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Are Cruiser Bicycles Good for Commuting?

I have never done commuting with a cruiser bicycle but I have seen people commute with them. Out of curiosity, I wanted to know what it feels like to cruise with one. I put in hours of research about commuting with a cruiser bike and this article is what I found out.

I write interesting articles on other topics too.

Cruiser bicycles are made to be used for riding long distances, which makes them a good option for a commuter bike. Cruiser bikes are among the most comfortable bikes you can find. When you sit on a cruiser bike, the sitting position is upright and the saddle is very comfortable. This combination is the best you can ever wish for in a commuter bicycle.

However, these type of bikes are slow. Big tires and luggage compartments make it heavy. If you want speed, forget about a cruiser bike. Instead, look for a road bike. With this in mind, cruiser bikes will only be good for commuting in the following conditions.

Short Distances

Cruiser bicycles are good if you commute short distances. Their low speed means you take longer on the road than other types of bicycles. If your college is far from your home, you may end up dropping out.

Also, there is the issue of weight. The heaviness of cruiser bikes slows you down making you to take long on the road. If you want to use a cruiser bicycle for commuting, make sure your ride distance is short or be prepared to leave home earlier than normal.

Flat Terrain

The terrain doesn’t have to be dead flat but there should not be steep climbs. Pedaling a heavy bicycle up a hill is not an easy task as you already know. Adding the comfort sitting position makes it even worse to climb. On road bicycles, you often see people stand from their saddle to pedal much faster and harder. You cannot do such a maneuver on a cruiser bike.

Read Also: Tips for Buying an Electric Bike

On slopes, you will accelerate to high speeds but cruiser bicycles are not easy to control. At high speeds, you will easily hit cars or pedestrians. Making sudden turns on cruiser bikes is hard. When you buy a cruiser bicycle to use for commuting, make sure your area of commuting is fairly flat for easy riding.

Less Traffic

As I have already mentioned, maneuvering a cruiser bicycle is not easy. Things like sudden acceleration, sudden braking and sharp turning are out of the equation. Therefore, if you want to enjoy a commute on a cruiser, avoid traffic congestion.

The wide handlebars will barely fit between cars and the heaviness will make it hard to brake and accelerate spontaneously. In case you ride a cruiser in a crowd, the problem will be the huge size of the bike. You will displace many people or hit many of them with your handlebars.

How Hard is it to ride a Cruiser Bike?

If you know how to ride a bicycle, riding a cruiser is just as simple as any other bike. The challenge will come when you are adjusting from let’s say a road bike to a cruiser. In this case, your body muscles are used to different level of pedaling difficulty and your hands expect light handlebars.

Then all of a sudden, things are different. Your hands on the handlebars are far apart, your sitting position is upright instead of the normal leaning position, and the bicycle is harder to pedal. Such drastic changes will make you unstable the first times you make the shift but after sometime, you will get used to it.

A cruiser bike is not hard to ride as long as you observe the three riding conditions I have mentioned above; distance, terrain and traffic. You will love the comfort once you learn to ride a cruiser.

Do Cruiser Bicycles Have Multiple Gears?

Most cruiser bicycles do not have gears. However, other cruiser bikes have multiple gears. The common cruisers with multiple gears that I have seen are 21-speed, 7-speed, or 3-speed. In most cases, it is wise to get a cruiser bicycle with gears to allow you adjust the pedaling difficulty in case you have to carry heavy stuff on your bike.

On these bikes, the number of gears tell whether you will be walking with your bicycle uphill or riding it.

What is the Cost of Cruiser Bicycles?

What you have to note is cruiser bikes are among the cheapest bikes you can buy. Their average price is about $200 on the lower side and $340 on the higher side. The two significant factors that make their prices to vary is their size and gears.

A size 20 cruiser bike is cheaper than a size 24 bike. If you will buy such a bicycle for your child, expect to pay less than the lowest average I have mentioned above.

On the other hand, a 21-speed bike is more expensive than a 1-speed bike of the same type. The more gears you get, the more you pay.

Should I Buy a Cruiser Bike for Commuting?

A cruiser bike is good for commuting but I do not advice anyone to buy it for that purpose. The best bicycle for commuting in my opinion is a hybrid bicycle. I use a hybrid bike to commute myself.

It balances perfectly between, comfort, speed, and practicality. A hybrid costs almost the same as a cruiser bike. Commuting has so many variations, which a cruiser bicycle cannot adapt to all of them. Sometimes, you will have to go off road, sometimes you need speed, other times comfort is the main priority and still other times you need practicality.

Let cruiser bikes be used only for leisure and riding for fun. But if you want to ride to work, a hybrid is the bike to get.

Conclusion

Cruisers are made for cruising over long distances at low speeds as you explore nature. Using them for commuting will work sometimes but not all the time. Sure enough, there are people I see who use them for commuting, which is better than walking.

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