|Trace The Mitten|
This is my new cruiser. Schwinn Swindler with 27.5" wheels. Coil spring front shock and springy wide seat.
I have been eyeing a cruiser for a while. Many times I ride the flat roads around my home. A single speed is all I need. The crank (gear in front) has 48 teeth and the rear sprocket has 24.
i discovered on my first ride that I usually use an easier gear set. This means that I am spinning at a higher cadence that is very comfortable. Usually I with cruise 10-15 mph. The cruiser went at 7-9 mph.
You never know the slope of a road until you bike in a single speed. On my first cruiser ride I discovered the slight elevation changes.
The cruiser is a longer frame from my other bikes and this is the wheelbase. There is more space between the wheels. This added length means that the handle bars are extending back further.
Once I sat on the seat I reslized that the bike frame is lower to the ground. I feel that I am sitting on a motorcycle. When i am stopped I can place both my feet comfortably on the ground.
Once I try pedal from a stop I find that my feet are pushing the pedal at more of an out angle. The stroke felt like a recumbant lean back. My touring bikes with racing handlebars have a more straight downward angle.
My leg muscles and balance were not fluid in moving forward. My leg on the pedal struggled to push the pedal forward. The leg on the ground could not push powerfully because it was bent in a seating position. I found that pushing the pedal and standing up off the saddle to standing position and extending back to push the bike. That move reminded me of coming out of the running starting blocks. As I stood I swung that foot to its pedal to move the pedals around.
My balance was off. I was not comfortable or practiced in this move. My hands on the handlebars swerved left and I immediately swerved right. Then back left and right and then straight. I looked uncoorinated.
As I pedaled I continued to notice difficulty in pedaling. i was straining more and going a cadence of 50-60 rpm. I felt the lean back. I was cruising slowly.
After about 30 minutes of pedaling, i could feel less used muscles getting sore. This feeling stayed with me during the next 30 minutes. Near the end of the ride I could feel knee strain and an occasional crack sound in my right knee.
This was the signal for me to head home.
Two days later I rode for 75 minutes. Since then I have done two 45 minute rides. I think I will ride the shorter distances for this winter.
This cruiser is giving want I wanted: a bike that was not expensive, There are not expensive components to service and replace. This bike will give me miles saved on other bikes that are overkill for such riding. It will be a good bike for the Detroit Slow Roll. The flat pedals are perfect for my insulated boots for warm feet.
Developing some new muscle strength,coordination and balance are great benefits. Going slower may also help me to wave at the neighbors.