What's the difference between 26 x 2.125, 26 x 2.35, and 26 x 3 widths?
What are some of the brands of beach cruiser tires out there?
What colors do beach bicycle tires come in?
Are balloon tires the same as beach cruiser tires?
Where can I find beach cruiser tires for sale?
Tires are one of the, if not the, most important bike parts for truly comfortable cruiser bikes. Like most bicycles, beach cruisers have various tire options available to them. Some of the most common options include balloon tires or fat tires, mountain-bike style tires, and in some cases, even narrower tires.
Cruiser bicycle tires range from cheap to expensive, come in 20,24, and 26 inch sizes, and 26 x 2.125, 26 x 2.35, and 26 x 3 widths. In fact, 26 is the standard adult tire size for a 26 women's cruiser bike. 24 is for smaller bicycles and 20 is for kids.
Some of the most notable brands include CST, Schwalbe, and Slick. Beach cruiser colored tires are also found in red, tan, white wall, yellow, and brown colors.
The type of tire you choose for your beach cruiser will heavily depend on how you want to ride it. Our Puppy and Dreamer series cruiser bikes come with balloon tires which are most common on beach cruisers. They provide a comfy ride with plenty of traction.
Link to product pages
Which Beach Cruiser Tires? Ask These Questions First
Photo via Bestenthusiast.com.
When purchasing beach cruiser tires, first ask yourself the following questions:
Do you plan to ride it on casual bike trails?
Will you be riding it on sand and dirt?
Do you want a bouncy or firm ride?
If you plan to do the majority of your riding on smooth bike lanes, you will probably want to look at a normal narrower tire.
In contrast, if you are going to hit up some dirt trails or rougher paths, balloon tires are your friend.
Lastly, narrower tires will provide you with a firm ride, while fat tires will be a lot bouncier.
Beach cruiser tires come in various sizes, including 16", 20", 24", and 26".
Typically, the 16" fits on children's beach cruisers, while the 26" is more commonly found on adult bikes.
The major difference between the different beach cruiser tires is their size and the way they perform.
Most tires you look at for your beach cruiser will be able to handle the majority of casual riding. Still, it is important to understand where each tire excels.
Balloon tires usually come in a 26"x2.125" format.
What does this mean? In basic terms, the tire is 26 inches in diameter and 2.125 inches in width.
In contrast, mountain bike tires are usually 1.5 inches to 2 inches wide, while road bike tires are a skinny 0.9" wide.
There are several other variations that maintain the same diameter, but are either narrower or wider.
When sizing beach cruiser tires, always measure in decimals as there are many tire types that have slightly different measurements. Because of this, you will want to make sure they are capable of fitting on your bike's rims.
Another general rule of thumb to remember is that skinny equals fast, and wide equals slow. The trick is to find a balance between the two that is capable of handling the type of riding you want to do. The balloon tires on our cruiser bike measure in a 2 x 2.125 and provide the best of both worlds.
Photo via Pushys.com.
Tread type is another thing that will directly impact the way your beach cruiser tires perform.
Smooth tires are a lot speedier and easier to pedal with because of how they make less contact with the road. The smooth nature of these tires allows them to make minimal contact, making it easier for you to pedal and get going.
You should choose smooth tires if you plan to ride on paved paths that are in good condition.
On the other hand, tires with a thick tread will be harder to pedal on, but will be able to handle rougher surfaces. A thicker tread results in a loss of speed, but a gain in traction and control.
You should choose a tire with tread if you plan to ride your beach cruiser at the beach, on dirty paths, or rough pavement.
Beach Cruiser Tires Psi
Every tire requires a different level of psi.
For example, a lower psi will provide more cushion and bounce, while a higher psi will offer a rigid ride.
You will want to keep your tire psi around 35-65 psi if your beach cruiser tires are balloon tires. In contrast, road bike tires typically ride at 100 psi or higher.
It is recommended that you refill your beach cruiser tires every 2 weeks at a minimum.
Your tires always come with a psi range. The most important thing you can do is find a psi that is comfortable to you and keep your tires as close to it as possible.
Remember, 4-5 psi on tires that require 35-65 psi is a substantial difference and every little change will alter how your tires feel and perform.
Fat / Wide Beach Cruiser Tires
This is the perfect tire for you if you want a bouncy ride that is capable of riding on most surfaces.
In addition, fat tires tend to have tire tread on them as they are designed to ride on multiple surfaces.
Great in sand, snow, and soft conditions
Very bouncy ride that is easy on your back
Heavier to pedal around because of how fat they are
Terrible in wet conditions
Do not have great top speed
Harder to steer
Skinny / Narrow Beach Cruiser Tires
Photo via unclejef / Photobucket.
The major difference between narrow tires and fat tires is the width. Without going into too much detail, here are a few pros and cons for this tire.
Lighter / faster
Easier to pedal
Best for smooth, paved paths
Tread options available to improve control
More prone to puncture
Rougher ride at high pressures
Bald tires do not handle snow, sand, or dirt as well
Common Tire Problems to Consider
Wouldn't it be great if you could ride your bicycle and never experience any problems? That would truly be a perfect world.
Sadly, we don't live in this kind of world and you will eventually experience problems with your beach cruiser.
Let's face it. Flat tires happen from time to time.
However, if you find that you are continuously suffering flat tires, it may be time to replace your tires.
Like any part on your bicycle, you tire will wear out over time and you will need to replace your tires.
So how do you know if your tires are wearing out? As mentioned above, frequent flat tires in a short span of time are a good indicator.
Another thing to look for is how worn out and smooth your tires are. If your tire normally has tread, but now feels smooth, it may be time to change them.
Likewise, if you notice several scratches or nicks in the rubber, that is an early sign that your tire's lifespan is nearing its end.
Keep in mind, should your beach cruiser tires suffer a flat tire, this doesn't mean that you have to change the entire tire.
If your tires are new, you need only change the tubes on the specific flat tire.
You can also purchase patch kits to mend minor damage. However, these patch kits aren't perfect and will not fix every hole.
Changing Your Tubes
Changing a tube is easy and inexpensive. All you will need is a new tube, 2 tire levers, and a pump.
Simply remove the tire from the frame of your bicycle.
Pop the tire off the rim using your tire levers.
Pull out the old tube and check your tire for any major damage. If everything checks out and you manage to locate the source of the flat, proceed to step 4.
Take your new tube and inflate it so that it holds its shape and fills the inside of your tire. Also, make sure to lock the tube in place by screwing the lock ring over the valve tip.
Once the tube is installed, put the tire back on your room and slowly push and stretch it back into place until it fits nicely.
Inflate your tube to your desired psi.
Lastly, put your wheel back on your frame. This step will vary depending on the type of frame and fork you have.
Ask for Help
If you are feeling overwhelmed with the idea of choosing a pair of beach cruiser tires, don't stress.
Peace Bicycles has worked hard to design a better beach cruiser with our Puppy series. If you have any questions about beach cruiser tires, cruiser bicycles, or if you want to learn more about bicycles in general, feel free to check out some of our other in-depth guides and to leave a comment below.
Beach cruisers are one of the best bicycles if you are looking for a casual ride, and with so many tire options available, you can customize your ride to suit your riding style.