Types of Cruiser Bikes: Find Your Perfect Laid-Back Ride

Types of Cruiser Bikes


Cruiser bikes are an iconic style of bicycle that has become synonymous with casual, leisurely riding. They target comfort over speed and offer a casual, laid-back riding experience. Cruiser bikes were originally popular in beach communities. The cruiser bike aesthetic is undeniably cool and evokes an old-school, easygoing beach lifestyle.

Understanding the various types of cruiser bikes empowers you to make a well-informed choice when selecting the ideal cruiser bike to suit your lifestyle. So, explore the options and take the first step towards enjoying all the benefits that cruiser bikes have to offer!

Beach Cruisers

The beach cruiser bicycle, sometimes referred to as a “boardwalk cruiser” or “beachcomber,” was designed for casual riding along boardwalks and beaches. 

Beach cruisers have several notable features that make them ideal for leisurely riding on flat terrain:

Wide balloon tires: The large, air-filled tires give more cushion and comfort when riding over bumps or uneven pavement. They range from 2.125 to 2.75 inches wide.

Upright seating position: Compared to road or mountain bikes, cruisers have higher seats and handlebars, which allows the rider to sit up straight in a comfortable position.

Steel frame: Most beach cruisers have a sturdy steel frame to support the upright riding style. The heavier steel makes cruisers less ideal for fast speeds.

Coaster brakes: Cruisers use a pedal-reversed coaster brake instead of hand brakes. Applying backward pressure to the pedals activates the rear brake.

Curved handlebars: The wide, sweeping handlebars enable an upright arm position. Many beach cruisers feature stylish swept-back handlebars.

Customizable: Beach cruisers allow plenty of customization with add-ons like chrome fenders, baskets, horns, tassels, etc.

With their casual, comfortable feel and vintage style, beach cruisers are best suited for relaxed riding along the beach, bike paths, and flat neighborhoods or campus areas. They excel at short trips around town at slow to moderate speeds.

Electric Cruisers

Electric Cruisers

Cruiser bikes powered by electric motors are becoming a growing trend in the cruiser world. They offer an additional power boost through electric pedal assist, which can make longer recreational rides easier and more accessible for riders who may not be capable of, or interested in, pedaling extended distances under their own power.  

Electric cruisers commonly combine the classic cruiser bike frame design with an electric motor and battery pack. The motor kicks in with pedal assist when the rider starts pedaling, providing a quiet power boost to help propel the bike forward. Cruiser-style e-bikes allow riders to enjoy a traditional beach cruiser’s comfortable, laid-back riding position while benefiting from electric assistance for an easier ride.

Electric cruisers are a great option for leisurely cruising around neighborhoods, riding along the beach, or exploring bike paths. The electric assist allows riders to go farther with less effort than a traditional pedal-powered cruiser. Most e-bike motors have different levels of pedal assist to choose from, allowing the rider to customize the amount of help they get from the motor.

The range that electric cruisers can travel between charges varies depending on the battery size, power of the motor, and how much pedal assist is used. Many cruiser-style e-bikes can reach 15-30 miles per charge. Battery charging times also run the gamut from 4-6 hours.

Fat Tire Cruisers

Fat Tire Cruisers

Fat tire cruisers feature extra-wide tires that provide more stability and shock absorption than standard cruiser bikes. The wide tires, usually 3.5-5 inches wide, give fat tire cruisers a rugged look and make them ideal for riding on soft or uneven terrain like sand or snow. 

With its wide tires, it provides a smooth ride and prevents sinking into soft ground, though the extra tire width does mean fat tire cruisers tend to be heavier and slower than traditional cruisers. However, fat tire cruisers’ rugged durability and stability make up for their lack of speed.

Fat tire cruisers are great for a comfortable, stable ride on the beach or through snowy conditions. The wide tires allow riding across the sand without sinking in. Fat tire cruisers are also becoming popular winter bikes since the wide tires provide traction on snow and help absorb bumps. 

While fat tire cruisers may not be the fastest bike, their durability, stability and shock absorbing abilities make them ideal for cruising on rugged or uneven terrain. A fat tire cruiser is a great choice if you want to ride on sand or through the snow.

