she's dressed, and that blurry post to her right looks like the ones on the canal streets.
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Old 12-07-17, 06:24 AM
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Originally Posted by SquidPuppet View Post
That's a sweet ride, SP.
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Old 12-07-17, 02:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Crossthreaded88 View Post
Too be sure I believe you ride hard. You must be very tall or like picking low hanging fruit not sure which LOL.

Are your bikes painted or powder coated or some of each?

Great pic Amsterdam I'd say from the bike, how she's dressed, and that blurry post to her right looks like the ones on the canal streets.
I find that photo has a bit of a romantic quality too it. I'm drawn to it. Maybe it's because it contains a tall blonde.

All of my bikes are powdered. I have even powdered many of the components, cranks, cogs, stems, rims, seat posts, hubs, handlebars, you name it. It just makes them SHINE, durable as all get out, and a simple wipe to clean them.

I'm very fortunate and super lucky. There is a shop in town that doesn't have a minimum. The owner is a good guy and a motorcyclist, so he "Understands". If I want a small piece done, as long as I'm willing to wait until he is running a big job with the same color, he'll toss it in and charge me five or ten bucks. He does a frame and fork, including media blasting and ALL the prep, for $65.00 and asks for an additional $10.00 if I want a clear coat on top of the color. They come out of the oven at darn near show car quality. I could (and have in the past) paint them myself, but why? I am not skilled enough to achieve that kind of result. And by the time I buy primer, paint, clear, masking tape, and sandpaper, it just doesn't make sense.



This is my 77 Varsity converted to single speed. If it's black or blue, it's powder. I guess that leaves the bolts and spokes.





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Old 12-10-17, 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by SquidPuppet View Post
I find that photo has a bit of a romantic quality too it. I'm drawn to it. Maybe it's because it contains a tall blonde.

All of my bikes are powdered. I have even powdered many of the components, cranks, cogs, stems, rims, seat posts, hubs, handlebars, you name it. It just makes them SHINE, durable as all get out, and a simple wipe to clean them.

I'm very fortunate and super lucky. There is a shop in town that doesn't have a minimum. The owner is a good guy and a motorcyclist, so he "Understands". If I want a small piece done, as long as I'm willing to wait until he is running a big job with the same color, he'll toss it in and charge me five or ten bucks. He does a frame and fork, including media blasting and ALL the prep, for $65.00 and asks for an additional $10.00 if I want a clear coat on top of the color. They come out of the oven at darn near show car quality. I could (and have in the past) paint them myself, but why? I am not skilled enough to achieve that kind of result. And by the time I buy primer, paint, clear, masking tape, and sandpaper, it just doesn't make sense.



This is my 77 Varsity converted to single speed. If it's black or blue, it's powder. I guess that leaves the bolts and spokes.





SP, that is about the most beautiful Schwinn Varsity remake I think I've ever seen.
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Old 12-10-17, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by n0+4c|u3 View Post
SP, that is about the most beautiful Schwinn Varsity remake I think I've ever seen.
Thank you for the kind words.

Shall I take this opportunity to shamelessly post a photo of it's Caramel colored cousin? Sure I will, because I'm shameless.

'77 Speedster






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Old 12-10-17, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by SquidPuppet View Post
Thank you for the kind words.

Shall I take this opportunity to shamelessly post a photo of it's Caramel colored cousin? Sure I will, because I'm shameless.

'77 Speedster




SP, You have inspired me.
I take it where I can get it, lol

This is my next project
1974 LeTour (got a 71 Varsity in orange too)
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Old 12-10-17, 11:50 AM
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Originally Posted by n0+4c|u3 View Post
SP, You have inspired me.
I take it where I can get it, lol

This is my next project
1974 LeTour (got a 71 Varsity in orange too)


Man oh man oh man oh man. That Le Tour has HUGE potential. Lugged frame with a threaded bottom bracket. Look at that fork with the lovely chrome crown and chrome socks. Gotta rescue those for sure. That baby is a diamond just waiting to be polished.

Get on it. I'm ready to watch the progress.
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Old 12-10-17, 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by SquidPuppet View Post
Man oh man oh man oh man. That Le Tour has HUGE potential. Lugged frame with a threaded bottom bracket. Look at that fork with the lovely chrome crown and chrome socks. Gotta rescue those for sure. That baby is a diamond just waiting to be polished.

Get on it. I'm ready to watch the progress.
I dug it out of the San Francisco landfill a few years ago and it's been waiting for inspiration and perspiration.
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Old 12-10-17, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by n0+4c|u3 View Post
I dug it out of the San Francisco landfill a few years ago and it's been waiting for inspiration and perspiration.
The fork alone has me ready to get started. Shiny rims to match. I'm getting it all planned out.
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Old 12-10-17, 04:02 PM
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Originally Posted by SquidPuppet View Post
The fork alone has me ready to get started. Shiny rims to match. I'm getting it all planned out.
lol, Would you like to have it? The only reason I grabbed it was it's historical significance, I have no emotional attachment to it. Whatever you did, it would be top notch.
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Old 12-10-17, 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by n0+4c|u3 View Post
lol, Would you like to have it? The only reason I grabbed it was it's historical significance, I have no emotional attachment to it. Whatever you did, it would be top notch.
If it was four sizes bigger I'd buy it off you.

Man I love all those old Schwinn colors. I wish I could find exact powder matches for their yellow and orange.
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Old 12-12-17, 10:31 PM
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Originally Posted by SquidPuppet View Post
If it was four sizes bigger I'd buy it off you.
Hey I think I found your next project. A Bridgestone Kabuki Holy bejeezers check out that headtube! I think it's bigger than your '77
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Old 12-12-17, 10:51 PM
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SquidPuppet
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Originally Posted by Crossthreaded88 View Post
Hey I think I found your next project. A Bridgestone Kabuki Holy bejeezers check out that headtube! I think it's bigger than your '77

LOL. That thing is way bigger than my Varsity.

I notice a couple things. Even the spoke reflector is KING SIZE. It's like a foot long.

Also, even though it's an eleven foot frame, look how much seat post is exposed. The owner has to be approaching seven foot tall.


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