What Size Cruiser Bike Do I Need?

Updated on 03/03/2021

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What Cruiser Bike Size Do I Need

Having the right size for your cruiser bikes is just like getting your clothes tailored – all for the best enjoyment and performance. Commonly, people often select cruiser bikes based on height, but is it sufficient for the right bike size?

The answer is no. There are other factors that cyclists should take into consideration when choosing cruiser bike size, for example, gender, age, and body proportion. If you would like to know more, let’s discover what cruiser bike size is the best for you right now!

What Is A Cruiser Bike?

The Sixthreezero Around the Block Cruiser Bike

The Sixthreezero Around the Block Cruiser Bike

Before the motorcycle became the common means of transportation, it was the era of the bicycle. There are various types of bikes for different purposes: professional use, recreational activities, and performance. Having a standard bike suitable for the purpose is the true joy of a cyclist.

Cruiser bikes have been a part of cycling history, and still one of the most popular choices for leisure riding. This type of bike shares some common features best for steady and easy riding, such as single-speed drivetrain, more upright riding position, mostly included balloon tires and steel frame. Ballon tires are very common for cruiser bikes.

Therefore cruiser bikes are often heavy but good for casual riders and beginners. Another good thing about cruiser bikes is the ability to custom since the design of cruiser bikes is rather simple with minimal gears.

Why The Right Cruiser Bike Size Is Important?

The cruiser bike size is one of the most important things when it comes to choosing the bike. The bike size is just like your clothes and shoes, the more fitted and comfortable the items are, the better quality of the ride.

Many people, often beginners, when seeking beach cruiser bikes for sale only take the heights as the sole measurement, and this is wrong. Teenagers and adults have different body structures, so both categories can not go for the same cruiser bikes  (including beach cruiser bikes) even though they are at the exact height.

This also applies to men and women. There is nothing like “one size fits all” cruiser bikes, so you should not believe any advertisement saying that and blindly choose your bikes. Riding a bike in the wrong size will feel uncomfortable since the bike geometry does not support such a build.

You can imagine it like this: a small child struggles with an adult standard cruiser bike. The bike is too big and heavy for him to control, and riding such a high bike is impossible. On the other hand, big guys riding a bike cruiser for women will also feel uncomfortable for sure.

Moreover, choosing the right bike size will greatly reduce the chances of getting in accidents and injuries while riding. Because when you get the bike that you can handle with ease you will have better control over the bike, thus helping the riders to avoid mistakes when riding.

Besides, unlike mountain bikes, beach cruiser bikes for men and women vary in design too, even if in the same size. Some models may have only a few differences, but these things decide the decent fit for the riders. The cruiser bike for girls often has a more sloppy tube, meanwhile, men’s models may have a stronger horizontal tube.

The variation is not just about the feminine color scheme, but also the bike geometry. The body proportion of women is longer leg – shorter torso, and men’s is of the exact opposite so the top tube on women beach cruiser bikes is shorter to give the cyclists better posture.

How To Choose Cruiser Bike Sizes For Adults?

The Sixthreezero Cruiser Bicycle

The Sixthreezero Cruiser Bicycle

Everyone needs a guide to choose the right cruise bike size. But before that, let’s take a look at the most common sizing chart for bike selecting:

RiderHeight (feet)Bike frame (inches)Bike wheel (inches)
11 years old - adults5’ – 6’4”15 – 21 inches26 inches
AdultsTaller than 6’Extended frame26 inches

The most popular criteria for bike size choosing is the height of the riders and their ages. Regarding bikes, two figures determining the size are the measurement of wheels and frames. The reason is that these figures affect the riding posture, bike, and also geometry of each model hugely.

This chart is relatively good for the build adults, so if you have limited information and chances to try out the bike in person, you can rely on these figures. However, over-6-feet adults may want to have a custom model to accompany you for the greatest compatibility.

In general, in the adult department, these figures may vary a bit between men and women. For women with a petite build and are an average of 5 feet tall, a 24-inch bike cruiser is much better than the large 26-inch model. Followingly, the frame with 15 inches is good for these female riders. Note the feet tall for more precise size choosing.

Also, women can check out the 26-inch cruiser bikes with the same 15-inch frame if they feel the 24-inch small and uncomfortable. But if you are a female cyclist with a height of higher than 5’8”, the wheels of 26 inches may not be enough for you. For other bike types, such as mountain bikes, it is totally different.

Meanwhile, men, though having the same height (or minimum height) as their female counterparts, should take cruiser bikes with a extended frame, starting at 17 inches for 5 feet tall riders. Go for a bike with 26 inches wheels and 18 – 19 inches frames if you are around 5’7″ – 6’4″.

