Cruiser bikes are simply built, often comprised of a single speed with a low gear ratio, a steel frame, fenders, a kickstand, a chain guard, a cushy saddle, balloon tires, swept-back handlebars and a single coaster brake. Though several manufacturers now offer their own interpretation of this basic concept, adding such amenities as lightweight aluminum frames, hub gears or even derailleurs, the essence of the cruiser bike is still a simple machine that allows the rider to experience the pure enjoyment of being out on a bike. Entry level models abound, and with price points significantly lower than their racier cousins, anyone with the desire can get in on the fun.
The Schwinn Cruiser
Schwinn perfected the design, geometries, gear ratios and riding position of the cruiser well over half a century ago, making this the quintessential cruiser. Schwinn Cruisers are available in two sizes; one for men and one for women. The component mix on these bikes is competent; they're built to be robust and trouble-free but not necessarily light. Repairs, if needed, are simple enough for the backyard mechanic. Schwinn also offers an aluminum frame to save a few pounds over the standard Hi-Ten steel, various transmission options for uneven terrain, and a number of different add-on components to customize the basic design.
The Trek Cruiser Classic
The Trek Cruiser Classic is available with either an aluminum or a steel frame in both men's and women's sizes, both of which are well designed and strong. The components, made from upscale lightweight alloy, are selected for durability. Sealed bearings for both the headset and bottom bracket assure longevity and trouble-free cycling. Transmission choices include the standard single speed and the Shimano Nexus 3-speed, which adds an additional cost.
The Electra Cruiser
Stylish Electra Cruisers feature an innovated geometry that puts the riders feet slightly forward for a more comfortable ride and lower center of gravity. This design also enables the rider to put a foot flat on the ground during stops. The entry level model is the customary single speed with a coaster brake and is available in both men's and women's sizes. Other models add multi-speed hub gears and decorative accessories.
Article Written By Garrison Pence
Garrison Pence has been a midwest-based (ghost)writer for three decades, taught university-level literature, and has written articles and white papers in trade publications of the Material Handling Institute, Engineering Today, Pharmaceutical, Food and Beverage Science, and Semiconductor. Pence holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Master of Arts in Literature.