Are Cruiser Bikes Good For Long Rides?

Known for their wide handlebars with grips, upright geometry, and large balloon tires, cruiser bikes are arguably the most comfortable casual-riding bikes. But are cruiser bikes good for long rides?

Cruiser bikes have wide and thick tires that suffer more rolling resistance, and their frames are heavier. As a result, they are not best for long rides. Additionally, their wide handlebars and soft-cushioned seats don’t favor long rides. 

However, note that you can go long distances if you pick a gentler terrain and a geared beach cruiser and ride at slow speed.

So, factors like terrain and speed are critical when it comes to riding a beach cruiser long-distance. I’ll talk more about the two elements in a few seconds.

I’ll also share with you the best beach cruisers you can use for long rides and their alternatives (non-cruiser options).

Let’s get started!

are cruiser bikes good for long rides

Are Cruiser Bikes Good For Long Rides? (Detailed Explanation)

Like I mentioned earlier, cruiser bikes are not best for long rides, apart from a few exceptions that we’ll talk about later.

Here are the general reasons why beach cruisers are not suitable for long rides:

1. Cruiser Bikes’ Wider Tires Suffer Rolling Resistance on Rough Terrains

Due to their thickness and broadness, cruiser bikes’ balloon tires don’t roll smoothly on rougher terrains. So, they are slower, which means you could take longer if you decide to go long distances.

2. Cruiser Bikes Frames Are Heavier

Cruiser bikes feature massive frames that make them heavier than most bikes. In consequence, they are not easy to ride uphill and maneuver over long distances.

3. Cruiser Bike’s Wide Handlebar and Soft-Cushioned Don’t Favor Long Ride

Cruiser bikes feature wide handlebars that allow you to cycle upright. Such a posture doesn’t let you ride long-distance as you get tired quickly.

Their soft-cushioned saddles don’t help either, apart from those with dual-spring for bump absorption. Extra-soft saddles generally feel uncomfortable over long distances.

What Are the Exceptions? When Can You Ride Cruiser Bikes On Long Rides?

While beach cruisers are not best for long rides, there are a few exceptions, and that’s where my recommendations come in.

In general, you can ride a beach cruiser on a long ride when:

  • Taking gentler terrains like urban roads and beach sides
  • Riding long-distance at a slow speed
  • Riding a geared cruiser bike
Best Cruiser Bikes for Long Rides

What Are the Best Cruiser Bikes for Long Rides?

Here are the best-geared beach cruisers for long rides on gentler terrains:

1. Firmstrong Urban Man Beach Cruiser

(Best Men’s Cruiser Bike for Long Rides)

Promising up to 21 speeds, the Firmstrong Urban Man Beach Cruiser is a decent pick for long rides. You can easily shit and take on lighter and medium hills with this beach cruiser.

But still, the two-wheel is more than hill-climbing power. Its 26-inch white-wall balloon tires cushion your ride when taking on long stretches, while its oversized dual-spring saddle promises better seating comfort.

On the other hand, its wide handlebars allow you to cycle more relaxed, and you don’t have to worry about hand soreness as they feature foam grips.

And when it comes to its dual handbrakes, they are easily accessible, and the beach cruiser enjoys double suspension for optimal bump absorption.

What’s more, this beach cruiser comes with a robust 17-inch steel frame that perfectly fits 5’4”-6’2” tall men.

Highlight Features

  • 17-inch robust steel frame
  • 26-inch white-wall balloon tires
  • Oversized dual-spring saddle
  • Broad handlebar with foam grips
  • Dual suspension
  • Dual handbrakes

2. Firmstrong Urban Lady Beach Cruiser

(Best Ladies’ Cruiser Bike for Long Rides)

The Firmstrong Urban Lady Beach Cruiser is the ladies’ equivalent of the Firmstrong Urban Men Beach Cruiser.

The difference is in the bike size, and so you can expect it to share the other features with the male version.

Among the retained features are 26-inch white-wall balloon tires, 21-speed drivetrain, dual suspension, dual handbrakes, oversized spring saddle, and wide handlebar.

So, you can count on this beach cruiser for a cushioned, bump-free ride and massive climbing power. Its physical strength is also unquestionable, thanks to its steel frame.

Speaking of its steel frame, though it’s slightly smaller (15-inch), its geometry makes it suitable for taller female cyclists (5’4”-6’4”).

Are Cruiser Bikes Good For Long Distance

Highlight Features

  • 15-inch steel frame
  • An oversized dual-spring seat
  • Dual suspension
  • Dual handbrakes
  • Broad handlebar with foam handgrips
  • 21 speed
  • 26-inch white-wall balloon tires

3. Schwinn Mikko & Huron Adult Beach Cruiser

(Best Unisex Adult Cruiser Bike)

If you are looking for a beach cruiser that any adult member of your household can ride, you are safer with the Schwinn Mikko & Huron Adult Beach Cruiser.

This adult beach cruiser comes in 1-speed, three-speed, but if you want to take on long rides, go for its 7-speed version. It’s also available in step-through and step-over frames.

The beach cruiser is quite comfortable, thanks to its bump-absorbing dual-spring suspension.

Like every other beach cruiser, it enjoys wide classic-style cruiser handlebars to allow you to ride more upright.

Its 7-speed drivetrain makes it hill-ready, and you get to shift smoothly, thanks to its twist shifters.

Other impressive features include 2.1-inch wide balloon tires, intuitive linear-pull brakes, retro fenders, and a matching saddle.

Overall, its 17-inch (medium-size) steel frame makes it suitable for 5’4”-6’2” tall adults.

