BikeParts Wiki

Template:Unreferenced A lowrider bicycle is a highly customized bike with stylings inspired by lowrider cars. These bikes often feature a long, curved banana seat with a sissy bar and very tall upward-swept handlebars known as apehangers. Excessive chrome, overspoked wheels and velvet are common accessories to these custom bicycles.

Lowrider bikes first appeared in the 1960s in America. It was started by 'Custom King' Sean Johnson who customized automobiles. Kids would copy his work on their bikes usually using common muscle bicycles, allowing those who were too young to drive a car to have a custom vehicle.

Schwinn was the first company to launch a muscle bike in the form of the Sting-Ray.

Sean Johnson was the first to customize the Sting-Ray and had them featured in the Munsters. Eddie Munster's bike was the must have item of the time.


A custom Lowrider bicycle built by a lowrider bike club member.

Some make bicycles are particularly popular among lowrider builders. Most well known of these are the American-produced Schwinn Stingray (usually 20", but 16" and even 12" Schwinn tigers are used) and in Australia the Malvern Star long frame dragsters and bratz beutie bikes. Another favorite of the period was the Iverson Dragstripper, which featured a long "exhaust pipe" body that gave it a distinctive look. The new lowrider trend is also related to the trend in Cruiser or Beach Cruiser style bikes. Today, pre-built and even custom made one of a kind lowriders are available from Lowrider bicycle shops, Custom Chopper Bicycle Designers and even some Lowrider car workshops.

Some basic or classic characteristics of a lowrider bike are: Baby Daytons (like the car rims, they are overspoked and do not cross over each other) with white-wall tyres. Banana Seats, usually custom upholstery and a customized sissy bar. Ape or Schwinn type handlebars. Old school spring action suspension for the front forks known as "springer forks". Fenders both front and back. Sometimes a chain steering wheel is attached. Most accessories are highly polished chrome, however gold is also used for added flare though for economical reasons chrome is the standard.

Some lowrider bikes are modified into lowrider tricycles, allowing them to sit much closer to the ground while still being rideable, to hop without falling over if they have air bag or hydraulic suspension and given them extra carry space in the back. The space between the two rear wheels is often used to mount either a 2-seater "love seat", a "boom-box" or even pumps for hydraulic or air "suspension".

Some custom modifications include twisted forks, spokes or handlebars, what are known as "bird cages" (twisted metal strips that resemble a bird cage) that are cut and welded onto handlebars, sissy bars or pedals. Many of the bikes also feature custom frame work such as tanks and skirts which are the addition of sheets of metal, usually welded on, to the frame to give it a "filled-in" look. Some lowrider bicycles even have air or hydraulic cylinders set-up to emulate the Height adjustable suspension of lowrider motor cars.