In praise of the beach bike

The beach bike (otherwise known as the pub bike) belongs to the genus single-speed fixus of the bikus family. Though often seen in the wild it is rarely remarked upon. It is this ability to avoid attention that makes the bikes what it is.

This overlooked beach bike is often not fit for longer rides but will happily traverse to the beach (or pub) and back on its squeaky chain and wobbly wheels.  When bicycoligists first described this creature its differentiating values were its price (often free or very close to it) and they remarked upon how unremarkable it was. As far as theft goes, this bike could often survive in the wild without lock and chain. Though generally a loved (but often neglected) member of the family, when stolen the beach bike did not cause any great anguish among other family members. A trip to the tip shop or op shop was generally all that was required to secure a replacement.

Perhaps you own a beach bike and don’t even realise it. Some shop bikes are also beach/pub bikes, they just haven’t been to the beach or pub yet.

My own beach bike is a Peugeot that is (supposedly) awaiting restoration. Whether I bother with said restoration or just use the bike for beach duties is yet to be decided. The Peugeot has been stripped of gears and is a functional single-speed though not a very fast one. The left hand crank is a bit bent and both wheels are wobbly. I could make it  more rideable with new cranks and wheels but then its value would increase and its usefulness as a beach bike would decreases. The usefulness of a beach bike for beach duties has an inverse relationship to its monetary value.

The beach/pub bike is almost always a single-speed. If you’ve got a beach bike and its still got got five or six rusty gears on it then you need to spend an hour or two in the garage stripping that old shit off.

Unfortunately the addition of carver surf racks quadruples the value of the bike.

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