A beach cruiser is a type of bicycle that has wide, low handles, an upright seat, and wide tires. Though the bikes tend to have only one speed, and are not equipped to handle rough terrain, they can be very comfortable to ride, particularly for riding on the beach — hence, the name "beach cruiser".
The beach cruiser is modeled after the traditional bikes seen all over America from the 1930s until the 1950s, and has become a trend in recent years, though the modern version is more lightweight than the bikes of the early days. The first cruiser was made by the Schwinn bicycle brand, which still sells many cruisers today, along with a wide range of mountain bikes.
The beach cruiser is especially popular in Southern California, particularly in areas like Santa Monica and Venice Beach. It can be found in a wide array of colors and styles, and has a retro appeal to consumers who like the bike's old-fashioned style. The cruiser is typically relatively inexpensive, and ranges in price from around $130 US Dollars (USD) for a basic cruiser, to $500 (USD) for the most luxurious models.
Today's beach cruisers are popular among numerous groups of people, though they are more commonly purchased by women than men. Because of the cruiser's nostalgia value, it has become a trend among many people of the Baby Boomer generation, who value comfort above speed. It is also common to see many young people, particularly surfers, riding this type of bicycle.
Today, there are several social clubs around the United States for people who ride cruisers. In Los Angeles, a biking club called Cruz with Us is made up of people who ride cruisers around the city to various bars on a certain Saturday night each month.
Because of the beach cruiser's resurgence in popularity in modern times, many people are devoted to restoring old cruisers from the 1950s or earlier. New cruisers are also being built and sold all the time, both by major brands like Schwinn and by small, boutique bike shops.