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Are Cruiser Bikes Good For Commuting?

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Cruiser bikes are the laid-back dudes of the cycling world, designed for comfort and rolling about on casually. But they’re also a robust means of transport.

Are cruiser bikes good for commuting?

This article will examine the pros and cons of using the comfy cruiser as a commuter bike and show you three machines that are up to the task.

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Is A Cruiser Bike Good For Commuting To Work?

How good is a cruiser bike for commuting to work?

If you’re an athletic commuter who likes riding into work at high speed, you’d be better off looking elsewhere for a bike. Ditto if you’re planning long commutes.

Anyone who wants some light aerobic exercise and is happy to roll casually into work will find a cruiser ideal.

Here are some features that make a cruiser a viable commuting bike:

  • Comfort – no bike will place you in a more relaxed, upright position than a cruiser. Wide tires increase the comfort factor even more.
  • Simple – cruiser bikes are straightforward to ride and have a low standover height that makes mounting and dismounting easy.
  • Luggage – cruiser bikes often come with cargo racks, or they’ll have the facility to easily install one.
  • Strong – cruiser bikes are often robustly made from steel, which doesn’t make them lightweight but does give them strength and durability.
  • Low-maintenance – cruiser bikes are often easier to maintain, particularly the traditional single-speed variety.
Video: Cruiser Bike Basics

What’s The Difference Between A Commuter Bike And A Cruiser Bike?

The term “commuter bike” is used to describe any bike you ride to work on. It’s also used interchangeably with “city bike” or “urban bike” to define a specific style of street-savvy bicycle.

How does a cruiser bike differ from a commuter or city bike?

Both bikes place you in a relaxed position, but you’ll be more upright on a cruiser bike. This is largely due to a large amount of sweep in the handlebar.

An upright posture when cycling is considered more comfortable over shorter distances, and it improves your ability to see and be seen.

The balloon tires on a cruiser are wider and lower pressure than the tires of a typical commuter bike. Thus, the cruiser is slower but more comfortable.

Cruisers often have a rear coaster brake, whereas a commuter bike typically has a rim or disc brakes.

Many cruisers are single-speed bikes, whereas a commuter bike is more likely to include a modest gear selection.

Read more: The best beach cruiser bike racks

Video: Coaster Brakes Hubs Explained

3 Cruisers That Could Be Used For Commuting

Below are three cruiser bikes you might consider for rides into work.

1. Electra Cruiser 7D Step-Through Bike (best overall)

CHECK PRICE AT REI

  • Frame Material: Steel
  • Groupset: Shimano Tourney/Revo
  • Weight: 38.5 lb. (17.46 kg)

The stylish Electra Cruiser 7D Step-Through Bike takes our top spot because of that little bit of extra versatility it offers with derailleur gears. Despite being a heavy bike, its 14-34t gearing with 44t front ring will help you over a few modest hills.

This bike is solidly constructed from steel and has robust 36H wheels (36 spokes) fitted with 26” tires that are a comfy 2.125” wide. The handlebar is a classic cruiser moustache handlebar with swept-back grips that offer a natural wrist position.

Unlike many cruiser bikes, this Electra model includes front and rear rim brakes with alloy linear-pull levers. This is more sophisticated than the coaster brakes of many traditional models.

What we like:

  • Gears – a choice of 7 gears helps on undulating terrain.
  • Design – includes “Flat Foot Technology” which lets you rest your foot fully on the ground while sitting down.
  • Quality – high-quality construction from a Trek subsidiary company.

What we don’t like:

  • Heavy – still has that cruiser heft, though not as heavy as many alternatives.

2. Huffy Woodhaven Cruiser Bike (runner-up)

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CHECK PRICE AT AMAZON

  • Frame Material: Steel
  • Groupset: Single speed
  • Weight: 49 lb. (22.22 kg)

Available in a variety of colors and in men’s or women’s versions, the Huffy Woodhaven Cruiser Bike is a sturdy machine ideal for commuting. It comes with a rear cargo rack, front basket, chain guard and fenders.

Unlike the Electra, this bike is a single-speed bike. It’s not ideal for hilly routes, but on a flat commute it’ll be fine. Like many cruisers, it has a coaster brake, meaning you have to exert backward pressure on the pedals to stop.

You’ll enjoy a comfortable ride on the Huffy Woodhaven Cruiser, thanks to its spring-loaded, dual-density saddle and fat 26” x 2.125” tires. The bike and its 36H wheels can accommodate loads up to 250 lb. max.

What we like:

  • Simplicity – single gear and coaster brakes make this bike easy to use and maintain.
  • Equipment – fenders & reflector, rear cargo rack, front basket and chain guard already installed.
  • Solid – reassuring build quality.

What we don’t like:

  • Heavy – lack of gears and a heavy frame make this bike suitable for flat commutes only.

3. Kulana Lakona Shore Cruiser Bike (best budget)

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CHECK PRICE AT AMAZON

  • Frame Material: Steel
  • Groupset: Single speed
  • Weight: Approx. 44 lb. (19.95 kg)

The most affordable of our three buying choices is the robustly built Kulana Lakona Shore Cruiser Bike. Although a 7-gear option is available, the simplicity of this single gear version is probably wise at this price point, and it cuts the cost.

This Kulana Cruiser still comes with useful features like fenders and a chainguard. The seat is made from high-density foam and should be comfortable over normal commuting distances.

If you need a rack on your bike, the Kulana Lakona Wave is also worth considering for a few dollars more. Both the Shore and Wave models have coaster brakes, so you must put a little backward force on the pedals to stop.

What we like:

  • Price – a solid, fun bike for the money.
  • Fenders – front and rear fenders included (and a rack with the Wave model)
  • Simple – a single gear is less likely to cause problems at this price point.

What we don’t like:

  • Wheels – check that the wheels are true upon delivery.
Mark W
Mark W
I’m a cycling enthusiast, and the founder and chief editor of Bike Push. If I’m not working on this website, then I’m out on the bike clocking up the miles. I want to help others get the most out of cycling.

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