What is a Bike Cruiser?
A bike cruiser is a bike designed for casual riding at moderate speeds and more often than not used along the beach area. Some people also refer to the bike cruiser as a beach cruiser. Unlike mountain bikes and road bikes, bike cruisers are used usually for relaxing and leisure rides.
There are different bike cruisers readily available in the market today, most of which serve the same purpose but got different features in them. This however should not sway your decision in choosing the perfect bike cruiser because you can easily upgrade and add more features to it.
Types of Bike cruisers
- Low rider – As the name suggests, the low rider bike cruiser is designed to sit very low to the ground which makes the rider sit low as well. These bikes usually come with whitewall tires of about twenty-six inches, banana shaped seats, front springer forks, and accentuated fenders on the front and back.
- Classic/ Beach – The classic beach bike cruiser has most of the core features of a standard bike cruiser. This includes large rubber tubes of either 26 or 29 inches, which are well padded for small bumps along the road. It also has a heavy frame of about 50 pounds, which offers great support when riding and a low sitting saddle with springs for shock absorption.
- Chopper – The chopper bike cruiser has combined features from the low rider and the chopper motorcycle. It has a long front end that protrudes far from the handlebar. The handlebars in turn are mounted higher as in the case of a chopper motorcycle. The wheels are of different sizes with the front wheel being smaller than the back one. The banana seat is higher than the frame which makes it more comfortable to ride on compared to a low rider bike cruiser.
- Multispeed – The multispeed bike cruiser is mostly found in the classic beach cruiser type. It simply gives the rider a few more gear options, thereby making it relatively faster. This is a classic example of how the bike cruiser can be customized and upgraded — making the bike more versatile. This is done by adding a gear shift at the top tube of the frame. Multispeed bikes are generally intended to increase speed on the bike while still enjoying the feel and comfort of a normal bike cruiser.
Below are some simple features you may want to consider before settling on a bike cruiser that will suit your needs and will serve you for the longest time.
- Frame – The frame of a bike cruiser can be made from different materials. Before settling for the perfect bike cruiser it is important to first know how often you will use the bike and in which environment. Since most bike cruisers are used along the beach, choosing a material that’s resistant to humidity or moisture will be most suitable. Bike cruisers with frames made of steel will tend to rust and peel faster than one with an aluminum frame. Steel frames are also relatively heavier in comparison to other frames. On the other hand, aluminum frames are more expensive but also lighter and durable. It can go several years before succumbing to any wear or tear making it ideal for a person who intends to hire out the bike cruiser as opposed to using it for personal use.
- Cost – A bike cruiser can range from 90- 700 USD and in some cases go higher if it’s custom-designed. The bike cruiser should have the necessities which include, front and back fenders, brakes, bottle holders, and gears. Everything else is either optional or additional and will come at an extra cost. The cost will depend on how you want to use the bike cruiser and how often you will use it.
- Seat – Having a comfortable and functional seat on the bike cruiser is very crucial. Since the bike is designed for moderate speeds, a comfortable feel is required and the seat plays a vital role in it. The seat of a bike cruiser should be wider than the normal bicycle seat and should have enough spring action for shock absorption.
- Gears and brakes – Some cruiser bikes come without gears since their original design is meant for cruising and relaxation. They however have a simple foot brake which is designed for the bike to move at a moderate speed and on flat terrain. Modern design bike cruisers now have both gears and hand brakes making the bike increasingly faster and giving it added mobility when riding on a steep slope. The gears available on the multispeed bike cruisers range from three to seven-speed shifters.
- Fenders – A standard bike cruiser comes with both front and rear fenders pre-installed. The main purpose of the fenders is to prevent sand, water, and dust from spraying on the rider. If you intend to use the bike cruiser for commuting, having both front and back fenders will be a good choice.
Like most bikes, choosing a bike cruiser will entirely depend on the need of the user. Some will own a bike cruiser for show rather than functionality while others will own a bike cruiser for its intended purpose. Before making any purchase of a bike cruiser, it’s essential to draft a budget and determine your intended purpose. These two factors should act as a guide in choosing the type of biker cruiser that will suit your needs. All in all, a bike cruiser is a good and perhaps profitable investment in the right season.
Ready to buy one? Here’s a buying guide for the best bike cruisers.