Types of Bicycles Part 1: The Cruiser

English: This is a Villy Customs tangerine ora...

English: This is a Villy Customs tangerine orange beach cruiser bicycle fully customized by a customer. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Now you’ve decided to buy a bicycle. You’ve read about frame materials. Frame materials mean squat when you don’t even know what kind of bicycle to purchase. Simply put, the type of riding you want to do, as well as aspire to do, will help narrow down the bicycle you should be looking at. Notice how I said “aspire to do?” This is because most people purchase one bicycle. As you will see, bicycles tend to be better at one style of riding while being okay at others. If you buy a bicycle based on the riding you aspire to do, the less likely you’ll be frustrated and end up hating cycling. WE WANT TO AVOID THAT AT ALL COSTS. Of course, this depends on if you have tons of disposable income and you can just buy multiple bikes. That’s what I do.

Just like this blog, we’re going to start with the basics.

Single Speed Cruisers

You’ve seen these everywhere. Whether you’re at the beach or not, the single speed cruiser is the epitome of leisurely riding. Let me repeat that: Leisurely riding. Single speed cruisers aren’t meant for speed. Large, wide saddles, wide, swept back handlebars, one speed, and fat tires, make for a slow, albeit comfortable ride. These are great for around the neighborhood; a ride down to the coffee shop; leisurely errand running, etc. The upright riding position makes it comfortable and easy to see ahead. You can even get three or seven speed variants if the terrain you’re on is prone to elevation changes. Also, if physical limitations keep you from riding a more forward position bicycle, like a mountain or fitness bike, the single speed cruiser is an excellent choice. Especially if your nosy doctor keeps telling you to go out and exercise. Word of caution: don’t try and quick manuveurs with this bike, it responds like a sloth in mud. Also, be careful when transporting these things as they tend to not be the lightest bikes in the bunch.

Because of the upright seating and limited gearing, it’s best to limit cruisers to short jaunts around the neighborhood. Slow jaunts. Unless you’re given to sprinting for no reason, but you;ll find it awkward due to the postition of the handlebars.

Next up will be comfort hybrids.


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