Other Types of Cruiser Bikes



Choppers refer to a style of highly customized cruiser motorcycles. The chopper style grew out of modifications made to Harley-Davidson motorcycles, often using extended forks to give greater trail and rake to the front wheel. This created the signature high-rise handlebar and seat that distinguishes choppers. 

Today, choppers remain a staple custom cruiser style prized for their show-stopping looks. They feature modifications like:

  • Extended forks for high-rise handlebars
  • Custom paint jobs and graphics 
  • Stretched, rigid frames without suspension
  • Taller rear wheels and fatter front wheels
  • Forward-set footpegs 
  • Cut-down fenders and seats

For motorcycle enthusiasts aiming to make a bold statement, choppers are the ultimate expression. Their brash, rebellious styling perfectly complements the custom cruiser riding experience. With endless options for customization, riders can craft a chopper that reflects their personality. From flashy paint and chrome to ape hanger handlebars, choppers turn heads wherever they go.

Tandem Cruisers

Tandem Cruisers

The tandem cruiser is a unique type of cruiser bike built for two people. As the name suggests, tandem cruisers have two seats and two sets of pedals, allowing two riders to pedal the bike together. 

Tandem cruisers require coordination and communication between the two riders. The person in front is usually the “captain” who steers and controls the brakes. The rear rider is the “stoker” who just focuses on pedaling. The captain needs to communicate with the stoker so they can pedal in sync and make turns smoothly.

Riding a tandem cruiser is much more social and interactive than riding a solo bike. You get the fun of cruising together and chatting with your riding partner. It can be a more intimate experience to explore a beach boardwalk or neighborhood with someone rather than alone. Partners can be spouses, friends, parents, kids, or even strangers who want to social bike together.

Some key benefits of tandem cruisers include:

Built for Two: Having two seats and two sets of pedals allows two people to ride together.

Social Experience: Pedaling and navigating as a team makes for a fun and interactive riding experience.

Workload Sharing: When two people pedal, the workload is spread out, making it easier to maintain speed and momentum.

Unique Bonding: Tandem riding is a more intimate way to spend time together than riding separately.

Coordination and Trust: Successful tandem riding requires communication, coordination and trust between partners.

While tandem cruisers take more effort to ride than solo bikes, many find the social experience and teamwork element worth it. Duos who want to cruise neighborhoods or boardwalks together find tandem cruisers the perfect vehicle for a fun paired cycling adventure.

Stretch Cruisers

Stretch Cruisers

Stretch cruisers are a unique style of cruiser bike distinguished by their extra-long frames and extended wheelbases. As the name implies, the frames are stretched out, giving the bikes a very long and laid-back look.

The extra length comes from an extended top tube on the bike frame. This extended frame provides extra space for the rider to sit further back on the bike. Stretch cruisers often also have extended front forks, which lowers the handlebars for an even more laid-back position.

This cruiser type is designed for comfort, stability, and a smooth riding experience. The long wheelbase increases stability at slower speeds and provides more comfort over bumps. The extended frame allows larger riders to sit comfortably on the bike without feeling cramped or hunched over.

Stretch cruisers are worth considering for anyone looking for a cruiser with a uniquely laid-back look and feel. The extended frame and forks create a very relaxed and comfortable riding position. Just be aware that the extra length can make the bikes slightly less nimble at very low speeds. But stretch cruisers are hard to beat when cruising around town in comfort.

Beyond their aesthetic appeal and retro charm, cruiser bikes serve a multitude of purposes that cater to various riders’ needs and preferences. From leisurely rides along coastal pathways to urban commuting and even fitness pursuits, cruiser bikes offer versatility and comfort that suit diverse lifestyles. Dive deeper into what cruiser bikes are perfect for in our post What Are Cruiser Bikes Good For?


In conclusion, cruiser bikes offer a wide range of options for riders looking for a comfortable and stylish way to cruise around town. With their classic designs and relaxed riding positions, these bicycles are ideal for relaxed rides and casual commutes. From beach cruisers to urban cruisers, the variety of styles available ensures that there is a perfect match for every rider. So, consider exploring the different types of cruiser bikes available and find the one that best fits your lifestyle and riding goals.

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