Riding a bike is fun for recreation, commuting or fitness. When picking the right bike for you, you will be spoilt with the many choices available. Different types of bikes serve the needs and riding styles of users. Some common bike types include a hybrid bike, road bike, BMX, mountain bike and much more.
What if you only want to ride a bike for leisure? This is where cruiser bikes come in. These bikes are suitable for people who want to ride around comfortably for fun or running errands. These bikes are not designed to handle off-roading since their wide balloon tires are suitable for flat riding.
There are several things you probably don't know about cruiser bikes. By the time you finish reading this article, you will know everything about cruiser bikes.
What Is A Cruiser Bike?
A cruiser bike, previously known as a beach cruiser, is a type of bike that features balloon tires. The bikes give you an upright riding posture, and they have a large seat for comfortable rides. Some cruiser bikes have swept-back handlebars like hybrid bikes.
Majority of cruiser bikes are single-speed, but you can find some in 3-7 speed. These bikes are suitable for commuting, running errands, and short distant riding on flat surfaces.
The braking system in many cruiser bikes is the old fashion coaster brakes. These are types of brakes where you need to pedal up so that you can stop.
These bikes have a stable design and hence easy to ride. Cruiser bikes are slow because of their balloon tires and overall weight. The noble thing about these bikes is their durability because they have a strong construction.
Additionally, you will love cruiser bikes because they give you the chance to customize accessories like saddlebags, lights, and fenders.
Different Parts Of Cruiser Bikes
The anatomy of cruiser bikes is similar to other bike types. However, there are several notable differences. Check out the different parts of a cruiser bike.
This is one of the distinguishing factors of a cruiser bike from the rest. The frame features a sweeping curve along the edges, and they have steel frames for stability and durability. However, cruiser bikes are heavier.
Wheels And Tires:
They have standard wheels which have spokes to offer more support. Cruiser bikes have larger tires for shock absorption and comfortable rides. The tires of the bike are tough and able to hold any hazards along your way.
These bikes have a relaxed handlebar design for comfy rides. The handlebars are curved inside to create something like a semi-circle. This design is different from the one on other bikes like BMX, road, and mountain bikes with straight handlebars.
The Cruiser bike handlebar keeps the rider back and relaxed because of its upright riding posture. This makes bikes suitable for leisure and casual riding.
Cruiser bikes emphasize seat comfort since you intend to spend more hours on your cruiser bike. They have a wide saddle that is cushioned to give riders maximum comfort. The seats have springs under the rear ends, so riding is easier. Some models feature additional padding to enhance riding comfort.
The brakes on cruiser bikes differ from other bikes. They use coaster brakes, which you need to operate by slamming pedals backward. Doing that will lock the wheel up. Some other cruiser bikes have hand brakes or both of them. These are mostly in multi-gear bikes that can't use coaster brakes because of the drivetrain type.
The older cruiser bikes had only one gear making them ideal for casual riding. A cruiser bike with one gear is great for cruising. However, you can select multi-gear bikes that offer up to three gears. Such multi-gear bikes give you enhanced riding performance for incline riding and transportation.
Most of the cruiser bikes have fenders, but some models come without them. The fenders keep you clean and dry when riding on wet and muddy surfaces. You will find the fenders above the tires, rear chain stays, or the fork. If your cruiser bike doesn't have fenders, you can install them easily to make your bike stylish.
The pedals are not different from the rest of the bikes. They are either made of plastic, and some have metal construction.
There are quite a several accessories that you can choose for your cruiser bike to display your personality. Some include headlights, rear luggage, front basket, handlebar grips, and suspension post, among others.
What Are Cruiser Bikes Goods For?
Cruiser bikes are suitable for riding on light trails and city riding. The bikes are also suitable for low impact ride and low speed on paved bike lanes and dirt paths. Cruiser bikes feature tough tires so that you can ride them comfortably in places with potholes.
History Of Cruiser Bikes:
The bikes were popular in the US from the 1930s to 1950s. Schwinn was one of the top brands that were involved in the making of cruiser bikes. During the Great Depression, only a few purchased bikes, so at that time, they were luxury products.
Schwinn made affordable bikes suitable for the youths through their innovation, where they marketed Schwinn B-10E Motorbike. This bike had the looks of a motorcycle but with no motor. In 1934, they renamed this bike to Aero cycle, which had improved features and a 'cruise look.'
Cruiser bikes were common in the 1930s and 1940s, and their popularity increased postwar. The weight, wide tires, and the single speed design made the bike ideal for flat terrains. Other competing companies like Huffman, Westfiled, and AMF included stylish features to make the bikes attractive to buyers.
In 1979, Schwinn made their Schwinn cruiser and continued producing different cruiser models in the mid-1990s. They made comfortable, affordable, and reliable cruiser bikes. Today, almost every manufacturer produces a single line or an entire line of cruiser bikes. For the last decade, these bikes have gained popularity in different towns, and they make cycling fun.
Types Of Cruiser Bikes
There are quite some cruiser bikes types you will find today. Each of these bikes has its own pros, and other different aspects. The following are the various types of cruiser bikes you can choose from.
Classic/ Beach Cruiser Bike:
This was the first cruiser bike with all the necessary features that have been around for some time. The bike has a heavy frame with a weight of up to 50 pounds and a unisex design.
Classic cruiser bikes are available in 26 and 29-inch wide balloon tires that provide stability. Additionally, these tires offer better cushioning to help you get smooth rides on bumps.
The handlebars provide an upright riding position since it is easy to steer without bending. The bikes also have a single-speed chain, and the saddle has a low design and gives you more coverage. They also have fenders to keep you dry and clean on the road.
