Beach Cruisers were first introduced in the 1930 -1940’s. Beach Cruisers are Bicycles which were/are characterized by a over sized seat, extended handlebars, fenders and typically a basket which attached to the front wheel. Rear Fenders were built with supporting steel rods and sufficient strength to support a picnic basket or a small child.
However, in the last decade Beach Cruisers have been re-introduced with such utilitarian upgrades as Springer Forks and such extravagances as 144 Spokes, Duck Tail Fenders, and hanging baskets. (These baskets detach as if it was luggage similar to the BMW motorcycles detachable saddlebags).
These upgrades and the modernization of Beach Cruiser accessories have resulted in a resurgence of the Beach Cruiser both at the beach and for riding in the neighborhood. However, today’s beach cruisers are made of much lighter materials and the days of “catching a ride” by sitting on the back beach cruisers fender are gone.
Beach Cruisers can be seen with horns, bells, bike pipes (an electronic pipe that emits simulated motorcycle engine sounds), skull head inner tube caps and many other accessories the complete list which can be viewed by CLICKING HERE.
Riding my Beach Cruiser has become every bit as much a ritual as brushing my teeth or getting dressed. My current Beach Cruiser is my 5th or 6th Beach Cruiser in the last 15 years. I started with a cheap version wanting to save money. I quickly learned that not all Beach Cruisers are made alike. Cheaper Beach Cruisers are typically made of cheaper parts. Expect ball bearings to go bad, pedals to break off and the wheels to be misaligned. These things combined result in an exhausting ride. I learned that cheaper made beach cruisers do not pedal as easy. They are exhausting to ride and in just 1-2 miles my knees would hurt and my back would become sore. I decided to upgrade.
I next tried a Micargi Chrome Mustang. Although, a slight upgrade from my Wal-Mart Brand I found that the “coolness” of leaning forward to pedal is havoc on the back. I also found that because of the lower end component parts that braking sounded more like scratching on a chalkboard or tin cans coming to rest than anything I wanted. Sure I looked really cool but that didn’t help my back or knees. (In fairness to Micargi the Mustang GTS Beach Cruiser with its long chain allowed quite a bit of concrete to be eaten up when pedaling – you just had to limit the amount of time on the bike which, for me, defeated the whole purpose).
My next bike was a Firmstrong Urban Beach Cruiser. It was actually bought for my mother in law who is 68 years old. I bought her a Pink Urban Beach Cruiser without fenders. She loved it. I rode it myself and found that there really was a difference between the lower end bikes and what I would consider a middle range bike. It rode smoothly, kept its balance and was built so component parts could be added or replaced with little expense.
Finally, I purchased a PT Cruiser Beach Cruiser. Although, I bought the single speed (I was using it on flat terrain) the multi speeds are built equally well. What was most amazing was the bike component parts were so superior that they required little maintenance and this was the only bike that provided an easy ride. Cheaper bikes have difficulty coasting because of the friction with the parts and the misaligned wheels. The PT Cruiser Beach Cruisers coasted for what seemed like miles. Exertion on the pedals was minimal and the bike came with a bell standard issue. The color selection was limited but I have learned that what is really important is purchasing a beach cruiser that rides smoothly and not a beach cruiser that “looks cool”. My garage is full of stuff I thought would look cool. My beach cruiser isn’t one of them. I’m to busy riding it each day.
There are other bikes that I can recommend, for example, the 106 is a moderate level bike with few complaints and the Firmstrong Bruiser Beach Cruiser is an excellent bike for the big and tall guy but for me I like my PT Cruiser Beach Cruiser.
See you at the beach.