Beach Cruiser Bikes & Long Rides: Are They the Right Choice?


Beach cruiser bikes are best known for casual style, which leads many riders to wonder whether these builds are suitable for long rides. The major factor to consider is that cruisers have a much slower top speed than hybrid or road bikes. If riding long distances at slower speeds is an acceptable compromise, a beach cruiser can be a comfortable choice. Find out more about mens and womens bikes for sale as well as ways to customize a cruiser for traveling long distances.

Take It Easy

Cruisers have a well-deserved reputation for being the best beach bikes. These designs remain stable while traversing different types of terrain and excel at shock absorption. The cushioned saddle and wide, balloon-style tires that come standard on most cruiser bikes provide a smooth ride.

The trade-off for all of these benefits is that beach cruisers do not go fast. These bikes top out around 15 miles per hour, while an average rider on a road bike can travel at 25 miles per hour or reach even higher speeds. The upright seating on a cruiser is not aerodynamic and does not support as much pedaling strength as hybrid, mountain or road bike designs. If you don’t mind the slow pace, you can ride any distance on a beach cruiser.

Consider the Terrain

A beach cruiser with a single-speed or multi-speed gear system can be ridden any distance on flat terrain. Attempting a hilly ride of any length on a single-speed cruiser is likely to leave you sore and tired. If your route requires riding uphill, you will want a bike equipped with a multi-speed gear system.

Fortunately, many mens and ladies cruiser bikes are available with three, seven or even up to 21 speeds. The right build depends entirely on how you ride and the terrain on the routes you plan to take. Make sure that you are familiar with the gear system on a bike before setting out on a long ride. The style and position of the seat, handlebars and pedals will also impact your comfort throughout an extended ride.

Put the Saddle to the Test

The cushioned saddles that are standard on beach cruisers may not be the best choice for long rides. While a wide seat is superb at absorbing shock, it may also lead to chafing or excessive hip motion in order to keep pedaling effectively as the miles add up. The only way to determine whether a cruiser saddle is right for a long ride is to try riding longer distances on the bike. If you experience discomfort, you may want to switch out the seat in favor of a hybrid or road saddle.

Beach cruiser bikes are designed for comfort. These builds can travel any distance, though they do move at slower speeds than hybrid or road bikes. A bike that has the gear system you need to pedal effectively can make it easier to ride any distance over variable terrain. Adjusting a cruiser for a long-distance ride is largely a matter of learning your own riding preferences.

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