Many athletes have been known to take advantage of cycling as a fast-paced form of exercise.

 

And, while cycling can be a great overall workout that’s also easy on the back, hip, knees, and ankles, there’s another form of biking out there that’s great if leisurely riding is of interest to you. 

 

Do you miss the simplicity of biking with neighborhood friends, when a bike was nothing more than a bike, and each outing was fun?  If this describes you, a cruiser bike might be the next must have on your wish list.

What Is A Cruiser Bike?

Cruiser bikes are also known as beach cruisers because they’re popular among bicyclists who are more casual in their rides or vacationers who use them to see the sights of whatever area they’re visiting. 

 

Most cruiser bikes have balloon tires, which are wider and larger in volume than most bike tires, and an upright seating posture.

 

The majority of cruiser bikes also only have a single speed drivetrain and a straightforward style—nothing too fancy.

 

The features of cruiser bikes make them a bit slower, but their weight adds stability that creates an overall easy ride.

 

While cruiser bikes reached the peak of their popularity between 1930’s and 1950’s, these bikes are becoming more and more popular as society searches for new ways to slow down and enjoy life at a more relaxing pace.

Different Kinds Of Cruiser Bikes

As with any bike, cruiser bikes come in many different models and are made by a wide variety of companies.

When looking for your next cruiser, it’s important to compare models by price, what features they have to offer, what the reviews are, and where they can be purchased. Below, take a look at the top six cruiser bikes of 2020:

 

1. Firmstrong Bruiser Man Seven Speed Beach Cruiser Bicycle

This cruiser offers the option of one, three, or seven speeds for the drivetrain. It has a 19-inch frame and 26-inch wheels, with 2.125-inch tires. It weighs around 43 pounds.

 

The single and three speed options have rear brakes only, while the seven speed has both front and rear handbrakes.

 

Men tend to love the simplicity of this style as it offers an extended frame to provide more space for those with longer arms. This bike also offers three different drivetrains, which allow access to a variety of terrains and support a variety of activities.

2. Firmstrong Urban Girl Single Speed Beach Cruiser Bicycle

This single speed cruiser offers 20-inch wheels on 2.125-inch tires. The frame measures 13 inches, and it weighs 30 pounds. It also has coaster brakes. 

 

This is a great bike to introduce children to the joy of bike riding or cycling. It has a variety of features that allow the bike to be tailored to younger bikers. It’s also super simple with its one gear and one break.

3. Sixthreezero Around The Block Women’s Beach Cruiser

This cruiser has four drivetrain options—single, three, seven, or 21. The frame is 17 inches and it weighs 40 pounds. The wheels can be 24 or 26 inches, and the tire size is 2.125 inches. It also features coaster brakes or front and rear hand brakes. 

 

The Sixthreezero offers comfort and low maintenance, and supports casual and longer rides. 

4. Sixthreezero Around The Block Men’s Beach Cruiser Bicycle

Just as the women’s beach cruiser offers, the men’s also offers the option of single, three, seven, or 21 speed, depending on what your preferences are.

 

The frame measures either 15 or 19 inches. The wheels can be either 24 inches or 26 inches, and the tires are 21.25 inches. Lastly, it weighs 34 pounds and features front and rear hand brakes. 

 

This is perfect for casual rides, as well as long rides, due to its comfort and availability for adjustments in height and tilt of handlebars.

5. Schwinn Wayfarer Hybrid Bicycle

The Schwinn offers a seven-speed drivetrain only. It features an 18-inch frame, and has 28-inch tires, with 28D x 1.5W tires. It weighs at 42 pounds and has both front and rear brakes.

 

Since this cruiser is considered a hybrid, it offers a bit more versatility to venture onto dirt paths or rougher terrains than most cruisers. 

6. Retrospec Chatham Women’s Beach Cruiser

Offered in single, three, or seven speed, the Retrospec has a 16-inch frame. It also has 26-inch wheels and tires that are 26×2.25 inches. It weighs 37 pounds and features coaster or V-brakes.

 

The design of this bike offers effortless cruising down boardwalks, campuses, or when commuting to town. It not only is straightforward in design, but it’s durable as well. 

Things To Consider When Buying A Cruiser Bike

Specs

No matter how a cruiser bike is made, there are plenty of specs to consider when you’re buying a bike, in general, but, especially, if it’s your first time.

 

Here are some main components of a bike to consider when buying:

 

  • Frame Material: steel, aluminum, titanium, carbon fiber
  • Suspension: front, rear, seat post (connects frame to saddle), saddle (seat), hub (wheel)
  • Drivetrain/Components: pedal, crankset, chain, cogset, gears, etc.
  • Wheels: size and brand
  • Bike Fit: it’s best to go into a bike shop to be properly fitted for any bike

 

Depending what you’re going to be doing with your bike, including terrains you’ll tackle, length of rides, whether man or woman, how tall you are, and even the look of the bike, all these will all have an impact on what kind of bike you purchase. Once you’ve decided exactly what you’re looking for, seeing what specs each bike has to offer will help determine what bike is best suited for your own needs. 

