Author Topic: Recommendation for a good value cruiser bike  (Read 830 times)

redrocker

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Recommendation for a good value cruiser bike
« on: February 07, 2017, 08:13:32 PM »
I'm looking to get bikes for my wife (5'4) and I (6'1). Land is virtually completely flat here although roads aren't in great shape. I have a strong preference for a cruiser, no gears, brake backpedal style. I have a buddy who is a bike fiend (thousands per bike, everything custom) and he's repeatedly said Walmart or Target have perfectly acceptable bikes but that basically everything at the pricepoint I want (<$200) is likely made in the same Chinese factory with different brands slapped on them.

Since this is both the most frugal community I could think of and the most pro-bike community I'm aware of, I thought I would ask here. Any recommendations?

kenaces

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Re: Recommendation for a good value cruiser bike
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2017, 12:40:38 AM »
I am also planning to buy bike mainly for short commute 90% on flat roads with 10% across grass/dirt path.  Of course I don't want to spend much since work is only 1mi.  Looking forward to hearing suggestions.

Dave1442397

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Re: Recommendation for a good value cruiser bike
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2017, 05:05:17 AM »
Walmart bikes are typically made in China from cheap metal and components. They're not usually assembled very well at the store, so if you buy one, check all the nuts and bolts before riding it.

A better idea would be to use Craigslist, or, for a new bike, something like bikes direct - http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/Mango/best-cruiser-bikes-keys7-cruisers.htm

Diamondback bikes are another decent option - see bottom of this page for cruisers - http://www.diamondback.com/shop/bikes/city-bikes
« Last Edit: February 08, 2017, 05:08:55 AM by Dave1442397 »

redrocker

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Re: Recommendation for a good value cruiser bike
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2017, 06:39:05 PM »
Walmart bikes are typically made in China from cheap metal and components. They're not usually assembled very well at the store, so if you buy one, check all the nuts and bolts before riding it.

A better idea would be to use Craigslist, or, for a new bike, something like bikes direct - http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/Mango/best-cruiser-bikes-keys7-cruisers.htm

Diamondback bikes are another decent option - see bottom of this page for cruisers - http://www.diamondback.com/shop/bikes/city-bikes

One of my issues with Craigslist is I don't know what brand/model to look for. In addition, for some reason people seem to want unreasonable prices for used bikes in my area. Likely due to a high rate of bike theft keeping the used market in high demand (theft being the primary reason I don't want to spend a lot, already had 2 stolen).

As for your first link, are you recommending both the website and that bike or just the website? Thanks!

GoBigRed

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Re: Recommendation for a good value cruiser bike
« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2017, 01:39:33 PM »
I would suggest checking out a few of your local bike shops and see what brands of cruisers they carry.  Some may even sell used.  Generally speaking the service at the local bike shop is going to be better and each will likely carry a different brand.   Price wise, they are pretty much on par with the big stores, but shop around.  They will help you fit and choose a style you want as well.   I would suggest visiting a few near you before making a purchase decision.

For your price range brand new, here are a few companies that make beach cruisers that may be good options (Basic models around $250).  Some shops may be clearancing out old 2016 models or have sales that will get you pretty close to $200. I would look at Raleigh, Sun Cycles or Electra if you can find a store near you that sells these brands.  I am partial to Raleigh, but that is personal preference.

http://www.raleighusa.com/bikes/recreation/cruiser  (My bike shop sells from $239 to $299)

http://www.electrabike.com/bikes/cruiser  (I believe REI sells for around $250, along with local bike shops around that price for the basic models)

http://www.sun.bike/bikes.php  (My shop sells starting around $239)

Sub $200, you can find a few models of Phat Cycles/Fuji at Performance Bike right now.  Not sure if you have in your area. http://www.performancebike.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/SubCategory_10052_10551_400324_-1_400001_400307

Check out REI and Performance Bike.  Sometimes they have nice sales on Diamondback, Phat, Fuji or Electra Cruiser bikes.

I would avoid the cruisers with the big, fat tires.  They sell like crazy in my area, but they are expensive to replace tires/tubes if you have to do so.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2017, 01:42:06 PM by GoBigRed »

redrocker

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Re: Recommendation for a good value cruiser bike
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2017, 08:59:50 AM »
I would avoid the cruisers with the big, fat tires.  They sell like crazy in my area, but they are expensive to replace tires/tubes if you have to do so.

Thanks for the comprehensive advice on the brands! And yes, the popularity of those fat tires is downright comical.

myzamboni

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Re: Recommendation for a good value cruiser bike
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2017, 11:28:15 AM »
Find a bike shop near a university that sells used bikes.  Great value and the bike comes tuned-up.  Greatest variety in May/June for obvious reasons.

redrocker

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Re: Recommendation for a good value cruiser bike
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2017, 02:14:06 PM »
Find a bike shop near a university that sells used bikes.  Great value and the bike comes tuned-up.  Greatest variety in May/June for obvious reasons.

We have at least 5 universities off the top of my head. So one would think. Will look into that suggestion. Thanks.

FeelingRosie

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Re: Recommendation for a good value cruiser bike
« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2017, 03:17:26 PM »
I live in a college town and I got my cruiser for $18 from the University's bike auction and it has lasted me over 8 years at this point just topping off the tires with air and oiling the chain about once a year.

Every year the University impounds all the bikes that are just left there over the summer. There are a lot of pieces, like bikes where someone stole the back wheel and the owner just left the rest of the bike locked to the bike rack, but there was an incredible amount of perfectly good bikes.

My recommendation would be to check out any auctions, craigslist, facebook groups, or yard sales you see. You could probably pick up a bike for less than $50, that will ride perfectly for many many years.

Dave1442397

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Re: Recommendation for a good value cruiser bike
« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2017, 05:18:24 PM »
Oops, forgot about this thread.

Everyone above had some good suggestions. I agree with REI or Performance Bike for a new ride.

The college idea is something I never thought about. Back when I finished college I left my old beater bike unlocked at the train station for whoever wanted it.

GoBigRed

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Re: Recommendation for a good value cruiser bike
« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2017, 05:26:31 PM »
I work on bikes and flip bikes for a hobby.  The recommendations for targeting college area bike shops are great.  My local university also has a surplus store with bikes.  I usually just cut out the shop and go directly to craigslist though and have found better deals. I picked up a cruiser for $2 last year that just needed new tubes when the university was getting out of session. In my area, most of the used bikes that the stores will carry are high end road or mountain bikes.  Every area is different though, so definitely check those stores out! 

Check out pawn shops too.   

Make sure to do your homework on the used bike and find a store with good yelp reviews/ratings. 

I have picked up countless bikes from college kids or just suburbanites that rode their bike a few times and it sat in a garage.  The tires are usually in good shape and nothing needed other than air in tires.  A cruiser has very few parts that can break.  As long as they have not left it out in the rain/snow, it will probably be in decent shape. 

If you target certain brands on Craigslist after testing some of them out, you might be able to score a deal.