Among the 20 different types of bicycles out there, it’s the cruiser that is the most popular among surfers and paddleboarders. What’s there not to like about a bike that’s mainly built for comfort and ease of use? After all, that’s often what most cyclists are after in a bicycle – to commute freely and easily.
Down below we’ll be discussing the key factors why you should, and shouldn’t choose a cruiser bicycle as a surfer or paddleboarder.
Characterized by 26″ wheels and oversized tires, a large double-spring saddle, and a mustache type handlebar. Cruiser bicycles are the epitome of comfort and cruising.
The frame selection is generally quite easy – it’s either a size Small, Medium, or Large. Frame types are known as the step-through (ST), or the crossover (XR) – both have a relaxed and slightly stretched geometry for a comfortable upright riding position.
Why you SHOULD buy a cruiser bicycle
Most often the average cyclist uses the bicycle for short-distance commuting. For surfers, the beach cruiser is preferred by its laid-back and relaxed riding position, and the availability to install surfboard racks on the bike.
No need for fancy geometry, hydraulic brakes, and a large variety of gears – it’s got all the basics. The less that has the potential to break – the better. That’s often what’s on the minds of surfers.
The average beach cruiser costs $300 – $600 new, which is considerably cheap compared to most other bike types on the list. We’d say that beach cruiser bicycles have one of the best value in terms of comfort and ease of use.
Sure, in most cases you’ll be needing to lock the bike by the beach, but chances are that thieves won’t show too much interest in cheaper bikes.
Best for cruising
There aren’t too many similar bicycles that offer as much comfort as the cruiser does. Ideal for flat roads and city commuting – this bike type truly deserves its name. Although surfing is not as easy and enjoyable as it might seem from the shore, it’s the best way for a surfer to wind down after a 1-2 hour surf session.
Can make great commuter bikes
Besides their ultimate cruise factor, it is up to the cyclist to decide if they’d like to use the bike for other purposes. It can make a great city commuter as it’s got all the essentials for a sweat-free ride.
Easy to carry a surfboard
Although surfboard racks can be mounted on almost all bicycles out there, it’s often the cruiser you’ll see with a surfboard on its side. Due to its high and out-hanging handlebar – it is also super easy to just grab the board and tuck it under your shoulder. Depending on the size of your surfboard, the cruiser is an ideal tool to carry the board in both ways.
Why you SHOULDN’T buy a cruiser bike:
Only great for one thing
Bicycles and cycling have always been popular ways to commute and they’ll become an inevitable part of transportation in the future. Chances are, that the cruiser will limit to full use of a bicycle ride. Sure, you can get some shopping and short-distance riding done, but it’ll struggle on hills and on long-distance rides.
Cruising means taking it easy, and that’s what these bikes are designed for. 26″ wheels and large tires with an upright riding position might put you out of some considerable exercise. So, if you are looking for a basic commuter bike to zip around town, you might want to consider other options.
The most basic cruiser bike comes with a single-speed drivetrain and a coaster brake. It can be a blessing and a curse if you are more into the useful gadgets. If you’d like to go for a 3/5/7-speed derailleur, you’re still facing the bottom-end components. It’s not really a con as these bikes are designed for those who are not as needy.
Do the pros outweigh the cons? The point of this post was to give a better understanding of what to expect from the cruiser bicycle and highlight some of the biggest considerations. The reason why cruiser bicycles are as popular among surfers is their basic build, comfortable seating, a
If you’d like to add your opinion or something important that we might’ve missed – feel free to leave your comment.
I created Nulltuul to share my experience, research and analysis with other surf enthusiasts out there. If I'm not surfing on my travels - I like to photograph waves, surfers, and the surf lifestyle in general.