Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > General Cycling Discussion
Reload this Page >

Beach Cruisers - why do they exist?

General Cycling Discussion Have a cycling related question or comment that doesn't fit in one of the other specialty forums? Drop on in and post in here! When possible, please select the forum above that most fits your post!

Beach Cruisers - why do they exist?

Old 04-05-11, 06:23 PM
  #1  
NukeouT
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
NukeouT's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 446

Bikes: 1996 LeMond Yellow Jersey, 2013 Soma Saga, 1980 Zebrakenko Wind, 1980 Nishiki Ultimate

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Beach Cruisers - why do they exist?

I just don't understand why so many people spend money on vintage and new ones to ride them around. I see a whole bunch, especially around the beach towns of LA.

Is there a reason/advantage to having one as opposed to any other type of bike: road, touring, fixie, mountain, ect. ?

My friend, who owns one, even told me the other day that his Beach Cruiser sucks at biking over sand. I just feel, that they are a fad, and people buy them to look cool in front of others. Most importantly, they are not efficient, and lead people to believe that cycling is hard in general. Therefore they don't ride their bikes enough, and are less likely to get more into cycling, or encourage their friends to do so.

This is just my current opinion based on what I know. I am starting this thread so I can better understand why these bikes exist and in such huge numbers. At the same time even though I don't understand it, I am still happy for those of you who ride cruisers, because that's already a step in the right direction and you are free to like what you like.
NukeouT is offline  
Old 04-05-11, 06:32 PM
  #2  
tsl
Plays in traffic
 
tsl's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 6,969

Bikes: 1996 Litespeed Classic, 2006 Trek Portland, 2013 Ribble Winter/Audax, 2016 Giant Talon 4

Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 66 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts


Waiting for Nightshade to spot this thread…
tsl is offline  
Old 04-05-11, 07:29 PM
  #3  
StephenH
Uber Goober
 
StephenH's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Dallas area, Texas
Posts: 11,641
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 151 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
A lot of the appeal is simplicity. I started riding a few years ago on a mountain bike, but it was a $100 mountain bike from Academy. The brakes and shifters needed constant adjustment and never seemed to be working quite right. So my Worksman cruiser was an upgrade, and was actually a reliable bike that I could ride every single day.

Efficiency isn't too important for a lot of riding. Bicycing is always more efficient than walking, so why does anybody ever walk anywhere?
__________________
"be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."
StephenH is online now  
Old 04-05-11, 09:09 PM
  #4  
JanMM
rebmeM roineS
 
JanMM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Metro Indy, IN
Posts: 15,441

Bikes: RANS V3 ti, RANS V-Rex, RANS Screamer

Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 459 Post(s)
Liked 11 Times in 11 Posts
Excuse me, but where can I find the Beach Cruiser forum?
__________________
RANS V3 Ti, RANS V-Rex, RANS Screamer
JanMM is offline  
Old 04-05-11, 09:50 PM
  #5  
Nightshade
Humvee of bikes =Worksman
 
Nightshade's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 5,362
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by NukeouT View Post
I just don't understand why so many people spend money on vintage and new ones to ride them around. I see a whole bunch, especially around the beach towns of LA.

Is there a reason/advantage to having one as opposed to any other type of bike: road, touring, fixie, mountain, ect. ?

My friend, who owns one, even told me the other day that his Beach Cruiser sucks at biking over sand. I just feel, that they are a fad, and people buy them to look cool in front of others. Most importantly, they are not efficient, and lead people to believe that cycling is hard in general. Therefore they don't ride their bikes enough, and are less likely to get more into cycling, or encourage their friends to do so.

This is just my current opinion based on what I know. I am starting this thread so I can better understand why these bikes exist and in such huge numbers. At the same time even though I don't understand it, I am still happy for those of you who ride cruisers, because that's already a step in the right direction and you are free to like what you like.
Originally Posted by tsl View Post


Waiting for Nightshade to spot this thread…
It would be better if this tread were to be moved to http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...ier-quot-forum where cruisers are discussed.

