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Higher performance cruiser bikes

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Higher performance cruiser bikes

Old 08-14-19, 05:49 PM
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Code Zero
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Higher performance cruiser bikes

I have two Trek Rail cruisers, I consider these high performance cruisers, unlike the vintage steel bikes, they have aluminum frames, rims, hubs, etc. they came standard with Bontrager tires capable of handling a whopping 75 psi pressure! Properly setting your saddle height and handlebars for ergonomic efficiency definitely narrows the gap between “beach cruisers” and other performance bikes. Anybody have an opinion or input on this?
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Old 08-15-19, 05:29 AM
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Hi Performance would negate the cruiser aspect of cruising? Who high performances cruises? It's not cruising. Cruisers have gone in the direction of hybrid cruising, not beach cruisers. Why do you need to speed on the beach? Give me Bullhorn handlebars anytime.
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Old 08-15-19, 06:43 AM
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For those that can't cruise on the beach, having a "cruiser" that is multi-purpose is worthwhile for people like myself. It's the reason my 21st century Schwinn Jaguar was a 7 speed. I could go slow or I could go fast. Yes, I did change the bars, set them lower, and raise the seat on that bike to suit my riding preference.

The thing was heavy though at 40 lbs. with the 1-piece forged crank, fenders, lights, and thick tires. At least it did have alloy rims, which really were for the rim brakes I imagine. The thing is, I never noticed the weight until I got my first alloy bicycle, which started out at 30 lbs. until I added some things to it which brought it up to 36 lbs.

Having an alloy frame and modern bottom bracket with alloy crank arms would have shaved 5 to 10 lbs off that Jaguar, I'm sure. The biggest advantage to me would have been that it would be easier to carry into my garage between the cars, then hang from the ceiling hooks. I don't have to climb hills here, so . . .
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Old 08-15-19, 06:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Code Zero View Post
I have two Trek Rail cruisers, I consider these high performance cruisers, unlike the vintage steel bikes, they have aluminum frames, rims, hubs, etc. they came standard with Bontrager tires capable of handling a whopping 75 psi pressure! Properly setting your saddle height and handlebars for ergonomic efficiency definitely narrows the gap between “beach cruisers” and other performance bikes. Anybody have an opinion or input on this?
By the way, you ought to peruse the thread below when you have time. There are some "performance" oriented "cruisers" sprinkled within.

https://www.bikeforums.net/beach-cru...r-cruiser.html
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Old 08-15-19, 06:55 AM
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@Code Zero, is this what your bike looks like?

https://bicyclebluebook.com/value-guide/product/10461
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Old 08-15-19, 07:34 AM
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I liked the Trek Sawyer. It's more a MTB with cruiser frame, like ye olde Klunkers.

Merlin is once again making a similar rig, the Newsboy.

https://www.merlinbikes.com/latest-n...merlin-newsboy

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Old 08-15-19, 07:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Code Zero View Post
I have two Trek Rail cruisers, I consider these high performance cruisers, unlike the vintage steel bikes, they have aluminum frames, rims, hubs, etc. they came standard with Bontrager tires capable of handling a whopping 75 psi pressure! Properly setting your saddle height and handlebars for ergonomic efficiency definitely narrows the gap between “beach cruisers” and other performance bikes. Anybody have an opinion or input on this?
Looks like they're crank-forward design. Those are pretty nice, like halfway to riding a recumbent.

I rode the Marin Stinson a lot when I worked at performance, they're another pretty nice crank-forward cruiser. Well the frame was pretty nice anyways.
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Old 08-15-19, 10:01 AM
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@FiftySix No, mine is a “Rail three” and my other is a “Rail one step through” both are 2005 models, as is the CNC model that you referenced. They were all discontinued shortly thereafter. Thanks for your interest
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Old 08-15-19, 10:10 AM
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A high performance cruiser is a beach racer.