Stretch Cruiser Bike:
These cruiser bikes have an elongated design. Their frame is twice as long as other bikes, and it is also lower to the ground. This design allows riders to ride while sitting further back hence comfortable rides.
The bikes are suitable for casual and long rides on flat surfaces with minimal obstacles. However, they do not provide precise steering. Stretch cruiser bikes have an appealing look, and they don't have customizations or accessories.
Lower Rider Cruiser Bikes:
The bikes have a low profile design to give riders a low sitting position while reclining backward. Lower rider cruiser bikes have smaller tires, and the wheels are over-spoked. The seat is larger, and they also have fenders at the back and front.
Today, these bikes come in different assortments, although their style compromises their functionality. You can use these bikes for comfortable casual riding.
Chopper Cruiser Bikes:
Chopper Cruiser bikes have plenty of features similar to low rider bikes and combine some chopper motorcycles. The bikes have long front ends projecting from the handlebars. These handlebars are mounted higher to resemble chopper motorcycles.
You can find the bikes in various wheel sizes, and they have a banana seat high from the frame. This means the drivetrain sits frontward from the saddle compared to other regular cruiser bikes.
Just like the lower rider bikes, the bikes are about style as compared to function. However, they give more comfortable rides than the lower rider.
Multi-speed Cruiser Bike:
These are bikes you can find in either type but most common in classic cruiser bikes. Riders will enjoy different gear options, which makes their rides versatile. You can get multi-speed bikes in 3-speed models. The bikes have shifters on the handlebars and have a rear derailleur and cassettes to help you change the speed. You will find a gear shift located on the frame's top tube in other bikes like low riders and chopper models.
Cruiser Bike Brands
Today, you will find many brands of cruiser bikes. Some of the top cruiser bike brands that provide quality and reliable bikes include:
This is one of the top bike companies that utilize innovations and technology to make their bikes. It has a significant contribution in making cruiser bikes and BMX models.
Their first cruiser bike was in the US, and they still make great cruiser bikes today. You can find various models to suit your budget and riding needs.
This is a relatively new company in the industry of bikes which was founded in 2005. However, their quality is an indication they understand what they do. They mostly create beach cruiser bikes with many functionality and great looks.
Their bikes are simple and include different components and nice aesthetics. They only specialize in cruiser bikes, so their line of bikes is small. But you will love the quality of their bikes.
Raleigh is a UK bike brand founded in the 1800s. They make various bikes, and their first bike was in the 1930s that looked like a cruiser bike. They made their first chopper in 1960, which exists even up to now. Today, the brand has few types of cruiser bikes used in the US and other parts of the world.
Sun is a bicycle company based in Miami, Florida, and makes the best beach cruiser bikes. It was founded in 1971, and their line of bikes has gained popularity over the years. They make cruiser bikes that are suitable for beach riding and city riding. Their bikes are functional, and they emphasize the looks.
They make high-end cruiser bikes and other types of bikes like recumbent and unicycles, among others. Therefore, you have plenty of options to pick based on your environment and riding needs.
This is another big brand that was influential in making different kinds of bikes in the US. They made their first bike in 1949, which had training wheels and many other innovations followed.
They were the first bike company to make a chopper cruiser bike with a banana seat. Today, you can find a larger line of various cruiser bikes at budget-friendly prices. Their bikes also have accessories and extra features to improve your riding experiences. On top of that, you will love their line of kid's bikes.
Frequently Asked Questions - FAQ
Q: What is a cruiser bike good for?
A: Cruiser bikes are good for riding on light trails. These bikes are also great for low impact, and low speed rides on paved and dirt paths. Cruiser bikes have tough tires to ride smoothly on potholes.
Q: What is the difference between a cruiser bike and a comfort bike?
A: A cruiser bike has a high handlebar and seat arrangement, and they are ideal for light trail and city riding. On the other hand, a comfort bike is suitable for leisure and slow rides.
Q: Is a cruiser bike easier to ride?
A: if you compare cruiser bikes and mountain bikes, cruiser bikes are hard to ride. However, the bikes offer simple adjustments, and they are designed to last.
Q: Do cruiser bikes have gears?
A: Yes, they have. The gears refer to the speed, so cruiser bikes featuring one gear are referred to as single-speed cruiser bikes. You can get other models with 3 or 7 speeds so you can adjust the gears from high to low depending on your needs.
Q: Are cruiser bikes good for long rides?
A: Yes, you can use a cruiser bike for long rides. The bikes can give you a long and comfortable day rides.
Q: Can you get a good workout on a cruiser bike?
A: Cruiser bikes give you full-body workouts, and they help you strengthen your muscles. They are good for workouts because they minimize mental blocks, increase flexibility, and reduce fatigue.
Q: Why are cruiser bikes so expensive?
A: The bikes come at a high price because of the demand and the rising popularity. The high demand in the past has made the price of these bikes go up.
Q: Should I get a cruiser bike?
A: If you intend to ride on low speed and love low impact rides, then a cruiser bike is right for you. They ride well on both paved and dirt bike lanes.
I hope this detailed guide has given you a better understanding of cruiser bikes, their features, uses, and different types. These are amazing bikes that you enjoy riding experiences. Before you pick a particular bike, know its intended use so that you can get the right one.
Hello Guys! I am John Reese, a professional biker and my hobby is biking! I have been biking for last 10 years and I love using bikes while outing as well. Based on my experiences with the different type of bikes (mountain bikes, road bikes and hybrid bikes); I am sharing my opinion about various bikes so that a beginner can get started right away. Happy reading!