Can you go jogging in ill-fitting shoes? No? That’s how it goes when it comes to choosing the right size cruiser bike. These bikes come in various sizes and shapes with a variety of adjustable features and configurations. So finding the right fit for you will ensure a more comfortable, efficient, and enjoyable ride.
Cruiser bikes are best for commuting – they were designed for comfort and simplicity with a good choice of gears. They can’t handle rough off-road trails, stunts, or longer rides but perfect for fun or running an errand or two.
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Types of Cruiser Bikes
There are 5 specific types of cruiser bikes, each with its own differences; classic/beach, stretch, low rider, chopper, and multi-speed.
Cruiser bike manufacturers combine a few key features to build a stable, easy-to-ride bike perfect for casual biking at low to moderate speeds. Most cruiser bikes consist of a simple-styled large frame, wide balloon tires, coaster brakes, curved handlebars that ensures an upright seating posture, and a single-speed pedaling drivetrain.
Cruiser bikes can also be easily customized and upgraded with other accessories, including fenders, lights, luggage racks, saddle bags, etc. Fortunately, modern technology and engineering have made these bikes much more affordable, enjoyable, and some contain gear options.
Cruiser Bike Sizing
A sizing chart will greatly assist you in determining the right cruiser bike for you. Here is a size chart to guide you in getting your perfect bike fit from frame size, wheel size, and height to age.
Frame Size (inches)
Wheel Size (inches)
Rider Height (feet & inches)
Up to 10
Up to 3’8″
1 – 5
3’2″ – 4’4″
4 – 10
4’ – 5’4″
8 – Adult
5’ – 6’4″
11 – Adult
6’ and over
The frame is the most important part to consider when choosing a cruiser bike. These bike’s frame sizes range between 10 and 18 inches. Cruiser bikes have more curvy frames or sweeping curves on the edges than other bikes with saddles that offer upright riding posture having room for other customizing accessories.
Most beach cruiser frames are made of aluminum, Chromoly, steel, titanium, and carbon fiber. Steel is the most used frame material due to its heavy weight and more stability. Because frames come in varying sizes, you need the right fit in terms of height, weight, and body shape.
Wheel, Tires, and Rims
Cruiser bike tires are among the biggest hallmarks when looking for a bike. Their thickness and width give these bikes effective shock absorption and keep the rider more plush. Even though most wheels lack knobs, they have a typical design to deflect water away should a rider come across it.
Cruiser bike tires are pretty tough to even withstand sharp hazards on the streets or beach while giving a rider some ruggedness when riding on rougher concrete surfaces or sand.
The tire size of children’s cruiser bike range from 16 to 20 inches in diameter. Most bikes come in this ideal wheel size for children up to about 4 feet tall.
The standard size for adult measure between 24 and 26 inches in diameter. 24 inches are for smaller or short guys or women, while 26 inches are for taller ones. All in all, you should consult the above size chart to get the right fit based on your height.
Cruiser bike handlebars are primary parts that give a rider a comfortable, relaxed ride. They are attached to an extended tubing that comes from the bike frame and then projected forward a few inches to give the rider an upright riding position. They are curved inwards, which creates a sort of half circle.
Cruiser bikes have different handlebars in terms of shape and size compared to BMX bikes, road bikes, and mountain bikes. Their design allows you to steer from a relaxed position with your hands rather than leaning forward. This way, your back feels comfortable while keeping you more upright, which is great for casual or leisure riding.
The cruiser bike saddle is also different from other bikes. Comfort is the primary focus of this bike saddle because you will be spending most of your time on it. The seat is very wide and cushioned and has springs underneath the rear end to absorb shock.
A saddle is the first thing to adjust to suit your riding position after getting a suitable frame. Its height affects your leg and foot position – poor placement will result in back, hips, or knee pain.
To attain the right saddle height, you will need someone to hold the bike while you mount it, then push one pedal to the bottom of the pedal stroke. Your leg should be extended (but not fully) with the foot parallel to the ground. Be sure to get your right saddle height.
The good thing about cruiser bike saddle is that it can slide back and forth, thus offering the best comfortable riding posture.
Brakes play an integral role in any bike, especially for new cyclists. Understanding how your cruiser bike brakes works make the difference between a safe stop and going to the doctor with nasty cuts and bruises.
While other bikes brakes like BMX, road, and mountain might differ across brands, almost all cruiser bikes rely on coaster brakes. Coaster brakes basically operate by slamming the pedal backward, instantly locking the back wheel up. This helps keep the bike as comfortable and simple as possible.
There are some models like multi-speed cruiser bikes that use hand brakes instead. Such brakes are mostly used in multi-gear bikes because coaster brakes are not an option due to the drivetrain.
Traditional cruiser bikes have one gear; thus, the drivetrain is only one wheel with a rear cassette hub. It gives them a no-frills feel, making the bike comfortable and enjoyable for casual riding.
Cruiser bikes are now advancing, and nowadays, there are multi-gear brands of up to 3 gears. Such brands perfectly fit riders who require a little more versatility in their cruiser bike performance, especially when they encounter lots of uphill or use their bikes to commute every time.
Whether you purchase an already assembled bike or had one built, it’s most likely for cruiser bikes to be sold without pedals. Therefore, you will always have a choice for pedals. Nowadays, there are 3 types of pedals: regular, clipless, and toe cage.
Regular pedals are flat, square and offer a large surface area for the rider foot to push down. These pedals are good for casual riding and not fit for high speeds because it’s easy to lose footing. Essentially, regular pedals are good for starters.
Most bikers transition to clipless pedals after a while riding with regular ones. By using a clip that allows you to click in your cycling shoe to pedal, allows you to have more control powering the cruiser bike. Even so, some clipless pedals have a sharp leaning curve and can frustrate you in areas with much traffic where there is lots of stop and cycling. That is why most cruiser bike brands prefer regular pedals.
Toe cage pedals come with 3 pronged rubber covers at the top of the pedal. These kinds of pedals offer you a chance to strap in and simulate clipless ones, even when riding with ordinary shoes. Sometimes it becomes challenging to insert and remove your feet when in the streets or beach. Nevertheless, the right pedals depend on your riding style and place of riding.
Is There A Difference Between Men And Women Cruiser Bikes?
There isn’t much difference between men and women cruiser bikes apart from frame design and size. Men cruiser bikes have slightly larger frames with top tubes either running straight across or curving up a little. Also, the coloring and graphics might be masculine with a bit large handlebars.
Women cruiser bikes will have smaller frames than men’s with top tubes curving downwards. The frames might also be a bit skinnier with a more curved shape. Generally, the bike aesthetics will be more feminine, and seat design and shape might also be different.
Most women cruiser bikes feature wheels sizes from 24 to 26 inches. 24 inches wheels can accommodate women under the height of 5 inches, while 26 inches ones are best for women from 5 to 6.5 inches in height.
As long as you use a cruiser bike for its intended purpose, it will offer the most entertaining biking experience you will ever have. Also, you want to ensure that your bike is the right fit, or else you will end up with an uncomfortable ride.
Let the size chat in this article be your point of view when buying a cruiser bike. It will significantly save you money, time, and energy. Plus, it’s best to consult a professional bike fitter to help you navigate the entire process of choosing the right size cruiser bike.