The JoyCycle BeachBike Experience


Few things in life inspire enthusiasm like a bicycle. Even when you reach a certain age that sense of eager anticipation is hard to deny when you start making plans for pedal-powered excursions across town as part of a daily commute or over long distances in search of adventure. So when the folks at BeachBikes offered me the opportunity to try one of their wonderful cruisers I immediately jumped at the chance to take it for a spin.

In the interests of full disclosure they gave me the new bike in the hopes that I might give them a glowing review. But as my track record on matters such as these affirms my opinion is not for sale. But I greatly admire any company willing to risk the criticism of an objective observer as it demonstrates a level of confidence in their products that cannot be denied. But having experienced the Firmstrong Men’s Beach Cruiser firsthand I imagine that the professionals at this establishment in Santa Monica, California figured they were making a sure bet by simply assuming that I would love it.

The BeachBike experience for me began online. Using the company’s web site I was given the opportunity to customize my new bike from the wheels to the handlebars. Given a modest budget of $350 I was able create a bicycle in a color and style to suite my personality with a variety of different options to get just the right look. Partial to orange I picked out a scheme for the frame and the rims that beautifully matched the Joy Trip Project’s signature hues.

Once I approved the order for my new JoyCycle I figured I wouldn’t hear anything for at least a week until it was delivered. But instead I received a few emails from BeachBike congratulating me on my “purchase” and welcoming me into the company’s community of riders. I got a note from a mechanic who offered to walk me through the assembly process  via personal Skype call, Facetime or Google Hangout when the new bike arrived. And I also heard from a “ride specialist” that offered to help guide me through my first outing. He even made a suggestion with a GPS assisted route navigator to get me on my way:

Having been an avid cyclist for most of my life I really didn’t need quite so much hand-holding. But I really appreciated these generous offers of assistance. If I were new to cycling as many people are this much personal attention and customer service would go a long way toward a very positive experience to begin a life-long love of bikes.

Clearly Beachbikes aims to get more people on road. When the JoyCycle arrived a week later on my doorstep I managed put it together easily with a few basic tools and very little effort. I believe even someone without much experience could have accomplished the assembly in no more than a few hours or less. The bicycle came exactly as expected as far as style and color but I had ordered a basket and a liner that did not arrive. This omission is my only complaint in an otherwise flawless transaction. Though I am disappointed it is hardly deal-breaker. I have every confidence that the company will deliver the accessories as soon as they are available.

Now the moment of truth had arrived. Despite the cold Wisconsin winter in the middle of January I wanted to take the JoyCycle out for a test ride. The municipal bike path that borders the backyard of our home in Madison was gratefully clear of ice and snow. Bundled up against the weather I peddled the new bike through our neighborhood to the delight of several passersby who complimented me on the bright orange color which seem to lift their spirits in spite of the grey skies and frigid temperatures.They could see I was having fun.

JoyCycle002Returning home I put the new ride in an open slot on my wall of bikes in the garage. Between my wife and I we have quite a few. I don’t consider myself any kind of bike expert, but after years of riding I know what I like. BeachBikes offered me a very positive experience from start to finish. I can definitely recommend to first-time cyclists that they consider making a selection from the company’s broad assortment of makes and models. With excellent customer service before and after purchase it is a great way to get on the road with ease and style. I personally can’t wait for warmer weather to take the JoyCycle out for a proper ride and another great BeachBike Experience.

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I’m a freelance journalist that specializes in telling stories about outdoor recreation, environmental conservation, acts of charitable giving and practices of sustainable living.