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Beach Cruiser Buyer’s Guide

So, you have decided to buy your first beach cruiser bike? Excellent, with a cruiser bike you can enjoy a fun ride without getting stuck in the sand.

But, do you know what to look for in a beach cruiser? As it is your first time, you may not! Beach cruisers are different from regular bikes, so it is critical to make an informed decision while investing your hard-earned money.

Thus, to help you in making a quick decision, we are here with this definite beach cruiser buyer's guide. The guide contains everything you should know before buying a beach cruiser bike.

Furthermore, we have suggested some essential accessories in the end that you should buy with the bike.

What is a beach cruiser?

So, you don’t know what a beach cruiser bike is? Here’s a quick explanation! Beach cruisers have thick tires that smoothly glide from the sand. Also, they have wide seats, non-traditional frames, and coaster brakes.

You will see that these bikes have curved handlebars, which make them easy to ride on the beach. Beach cruisers are different from the standard bikes. They are built for enjoyment and not for racing purposes.

Furthermore, the bikes are extremely durable and have a corrosion-resistant coating that protects the frame from saltwater. Beach cruisers may or may not have suspension and gears, depending on the model and brand you are choosing.

Why do you need a beach cruiser?

Do I really need a beach cruiser, or it isn’t something I should buy? It is normal to feel grappled with these questions if you are buying a beach cruiser for the first time. If you want to ride on the beach, then it is essential to invest in a quality beach cruiser.

These bikes offer you the ultimate ride quality that standard bikes cannot. Also, the thick tires and wide seats make your experience even better.

In short, a beach cruiser is specially designed to ride on the beach where there are no solid roads. The long handlebars make you feel comfortable, and the straight posture is superb.

With a beach cruiser, you can explore the nearest areas of the beach as walking down may take a lot of time. Also, the thick tires give you a better grip, and the bike gets better traction required to ride on the beach.

Here are some benefits of owning a beach cruiser

There are numerous advantages of having a beach cruiser, and here we have explained a few of them. You get the worth of every single penny invested in a quality beach cruiser bike.

You can ride it every day.

You can enjoy riding a beach cruiser every day, even for commuting. These bikes have everything you need, such as suspension and gears, so that you can ditch the standard bike for a beach cruiser.

Freedom to wear anything

While riding a cruiser, you can wear anything, and there is no need to alter your clothes. Unlike mountain bikes, beach cruisers give you more space. And you can bid goodbye to the struggles where your pants get tucked into the chainset.

Comfortable sitting position

Beach cruisers are famous for the upright sitting position that keeps your back straight, and you can ride for more time without getting tired. In short, beach cruisers are way more comfortable than standard bikes.

Requires less maintenance

The manufacturers design these bikes in a way that they require less maintenance. The coating on the frame protects it from corrosion, so the bike lasts longer, and you don’t have to shell money on getting it painted again.

Similarly, other components of the bike are also durable and require less maintenance.

Attractive looks

If you have a beach bike with a beautiful bucket and panniers, all the eyes will be on you. The bikes look attractive, and you will love to ride your new beautiful bike on the beach.

Compatible with multiple accessories

You can use various accessories with the beach cruiser bikes such as panniers, buckets so transporting your stuff will be easy. If you are a travel blogger, then you can carry your bag and essential gear with the help of the panniers.

Considerations to make when choosing a beach cruiser

Beach cruiser bikes don’t come in a traditional size, just like racing and mountain bikes, so it becomes essential to check the factors that impact the performance of the bike.

You need to buy a bike that fits you and gives you a comfortable ride around the beach. Check the below-mentioned factors to buy the best beach cruiser for the money.

Types of beach cruisers

Start with choosing the right type of beach cruiser, as it will help you in streamlining the options. And then you can consider other factors before buying.

Generally, most beach cruisers come with 26" fat tires and some attractive fenders. However, each type has some individual features, so selecting the right type is essential.

Beach cruisers are available in the following types:

Chopper beach cruiser

Chopper beach cruisers mimic the design of a classic motorcycle. Also, the cruisers have a similar handlebar that gives you comfort while riding. In chopper beach cruisers, the front wheel is bigger with larger handlebars.

Furthermore, the seat is deeper to offer you more comfort. If you need a beach cruiser for recreational purposes, go for chopper cruisers. You can enjoy long rides on the bike, and they are compatible with panniers and baskets.

Stretch beach cruiser

If you need a beach cruiser to cover a longer distance, go for stretch cruiser bikes. They have long handlebars and comfortable seats. You can ride the bike in a reclined position that helps you cover more distance without feeling fatigued.

Just like other beach cruisers, the stretch bikes are also good for casual riding. You will find multiple gears and suspension setup in these bikes.

Electric beach cruiser

It can be tiring to paddle after an exhausting day; an electric beach cruiser will save your day. These bikes have a built-in battery that powers the bike. Also, you get paddle support in case the battery dies, so that you can keep riding the bike.

