Obviously, you won’t like or feel comfortable riding just any cruiser bike, so you wanna make sure you know what you want before you start shopping. Here are some things to keep in mind.
Consider the size
JSYK: Bikes are not one-size-fits-all, so it’s essential that you find one that fits you best (and make adjustments to the seat and/or handlebars if needed) so that you can avoid injury and just generally ride comfortably.
To find out which bike size is best for you, you can check the size chart (based on your height) on the bike brand’s website. Most will have one.
But if you want to get more specific than that, you can measure your inseam (aka the distance between your crotch and ankle) and compare it to the bike’s standover height (aka the distance between the ground and the top of the top tube). Generally, you’ll know if a bike is too big for you if your inseam measurement is shorter than the standover height.
Determine what kind of frame you want
Cruiser bikes typically come in a steel or aluminum frame. The difference between the two is weight. Aluminum is lighter and more durable (it doesn’t rust as easily) than steel which makes for a breezier ride. Though, it is more expensive. So, it honestly just depends on what you’re looking for and what your budget is when it comes down to choosing a frame.
Regardless of the actual material though, an ideal cruiser bike will have a step-through blueprint. This means that the rider will be able to sit comfortably in an upright position and lean back as they pedal.
Figure out what the brakes situation is
Because a cruiser falls under the beginner-level category in bicycles, most of them are built with coaster breaks—aka you have to pedal back for the bike to come to a halt. Though there are some that either come with hand brakes too, or you can add them ont for an extra cost. Whatever you’re most comfortable with though and feel the most safe in, look into what brake system a bike has.
Consider the gears/speed
FYI: The “speed” of a bike has nothing to do with how fast or slow it goes. It actually refers to the gears which enable riders to maintain a safe and comfortable pedaling speed no matter what kind of terrain they’re on. So if you know you’ll only be cruisin’ on flat grounds, stick with a single-speeder. Or if you think you may hit some bumpy hills at some point, maybe you wanna look into getting a three- or seven-speeder. Those ones have low and high gears that you can adjust based on where you’re riding.
Consider the storage options
Having a place to put your belongings while you’re biking is key, and if you agree, you should consider a cruiser that’s got a front basket or a back rack. They’re small and v handy accessories that can help you out a lot!