7 Best Beach Cruiser Bikes | March 2017
- durable steel frame
- available in multiple colors
- annoying assembly process
- handlebar twist shifters
- wide saddle-style seat
- backed by lifetime warranty
- dual springs on seat
- synthetic leather handle grips
- handlebar brake controls
- responsive brake system
- durable alloy rims
- maintenance and tuning guide included
What Do I Need to Consider Before Buying a Beach Cruiser Bike?
Assuming you are buying a beach cruiser for use along some type of coastal environment, the first thing you'll want to research is how well a specific bike might hold up against the elements. Beach cruiser bikes should have a weatherproof frame, along with rustproof rims, and a thick coat of paint.
A beach cruiser should weigh 40-60 lbs, which is heavier than an average bike, but ideal for holding up against a coastline wind. The tires on a beach cruiser should be thick and white-walled with straight-line tread. The thickness is meant to keep a tire from popping in the event it passes over jagged rocks or shards of glass that are covered by the sand.
A beach bike should feature standard cruiser handlebars, as opposed to the flat-cross handlebars that are found on mountain bikes. Any top-of-the-line beach cruiser should feature handle brakes and coaster brakes for providing maximum control whenever riding over loose or slippery terrain.
In terms of aesthetics, most beach bikes are painted a relaxed or neutral shade, perhaps an earth tone. Certain cruisers include classic features including a wooden basket (or a tail rack) and a finger bell for alerting pedestrians to your presence along a promenade. It is worth checking to see if any model you're interested in has been built with front- and back-wheel fenders. These fenders keep wet sand from corroding the bike's frame, and they also keep the back of your clothes from accumulating dirt.
The Myriad Advantages To Owning a Beach Cruiser at The Shore
Beach cruiser bikes are custom-made for the wind drift and the sand of the shore. But anyone who lives at the shore can also attest to the fact that owning a beach cruiser can actually be more valuable than owning a car during the height of the season. Tourist towns attract a significant amount of traffic, most or all of which a person can avoid by running errands on a bike. What's more, the majority of barrier islands are condensed enough that a grocery store or a convenience store is generally located nearby.
A lot of shore towns are popular for their nightlife, and it's obviously more responsible to ride a beach cruiser, as opposed to a car, whenever heading to a bar. In addition to being safer, a beach cruiser is also easier to park. Keep in mind that a lot of tourist towns rely on metered parking, and owning a bike can allow you to avoid getting ticketed, or having to carry around change wherever you go.
If you live at the beach, owning a bike allows you to avoid having to deal with traffic on your commute to and from work, or the beach. Owning a bike allows you to avoid having to find a spot when every street is lined with vehicles, or having to clean the sand out of your car once a week.
Part of the allure of being at the shore involves having access to panoramic views along the beach and the bay. Owning a beach cruiser allows you to ride along a complete stretch of these areas, including the promenades, the inlets, the docks, and the esplanades, without ever getting tired, or being on your feet.
How The Modern Bicycle Came to Be (1800-1900)
The first bicycle was invented by a German civil servant named Karl Drais during 1817. Drais called his invention a laufmaschine, which, literally translated, means a running machine. Drais's laufmaschine was comprised of two handlebars for steering, two wheels, a seat, and a wooden frame. A laufmaschine didn't feature any pedals. Its riders were meant to gather momentum by running alongside the bike before its wheels would allow them to coast.
Drais's bike was eventually marketed as a velocipede, or a speed machine powered by foot. The velocipede became a social trend throughout France and Germany, where aristocrats would ride these bikes - as opposed to a more traditional horse - on their short trips into town, or work.
By the mid-1800s, velocipedes were being phased out. Several accidents had occurred as a result of the bike's heavy wooden design, combined with a lack of brakes. What's more, women were incapable of riding a velocipede whenever they were wearing a dress, and children were incapable of riding a velocipede because they were too short.
By the 1860s a three-wheeled bike known as a trike had become wildly popular throughout Europe. The trike had pedals and brakes, and its efficiency was such that it came to represent a major status symbol in Victorian England. Wealthy British women, in particular, preferred the trike because it was easy to operate and it featured a low-riding haunch.
The first foot-pedaled bicycle emerged by way of France during the 1870s. This bike was known as the boneshaker - a nod to how the bike's frame would rattle whenever passing over cobblestone roads. The boneshaker had a metal frame, and it was lighter and faster than any of its predecessors. The boneshaker also a metal crank, along with a rudimentary set of brakes. It presented riders with an unprecedented level of control.
Around the end of the 19th Century, manufacturers turned their focus toward safety, spurred forth by growing public concern; rubber tires were used for increasing shock absorption, handlebar-steering became more agile, and coaster brakes were introduced. Increased competition led to increased innovation, and the modern bicycle as we now know it began to take form.