Sep 28, 2014

A simple beach cruiser upgrade to get you more speed

I recently got a good deal on some Schwinn black wall tires to replace my worn whitewalls with.  The big fat black walls looked pretty sharp, but I realized straight away that they didn't look nearly as good as my old whitewalls did.  Furthermore, the new black walls were incredibly wide for a stock tire.

It's not just that the tires were too wide however.  The surface area meant to come in contact with the road was also flatter, which caused a heck of a lot more drag, not to mention a greater chance for getting flat tires.  After a couple weeks, I decided to go back to white walls mainly for aesthetics, but the poor design of the black walls got me thinking.

Most standard beach cruiser tires for 26 inch bikes are sized at 26 x 2.125.  I decided to go down to a less wide tire measuring in at 26 x 1.175, and found a pair of whitewalls on Amazon that were not only the right size, but featured a raised center to boot.

Before.. with 26 x 2.125 black walls

After.. outfitted with 26 x 1.175 whitewalls

While I can definitely see a huge difference in tire width, I don't think the new tires detract in any way from the retro feel of the bike.  This is largely in part thanks to the whitewalls, which give the tires more depth and nicely compliment the bikes paint scheme.  Some bikes look better with an all black tire, but this particular cruiser does not.

In the end, a simple upgrade of two tires that cost $10.00 each, increased my average cruising speed, made it much easier to climb hills, and allowed me to turn
on a dime.  It's an easy and affordable upgrade I'm glad to have made, and will only make my rides in the hilly parts of Northern Colorado easier and in turn more enjoyable.

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