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!

Comfort on long rides

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Old 12-18-17, 12:34 PM
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jimmie65
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Comfort on long rides

I ended up selling my last cruiser - a Mango Key Largo. It was great for a mile or 2, but any rides at 5 miles or more left me sore in the legs, back, and arms. I routinely ride 70+ miles on my Marin, so obviously my physical condition isn't the issue.

I tried different bars and seats, but never found a setup that worked. I assume one of the issues was that it was a 19" frame and I generally ride 20"-22" frames (My Marin is a 20" and my last few Giants have been 21").

Now I'm looking at buying another cruiser. A test ride of 5 miles is probably out of the question since I'll be buying used.

There's a K2 Seaside, larger frame (the sticker says for 5' something to 6'4), at a local pawn shop. It's almost new and in excellent shape. My main concern is that the riding position looks to be more relaxed, as in the seat is further back from the pedals. Will this be worse or better for longer rides?

Any other advice on sizing and setting up a cruiser for longer rides?
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Old 12-18-17, 06:26 PM
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Worse if you like regular bikes. Cruisers are not made for long rides but for short cruises around the neighbor hood. Roger
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Old 12-18-17, 11:29 PM
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The stock saddles on cruisers are usually not great for long rides. I changed the one on mine to a Brooks B67 saddle that is just perfect for my cruiser and supremely comfortable.

Id also look at the grips and pedals to see if they can be improved. The pedals on my cruiser caused me discomfort after about 15 minutes of riding until I swapped them out for Shimano Saint MX80 pedals that are much more comfortable.

Having said that, a cruiser is never going to be a long distance machine.
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Old 12-19-17, 05:32 AM
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I switched out bars, grips, and saddle on my last cruiser, and the pedals seemed OK. Longest ride I tried was Siclovia in downtown San Antonio, probably 12 miles over the course of a afternoon.
I wasn't expecting to knock out a century, but was hopeful I could do 10 to 20 miles a day on a cruiser.
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Old 12-19-17, 11:35 AM
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I have no problem doing long rides on my cruisers. I have the fit adjusted more like a "regular" bike and less like a cruiser. I have my saddle WAY up there to get my legs properly extended. My arms drop down and forward to meet that bars and the grip section is angled down and out to keep my wrists and palms happy. Brooks B17s keep my butt comfy all day.

My cruisers are not the crank forward geometry. That's a no-go for me.
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Old 12-19-17, 11:57 AM
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Originally Posted by SquidPuppet View Post
I have no problem doing long rides on my cruisers. I have the fit adjusted more like a "regular" bike and less like a cruiser. I have my saddle WAY up there to get my legs properly extended. My arms drop down and forward to meet that bars and the grip section is angled down and out to keep my wrists and palms happy. Brooks B17s keep my butt comfy all day.

My cruisers are not the crank forward geometry. That's a no-go for me.
Thanks. I'll skip the Seaside and look for something else.
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Old 12-19-17, 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by rhenning View Post
Worse if you like regular bikes. Cruisers are not made for long rides but for short cruises around the neighbor hood. Roger
But ... But ... Single Speed wide tire bikes that we now call "beach cruisers" were ridden across the country (before roads were installed on the ground) and around the world.
The U.S. Army had a platoon (or was it a company?) ride bicycles from California to St. Louis, MO. back around 1900.
Others have ridden them around the world.
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Old 12-19-17, 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by SquidPuppet View Post
I have no problem doing long rides on my cruisers. I have the fit adjusted more like a "regular" bike and less like a cruiser. I have my saddle WAY up there to get my legs properly extended. My arms drop down and forward to meet that bars and the grip section is angled down and out to keep my wrists and palms happy. Brooks B17s keep my butt comfy all day.

