Cruiser bicycles are a casual style of bicycle and are also commonly referred to as the beach cruiser. These bicycles are distinguishable by their sturdy frames, balloon tires and often brightly painted features. Not meant for racing or “off-road biking,” cruiser bicycles are heavier than racing bikes or mountain bikes, and don’t go quite as fast. They are sturdy and easy to ride and are best for casual bike rides on paved roads for short or medium distances.
1. They were popular back in the 1930s
That’s right, cruiser bicycles made their debut back in the 1930s and were really popular until the 1950s. Although cruiser bikes were still made throughout the ‘70s and ‘80s, they didn’t really make a big comeback until the 1990s when people rediscovered them as a more comfortable and stable bicycle. The popularity has held strong, and cruiser bicycles are still known as a fashionable option.
2. Cruiser bikes are really comfortable
Due to their comfortable ride, cruiser bikes have earned the nickname of comfort bikes. These bikes offer casual cyclists the chance to be comfortable while they ride. This is because of the wide seat design which helps cushion the rider’s backside. Another reason these bikes are so comfortable is that due to their structure, the rider keeps a straight-backed posture while riding, as opposed to bending over as with my other styles of bicycle.
3. They come in single and multi-gear
The classic cruiser bicycle would have only had one gear, but it is also possible to get cruiser bikes with multiple gears. Gears are helpful in uneven terrain. The higher the gear, the more difficult it becomes to pedal and the faster the bike will go. The lower the gear, the easier it is to pedal, but it will take many more pedal rotations to make the bike move at the desired speed.
Single-gear cruiser bicycles are great for biking on flat terrain, where the need to change gears is low. Having a single gear instead of multiple gears means the bicycle has less parts that require maintenance and repair.
4. They are known to be a durable bicycle
Back in the ‘30s when cruiser bikes initially became popular, their popularity was partly due to the fact that they were durable. Made of steel, and with a basic frame, cruiser bikes were chosen because they could take a beating without breaking down, which was what people needed in the midst of the Great Depression. Over the years, cruiser bicycles kept their reputation for being durable and easy to maintain. Even today, this is one of the reasons people opt for a cruiser bicycle.
5. Cruiser bikes are an affordable option
Schwinn, the company that originally created the cruiser bicycle, created it as an alternative option to more expensive bikes. It was a low-cost bicycle in a time when bicycles were seen as an item too luxurious for the average person to purchase. But when the cruiser bike was released as a cheaper, more casual bicycle, it became an incredibly popular item.
Even today, while it is certainly possible to invest in a higher-end, more expensive cruiser bicycle, when it is compared to mountain bikes and racing bikes, the cruiser wins out on price. This is partially due to how basic the design is.
The less expensive cruiser bikes, as with anything, have fewer fancy features. These are the simple, single-gear cruisers that mimic more exactly the vintage originals. Of course, newer models can come with hand brakes, multiple gears, and other features that add to the functionality of these bicycles for modern users, but also, naturally, add to the price.