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Old 08-15-19, 11:33 AM
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@tyrion Ahhh, I don’t think that I would consider that a beach cruiser, more like a road bike with fat tires. Maybe I used the term “high performance” a little out of context, perhaps I should have said “more efficient”. Clearly my bikes fall closer to a “vintage steel cruiser” than they do to “beach racer”. My bad
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Old 08-15-19, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Code Zero View Post
@tyrion Ahhh, I don’t think that I would consider that a beach cruiser, more like a road bike with fat tires. Maybe I used the term “high performance” a little out of context, perhaps I should have said “more efficient”. Clearly my bikes fall closer to a “vintage steel cruiser” than they do to “beach racer”. My bad
You might focus on new tires for your existing bike. Lighter weight, more supple, folding tires would be noticeably more efficient and better riding.

https://www.renehersecycles.com/shop...rat-trap-pass/
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Old 08-15-19, 12:34 PM
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Yeah tires, like I mentioned in my original post, my bikes currently run Bontrager “Hanks” and I’m very happy with them. I also have a new pair of “Big Apples” as replacements. I think that I will order a nice set of folding tires for my El Mirage project bike. Thanks for the tip!
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Old 08-16-19, 05:26 PM
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I just ordered myself a Specialized Roll . After reading about them , they seem to be what I would call a performance Cruiser. I ordered the seven speed entry level bike that has V-brakes . 650X2.3” street tires . BMX style handlebars and Cruiser seat . Pedal forward technology.
Should be a great bike for me to cruise the local cart paths and the rails to trails “ Silver Comet “ trail about an hours drive from me .
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Old 08-16-19, 08:41 PM
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A guy here by the name of "Coyboy" got one & really likes it.
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Old 08-17-19, 06:06 AM
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Here's a long video review that I found on youtube:
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Old 08-17-19, 06:58 PM
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I’ve watched that video and several others on the different Roll models offered .
Thats a Roll Elite . I looked at the Roll Comp , 1X crank and 10 speed cassette with hydraulic discs . But almost double the price of the one I ordered
I have a mtb with mechanical discs and can’t get them adjusted to where there isn’t some drag . I don’t ride in the rain so rim brakes will do . And I like the idea of a 1X front with a seven speed rear gears . I think it’ll be perfect for where I ride .
love the ballon tires too , but wish they were 26” .
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Old 08-20-19, 07:24 AM
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Originally Posted by coopman View Post
A guy here by the name of "Coyboy" got one & really likes it.
You got that right coopman. I just recently traded a trike for a road bike (Trek Pilot). I ride when I am riding with friends on road bikes. But before the Pilot I rode the Roll with them and was able to keep up on rides up to 16 miles. Rode the Roll on a solo ride for 22 miles. It’s a keeper for sure. I did swap the stock saddle for a Selle Anatomica H1 and like it even better now.
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Old 08-20-19, 07:52 AM
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Originally Posted by coyboy View Post
You got that right coopman. I just recently traded a trike for a road bike (Trek Pilot). I ride when I am riding with friends on road bikes. But before the Pilot I rode the Roll with them and was able to keep up on rides up to 16 miles. Rode the Roll on a solo ride for 22 miles. It’s a keeper for sure. I did swap the stock saddle for a Selle Anatomica H1 and like it even better now.
I think it’s going to be an ultimate cruiser bike . Can’t wait to get mine . I’ve got a Brooks b17 Imperial to go on it .
I’ve also ordered a rear rack and a couple of bags to hang on it .
I’ll replace the pedals with some aluminum platform pedals and add a couple of water cages . But that’s it .
I love my Electras but I think this will be better for riding with my friend on the local cart paths and the “ Silver Comet” rails to trails .
The town of Newnan , not far from me are in the process of developing connected paths that when finished will be 26 miles long . From what I’ve read , they have one section of 1.5 miles open already . I need to check it out and see if it leads to a big subdivision down there that I know has cart paths .
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Old 08-20-19, 11:34 AM
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If you are near Newnan, try the Carrollton Green Belt. Nice wide well maintained trails and beautiful. Even some stops to grab lunch and an adult beverage if so inclined.
Here's a link if interested https://www.carrolltongreenbelt.com/

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Old 08-20-19, 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by flatrockmobile View Post
If you are near Newnan, try the Carrollton Green Belt. Nice wide well maintained trails and beautiful. Even some stops to grab lunch and an adult beverage if so inclined.
Here's a link if interested https://www.carrolltongreenbelt.com/
Thanks , I wasn’t aware of that one . I’ll definitely give it try !
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Old 08-20-19, 08:18 PM
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Wish I was closer to the silver comet. I’ve ridden on it a couple of times. Closest access point for me is Piedmont Al about 2 hours south of me. I did a 50 mile ride from Jacksonville to a campground in Ga on the comet several years ago on my recumbent. Camped overnight and rode back the next day. Would love to do it again on the Roll. At that time I hadn't found a comfortable bike seat.
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Old 09-06-19, 08:55 PM
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Hello CodeZero. "Performance" cruiser is a bit contradictory. LOL I think the performance part would come more through the rider than the bike, though you can do some things to enhance performance, albeit slightly. You have to have a certain personality to ride a beach cruiser "spiritedly". Many on the forum poopoo such antics (alloo).

