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Summer season is on and people are searching for their bikes already in order to go out and have fun. There are a lot of choices of bikes and questions when trying to go for a long-distance ride.
A common question that people wonder when they are purchasing or even renting a bike is if that particular bike is good to use for long distances, climbing hills, etc. In this article I will specifically talk about beach cruisers and how well they work for long distances.
Are beach cruisers good for long distances? Beach cruisers are amazing bikes to cruise along the boardwalk or down the flat roads in your city or town. They are very comfortable for long rides as long as the area is flat. Since beach cruisers normally only have one gear then they aren’t very good for long rides on hilly terrain.
Below I will give you further information about beach cruiser as well as why they are good for long distances in some cases while not being good in other situations.
WHAT ARE BEACH CRUISER BIKES?
Beach cruiser bikes are similar to Hybrid Bikes (road and mountain bikes) and they are comfortable and known for their durability. They aren’t designed to go fast but they are designed to be comfortable for upright riding. They will normally have a large comfortable seat which helps make the ride more enjoyable as well.
In addition, the heavy body, sturdy frames and thick tires minimize the effects of bumps and other road jerks on your body.
If you’re considering using a beach cruiser for a long-distance ride, then read on as I will break down everything related to it in the rest of this article.
THE PROS AND CONS OF BEACH CRUISERS
When you are considering purchasing a bike you always want to consider the pros and cons. This is especially true when you are planning on riding that bike over long distances. If the terrain is flat then beach cruisers are a perfect choice for riding any distance no matter how short or long.
One huge positive of beach cruisers is they are simply comfortable to be on. We’ve probably all ridden bikes where the seat starts to hurt your “seat” within few minutes of riding. With a beach cruiser’s larger seat it is far more comfortable to sit on than a traditional bike.
Since most beach cruisers either come with either one or three gears it is simple to use the bike even if you don’t have tons of experience. Of course having the lower number of gears has its downside, beach cruisers just aren’t very good for hills.
One of the huge cons of beach cruisers is that you have to walk the bike up every large hill. Since they normally don’t come with lower gears then you can’t use a lower gear for the hills while pedaling faster. You have to get off and walk the bike up the hill once you are unable to peddle it anymore.
For most people, if you’re living in an area where there are just a few hills and a lot of flat paths, then beach cruiser bikes can be a great choice for your new bike. On the other hand, if you’re living in an area where there are tons of hilly streets and all of the off-road options are limited to uneven terrain, then you need to choose a mountain bike or even a hybrid.
ARE CRUISER BIKES GOOD FOR LONG DISTANCES?
Ultimately whether a beach cruiser is good for long distances depends on your strength and the terrain that you are selecting. Beach cruisers are great for long distances if you have a flatter path or road, but if you’re heading towards a hilly area where roads aren’t paved and you’ve to go through some tough terrain then I would not recommend trying to use a beach cruiser for that trip.
You can go for other bikes that are better suited for rough or hilly terrain if you find that is where you normally bike. If you are headed off-road you’ll find mountain bikes are excellent for that.
Beach cruisers are not a one size fits all style of bike. I currently live in Phoenix, Arizona and most of my biking I do around the city/ suburbs. As long as I don’t venture into the nearby mountains then a beach cruiser is the perfect bike for me since most of the entire area is really flat.
However, I used to live in a small town in Iowa and literally every street in the town was on a hill! A beach cruiser would have been a horrible choice for that town as I would have spent more time walking than actually riding the bike.
Buying any bike is an important decision. Before you purchase a bike you should ask yourself some questions. Some of those questions are:
- Who do you ride with?
- What do they ride?
- Which bike have you had in the past that you liked?
- What are the things that you disliked about your previous bike?
- Where would you like to go with your new ride?
Now you know whether you should use your beach cruiser for long distances, or if you should use a different bike.
No matter which bike you use biking has many different health benefits. The longer your trips are that you take on your bike the more benefits you will receive.
Some of the health benefits that you get from riding a bike for long distances are:
- Increase cardiovascular fitness
- Increase muscle fitness and strength
- Improve your joint’s mobility
- Decreases your stress level
- Improve your posture and coordination
- Strengthen bones
- Decreases your body fat level
- Reduce anxiety and depression
These are just some of the health benefits that you’re going to enjoy when going for daily ride. I know many people that choose to leave a little earlier in the morning and take a nice ride on their cruiser to get to work. That has helped them not only get a good amount of exercise before they begin work but it also helps clear their head before a long day.
Riding a bike can be tons of fun but you need to make sure that pick the proper bike for what you will be doing. You certainly don’t want to buy a BMX bike if you aren’t going to be doing any tricks! You also don’t want to buy a beach cruiser if where you ride it has a lot of big hills.
Do some planning ahead of time and drive or walk the areas where you will do most of your riding. If you are planning on riding your bike across your city, state, or just around the block knowing the terrain can keep you from making a poor decision.
Remember, just because a beach cruiser has the word beach in it, that doesn’t mean they are only useful on the beach. You can use them anywhere as long as the hills aren’t too big.