Most of us learned how to ride a bike at an early age. It’s a part of our childhood. It was more than a way to get around; it was another way to hang with friends, race, and learn cool tricks like wheelies or riding with no hands (even though your mom said not to!).
As a child, no one could quell your excitement when you got a new bike
. Sure, learning how to ride it might be no easy task for some, but nothing could beat being able to race up and down the street! You felt like a big kid now, and while you might have to get in before dark and ensure you had your helmet
on, nothing could stop you and your friends from owning the neighborhood.
Fast forward to 16 and up, and many of us have traded in our bikes for cars. While there’s nothing better than the freedom that comes with owning your first car, a car just doesn’t give you the same feeling as a bike -- especially a cruiser.
When times are stressful, you might not need a long drive, just a soothing ride -- one where you’re not working hard as if you’re running a marathon or sweating it out on the elliptical
, but rather just cruising along, feeling the wind on your skin, hearing the living sounds of your city or the whispers and wonders of the beach.
No car ride can match that.
If you’ve owned a cruiser bike before, you probably know what to look for. But if you’re not sure, or you’re a newbie when it comes to bike cruisers, then no worries! We’ve got you covered. We’ll talk about all the important points of choosing the right cruiser bike for you, from build to features and more.
Cruiser bikes have been around for close to a century, if not longer. Their popularity has fluctuated, being big in the 1930’s, 50’s and 90’s thereafter. Shout out to the 90’s kids, even though we aren’t kids anymore.
Back to the topic at hand. In other words, cruiser bikes have been around for a long time, and aren’t going away anytime soon. In fact, manufacturers are only making them better – combining the best of the old classic style with modern features to give you the best of both.
But bike cruisers are not cheap. Sure, you will see some cheap cruiser bikes in stores or online, but as the old saying goes, “you get what you pay for.” We’re sure you don’t want a cruiser that’s going to break down on you or need constant repairs. That’s why it’s best to invest in a good model up front and save yourself stress down the road.
In terms of cost, you’re looking at maybe $140 on the low end and perhaps $500 on the high end. One of the determining factors of a bike cruiser’s price is its speed and gears, with single speed models being much more affordable than those with multispeed options. Other features, such as the bike’s build and braking system affect its price. There are models that can cost as much as $1500 or $1600 dollars -- a hefty investment, so think carefully before shelling out that much dough. What you want is a cruiser bike that will serve your needs well for years to come.
No two bikes are the same, just as no two people are the same -- the bike that works for you may not be the bike that works for someone else. One of the best things about bike cruisers is their variety. After all, variety is the spice of life.
Now, while cruiser bikes come in a wide range of sizes and designs, there are a few features that you must always consider so you buy the best bike for your needs.
Here’s what you should look for when shopping for a bike cruiser:
- Speeds – This refers to the gears of the bike which work best for different environments. Bike cruisers are available as single-speed, three-speed, and seven-speed.
- Size – The best bike for you is one that fits your body and allows you to ride comfortably in an upright position. There are sizing charts online if you aren’t shopping in a store, so you can be sure of the size of your bike.
- Gender – Cruiser bikes are built differently for men and women to suit their physiques, though if you’re a woman and find yourself wanting a bike cruiser for a man, why not? You want the one that works for you.
- Weight – Bike cruisers are generally heavier than other types of bikes. However, some are heavier than others and work best in urban areas as opposed to hillier ones.
- Extras – Some bikes come with extra features such as bells, baskets, and rear racks.
Construction and Design
We mentioned before that cruiser bikes are generally much heavier than road or mountain bikes. This is because cruisers are built with looks in mind and favor aesthetics over speed. While the designs for bike cruisers vary widely, the frames are usually similar, with signature long handlebars so you can ride in a comfy upright position.
The frames are usually made of metal, aluminum, or a mixture of the two. For increased longevity, it’s wise to check for bikes with rust resistant frames, offered by many companies. Bike cruisers also have wide balloon tires to give you stability over uneven terrain like gravel or beach sand. There are two braking options to choose from, the hand brake and the coaster brake. Coaster brakes, activated by your foot, give you a softer stop, while hand brakes can slow you down or give you a more abrupt stop.
While bike cruisers are typically slow and heavy, their comfort-centric design is one of the things that keeps them around today. They are also quite durable and work well for riding around your city, neighborhood or beach. Some cruiser bikes also come with baskets or rear racks so you can carry stuff around.
Performance and Ease of Use
When you’re shopping for a new bike cruiser, it’s important to consider where you’ll be riding it. If you’re going to be commuting to and from work or riding in an urban area, then you’ll be quite fine with a single-speed cruiser. On the other hand, if you’re going to be riding around a hilly area, then you’ll need a 3- or a 7-speed cruiser to help adjust the gears for a better ride.
Bike cruisers are a great way to get around the neighborhood or the countryside and enjoy the outdoors. You can get a bike cruiser for the beach, for your daily commute, or for more adventurous rides. Ultimately, where you ride your cruiser will affect the type you get, but with so many terrific options on the market for men, women, and children, we’re sure you’ll be able to find the right one.
Cruiser bikes are simple, gorgeous and comfortable. We’ve covered all you need to know about them so you can choose the right one for you. Now let’s take a look at those five to see what they have to offer.
Thanks for reading our review on bike cruisers. These brands are some of the most trusted in the industry, and whether you need a cruiser for urban commutes or for the beach, they’ll have a model for it.