A city dweller sooner or later faces the question of how best to get from one point to another. And if some people ride public transport calmly, others experience obvious inconveniences. A practical solution can be a cruiser bike – a city model of the bike, which is popular among fans of classic style.
What is a cruiser bike
For most cyclists, the cruiser is a kind of recreational bike. It is a harmonious symbiosis of comfort and original design performance. Along with this, it can be noted decent technical characteristics of the bike. A distinctive feature – reliability. Its nodes and mechanisms are so strong and durable that the probability of failure is minimized.
Walking bike – the choice of those who like to take leisurely walks, enjoying the city scenery. For sports this bike is hardly suitable. The main feature of the cruiser is a comfortable riding position. The rider sits comfortably, his back and legs are maximally unloaded. It’s worth noting that the design features are no less than in mountain models. From laconic classics to chopper stylistics – everyone can find the perfect option for themselves.
Throughout the history of their existence, velocruisers helped soldiers at the fronts and couriers, and then successfully occupied a niche in the category of city bikes. And their story began back in 1895, when the first cruiser on the market, released by the American company Schwinn. The founder of the company was a German Schwinn, who was engaged in the design and development of bicycles in the United States. Unfortunately, by the time the cruiser bicycle hit the market, its creator had already passed away.
In 1933, at the height of the Great Depression in the States, the country was going through one of the worst economic and social crises in its history. And it was at this time that a new model of bicycles appeared, which instantly won the recognition of a wide audience. The Schwinn B-10E was the bike that gained acceptance from most cyclists. The comfortable fit and rideability could not fail to impress.
Initially, cruisers were produced for young and active people. However, over time, they also attracted the attention of the older generation. It is worth noting that such bikes were originally associated with American letter carriers, because it was they who most often rode them. The popularity of cruisers peaked in the 30s and 40s. Twenty years later, they began to be gradually forgotten due to the fact that sport bikes entered the market.
Focusing on the technical features of the cruiser bicycle, we can say that this is, in fact, the ideal option for women. They do not have the same qualities as the sports models, but are well suited for leisurely riding on city streets and park paths. Thanks to the low down seat, even light dresses and chiffon skirts can be easily ridden on this bike. One of the main advantages of the cruiser is the rider’s riding position – his back is practically not strained during the ride. Let’s consider the main technical parameters that distinguish the cruiser from other varieties of two-wheeled transport.
The very first modifications of the frame surprised buyers. Dynamic features, a low position and an elongated base had much in common with a motorcycle frame, and the high-positioned handlebars and a low seat make the image of the bike even more perfect.
The cruiser frame has one disadvantage: the lack of shock absorbers on the front fork. They are installed only on some bikes, so the softness of the ride on any surface can be questioned. Another nuance is the weight of the bike. For some reason, manufacturers are in no hurry to make lightweight carbon versions, and the design of the cruiser provides for the use of bulky parts. The presence of some shortcomings can be explained by the fact that velocruisers never claimed the place of sports and mountain bikes.
Up until the early 2000s, these bikes had only one speed mode. In addition, there was a closed system, which in turn increased the reliability of the design. The transmission was virtually unbreakable, and its components did not damage or stain clothing and shoes.
Thanks to the advent of planetary bushings, multistage transmissions began to be put on cruisers. Now on the market you can find dozens of models, equipped with shifters, whose main difference is the high efficiency. However, you can not call a multistage transmission widespread feature – it increases the already heavy weight of the bike.
Factory equipment provides a large number of a variety of accessories and additional elements that increase the already high level of comfort. Trunks are installed, the transmission is covered by a protective cover, fenders and mountings for the navigator or smartphone are provided.
How to choose a cruiser
Most often, when choosing a suitable cruiser, the buyer is guided not so much by technical indicators, as by the appearance and comfort of landing. Nevertheless, potential owners of such bikes should consider the following parameters:
- Weight. Almost all bicycles have a very solid weight. Therefore, charming cyclists should pay attention to the weight of the recreational cruiser.
