Santa Barbara has a pretty strong cruiser culture. It may be attributed to the fact that we live by the beach, or that the city is small enough not to require a car. In any case, there is a group of guys who dedicate quite a bit of time and money towards customizing their cruisers. The creations are mostly reminiscent of the Cook Brothers Racing bikes from the 70s and 80s. A lot of these guys are of an age (myself included) that they remember all the cool BMX racing bikes and clunkers when they were kids. A good straight-bar cruiser is prized for its classic look as well as its ability to receive many new parts on the market today. Things like Chris King headsets, SE Landing Gear forks are all the rage. However, that is usually where the commonality stops.
Frank here is one of the only guys who has actually shoehorned in 29-inch wheels on his 26-inch cruiser. He has to grind the underside of the front fork in order to get it to work. The result is pretty cool. Way better than a Torker T-29. This is American steel and consumer innovation here. He’s also laced up a Sturmey Archer 2-speed kickback hub to give that uniqueness where a standard Bendix coaster brake wouldn’t do.