Size

Although determining the best bike size for an individual can be as easy as stopping in at a back shop and having them measure you, it’s also good to know how to figure it out on your own. 

 

Here’s how:

 

  • Measure height – Take off your shoes and stand, back flat, against a wall. Using a pencil, put a mark on the wall where the top of your head is and, then, measure from that mark to the floor.

 

  • Measure inseam – Inseam is the inside of the leg and can be measured by, again, removing shoes and, then, standing shoulder-width apart. From here, measure from the ground to your groin.

 

Once these measurements are recorded, most bicycle retailers will offer a size guide on their website that will tell exactly what size you need based on those measurements. These measurements will vary slightly depending on the kind of bike you’re buying, so be sure when looking at a graph to determine bike size so you’ll end up with the correct bike style. 

Cost

As with any big purchase, the price you’re going to be paying is an important factor to keep in mind. While a road bike can range from USD$350 to USD$700, and mountain bikes can reach up to USD$1000, cruiser bikes often come out on the less expensive side, which is around USD$200 to USD$300. 

 

Of course, different stores will have different price ranges. For example, if you’re looking at Target or Walmart, those bikes are often going to be less expensive than one you would purchase straight from the source, such as Schwinn or Firmstrong.

 

And, then, there are bike shops that may be a little pricier than a big brand store, but offers more brands.

Brand

To some, the brand of bike won’t matter at all. However, if brand makes a difference to you here is a list of the top brands specifically for cruiser bikes:

 

  • Schwinn – often recommended for beginners 
  • Huffy – recommended for seniors
  • Margaritaville – ideal for hillier terrains
  • Firmstrong – best bang for your buck
  • Sixthreezero – great for adults who intend to go on longer rides
  • Electra – also great for hills

 

Each brand has a wide variety of different models. What it really comes down to is what each specific model has to offer. But, with the list above, you can now start comparing prices and features.

Kind Of Biking You’re Into

Different kinds of bikes are meant for different kinds of exercise. 

 

There are mountain bikes that are meant for rough terrains or road bikes that are meant for more fast-paced riding on paved roads.

 

Then, there are single-speed bikes that are minimalistic and, therefore, much cheaper than any other bikes on the market; these also offer riders a lot more freedom.

 

Plus, there are both indoor and outdoor recumbent bikes that are intended to accommodate all kinds of bikers, including disabled riders or the elderly, as well as those suffering from back or butt pain.

 

And, finally, there’s the cruiser bike that’s simple, well-made, and perfect for any casual outdoor day.

 

Whether visiting top beaches while on vacation, biking around town or your neighborhood, or taking a trip to the store, these more relaxed daily rides are the perfect fit for a beach cruiser. 

Benefits Of Cruiser Bikes

With so many different options of bikes out there, what benefits can a cruiser bike offer that other bikes can’t?  These are the following:

Different Ways To Ride

Cruisers allow their riders to keep the pace slow, or pick it up a bit and go faster when wanted or necessary.

 

Cruisers are simple to ride, especially when they only have one speed—in this case, there’s no gear switching to deal with, and, instead, you can simply hop on and ride away. Plus, cruisers are built for comfort above all else, so there’s no limit to how long of a ride can be endured on a cruiser. 

 

You have the option to follow paved roads, sidewalks, boardwalks, neighborhoods, towns, etc. 

Makes Fitness Social

Sometimes, it can be hard to get those in your friend circle to go on a run, hike, swim, or even to the gym for a workout.

 

However, if you and your friends have cruiser bikes to take advantage of, a good workout with friends can include a ride into town or just around the neighborhood.

 

While the ride will feel easy and relaxing, all involved will actually be getting a great workout, while also socializing with those in your circle.

Good Workout In A Short Period

As mentioned above, getting a workout on a cruiser is not only fairly easy, but it can be completed in a short period of time as well. 

 

With busy schedules, it can be difficult to find time in the day to stop for exercise. However, if a short 30 minutes can be put aside to take your cruiser out for a ride, that amount of time is enough to burn hundreds of calories (well, depending on the level of effort exerted). 

Aids In Stress Relief

Similar to most exercises, cycling even for a short period of time can help lower stress and increase self-esteem.

 

Not only will the time in the outdoors on your bike serve as a way to clear your mind and pedal away the stress.

But, including friends on your ride can also provide a perfect time to talk about any stressors that need to be addressed in your life. 

 

The release of endorphins that will occur from cycling is enough to boost one’s mood and provide an outlet for releasing stress, while, as a bonus, being able to enjoy nature at the same time. 

Conclusion

To sum it up, there are quite a few criteria to consider when purchasing your first cruiser bike. It can help to break down all the criteria listed above and make a list of exactly what it is you’re looking for in your first, or next, cruiser bike.

 

From size, to brand, to different features offered, terrain you plan to experience, and, of course, the price, there may be areas of compromise to be made in order to meet every need or desire.

 

It may seem daunting at first, especially if you’re new to bicycling, but if you take advantage of all the information the Internet has to offer and pair that with a trip to your local bike shop, you can find your perfect cruiser bike in no time.

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