Have you recently been to the beach? Did you catch cyclists roaming on comfy-looking bikes and enjoying themselves? If yes, you have probably seen a cruiser bike. These model bikes are so popular worldwide for their relaxed riding framework. However, what is a cruiser bike? Are they different from regular cycles? What are cruiser bikes good for?
Do you have any idea? A cruiser bike is not a regular bicycle. Its relaxed riding posture separates it from the regular ones. They are more like a recreational bicycle that aims to add a little bounce on rocky, sandy trails. If you have a thing for slow pace cycling, a cruiser bike is what you need.
In our content below, we have broadly discussed everything you must know about cruiser bikes. We have also answered some of the most commonly asked questions by the readers for your benefit. So, let’s get started without any further delay now!
What Is A Cruiser Bike?
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Cruiser Bike or you may also know it by the name ‘beach cruiser,’ is not a regular bicycle you can see on the street. Instead, it is something made especially for recreation, prioritizing the user’s comfort. A cruiser bike stands out among others because of its geometrical structure that aims to provide a steady and relaxed position for the riders.
An extra-large saddle that lies low adds strength to the structure. The handlebars are wide enough for firm gripping that allows the rider to control the cycle. A long wheelbase with extra large and wider balloon style tires makes the vehicle more stable, and you can enjoy your ride with ease.
The classic cruiser bike has a pretty simple structure without complex parts or functions. Generally, they come with a single gear system that lets even inexperienced riders enjoy struggle-free riding. After all, you don’t have to worry about changing gears.
However, cruisers feature costar brakes in most of the models. It requires riders to paddle backward if they want to stop the cycle. If you are habituated to a regular bicycle, these features may be challenging for you to get used to. That’s the only problem a rider may face with a cruiser bike. But yes, as the bike structure is relatively low, some use their feet to reduce the cycle’s speed. As cruisers are solemnly made for slow pacing, it isn’t that difficult to do so.
What Are The Types Of Cruiser Bikes?
Cruiser Bike has been around for decades since the 1930s when Americans faced a great economic crisis. The search for an affordable bike that would be sturdy enough to last for a long time became great. Cruisers were made with that in mind, keeping only the standard features without much complexity.
There are four types of cruiser bikes. And those are:
- Classic Cruiser
- Stretch Cruiser
- Low Riders
- Chopper Cruiser
Ever since then, cruisers have developed with time with many upgraded features. This has now led to having different types of cruisers. Let’s get to know them a bit, shall we?
1. Classic Cruiser
This version is probably the oldest and most common type of cruiser bike. They have the standard structure of cruisers having the saddle positioned above the paddle. It lets the rider sit in an upright position and makes the overall geometry firm and strong.
They can be compared with hybrid bikes if we ignore the wide balloon tires. However, the balloon-style tires are specially added to the bikes for casual and smooth riding.
You may know this cruiser model as a ‘beach cruiser’ too. They are the perfect ride on uneven, sandy grounds.
2. Stretch Cruiser
From the name, you can already guess that the bike is more extensive than the regular models. Stretch cruiser bikes have a great long body. This sets the wheels at a distance resulting in the bike geometry having an exaggerated wheelbase. Even though it makes the bike capable of balancing quite well, it also requires way more flexible riders.
The saddle lies pretty low, and as a result, the paddle moves forward from its original position in classic cruisers. The handlebars are broad, but the length is quite much for an inflexible person to reach. You should probably avoid this model if your body can not stretch that much. However, stretch cruisers are the most reliable option when it comes to keeping balance during sudden sharps and turns.
3. Low Riders
Low rider cruiser bikes have a very similar structure to stretch cruisers. This may lead you to get confused between the two. However, some specific parts to look at will help you understand the difference correctly.
The frame of the low rider cruiser bike lies relatively low, just above the ground, which earns the name. As a result, the saddle lies down and is situated between the wheels instead of above. This has guided the paddles to move forward, and now it stays in front of them like a recumbent bike.
For handles, low riders use long and wide handlebars, varying from 9 inches to 25 inches. Some riders may find this model a little uncomfortable compared to the classic cruiser models.
4. Chopper Cruiser
Instead of the traditional bicycle look, the chopper cruiser comes with a trendy chopper motorcycle. It is heavily popular among the kids, especially the teenagers aspiring to be a motorcyclist in the future.
Though not all models, some chopper cruiser possess ape hanger handlebars that keeps the rider’s arm elevated and much higher than classic, low, or stretch Cruisers.
Unlike low riders and stretch cruisers, the saddle of the chopper cruiser is either in front of the rear wheel or just above it. So the riders need to move their leg forward instead of downwards.
What Are Cruiser Bikes Good For?
- Beach Time
Cruiser Bikes are suitable for enjoying slow, relaxed, and comfortable cycling. You can ride on the beachside while enjoying the perfect sunset or sunrise. Spend the ‘me’ time with your thoughts while moving back and forth on an easy ride.
- Bond With Cruiser
Do you think you need to spend some quality time with your partner? I suggest you get a plane with two cruiser bikes, which is better if they are connected. It would be as if you both are connected too. Whether on a beach, pavement, dirt road, or the street in front of your house, a slow and smooth ride with indeed create some moments to cherish.