- Transmission. Either it will be a single-speed model, or with a planetary hub. In any case, the transmission should be protected as much as possible by a casing.
- Materials of construction. The saddle should be soft but not too hard.
When selecting, consider the size and the degree of comfort when sitting. Ideally, the back should be as relaxed as possible. Women should also pay attention to the height of the saddle to be able to ride in dresses and loose skirts.
They deserve special attention. Wheels with aluminum rims are a practical solution – this helps to lighten the overall weight of the bike. In addition, it should be taken into account that the aluminum alloy is not so much exposed to corrosion.
If the exploitation of the cruiser will occur mainly on paved roads, the preference should be given to models with narrowed wheels without a clear tread. This will allow you to accelerate the bike in a short period of time.
As for the diameter of the wheels, there are only two options: 26 and 28 inches. The latter option is the most preferred if you have to cross curbs or stairs. A bicycle with 26-inch wheels is more maneuverable, but it copes with the roughness of the road much worse.
In order not to particularly bother with the choice, but to become the owner of a truly high-quality bike, you should pay attention to the rating of the best cruisers:
- Nirve Switchblade. Very attractive variation, which is great for active men. Chrome fork securely holds the front wheel. The cruiser is equipped with a three-speed transmission from Schimano. The steel frame is more of a plus than a minus for such a masculine model.
- Schwinn Men’s Sanctuary. The bike has a solid weight, but this is more than compensated for by a comfortable riding position. Despite the fact that the bike is made by Chinese craftsmen, the aluminum brushes are strong enough, and all parts are so solid that the probability of breakage is minimized. There are two versions: with 1 and 7 speeds.
- Felt MP. An excellent option for real men is equipped with an electric headlight that allows you to ride at night or in cloudy weather. Triple tree fork increases the stability of the bike. The cruiser comes with a three-speed transmission from Schimano.
- Firmstrong Urban Man. The bike perfectly copes with the bumps in the city roads, and straight handles allow the cyclist to sit flat, without straining the back and hands. Steel frame and aluminum wheels make the bike lightweight. Transmission bike has 7 speed modes.
- Sixthreezero Mammoth. Suitable for large riders. Sturdy frame and 26-inch wheels can handle a fairly large person. Thanks to the pedals put forward, their rotation is as comfortable and soft as possible. The weight of the bike is about 18 kg. Despite this factor, the bike easily overcomes gravel and sandy surface.
The potential buyer should get acquainted with the well-known brands that produce enough quality and endurance cruisers:
- Schwinn. This company was the first to establish the production of city bikes. On the Russian market a decent range is presented, but the cost often discourages potential buyers.
- Electra. The American company, which has existed since 1993, offers stylish and high-quality bicycles at an affordable price for the Russian consumer. Bicycles are distinguished by their elegant appearance and high technical indicators. The company’s lineup – a decent range of models in different price segments. There are both premium models and budget versions.
- Stels. Another company hails from America. Engaged in the production of a variety of bicycles, among which there are cruiser models. The latter is a combination of excellent build quality and reasonable price.
- Haro. The firm specializes in the production of BMX bikes, but not so long ago has presented an original collection of cruiser bikes.
- Feit. Quite a well-known German brand that produces expensive bikes. The main focus of the company is the production of road bikes.
- Nerve. One of the most famous brands, which exists on the market for over 30 years. The company creates original models that combine technological solutions and a special design approach, resulting in unique options for city walks.
There are other manufacturers, whose products meet quality standards. In particular, you can pay attention to the bikes of the Russian brand Forwards – the company specializes in the production of various bikes and components for them.
Cruiser bikes – these are universal bikes that are ideal for riding in urban areas. They are unpretentious in maintenance, quite maneuverable and reliable. In the construction of the cruiser only extremely necessary parts and mechanisms, so the probability of breakage during the walk is minimized.