Low-rider beach cruiser

You may have seen these bikes in the movies, where your favorite actor was riding a banana seat bike on the beach. If you need a bike with a longer seat, then look for low-rider cruisers. Furthermore, the bikes feature an iconic design that takes you back in time, while rewarding with ultimate comfort required in a beach cruiser.

Multi-speed beach cruiser

Standard beach cruisers like low-riders don’t have gear setup, so the bikes ride slow. If you want to ride fast, then go for multi-speed beach cruisers. These bikes have built-in gear setup such as 3 or 7 gear setups.

You can choose from the required gear to ride the bike fast or slow based on your requirements.

Classic beach cruiser

Classic beach cruisers are the most common type among all. These bikes have 26” fat tires, colored fenders, and curved handlebars. If you need an affordable bike that looks good, classic beach cruisers should be your choice.

Frame

The frame is a critical component of the bike as everything is on it. You should buy a beach cruiser that has a durable frame and ensures decent longevity.

The two materials used in the beach cruiser bike frame are aluminum and steel. Both materials have different characteristics and have a significant impact on the weight and price of the bike.

Aluminum

Aluminum is highly rust-resistant, and that's what you need in a beach cruiser. The material is lightweight and requires less maintenance. If you buy an aluminum beach cruiser, it would be easier for you to transport the bike.

However, these bikes are pricier as compared to stainless steel, so you have to pay more to experience the convenience.

Stainless steel

Stainless steel beach cruisers are highly durable, and the material absorbs the impact caused by potholes and bumps. The rust resistance is acceptable, and you can clean the bike easily.

However, stainless steel bikes are heavy, so you need more power to paddle. These bikes are cheaper as compared to aluminum frame beach cruisers.

Size

If you need ultimate comfort while riding the bike, it is essential to determine the right size. Beach cruisers are available in a plethora of sizes, so choosing the ideal option can be challenging. We recommend checking the size chart if you want to buy a bike that’s suitable according to your height.

Generally, most beach cruisers come with 24 or 26-inch wheels as a standard option. If your height falls between 4-5 feet, go for bikes with 24-inch wheels. If you are taller than 5 feet, consider 26-inch wheels.

The frame of the bike also gets bigger as you go for a bigger wheel diameter. Buying the wrong size can be a big turnoff as you will face many issues while riding the bike.

Unlike road and mountain bikes, selecting an ideal size is difficult when it comes to beach cruisers. Most popular brands list ages and heights that are ideal for the particular model to help the buyers choose the best size.

Yes, you can adjust the seat and handlebar height. Still, it is critical to check the size beforehand.

Brakes

You cannot compromise with anything when choosing the brakes. A beach cruiser with a poor braking system means inviting accidents. Usually, these bikes feature coaster brakes that stop the bike quickly, while minimizing the wear on the bike’s rims.

Coaster brakes work well in all types of weather, and even when the bike is wet, which usually happens when you ride on the beach. The braking system is dependent on the chain, and if the chain drops, you won't be able to stop the bike.

Chain malfunctioning is a common issue in coaster brakes due to the excessive load. If you choose a beach cruiser with coaster brakes, get ready to spend bucks on its maintenance.

Another braking system is the standard one that you see on the regular bikes. The handbrake system comes with beach cruisers that feature a gear system. Using the handbrakes is convenient, and the system requires less maintenance.

However, handbrakes can fail to stop the bike in wet weather. Also, you need to replace the brake pads after some time to keep the brakes functional.

Aerodynamics

Checking the aerodynamics is vital to get a cruiser bike with improved ride quality. A beach cruiser that has better aerodynamics requires less effort, and you can ride the bike with ultimate ease.

Weight of the Cruiser

Sometimes you may feel the need to carry, lift, and store the bike, so checking the weight is something you cannot miss. Lightweight cruisers are good for transportation purposes, and you can travel with the bike without carrying excess weight.

Most lightweight beach cruisers are manufactured using aluminum because it is a lightweight material. On the other hand, stainless steel bikes are a bit heavier, so you may find them hard to travel with.

Gears

The choice of gears should depend on why you are buying a beach cruiser. If you need a bike for fun, then a bike without a gear system should be your choice. On the other hand, bikes with gear systems are ideal if you want to commute sometimes at high speeds.

Beach cruisers come with a 3 or 7 gear mechanism. Also, the choice of gears depends on your budget, as bikes with gear systems aren’t cheap.

Handlebars

Usually, most beach cruisers come with curved handlebars, as it is a signature style of the bike. These handlebars encourage an upright sitting position that helps you with the required comfort to ride considerable distances.

However, some users like ape-hang or other customized handlebars depending on their needs.

