What is a Vintage Beach Cruiser?
Purchasing a vintage beach cruiser bike or beachcomber bike, whether for girls, ladies, or men, is a bit of an art, but can be quite easy.
Here are some of the vintage beach cruiser bikes we offer for sale online:
Vintage Beach Cruiser Characteristics
Even if you have never seen a beach cruiser before, you could probably identify one on sight. Beach cruisers are characterized by their diamond or step thru bike frames, handlebars that lean in towards the rider, upright sitting position, wide seat, coat/skirt guard, and large front light that juts out over the front wheel.
The most famous beach cruiser in American pop culture can be seen in the 1985 classic Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure. Pee-Wee, the main character, spends the entire movie searching for his red beach cruiser. Even if you have never seen the movie, you have probably seen posters, or even parodies of the movies in other media like Family Guy.
Diamond bike frames have existed for over 100 years. Although beach cruisers have been around since the 1930s, the diamond frame itself has been around since the 1890s and is most notable on Dutch Bikes. Even today, diamond frames are still very popular, especially on retro beach cruisers. There are several advantages to using a diamond frame vintage beach cruiser.
Why are Diamond Frames awesome?
First, vintage diamond frames bicycles have a really slick look. The bike frame is lower at the rear than at the front, making the seat lower on a diamond frame than other bike style frame shapes. A lower sitting position also re-enforces the upright position that beach cruiser riders use for maximum comfort. You sit slightly lower on the bike, your back and shoulders are straight, and your hands are placed near your torso.
At Peace Bicycles, we are committed to creating vintage-style beach cruisers that provide the maximum comfort for our customers, which is why our steel vintage Diamond Dutch cruiser bikes features a diamond frame.
Seat saddles on vintage beach cruisers are much wider, and much more cushioned, than most bike seats today. Beach cruisers are meant for leisurely bike rides along the beach and boardwalk. Most beach cruiser riders go slow, allowing them to take in the landscape. In general, when it comes to bike seat widths and cushioning, the wider and more cushioned the seat, the more likely you'll be riding often.
Which Saddle Is “Vintage”?
To really claim that vintage beach cruiser look, you need to purchase a beach cruiser with a wide, cushioned seat saddle like our Peace Saddle above. With the required upright sitting position, you need a seat that will remain comfortable for hours of use at a time.
Bike bells come in a range of styles. Every rider has their own preference regarding a bell’s look and sound. Some people like the classic “DING” of a bell, and others want their bells to play certain musical notes.
What Difference Does Sound Make?
Vintage bike bells will “DING.” You can activate the bell by pressing on the lever with your thumb while keeping your hands on the handlebars. The bell is installed on the handlebars for easy access. If you want to fulfill that vintage beach cruiser look, you need a vintage beach cruiser bell.
Vintage bike lights are a lost art. Presently, many people have LED lights on their bikes, reflective wheel strips, and strobe lights. It is not common to see a beach cruiser with a vintage front light on it anymore, but the light made the vintage look a classic.
Why Does This Matter?
Retro front lights are attached to the brake set, jutting out over the front wheel. You can still purchase front lights today that are modeled after vintage front lights. Installing one will really complete the vintage beach cruiser look that has remained classic since the 1930s. However, modern lights also offer perks of modern technology, like LED lighting and extensive battery power.
Rear lights on vintage bikes, like our Spanninga Duxo Light on the top right are great for additional night time riding and safety. Both of these lights come standard on all of our bikes which is unique to our brand.
Coat guards, like ours above, are often seen on vintage bicycles, especially in Europe. While few bicycles have coat guards now, they used to be very popular. Essentially, a coat guard, also known as a skirt guard, is a metal or plastic guard that clips over the top of your vintage beach cruiser’s rear wheel. Similar to a chain guard in function, the coat guard prevents dirt or grime from getting on your coat or skirt while riding.
The Best Part?
Besides keeping your clothes clean, a coat guard is also useful to help make sure that your clothes do not get caught in the spokes of the wheel. Regardless of whether you bike slow or fast, those wheels are turning, and if your skirt or coat starts flapping in the wind, it can get caught. With a properly-installed coat guard, you can bike around on a beach cruiser bike without needing to care about what you are wearing. You can remain safe from falling, and your clothes can remain clean.
Old is In
While vintage-style beach cruisers have always been “in style,” there are becoming more popular. However, most beach cruisers on the market are similar to kit cars: they look vintage, but they are not vintage. Truly owning a vintage beach cruiser bike means owning a bike with similar technology. These bikes usually come with features as vintage cruisers from the 1930s to the 1950s. Owning a classic beach cruiser is a wonderful thing. They are simpler to maintain. You can always find parts. They provide a more consistent ride quality.
If you want a vintage beach cruiser, you need to know how to spot classic beach cruiser parts and accessories. Now, I have shown you the various traits and features that have made vintage beach cruisers popular for decades. With the knowledge you have gained, you are now ready to purchase your perfect vintage beach cruiser and parts, and start biking on the waterfront.