Cruiser bikes aren’t just elegant bits of gear, they’re also great exercise tools for keeping fit and healthy.
In fact, no matter what sort of bike you own, as long as it gets you moving, it’s great for your physical and mental wellbeing.
They’re also commonly stocked in bike rental outfits around the globe, so no matter where you wander, you can always get in a good cruise and take in all the lovely local sights.
Often only thought of as a practical means of transport, the benefits of using the humble cruiser for exercise are constantly overlooked and underappreciated.
When debating this very topic with my biker friends, the first thing I like to point out is the posture a cruiser encourages as you ride.
Their structure - the distance between their handlebars and seat in particular - promotes a nice, straight, upright back and neck.
If you’re recovering from a back injury or suffer from back pain in general, this is a great way to keep your disks aligned and even out the pressure between them.
Furthermore, this posture practice helps to improve your profile in day-to-day life, reducing spinal discomfort - pretty sweet, eh?
Another aspect of their design that boosts their potential as a full-blown exercise machine is how comfortable they are.
Often made with wide, cushy seats and padded handlebars, they make for a cozy ride indeed, and many don’t realize it, but getting comfortable is a key part of exercising.
When you're comfortable, you’re relaxed, and when you’re relaxed, you can focus. Moreover, the more comfortable a bike is, the longer you’re going to be able to ride it, and the more of a workout you get in a single sitting.
I'd also like to take a minute to discuss baskets and bike racks. Perhaps they’re not streamlined appointments that are going to help you break the land speed record, but they aren’t without merit.
With a beautiful basket on your cruiser, you’re going to be able to take more supplies with you on your bike ride, meaning you can stay on the go for longer.
The extra weight a basket and rack can hold will also slightly increase the difficulty of the ride, so you can use them to challenge yourself incrementally.
Convenience is king. It’s why people settle for taking their car rather than walking or riding, but with the bike racks and optional baskets, cruisers offer tons of convenience.
I can’t speak for anyone else, but this is a massive part of my choosing to ride rather than take the easy option and hop in the driver’s seat.
Beyond the physical attributes of the cruiser design, I also find the aesthetics inspire me to get out and pedal my way to feeling great inside and out.
What I absolutely love about my cruiser bike is that low-key look they all have in common.
It’s not attention-grabbing, there’s no pressure to don the skin-tights of road cyclists, you can just sit back in your normal clothes, and watch the world go by in peace.
If that sounds good to you, you may want to check out this fantastic sixthreezero Around the Block Men's Cruiser Bike or if you’d like something with more color, I’m a huge fan of this sherbet-hued Kulana Lakona Youth/Adult Cruiser Bike
It must be said; however, that cruiser bikes are designed for just that, cruising. This means that their application is fairly limited, and you’ll have to stick to roads and cycle paths.
They don’t have the structural integrity nor the gear articulation to handle the rough and tumble of mountain or off-road riding.
Can I lose weight on a cruiser bike?
You can definitely lose weight on a cruiser bike, and here’s how. When you ride any bike, your whole body is working, but your legs are doing the heavy lifting.
You’ll recall the semi-satisfying burning sensation in your quads and calves when you rode up that hill on your last ride. That feeling right there, that’s fat burning.
Legs are the largest muscles in the body, so when you focus on them in an exercise, you’re burning the maximum amount of calories you possibly can.
Yes, if you keep up with your rides, it will tone your legs, but working the legs is also the fastest way to tip the balance on your muscle to fat ratio in general.
What’s truly fantastic about using a bike for a workout is that even though it’s leg heavy, it’s also zero impact.
This means the sensitive joints and ligaments around your knees and ankles remain safe and strong.
As someone whose knees hurt after 10 minutes of running, even with fancy running shoes, I truly appreciate this aspect of riding a bike.
Sure, you won’t be able to ride your cruiser bike through challenging terrain, but whether you’re riding a road bike, a mountain bike, or a cruiser, the general movements are the same.
Every time you push that pedal down, you’re losing a little bit of weight.
Some might argue that a cruiser’s lack of, or shortage of, gears limits their potential as exercise bikes, and admittedly, it does hamper their functionality, but in no way diminishes their usefulness as a way of staying fit.
If anything, a limited selection of gears makes a ride tougher, meaning you’ll actually burn more calories on a cruiser than an all-singing-all-dancing superbike with twenty babillion gears.
I recommend starting on level ground, then as your muscles develop, find a path or road with a slight incline.
Keep challenging yourself, and before you know it, that cruiser will have single-handedly transformed your body and mind.
Dedicate to a riding schedule and, cruiser or no, not only will you start to lose weight, you’ll get stronger, your respiratory health will improve, your joints will limber up, and your overall outlook on life will become more positive.
However, as is the case with any sort of workout, if you truly want to see results, you need to combine your exercise routine with a healthy diet.
If you’re consuming the wrong types of food or your portion sizes are too big, you’re going to find it really hard to make progress in the weight loss department.
Feeling enticed by the cruiser life? I’ll bring things to a close by leaving you a shortcut to one of the best cruisers you can currently buy, the Schwinn Mikko & Huron Adult Cruiser Bike. Happy cruising!