Ease of maneuvering

An ideal beach cruiser should be easy to maneuver so that you can steer in a straight line without stumbling here and there. The maneuverability depends on the type of handlebar, and the size of the bike.

You should get a bike that’s easy to steer. Keep in mind that the bike's maneuverability will impact your safety, as you can fall off the bike because of poor maneuverability.

Maintenance

You need to show your research skills to find how much maintenance the beach cruiser requires. Some bikes need a lot of maintenance, and that means spending more money.

Bikes with gears and suspension require maintenance, and you have to take the bike to the nearest bike shop to keep it in good shape.

Wheels

The diameter of the wheel impacts the size and comfort of the bike. Casually, most bikes have a 24 or 26-inch wheel size. If you are small or you need a bike for your kid, then look for a smaller rim diameter.

Another thing to check is the material of the rims. Usually, most bikes come with alloy, which is durable and resistant to corrosion and rust.

Comfort

To determine the comfort, you should check the type of seat, and size. The seat should be made using a soft material and have a height-adjustable feature. Furthermore, don’t forget to check the handlebars and pedals to get ultimate comfort from the bike.

Price

Lastly, check the beach cruiser's price if you don't want to burn a hole in your pocket. Beach cruisers are available at a range of prices, so it would be great if you make your budget before selecting the bike.

Accessories to buy with beach cruisers

After deciding which beach cruiser bike to buy, have a look at some accessories that you might need while riding.

  • Bells

To get the crowd out of your way, you will need a bell. Get a good bell that perfectly fits on the handlebar so that you don't crash into someone.

  • Panniers

Panniers are essential if you want to carry luggage with you on the bike. The panniers are essential to buy with a beach cruiser. You can choose how much luggage you want to carry, to decide which pannier you should buy.

  • Water bottle carrier

It’s natural to feel thirsty while riding on the beach, so a water bottle carrier or cage is something you should buy. You can use the cage to mount the water bottle while riding.

  • Patch kits

A patch kit will save your day in case the bike gets punctured. It is essential to carry a patch kit if you are traveling in a remote area.

  • Lights

Most beach cruisers don’t come with a built-in light, so you should get one to ride in the dark. These lights are mountable on the handlebar, and you will get a clear view of the road and surroundings when it’s dark.

  • Baskets

The baskets allow you to carry stuff like a small bag or your camera. In short, you need baskets to transport small items while riding the bike.

  • Mirrors

Sometimes it can be challenging to turn your face to see the coming traffic, so using mirrors can be excellent. You can set up the mirrors on the handlebar to get a clear view of what’s coming from behind.

  • Fenders

Fenders protect you from the water splashed when you ride the bike from a pothole. Most beach cruisers come with fenders, but you can even purchase them separately if your bike has no fenders.

FAQs: Best Beach Cruisers

Q: Can I get an after-market gear system on my bike?

A: Yes, you can get an after-market gear system on your beach cruiser by getting it to the nearest bike shop. However, we highly recommend the stock gear setup as it works better. If you need a bike that rides fast, then consider buying a beach cruiser with a built-in gear system.

Q: Are beach cruisers durable?

A: Beach cruisers are highly durable because of the frame and coatings. These bikes are specially designed to withstand the exposure of sand and saltwater. You can rest assured that the bike will last longer, provided that you purchase an excellent beach cruiser.

Q: Are coaster brakes better than handbrakes?

A: In terms of braking efficiency, coaster brakes are better than handbrakes. You can quickly stop the bike by pedaling backward, and it makes the bike highly safe. On the other hand, beach cruisers with handbrakes are easy to maintain.

But you will feel the drop in the braking efficiency as hand brakes don’t work well in wet conditions.

Q: Why are beach cruisers expensive?

A: Some beach cruisers can be expensive, depending on the model and brand. Also, some other factors that impact the cost of a cruiser are gear systems, and brakes. You can also go for an affordable bike if it requires a plethora of good options available in the market.

Q: What tire size is the best for beach cruisers?

A: You should go for 2” rubber tires as these have thread, and last longer without much wear. Make sure that the tires belong to a prominent brand to ensure durability.

Q: Can I wash my beach cruiser bike?

A: Yes, you can wash the bike, just like a regular bike. There won’t be any issues in washing the bike. However, lubricate the moving parts so that there is no rust build-up on the chain or other components of the bike.

Conclusion

With this beach cruiser buyer's guide, you can purchase the best bike without any fuss. Make a list of the bikes that fall under your budget, and then compare them based on the factors listed here in this article.

Always buy a bike that belongs to a famous brand so that you get good after-sales service. With all these factors in mind, you can invest your money on the right beach cruiser.

Compare the bike on all factors one by one, and it will help you in selecting the top beach cruiser that’s perfect for you.

When checking the size, consider the size chart available on the official website of the bike manufacturer. There is no standardization in terms of size, so you should determine it by checking the size chart.


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