That said, the American Cruiser(beach cruiser is the wrong name for these bike dreamed up by some dope smoking California dude) is the first bicycle enjoyed by the general public and is the grand dad of all the other types of bicycles sold today. So let's show some respect for the Cruiser since has been around so long.

This type of cycle was designed when not all roads were paved. In fact, many were dirt or gravel since no bike does well in pure sand. Only a robust heavy cycle had a prayer of lasting on those old roads.

Cruisers are for relaxed easy riding while getting from point A to point B.....wherever point A and B are.
__________________
My preferred bicycle brand is.......WORKSMAN CYCLES
I dislike clipless pedals on any city bike since I feel they are unsafe.

Originally Posted by krazygluon
Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?
Nightshade is offline  
Old 04-05-11, 10:15 PM
  #6  
Doohickie 
You gonna eat that?
 
Doohickie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Fort Worth, Texas Church of Hopeful Uncertainty
Posts: 14,682

Bikes: 1966 Raleigh DL-1 Tourist, 1973 Schwinn Varsity, 1983 Raleigh Marathon, 1994 Nishiki Sport XRS

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 140 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Nightshade View Post
the American Cruiser... is the grand dad of all the other types of bicycles sold today.
Incorrect.
__________________
I stop for people / whose right of way I honor / but not for no one.


Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
Doohickie is offline  
Old 04-05-11, 10:21 PM
  #7  
Commodus
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Burnaby, BC
Posts: 4,144
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Cuz they're pretty, that's enough reason. It's okay to go slow if you look good doing it.
Commodus is offline  
Old 04-06-11, 02:40 AM
  #8  
Machka 
In Real Life
 
Machka's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Down under down under
Posts: 51,388

Bikes: Lots

Mentioned: 127 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2848 Post(s)
Liked 41 Times in 30 Posts
Originally Posted by NukeouT View Post
Is there a reason/advantage to having one as opposed to any other type of bike: road, touring, fixie, mountain, ect. ?
Why does there need to be a reason/advantage to having different types of bicycles? I own all sorts of bicycles (although not a beach cruiser at this point in time) because I want to own all sorts of different bicycles ... and I can own all sorts of different bicycles.


Originally Posted by NukeouT View Post
I just feel, that they are a fad, and people buy them to look cool in front of others.
So?


Originally Posted by NukeouT View Post
Most importantly, they are not efficient, and lead people to believe that cycling is hard in general. Therefore they don't ride their bikes enough, and are less likely to get more into cycling, or encourage their friends to do so.
Do you have statistics to back up your opinons here?

In your opinion, what is "riding our bicycles enough"? What quantity of cycling is "enough"?

Why should people get more into cycling, or encourage their friends to do so? Why is that important?


Originally Posted by NukeouT View Post
This is just my current opinion based on what I know. I am starting this thread so I can better understand why these bikes exist and in such huge numbers. At the same time even though I don't understand it, I am still happy for those of you who ride cruisers, because that's already a step in the right direction and you are free to like what you like.
What is the "right direction"? What type of bicycle should people have or what type of cycling should people be doing?
Machka is offline  
Old 04-06-11, 02:48 AM
  #9  
MichaelW
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: England
Posts: 12,952
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 17 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Cruisers are good because you can ride, eat an ice cream and still look cool.

When I lived by the coast I played with the idea of a true beach cruiser that could ride through surf. I think you could do it with carbon belt drive and nylon/teflon bearings with some fat ballon tyres.
On my tour of Denmark, the coastal bike path has a 17 mile section along the beach. This is hard-packed by all the cars using the beach and I managed it with a full camping load on 32mm tyres.
MichaelW is offline  
Old 04-06-11, 07:00 AM
  #10  
Looigi
Senior Member
 
Looigi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 8,951
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 12 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
If you have to ask, you'll never understand.

