There's something about a beach cruiser bicycle that just feels like, well, summer. There you are, peddling barefoot, bouncing on that fat, springy seat, cruising around the lake or down to check the surf, past the taco truck and the sage bush. (It’s often a very Southern Californian esthetic.)
The new special edition Priority Bicycles Coast beach cruiser that's been made in collaboration with Jetty, however, breaks from that vibe; it was created with a distinctly East Coast feel, by two companies that have made their mark in a landscape that was once West Coast territory.
Jetty is a coastal lifestyle brand that has slowly become an authentic mainstay in the outdoor world as it rose up from its unlikely DIY beginnings along the coast of New Jersey. The brand does all of their own screen-printing, and is now available in 400 retailers in North America. A certified B-Corp, Jetty has a charitable arm called the Jetty Rock Foundation, a full calendar of annual events, a branded craft beer, a signature oyster — and a long history of community involvement. Jetty even recently purchased and opened a flagship retail store on the mainland adjacent to their native Long Beach Island.
“Jetty’s approach to design just feels good. It stands out and the whole line is a quality that works for the masses while staying true to the coastal perspective. We were proud to be able to create a bike that accompanies and ideally complements that,” says Connor Swegle, co-founder of Priority Bicycles.
Swegle immediately saw the values that Jetty shared with his brand and sought to create a bike around their vibe and “draw your own line" ethos — a nod to working hard to create the kind of life you want to live. In this case, the flexibility to fish, travel, surf, boat, explore and peddle up the street to watch the sun set over the bay on a fleeting summer evening.
Priority began with co-founder Dave Wiener, who grew up the bike industry but went on to become CEO of a multinational software company. For years afterward, Weiner found his friends asking his opinion on a bike that was light, stylish, comfortable, easy to maintain and affordable.
He couldn’t really give them a good answer, so he quit the software gig and started his own bike brand out of New York City. Since the initial Kickstarter campaign in 2014, Priority has grown to a thriving direct-to-consumer business with a line of 13 bikes for adults and kids.
Like life on the moody East Coast, every step of ground gained by the two brands has been hard fought. But today, both are seeing appreciation for their product from their Atlantic beginnings all the way to the Pacific.
What makes this beach cruiser stand out from the crowd?
The Priority X Jetty Coast offers that timeless cruiser style with practicality in mind — most specifically, the smooth pedaling carbon belt drive that requires no maintenance, a major upgrade from greasy chains that tend to pop off on the way home from the bar or on scorching hot afternoons. The frame is constructed from a rust-resistant aluminum to combat the quick rot caused by sand and salty air. The seat and grips — often the first parts to fall apart on a beach cruiser — are constructed of weather-resistant material, and the tires are puncture resistant. The Coast offers both front hand brakes and coaster rear brakes, too.
“Priority Bicycles delivers that experience to the Jetty customer seamlessly through their quality bikes which are well designed, durable, and functional," says Jetty’s senior art director, Ryan Coppola. "There’s nothing fussy about a day at the beach, and there’s nothing fussy about their bikes; like the ocean or a favorite t-shirt, they’re effortless and easy to love. Similar to Jetty, understanding the fickle seasons on the East Coast and the practicality demanded from the gear used to navigate these conditions are fundamental to Priority’s mission.”
Those most enthusiastic about this collaboration can also check out the capsule collection around it – a t-shirt, a long sleeve and a pullover hoodie featuring the bike’s colorway and whimsical beach town surf pirate cruising along with his punky mermaid on the handlebars. Preorders are available now and the bike ships in time for summer love.
The Coast cruiser fetches $599, and brings everything you love about your old cruiser — just more efficient and perfect for peddling to your favorite fishing hole or pizza joint.