The Tower Beach Bum is not only easy only the wallet (being direct-to-consumer), it’s also easy on the eyes and backside as a purposeful beach cruiser. While it’s not on the forefront of e-bike tech, it’s value proposition is compelling enough to get Mark Cuban’s stamp of approval as a key investor in Tower.
Tower Beach Bum tech specs
- Motor: 500 W geared rear hub motor
- Top speed: 18 mph (29 km/h) User Programable
- Range: 40 miles (64.3 km)
- Battery: 48V 14Ah (672 Wh)
- Weight: 51.5 lb (23.3 kg)
- Weight limit: 350 lb (158.7 kg)
- Frame: 6061 Aluminum Alloy
- Tires: 26″ x 2.3″ Kenda
- Brakes: Tektro mechanical disc brakes with 160 mm rotors
- Extras: Schwalbe Fat Frank Tires, right-side twist throttle, Shimano Tourney 7-speed shifter, U-Lock retaining frame mount, integrated front light, after market USB charged rear light, large platform pedals
Tower Beach Bum video review
View from the Tower
The Tower Beach Bum is a perfectly good electric cruiser made for easy riding, looking good, and has some subtle features to give it a little pop from the appealing price point. There’s not a lot of bells and whistles on the bike, and that’s the way I like it.
The Beach Bum is subtle and powerful enough to offer a nice easy ride to enjoy the scenery. If that’s what you’re expecting from an electric beach bike, then you’re in luck. Mechanically, the brakes are fine for mild speed, the shifter is appropriate for low-impact riding, the steering is relaxed and simple, and the big saddle with barefoot pedals are right on point.
Comfort, always comfort
Aside from the super plush seat and cozy grips, a fantastic addition to the Beach Bum are the Schwalbe Fat Frank tires. These are some of the best beach cruiser tires out there with flat prevention built-in, reflective white walls and plenty of cushion in the ride. The rest of the mechanical specs aren’t from the top shelf, but the price is right. A good set of tires isn’t a bad place to put some money in. If there was one thing I would change on the Beach Bum, it would be the brakes, simply because the top speed can be programmed for 20mph.
Fast electric beach bike
The Beach Bum has a user-programmable top speed. Using the display, it can be set past the default of 18mph up to the industry standard of 20, or a theoretical 28mph. Although the 500 W motor is tuned to provide great torque for hill climbing purposes, a high top speed is still on the table. Even though it’s possible to race around on a beach bike, I think Tower’s choice to limit the default to 18 mph is wise. It really sets an intentional precedent about the realistic performance of the system as a whole. With mechanical disc brakes on a bike of 51lbs (23.3kg), 28 is far too fast for me.
Easy bike, easy battery
In contrast to the smooth lines and elegant feel of the bike, the battery, controller and mount is down to business. The 48 V 14 Ah battery is a good healthy size, and that 8.3 lbs (3.7 kgs) of weight is mounted in the center of the bike on the back of the seatpost tube. It’s pretty easy to access, and also easy to remove the mount completely. While not common, this may be handy if the built-in controller needs replacing, a piece of cake to access. This battery and mount style is quite popular for conversions and hot-rodders on account of the ease of use. How did this workhorse wind up on a production beach cruiser?
All about price
The Tower Beach Bum is $1,695, which is a pretty good deal if you’re looking for this kind of bike. Other cruisers with some similar parts sell for $3,000 to $4,000. What makes the difference in Tower’s Beach Bum isn’t much of a secret: the mechanical specs aren’t the greatest, the electrical parts are a bit old hat, but most importantly Tower sells direct to consumers without multiple storefronts or even a flashy website. This is how Tower intends to slide under the competition without the burden of supporting a network of service centers, rental companies, or celebrity endorsements. By the way, Tower markets itself as “Mark Cuban’s eBike Company”.
OK, so maybe there’s just one celebrity endorsement. Just one can’t hurt, right? A remarkably successful pitch on ABC’s Shark Tank landed Tower Paddle Boards in the investment portfolio of Mark Cuban. Since then Tower has steadily expanded into beach lifestyle products such as sunglasses, skateboards, bikes, and now electric bikes. This spread of products can be interpreted two ways: steady growth in the target market, or “see what sticks”. Their current electric bike catalog is one bike, in one size, in one color. Will they expand into a step-though frame, fat-tire, or color options? Time will tell. If there’s blood in the water, the sharks are out.
Being a direct to consumer brand, Tower isn’t afraid to interact with the public through reviews and comment sections. Feel free to post your thoughts on the Tower Beach Bum below, because there’s a good chance Tower is listening. Here’s the link to check out their main page for the Electric Bike, or, if you’ve seen enough and wish to purchase, click to go to their electric beach cruiser.
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