That's what Harley riders say about riding Harleys anyway, and somehow it makes some kind of sense.
Looigi is offline  
Old 04-06-11, 07:27 AM
  #11  
bikem
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 52
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Because they are fun to ride. I have high end Road, mountian, cruiser and touring bike but my cruiser is my favorite and gets ridden the most.
bikem is offline  
Old 04-06-11, 11:15 AM
  #12  
Flying Merkel
Senior Member
 
Flying Merkel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Costa Mesa CA
Posts: 2,641
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Beach cruiser fill a need that no other bike does. They are better at slow speed pleasure riding than any other bike. Beach cruisers have cup holders, not water bottle brackets. I miss the one I pulled out of the dumpster a few years back. Just a delight to pull it out of the back yard and ride around the 'hood, to the liquor store, or even down to the beach. ALL bikes suck at riding sand.

Me and my my buddy were riding around San Clemente beach and a guy in his 7 series BMW with hot GF saw us go by, baskets loaded with beer & eats. Turned to his hot GF and told her, " THAT is cool". Right on dude- you got the point.

Attached is a picture of my Schwinn Jaguar performance cruiser. Mountain bike rims, seat and bars. Worked better than it should have. Only bike I've sold that i still miss.



What bike should would you have casual riders buy?
Attached Images
File Type: jpg
Schwinn Jaguar 1.jpg (98.8 KB, 441 views)

Last edited by Flying Merkel; 04-06-11 at 11:24 AM.
Flying Merkel is offline  
Old 04-06-11, 12:47 PM
  #13  
Nightshade
Humvee of bikes =Worksman
 
Nightshade's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 5,362
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Doohickie View Post
Incorrect.
Please expand on just what is "incorrect"...............
__________________
My preferred bicycle brand is.......WORKSMAN CYCLES
I dislike clipless pedals on any city bike since I feel they are unsafe.

Originally Posted by krazygluon
Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?
Nightshade is offline  
Old 04-06-11, 01:16 PM
  #14  
himespau 
Senior Member
 
himespau's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Louisville, KY
Posts: 10,926
Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1311 Post(s)
Liked 12 Times in 9 Posts
Originally Posted by Nightshade View Post
Please expand on just what is "incorrect"...............
doohickie rides a highwheel?
himespau is offline  
Old 04-06-11, 06:23 PM
  #15  
Doohickie 
You gonna eat that?
 
Doohickie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Fort Worth, Texas Church of Hopeful Uncertainty
Posts: 14,682

Bikes: 1966 Raleigh DL-1 Tourist, 1973 Schwinn Varsity, 1983 Raleigh Marathon, 1994 Nishiki Sport XRS

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 140 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Nightshade View Post
Please expand on just what is "incorrect"...............
That cruisers are the ancestors of all bikes? Get real.
__________________
I stop for people / whose right of way I honor / but not for no one.


Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
Doohickie is offline  
Old 04-06-11, 07:06 PM
  #16  
bhop
Senior Member
 
bhop's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 1,894

Bikes: Bianchi Via Nirone 7, Jamis Sputnik

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Have you ever ridden a beach cruiser? They are not difficult to ride at all.. for their intended purpose anyway.. and people that own them generally seem to know what they're getting into, not to mention they're usually not the types to really take cycling to the next level (from my experiences) they are generally more of the 'relaxed beach bum' type.(again, from my own experiences) I personally don't own one, and probably never will, but i've ridden them and if you're just "cruising" around, they're fine.
bhop is offline  
Old 04-06-11, 09:24 PM
  #17  
FunkyStickman
On a Mission from God
 
FunkyStickman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Thibodaux, LA
Posts: 2,010

Bikes: '10 Surly LHT, Rat-rod Klunker, '82 Peugeot PH12 Centennial

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
You know what they say, if you have to ask... you'll never know.

Bicycles are not always about being fast and efficient.
FunkyStickman is offline  
Old 04-06-11, 09:47 PM
  #18  
Artkansas 
Pedaled too far.
 