Highlight Features

  • Up to 7-speed
  • 17-inch steel frame
  • Dual suspension
  • Intuitive linear-pull brakes
  • Retro-style fenders
  • 1-inch balloon tires

What Are the Alternatives to Cruiser Bikes On Long Rides?

Irrefutably, there are a few restrictions when it comes to riding beach cruisers long distances. So, how about you go for a bike that can take on all terrains long distances?

I’m talking about these three types of bikes:

a) Cyclocross Bikes

Cyclocross bikes are a type of road bike that can take on both paved and unpaved surfaces. Though they look like regular road bikes, they are as hardy as mountain bikes.

Cyclocross bikes are designed for cyclocross racing, long-distance racing events involving carrying the bike over obstacles. As a result, they are ideal for long rides.

b) Triathlon Bikes

Triathlon bikes, like cyclocross bikes, are a type of road bike, but they are more suited to road surfaces.

Specifically, these bikes are designed for triathlon events owing to their aerodynamic design and fast-rolling tires.  For that reason, you can ride them long-distance on-road.

c) Endurance Bikes

Endurance bikes are also a type of road bike designed for long rides, especially on challenging terrains. Unlike triathlon bikes, endurance bikes have a more relaxed geometry to allow you to cycle casually on long stretches.

These bikes are also more stable than most road bikes, thus safer.

One worthy pick is the Tommaso Imola Endurance Road Bike (View on Amazon).

Tommaso Imola Endurance Road Bike


1. Are Cruiser Bikes Good For Long Distance?

You can only ride a cruiser long distance if you pick a terrain that’s not too rugged. But still, cruiser bikes are not the fastest. So, you’ll have to settle for a slow speed.

2. What Is A Cruiser Bike Best For?

A cruiser bike is best for casual riding around the neighborhood, running errands, city riding, and short-distance commuting on flatter terrains.

Overall, you can ride a cruiser bike anywhere smoother, including urban roads, local parks, and beaches.

3. Are Cruiser Bikes More Comfortable?

Cruiser bikes come with large balloon tires that roll smoothly on flatter roads. Their handlebars and frame geometries allow you to ride more upright, and their saddles are pretty ergonomic.

So, overall, cruiser bikes are more comfortable than most bikes, but they are only best for short casual rides on flatter terrains.

4. Are Cruiser Bikes Hard To Ride?

Cruiser bikes are generally heavier than most bikes. In consequence, they are not the easiest to ride uphill.

But when it comes to flat surfaces, they are much more comfortable than most, thanks to their fast-rolling balloon tires and upright geometry.

5. Are Cruiser Bikes Good For Exercise?

Beach cruisers have fewer gears. So, you do a lot of pedaling, engaging your leg muscles and body a lot. As a result, you exercise your body, and that makes them a good workout choice.

6. Are Cruiser Bikes Good For Beginners?

Cruiser bikes are easier to ride on smoother and flatter roads as their balloon tires roll seamlessly. They also allow you to ride more upright and more relaxed, making them beginner-friendly.

They are, however, not the best for the off-road, especially for beginners.

7. Why Are Cruiser Bikes So Expensive?

Not all cruiser bikes are expensive, but the few costly ones feature high-end components. The other reason is that they are in high demand.

More people want to buy them for leisure cycling, and the retailers are taking advantage of their desperation to mark up the prices.

Are Cruiser Bikes Good For Long Rides? Concluding Thought

To comfortably ride a cruiser bike, you have to pick a gentler terrain and go slow speed. You’ll also have a much comfortable experience if you go for a geared option as you can shift and speed up quickly.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are cruiser bikes comfortable for long rides?

Yes, undoubtedly. Cruiser design principles are founded on the idea of providing ultimate comfort, especially for extended rides. With an elevated and wide handlebar setup, they encourage an upright sitting posture that significantly reduces pressure on riders’ back, neck, and shoulders. This relaxation facilitation and pressure alleviation make these bikes the optimal choice for long journeys. Furthermore, it’s a relief for riders who might face physical restrictions making alternative cycle types a discomfort. Based on my personal experience as a cycling enthusiast, I can vouch for the fact that the unique design characteristics of cruisers have made my long country-road rides enjoyable and pain-free.

What is the purpose of a cruiser bike?

Cruiser Bicycles have a lot in common with hybrid bikes regarding their casual riding design. With a plush, substantial seat and upright riding position these vehicles are the epitome of comfort on two wheels. The “feel-good” factor associated with these bikes is due to their iconic wide “balloon” tires that absorb most shocks and stresses from the road beneath. Moreover, they are also famed for handlebars that are comfortable and designed with an even more upright and, in some cases, swept back radius versus hybrids. Not only do these features make riding the bike a breeze, but they also contribute to the bike’s retro aesthetic appeal. I remember when I first laid my eyes on a cruiser bike; its timeless design and comfort-promising features immediately won me over.

What’s the difference between a comfort bike and a cruiser bike?

When we look at bikes commonly chosen for leisure, commuting, or mild sporting activities, cruisers and comfort bikes take the lead. Each of these bike types has its unique characteristics. Cruiser bikes command attention with their large seats, upright handlebars, and distinctive balloon tires. These features provide a comfort-driven riding experience that’s almost synonymous with cruising. Comfort bikes, contrastingly, sport smaller seats, handlebars that lean forward more, and slimmer tires. These features make them suitable for faster riding and good handling even on rough pavements. As someone who has spent years indulging in bike rides, I’ve rigorously tested both bike types in diverse terrains and usage scenarios. Although both classes are comfortable in their own right, if comfort is your only benchmark, no prizes for guessing – the cruiser bike is your ultimate answer.