My cruisers are not the crank forward geometry. That's a no-go for me.
Agree, and I routinely get up to 40 miles on a cruise with coaster brake drive trains. It's fun, and slower than a road bike, which is OK when you are in the mood to cruise.
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Old 12-19-17, 02:53 PM
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Originally Posted by 55murray View Post
Agree, and I routinely get up to 40 miles on a cruise with coaster brake drive trains. It's fun, and slower than a road bike, which is OK when you are in the mood to cruise.
Originally Posted by bicyclridr4life View Post
But ... But ... Single Speed wide tire bikes that we now call "beach cruisers" were ridden across the country (before roads were installed on the ground) and around the world.
The U.S. Army had a platoon (or was it a company?) ride bicycles from California to St. Louis, MO. back around 1900.
Others have ridden them around the world.

+1

My normal "Leisure" ride down to the lake, around the park, a caffeinated beverage pit stop, and back home, is approximately 25 miles. I don't keep track of time or my speed, and that's the point on a cruiser. But I can "cruise" almost forever. It's cruising after all.

When I lived in So Cal I'd ride along the beach from early morning until after sunset in the summer.

IMO, if you can't ride your cruiser all day long, something is wrong with the bike or the fit. Isn't comfort what cruisers are all about? They sacrifice road bike light weight and aerodynamics for comfort, right?
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Old 12-19-17, 03:05 PM
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The Army story was from the Denver area to St louis and it took them about 20 days and bikes were junk when they finished. I have cruisers and SS bikes and I love to ride them but they would not be my first choice for a Century ride The SSs would also come before the cruisers. I have a 1958 Schwinn Phantom and rode it for ice cream 10 miles away because I can do it. If I was in any kind of hurry I wouldn't chose it and its 65 pound weight for any kind of distance trip. Longer rides to me do not mean 10 miles. The original poster said he was looking for a bike for longer rides. Roger

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Old 12-19-17, 04:54 PM
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Originally Posted by rhenning View Post
The original poster aid he was looking for a bike for longer rides. Roger
More accurately, the OP said he wanted to be able to take long rides on a cruiser, and asked for tips on choosing and setting up a cruiser for long rides.

If I was in any kind of hurry I wouldn't chose it
Nobody should choose a cruiser if they are in a hurry. They are for cruising, right?

Originally Posted by jimmie65 View Post
Any other advice on sizing and setting up a cruiser for longer rides?
Originally Posted by jimmie65 View Post
but was hopeful I could do 10 to 20 miles a day on a cruiser.
And with modern cruisers, it's easy to mod them down to under 30 lbs.

Jimmie65, you might look at some of the brands that use 700c wheels. I think there are a couple out there that actually offer a couple different frames sizes, so maybe the "Large" would fit better.
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Old 12-19-17, 06:27 PM
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Originally Posted by SquidPuppet View Post
More accurately, the OP said he wanted to be able to take long rides on a cruiser, and asked for tips on choosing and setting up a cruiser for long rides.



Nobody should choose a cruiser if they are in a hurry. They are for cruising, right?





And with modern cruisers, it's easy to mod them down to under 30 lbs.

Jimmie65, you might look at some of the brands that use 700c wheels. I think there are a couple out there that actually offer a couple different frames sizes, so maybe the "Large" would fit better.
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Old 12-22-17, 10:42 AM
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Secret for me is varying hand/posture position to keep me happy on long distance.

I hold the forward part of the h-bar, so I can lean forward (head wind).
I hold the back part of the h-bar, for relaxed riding (tail wind/ downhill).
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Old 12-23-17, 08:07 AM
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I mostly pedal around on an old Schwinn. It weighs in at about 40 lbs. For comfort, nothing can beat the stock Schwinn bars, and my very vintage Persons seat. I DO NOT have my seat cranked up for full leg extension as I believe it to be overrated for life on a cruiser. (55 years old, been doing this since my teens and I have zero knee problems) Full extension actually makes my knees hurt, when normally they don't bother me at all.
I run 44/14 gearing on a 26x2.125 tire which works out to about 82 gear inches. Fairly tall gearing but comfortable for me. I run 48 psi in my tires, that seems to be the sweet spot between comfort and performance.
25 or more miles just isn't an issue, I can go all day.