Artkansas's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: La Petite Roche
Posts: 12,853
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
For one thing, beach cruisers are not intimidating. They are adult versions of children's bicycles of the '50s and '60s. And people remember their parents riding them.

I don't care for them. But my ex, that's all she wanted. She could relate to them.
__________________
"He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.
Artkansas is offline  
Old 04-07-11, 05:20 AM
  #19  
steve0257
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Rochester MN
Posts: 922

Bikes: Raleigh Port Townsend, Raleigh Tourist

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 26 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
I ride for enjoyment and relaxation. I don't really care about high performance this or that. Cruisers can be a lot of fun to ride for shorter relatively flat rides.
steve0257 is offline  
Old 04-08-11, 10:12 PM
  #20  
e-Man
n00b
 
e-Man's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: AZ
Posts: 82

Bikes: 2004 GT Avalanche 3.0 with various upgrades, and a 1980's Murray Monterey Beach Cruiser I customized.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I got mine because it was easy to bring back from the dead and customize. It might not be the lightest, most technologically advanced thing out there, but I pieced it all together, painted it, and modified lights for it all by my lonesome. I get a sense of satisfaction when I take it out for a spin. Like others have said, its a very simplistic design, and hard to put into any further words why I enjoy it so much.
e-Man is offline  
Old 04-09-11, 05:57 AM
  #21  
JonathanGennick 
Senior Member
 
JonathanGennick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Munising, Michigan, USA
Posts: 3,984

Bikes: Priority 600, Priority Continuum, Devinci Dexter

Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 632 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
I just wish I had a beach.

More seriously, some people just want an easy bike for cruising around the subdivision. Nothing at all wrong w/that.

I'd probably have one, except that my neighborhood is sort of built on a hill. I can't go any direction from my house without having to go uphill either leaving or returning. So my neighborhood cruiser is a single-speed mountain bike with slick tires and geometry that works better than a beach cruiser on the hills.
JonathanGennick is offline  
Old 04-11-11, 04:39 AM
  #22  
IndianaRecRider
LET'S RIDE!!
 
IndianaRecRider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Northwest Indiana
Posts: 1,734

Bikes: 2013 Fuji Absolute 1.4

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 177 Post(s)
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by Commodus View Post
Cuz they're pretty, that's enough reason. It's okay to go slow if you look good doing it.
+1

IndianaRecRider is offline  
Old 04-11-11, 02:16 PM
  #23  
rnorris
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Flagstaff, AZ
Posts: 976

Bikes: Marin Pt. Reyes, Gary Fisher HiFi Pro, Easy Racers Gold Rush recumbent, Cannondale F600

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
My neighborhoods are likewise too hilly for a singlespeed to be of much use for my aging knees, but was sure wishing I had one last week. I took my 15 year old cousin on a seaside camping trip and both of us had our beater MTBs with us. This particular park has trails and an almost 2 mile long surf beach, it was pure joy to blast along at the water's edge spraying foam from under the wheels, jumping logs. Cleaning the bikes afterward was less fun, I was wishing we had simpler bikes with no external brakes or cabling for that trip. Actually, a balloon tired kickback 2 speed bike with coaster brake would have been ideal.
rnorris is offline  
Old 04-11-11, 03:02 PM
  #24  
Elvo
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Orange County, CA
Posts: 4,056
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 336 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Do they make carbon fiber beach cruisers that have road wheel spacing? Thinking of putting my spare chinese carbon wheels on one.
Elvo is offline  
Old 04-11-11, 03:07 PM
  #25  
caloso
Packfodding 3
 
caloso's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Sacramento, California, USA
Posts: 37,949

Bikes: Ridley Excalibur, Gazelle Champion Mondial, On-One Pompino, Specialized Rock Hopper

Mentioned: 57 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1788 Post(s)
Liked 96 Times in 56 Posts
They are also a fine choice for short, flat commutes, grocery runs, or pub/cafe hopping. Which explains why it's the most popular style of bike in Sactown.
caloso is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.