If it’s been some time since you’ve been to a bike shop, prepare yourself to get floored. Picking a bike from the shop is a challenge these days. The sheer varieties, styles and combinations available can confuse you. Whether you want simple, uncomplicated or super speed, just about anything is available for the picking. Among the different kinds of bikes on sale, beach cruiser bikes are probably the most loved and one of the most widely bought bikes.
Beach cruiser bikes or ‘lifestyle bikes’ as they are now being called, are great for lengthy beach getaways or for short city rides. They are uncomplicated, easy to maintain and fabulous to ride. What with more and more people turning to biking for much needed exercise, bikes such as these are very much in demand. New features appear all the time and there are variations in prices. So, how can you decide on the right bike to buy?
The first buying decision is regarding – not the bike – but the rider. Is the bike for a man or woman? Commonly, women?s bikes have the common drop and men?s bikes have the rigid and sometimes ugly looking crossbars. However, these days, many manufacturers have designed unisex beach cruiser bikes that pass as bikes for men and women. Generic bikes may be of standard colors like red, orange, black and Chrome. Even so, people who have certain preferences or those with handicaps may prefer bikes with a dip in the crossbar so that they can get on and off the bike without them having to throw their leg over the bike.
Another important decision that needs to be taken is regarding the terrain. Will the beach cruiser ride on a hilly or level surface. Unless there is a specific purpose, there is no reason to buy a multi-speed cruiser bike. Since multi-speed bikes are difficult to maintain and assemble, these bikes may last for shorter periods too. Therefore, if you will be using the beach cruiser bike mainly for city riding, then, the better option is to stay with a single speed beach cruiser.
The third decision is regarding the look of the bike. Do you or don?t you want fenders on the bike? This is a matter of personal preference. But, it must be remembered that although fenders are generally considered stylish, there are maintenance issues associated with them. Fenders should be made of hardy, durable materials. Make sure that the bike has a kick stand if you opt for fenders. Many people have the habit of dropping the bike when it is not in use and fenders cannot stand this abuse for long. On the other hand, the usability of fenders is limited as they are required only during the monsoons so that water is not thrown outwards when the tire moves.
Finally, it is important to choose a bike that is of the right height for your use. One way to find out is to ride the bike before you buy. Otherwise, you will need to measure the inside of the seam of your pants and buy accordingly.