Cycling may be the best exercise (outside of swimming) for the person who is looking to transform their body. The sport is low-impact, allows for daily variety and is proven to improve cardiovascular function, lower your insulin resistance and increase your daily caloric burn. There is one complaint, however; bike seats are notoriously uncomfortable.
The seat may be to blame in some cases, and there are ways to resolve that issue. As new seats are installed and cyclists are introduced to padded shorts (a lifesaver!), you find that there is still resistance to the sport. Many new riders are, frankly, scared of their bicycles.
Riding on two wheels is inherently unnerving. Many adults haven’t ridden a bike in decades. And, while they haven’t forgotten how, they might find themselves more wobbly and unsure of themselves than they had expected.
The solution is simple – you need a bike that makes you feel confident. Here’s how.
What Is A Cruiser Style Bike?
A cruiser-style bike is a bicycle that uses elements of a 1960’s beach cruiser bike design. It emphasizes large, comfortable tires, a wide, comfortable saddle, and an upright, relaxed position. They may or may not have gears.
There are so many variations of bicycles on the market (and variations of those variations) that it makes the bike-buying experience overwhelming for the everyday shopper.
One of the timeless bike designs that are experiencing quite a resurgence is the “beach cruiser”. These cruiser-style bikes were popular in Los Angeles (as well as the rest of the country) in the 50’s and 60’s. Bike bloggers like Dave Henly — who blogs at http://www.davescheapbikes.com/ – are seeing more requests for information these cheap cruiser bikes.
Their big balloon tires and easy-to-reach handlebars were the epitome of comfort and luxury. Today, a modified version of those bikes are restoring confidence to cyclists all over. And there are several reasons why these bikes are such an ideal choice for these cyclists:
- Wide tires create added stability and decreased wobble for new (or returning) cyclists.
- Wide seats form a comfortable sitting surface that alleviates pressure points.
- Curved handlebars allow the rider to sit upright and reduce back pressure and neck pain.
- The frame design is lower to the ground, creating a lower center of gravity, more stability and increasing the rider’s ability to touch the ground when stopped.
These features are creating a cult following for these new bikes and a mini fitness revival. Here’s what you need to know.
Do Cruiser Bikes Have Gears?
Cruiser bikes can come with, or without multiple gears. These bikes typically come in 4 different configurations: no gears, 3-speed, 7-speed or 21-speed.
Gears are a handy thing to have. If you live in hilly country, having speeds on your bike spell the difference between pedaling up a hill and walking up it. However, most cyclists have had a bad experience with gears on their bike. They are an added maintenance headache and do not always work as intended.
With that in mind, these bikes frequently come in 4 different configurations:
- Single Speed. These models only have one speed and no other gears. These are popular for riding in flat urban terrain and on the beachfront. If you want a bike with no gears, a single-speed cruiser is an excellent choice.
- 3-Speed. These models are sometimes more expensive than the 7-speed, but they come with a fully-enclosed hub transmission that shifts. This unique design means that you get the benefit of the extra gears, without the maintenance issues that are traditionally associated with external shifting.
- 7-Speed. Outside of the single-speed model, this is the next most-common design. A simple, seven-speed shifting system provides a basic range of gearing options without increasing the price significantly. It also allows for some shifting without the mental overwhelm that riders fear with a full 21-speed shift system
- 21-Speed (or 24-Speed). This is the shifting system that riders fear. You get three range options on the left hand (easy, medium, hard) and then seven speeds inside of each of those. All of these options take a little bit to get used to and are the reason many cyclists are seeking a bike with no gears. For the cyclists who plans on riding extensively, this option provides the highest amount of versatility.
Who Makes The Best Cruiser Bikes?
You can buy cruiser bikes anywhere. But not all bikes are designed equally. It is easy for cruiser bikes to be made from cheap materials. These low-end bicycles are excessively heavy and are not fun to ride.
You want to invest in a model that uses the cruiser body-style, but that incorporates lightweight aluminum and well-built parts.
Some of the top brands in the industry right now would include Firmstrong, Three-Six-Zero, Trek, Cannondale, Raleigh, Diamondback, Giant, Fuji, and Specialized.
Where To Buy A Cheap Cruiser Bike?
These bicycles are at the beginning of their resurgence, so it takes a patient shopper to find one that is being sold used. You want to cast a “wider net,” geographically speaking, to find the best deals.
Sometimes your local bike shop will have last year’s model that hasn’t moved. The best time of the year to check for that is in August when the new models are beginning to come in, and again in January when the season is slow.
Buying directly from the manufacturer through an online portal is becoming a more popular way to get the best deals. These brands sell on Amazon, as well as through their sites. By skipping the local bike shop dealer, you can often save hundreds off the cost of a new bike.
Finally, buying used is always an excellent idea. Craigslist, Garage sales, and Facebook Marketplace are the “gold standard” for finding these bikes used. When buying used, be sure to test drive the bike, and make sure it rides smoothly and with no issues. You can expect to pay less than 50% off the price of a new bike and be prepared to haggle to get a price you are happy with.
When shopping for a bike, you want to buy one that makes you feel confident and secure. You want that bike to be one you look forward to riding. The modern cruiser fits this bill on every count.
If you are interested in even more lifestyle-related articles and information from us here at Bit Rebels then we have a lot to choose from.