Find Vintage Beach Cruisers Online
Vintage beach cruisers are a hot commodity in the world of vintage bicycles. For those who are just entering this world, a beach cruiser is a bicycle with wide, low handles, an upright seat, and wide tires. These bicycles are not made to handle rough terrain or racing speeds, but rather for cruising and relaxed, recreational riding.
History of Vintage Beach Cruisers
In 1933 the beach cruiser was born. The first beach cruiser was called the Schwinn’s World B10E Motorbike, but don’t let the name fool you. This bike did not have a working motor. Instead, it resembled a 1930’s motorcycle. The beach cruiser was invented because Frank W. Schwinn wanted to build a more durable bicycle. A bicycle was built with wide, balloon tires and a heavy frame with 2 top tubes. This bicycle became the first beach cruiser, and is now one of the most popular and rare beach cruiser bikes on the market.
In the 1950s, the beach cruiser reached its peak in popularity and notoriety. During this time period, the Schwinn Company was responsible for selling one out of every four bicycles in the United States. Observing the popularity of the cruiser, other companies, including Columbia, Huffy, Roadmaster, and Shelby introduced their own versions of the beach cruiser.
By the 1960s, the interest in beach cruisers hit a slump. Consumers began to show interest in lightweight bicycles and BMX bicycles. The beach cruiser picked up the stereotype “beach bum bicycle” that could be picked up very inexpensively at a garage sale, thrift shop, or swap meet.
In the 1970s the beach cruiser made a comeback, but for a different reason than you might expect. Ten speed bicycles weren’t sturdy enough for mountain climbing, and the mountain bike wasn’t mainstream yet, so people purchased old cruisers with balloon tires from garage sales to ride on mountain trails.
The 1980s brought a slight resurgence for cruisers because people now considered them to be vintage beach cruisers and collectors’ items. Once they were viewed in this light, they could no longer be purchased at garage sales for $5.00.
By the 1990s they had made an official comeback! Brand new cruisers were being produced, and beach cruiser bikes could fetch a decent price in the world of vintage bicycles.
These trends continue for beach cruisers today.
Did you know…?
Did you know that many bicycle messengers in the 1950s and 1960s rode beach cruisers?
The wider frame and fatter tires made the bicycle stable enough to transport large stacks of parcels and envelopes.
If you’ve ever watched a movie from that era, you’ll notice that any bicycle couriers that appear in the movie are always depicted riding cruiser bicycles.
Purchasing Vintage Beach Cruisers
Vintage beach cruisers can fetch from around $100.00 up to almost $2000.00 depending upon the make, model, and rarity of the originals produced. One of the most expensive models was produced as recently as the 1980s, but there were so few produced, it fetches a pretty hefty price in the world of collectors.
Last Word about Vintage Bicycle Cruisers
Vintage bicycle cruisers – noted for their heavy weight and durability – were the most popular bicycles in the United States from the 1930s through the 1950s. They are a fun, retro bicycle associated with “the good old days” by many. They’re great collectors’ items and fun bicycles to own.