If you need to travel a short distance daily and you want to go there in a relaxed and leisure ride, get yourself a cruiser bike today! It will let you have a smooth riding experience. But yes, it is not something you can rely on for fast or long-distance commuting as it can run only 3 to 15 Mph.
- Recreational Cycling
If you are bored with regular cycling and need a change, you can get a cruiser bike. Its specific geometry keeps the rider in an upright but relaxed position is ideal for easy and comfortable cycling. It can be an excellent source for your recreation.
- Perfect For Amateurs
Those who are not good at cycling with regular bikes can try out cruiser bikes. As it is designed to keep the riders’ comfort in mind, it helps the riders in every possible way. Its geometrical structure and flat balloon tires keep the balance properly, and thus inexperienced riders can also enjoy a slow, easy riding experience.
How Fast Can A Cruiser Bike Go?
We have already told you that Cruiser Bikes are created for recreational, slow, and comfortable riding. It is actually a pretty good source of spending some alone time bonding with nature. While riding a cruiser, riders don’t worry about time, being late, going home, etc. So there’s no hurry in it.
Depending on the model and manufacturer, the average speed for a standard cruiser bike varies from 3 to 15 miles/hour. If you paddle with all your might, you may reach the top speed level, only 15 Mph. However, you can now add extra gear or other accessories used to accelerate the speed and raise the maximum speed.
But, of course, that’s your choice. Classic cruisers are adamant about keeping their promises of slow pace and comfort.
Are Cruiser Bikes Hard To Ride?
If you ask anyone whether cruiser bikes are hard to ride or not, they would probably say easy. However, I would say it depends on where you are riding it. You won’t face much problem handling it if you are riding on a flat surface or beach sides with slight slumps and dumps.
However, if you decide to go on a ride on hills and decide to take your cruiser bike along for fun, trust me, it will only add to the pain! With the only single-geared system and a coaster brake, they are not something you can use to ride mountains.
But yes, riding a cruiser bike is way easier than any regular bike. It is sturdy and robust enough to carry your weight. Thanks to the wide wheelbase and balloon tires, they are pretty good at keeping the balance. On top of that, cruisers take extreme care of your comfort, unlike any other bicycle. You can sit relaxed and cycle around. Even the amateurs can handle it with ease.
Do Beach Cruisers Have Gears?
Yes, of course. No bike can run without gears. Every cruiser has at least one gear. So, you don’t have to worry about changing gears while being on a ride. As gears are often a synonym for speed, leading the classic cruisers earning their name ‘single-speed-bikes.’
However, you can put extra gears on the bike and upgrade it to a multi-gear one if you want. Nowadays, many accessories are available in the market suitable for cruiser bikes. Add some on yours and turn it into whatever you want.
Can You Ride A Cruiser Bike On The Road?
Yes, you can. However, you will need to stick to a flat, even road to ride it properly without any hassle. Cruiser Bikes are specially made for plane and smooth areas like beaches, boardwalks, pavement, etc. But yes, a few bumps and digs won’t cause any problems during your ride.
However, you can not expect a cruiser to go out of its characteristics and perform well in rough, hilly areas or uneven roads.
Can You Exercise On A Cruiser Bike?
As cruiser bikes are made for slow and relaxed cycling, it is not something meant for a full-body workout. It will surely keep your body muscles active with comfortable movement, but it won’t make you sweat hard if that’s what you are aiming for.
We all know cycling is a great way to improve muscle strength. But a cruiser is not suitable for that. If your sole purpose of cycling is for exercise, you should go for regular bikes or bikes exclusively made for workouts.
1. Is a cruiser bike good for daily use?
If you want to have a relaxed cycling session every day, you can use cruiser bikes daily. However, cruiser bikes can also handle 200 to 500 km of long-distance commutes. So yeah, it can be a decent choice for daily use.
2. Are cruiser bikes good for long rides?
It depends on the trails and the time you spend riding. Cruiser bikes are not regular cycles but recreational ones; they can’t help you explore bumpy, hilly trails. But if you want to enjoy a cool breeze by slow and gentle pacing, it can take you to longer rides.
3. Why are cruiser bikes better?
Unlike a regular cycle, a cruiser bike allows you to be in a relaxed posture during your ride. It will enable you to connect with nature with slow pacing cycling. Another plus point is that cruiser bikes generally come with larger tanks. So, indeed they have a better range.
4. Are cruiser bikes good for hills?
Classic cruiser bikes are made for an occasional, recreational and comfortable riding experience. That’s why most of them come equipped with a single gear system. Hence, it doesn’t allow you to ride hills or high tracks. If you are looking for a bike for exercise purposes, then you can go for any of the best road & trail bikes or any of the best MTB!
Are the cruiser bikes any good? If yes, what are cruiser bikes good for? I’m sure, by now, you have got your answers, don’t you? If you are looking for something to slowly ride along the seashore while having a peaceful time with nature, a cruiser bike can be significant.
We have tried to give all the information we could think of so that you can get a better idea regarding cruisers. Was it helpful? Do you still have any doubts? Feel free to ask us if you have any further inquiries. We will be glad to help you!
Steven is a professional cyclist and his passion is cycling. He has been cycling for the last 6 years and he loves using bikes while outing as well. Based on his experiences with the different types of bikes; he is sharing his opinions about various bikes so that a beginner can start right away. Find him on Twitter @thecyclistguy Happy Biking.