Anyway, I have a standard SS 3G that I received FREE quite a few years ago and have ridden it now almost 25,000 miles. I love the comfort but more so the challenge of riding it everywhere I physically can, which does have it limits especially with regards to hills.

I've ridden it countless metric, century, some 200km rando rides and last June (2018) rode my first double century on the bike and loved every minute.
https://ridewithgps.com/trips/24715786

I think tires and gearing (if a SS) are the most crucial items. I haven't tried a lot of tires but the handful I have tried and the amount of miles I ride you can feel the difference in rolling resistance right away. Several felt like I was dragging a boat anchor behind me. My current favorites are the Schwalbe Big Ben (26 x 2.30") but they are getting harder to find so I got the Big Apples as you mentioned. I don't think they'll last as long as the Big Ben's but those Schwalbe's are a really nice rolling tire and pretty bulletproof as far as punctures. My first Big Ben went probably 10,000 miles and I only had 1 or 2 flats. Amazing.

Gearing, for my riding style and the hills in my area I like to climb, 44 x 17 seems to work nicely. Depending on topography, winds and fitness level, I can ride 16/17 mph pretty easily and roll 20-22 drafting in a peloton of road bikers. Climbing is tough when you approach 4-6% grades but I like hills and relish in the challenge.

I also found a slimmer saddle to be beneficial for those high cadence spinning sessions. Currently I have the Forte- Easy Rider and it works very well for me. Those larger cruiser seats can get in the way of your leg motion.

Several of my bikes I've ridden long distance were difficult with regards to the handlebars so I'm not sure if I'm just used to the 3G style or they are better for longer distances but I struggled with hand placement and comfort on some, not so much on my 3G. I think they are the stock handlebars but they may have been cut down a bit. I'm not sure, but they are not the usual swooped back chrome ones on most cruisers.

I'm fat so I don't worry too much about the weight of the bike.

I bought a 3 speed cruiser to potentially use it in the local mountains and get better high end but the gearing is too wide. I don't know why they make the ratios so wide, it doesn't make sense on a vehicle that mostly runs between 10 and 25 mph. Either it was too spinney or too tall of a gear to push. I think the ratios are 1-1 plus and minus 30%. I think it should be closer to plus or minus 15% but that is just a seat of the pants SWAG.

Lastly, I like the simplicity of the single speed style. Like the tires, they are almost bulletproof as far as maintenance and problems incurred far away from home. However, the coaster brake on steep downhills? Scary!

Great question. BTW, those Trek Rail cruisers are nice. I was not aware of those.
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Old 09-11-19, 05:21 PM
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@HBCruiser1 Thanks for your response. You sound like you know your stuff and you appear to be very dedicated in the time you spend riding. Anyway, in my original post I didn’t intend for it to be interpreted as some kind of oxymoron “high performance cruiser” my bad. What I meant to convey was that the old school steel cruiser concept has made advancements to improve efficiency, mainly through the use of aluminum and high pressure tires, augmented by fine tuning riding geometry. That being said... Are you in Huntington Beach? I ride there regularly between Warner and the River Jetty. Look me up on Instagram @outrigger sail bikes. I will be posting pix and vids as soon as they let me, probably in the Alt Bike Culture section. Sorry it took so long to respond, I’ve been busy in my retirement.
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Old 09-20-19, 09:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Code Zero View Post
@HBCruiser1 Thanks for your response. You sound like you know your stuff and you appear to be very dedicated in the time you spend riding. Anyway, in my original post I didn’t intend for it to be interpreted as some kind of oxymoron “high performance cruiser” my bad. What I meant to convey was that the old school steel cruiser concept has made advancements to improve efficiency, mainly through the use of aluminum and high pressure tires, augmented by fine tuning riding geometry. That being said... Are you in Huntington Beach? I ride there regularly between Warner and the River Jetty. Look me up on Instagram @outrigger sail bikes. I will be posting pix and vids as soon as they let me, probably in the Alt Bike Culture section. Sorry it took so long to respond, I’ve been busy in my retirement.
Ha, not sure I know what I'm doing, but it works for me so far.
I am in HB. PM me and let's ride. I don't have Instagram but I'll see if I can still view whatever it is you're posting.
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