PostHeaderIcon What is a Lowrider Bike?

There are few other bicycles as quirky, flashy as a lowrider bike. They are similar in appearance to many chopper-style motorcycles, in other words a take off on cars and motorcycles of the same style.

 a lowrider bicycle A lowrider bike often features high handlebars or Apehanger handlebars which are long handlebars that position the hands at eye-level or higher. Banana seats are typical modification done to lowrider bikes. They have a long wheelbase with wider white-wall tires, and a more laid back riding position. This low riding position is, of course, desirable and the cause for most of the modifications. These bikes are not designed for performance cycling or racing; rather, their purpose is simply cruising through the neighborhood on a fun and creative bicycle or commuting with flash.

Lowriding began as a cultural element of Chicano Americans, part of the street culture of the American barrio where Mexican immigrants maintained a lively urban culture. Lowrider bikes are one of the most splendid and unique products of this culture. They are a cross between the Harley and the cruiser bike, decorated with paint and chrome and streamers and often can be found in any all-American hometown parade.

 a lowrider bicycle Despite the fact that these bikes originated within the poverty of the barrio, lowrider bikes are anything but cheap. The makers of these one-of-a-kind creations regard their bicycles as much as an artwork and a mechanical marvel as a means of transportation. Part of the joy of creation though has always been parading them down the street when they are completed. These are not pieces of art meant for life in dusty museums, for the most part. Each part is usually carefully selected for its utility as well as its beauty with the resulting bike is a breathtaking example of technical and artistic ingenuity.

As you are already aware I’m sure, low riding bikes hug the ground. The highest points on a lowrider bike are almost always its two hand grips and the seat of a lowrider bike is down at wheel level. While it’s pedals are sometimes higher than the seat! These bikes are typically a highly individualized creation. Most of them are ridden with enormous pride by their creators. Though you can buy some standard models and a few elaborate models in a good bike store, especially in cities of the American West.

 a lowrider bicycle Lowrider bikes are becoming a presence in more and more cities. Perhaps they have been made more “respectable” among the affluent bicyclists (who drive the market) by the increasing popularity of their cousin, the recumbent bicycle. We may even see more as the baby boomer generation ages and feels increasing twinges of back pain riding on the dropped handlebars of a road bike.

Those of you who have just gotten your first basic lowrider bike, don’t be too surprised if you find yourself flipping through magazines or online pages of a low rider parts catalog. Probably wondering how that golden sprocket or some other part would look on your bike?

Lowrider bikes will bring out the creative side of you as you embellish your bike and the inventor in many of us as you try technical improvisations. They truly are unique and a wonder to look at and show of to your friends.

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