If there is one truly iconic American bicycle, it is without a doubt the Beach Cruiser. These sturdy, handsome bikes have been enjoyed by generations of Americans without ever losing their “cool factor.” How can the same design have remained in style for almost a century? Simple: the Beach Cruiser was designed right the first time!
The predecessors to today’s Beach Cruiser bicycles don’t look all that much different than the modern Cruiser. They first came out during the Great Depression when bicycle manufacturers were looking for a way to make a sturdy, functional bike that would appeal to as broad a range of customers as possible. The easy to operate, comfortable to ride, and in arguably attractive design of the Cruiser was born! The bikes were an immediate hit with young people, but Americans of all ages were soon cruising around on their Beach Cruisers all across America.
Today you would be hard pressed to visit a popular American beach during the summertime without spotting numerous people enjoying a leisurely ride on a Beach Cruiser bicycle. From the iconic Venice Boardwalk near Los Angeles, California to Miami Beach to the New Jersey Shore to the San Francisco Pier Beach Cruiser bikes are omnipresent wherever people are enjoying the beach! But just because of their name, don’t think you won’t also see Beach Cruisers in towns and cities all across the country. They are some of the most popular bikes among casual riders everywhere.
Simply put, when a product is designed properly the first time, there is little reason to change it. Today you can enjoy refinements to materials (better metals, better rubber, and so forth) and some mechanical improvements (modern braking systems are certainly a step up from the Great Depression era bikes!) but overall, the Beach Cruiser is essentially a living, thriving legend. But that doesn’t mean all Beach Cruisers are built equally. If you are looking to get a bike you will enjoy for years to come, make sure you shop for more than just design and work with a bicycle dealer focused on the aforementioned quality of materials and construction.