EDIT: Just realized that my gear ratio is pi (3.14)

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Old 12-23-17, 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by n0+4c|u3 View Post
about 82 gear inches.
That's pretty up there for a cruiser. Do you consider yourself more of a masher or a spinner?
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Old 12-23-17, 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by SquidPuppet View Post
That's pretty up there for a cruiser. Do you consider yourself more of a masher or a spinner?
Been called a masher, but never on a bike!
I toodle around at 12 to 15 mph, what does that make me?
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Old 12-23-17, 11:21 AM
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Originally Posted by n0+4c|u3 View Post
Been called a masher, but never on a bike!
I toodle around at 12 to 15 mph, what does that make me?
Well that puts you under 60 rpm, so officially a masher.

I am the opposite. My gearing is LOW. I don't have strong legs, so I need to keep things at or above 90 rpm to prevent lugging the engine. Spinning like mad feels natural to me, and pedaling hard feels, well, hard.
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Old 12-23-17, 11:21 AM
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I don't know. I admittedly ride foot forward bikes (almost recumbent), but realize they become night and day comfortable to uncomfortable if I ride too long, 'cause you can't stand up while riding and relieve you butt. crazy I guess, but up to the point that discomfort starts I love how they ride. at about 8-15mls (depends) I tend to wish I was off it, but if it's ride and stop for snacks, sight seeing, etc., I can ride it all day. one day I mean to build one with foot pegs further back so I can stand while I coast and see if it extends ride comfort.


on a guess, I'd think maybe a regular cruiser set up for longer rides might have cruiser bars, but with maybe a couple of hand positions. like if you could maybe put your hands on either side of the stem as an option, like a city bike. and maybe also a quick release seat post clamp to change the seat height as you see fit.
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Old 12-23-17, 12:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Philphine View Post
cruiser bars, but with maybe a couple of hand positions. like if you could maybe put your hands on either side of the stem as an option, like a city bike..

I use the grips for normal riding. I use the "Hooks" in front of the grips just for a change of position while cruising. I also use the hooks and to pull up on when accelerating or when standing climbing. I use the "Flats" on either side of the stem when I am fighting a headwind and sometimes when I want to haul ass downhill. It's definitely nice to have a few hand positions available. It breaks up the monotony, keeps the circulation moving, and helps the ride too.

I saw an old photo from the 1940s where a kid had used baseball bat tape to wrap his entire bar. It's one of the best ideas that I've ever stolen.






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Old 12-23-17, 05:31 PM
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I decided to take the Seaside for a test ride. The crank-forward position felt weird for me.
There were also some obvious mechanical issues - chain was rubbing and the brakes were way out of adjustment. These could have been easy fixes but also could get pricey, so I passed. Still might go back and get it after Christmas; it was at a pawn shop and they were willing to come down off the $80 price.
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Old 12-23-17, 05:32 PM
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Meanwhile, I'm building up a decidedly non-long ride cruiser.
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Old 12-23-17, 05:33 PM
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Originally Posted by SquidPuppet View Post

I saw an old photo from the 1940s where a kid had used baseball bat tape to wrap his entire bar. It's one of the best ideas that I've ever stolen.





I love this idea and will be stealing it as well.
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Old 12-23-17, 06:06 PM
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Originally Posted by jimmie65 View Post
Meanwhile, I'm building up a decidedly non-long ride cruiser.
That looks like a curb destroyer.
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Old 12-23-17, 06:22 PM
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Originally Posted by SquidPuppet View Post
That looks like a curb destroyer.
Curbs, potholes, rocks, shrubs, small children, chihuahuas... (j/k about the small children)
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Old 12-23-17, 06:25 PM
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Originally Posted by jimmie65 View Post
Curbs, potholes, rocks, shrubs, small children, chihuahuas... (j/k about the small children)
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