Because men are naturally born with heavier weight and build than women, so the bike should be strong enough to support them. But it does not mean that you need to automatically up-size the frame and wheels of a cruiser bike if you are a man, just choose what is best for you.

How to Get The Right Cruiser Bike Sizes for Children and Teenagers?

These kid bikes are indeed designed specially to fit the body proportion of not-fully-grown people, but since there are differences in each age group, sizing is a lot more complicated. For better child sizing selection, you can check out this chart:

Height (inches)RiderBike wheels (inches)
30 – 39 inches2 – 4 years old12 inches
37 – 44 inches3 – 5 years old14 inches
39 – 48 inches5 – 8 years old16 inches
42 – 45 inches6 – 10 years old20 inches
50 – 58 inches8 – 12 years old24 inches

Kids can start their cycling journeys from an early age, thus parents should pay extra attention in choosing the right bike for the kids. A good cruiser bike can help them to learn cycling better and quicker.

As can be seen from the chart, for toddlers under 4 years old, you may want to check out the smallest size of 12-inch wheels. A 14-inch cruiser bike is good for children with at least 37 inches tall, so they can put their feet firmly on the ground when stopping the bike.

For bigger kids, the regular 16-inch wheel size is good to go. And for teenagers and children with good height, try to consider between 20 and 24 inches. If the kids have fully grown out of the available sizes in the children section, parents can always check out the adult side.

Many people reason that the kids will grow, and eventually will fit the bigger bike, and buying small bikes is a waste of money. However, an oversize cruiser bike will be extremely difficult for the kids to control and get familiar with, especially for young beginners in cycling.

The Method to Calculate Cruiser Bike Size

The Sixthreezero Around the Block Women’s Cruiser Bikes

The Sixthreezero Around the Block Women’s Cruiser Bikes

In case you can have a proper way to measure your figures, you can try the inseam method to calculate the cruiser bike size that is most likely to fit you. This technique is simple, you will need a measuring tape and make a few calculations.

To begin with, you need to stand barefoot on the ground and keep a gap of around 6 to 8 inches between your legs. Then you need to measure your inseam. The inseam is the length from the ground to your crotch.

After that, you can check out this chart to find the most suitable bike size. This chart provides the estimated figures but still, these numbers are helpful for cyclists to choose the right bike size according to their own body:

Height (inches)Inseam Length (inches)Bike Frame (cm)
4’10” - 5’1”25.5 - 27 inches46 - 48 cm
5’0” - 5’3”26.5 - 28 inches48 - 50 cm
5’2” - 5’5”27.5 - 29 inches50 - 52 cm
5’4” - 5’7”28.5 - 30 inches52 - 54 cm
5’6” - 5’9”29.5 - 31 inches54 - 56 cm
5’8” - 5’11”30.5 - 32 inches56 - 58 cm
5’10” - 6’1”31.5 - 33 inches58 - 60 cm
6’0” - 6’3”32.5 - 34 inches60 - 62 cm
6’2” - 6’5”34.5 - 36 inches62 - 64 cm

How To Pick The Right Cruiser Bike Sizes In Person?

Nevertheless, for people who can go to stores to purchase cruiser bikes, you can follow these simple steps to pick out what suits you most. The numbers can not tell you all about the bike, you should at least sit on it to figure out the compatibility.

Firstly, check out the size chart to have a rough idea of the bike frame (extended frame) and wheel size that may be the one for you. In the stores, there are various types and sizes, so narrowing down the choices at the beginning will help to save your time and effort.

Secondly, you should check out the mounting position by using the pedal. You can stand on one foot, while the other places on the pedal to see if there are any inconveniences and vice versa.

Thirdly, check your riding posture. Gradually sit on the saddle and hold the bike handle, trying to keep the position as much alike as when you are riding. Carefully mind if you feel it hard to control the pedal, or the gap between the saddle position and handlebar is too small or too hard. Note that seat completely lowered is preferred.

Then you should try to paddle the pedals for a few rounds, and check if the gears are working just fine. At the lowest and highest point of the pedal circle, make sure that your legs don’t feel any cramps or flounder.

Next, if possible, take a short ride. Going a few rounds to see the compatibility of your riding style and the bike geometry is recommended. If there is any other requirement, for instance installing the cruiser bike with a basket, like some road bikes, just ask the store owners or workers there.

How To Get The Best Cruiser Bikes?

The Huffy Cruiser Bikes

The Huffy Cruiser Bikes

Apart from the size, there are more factors that you should consider when choosing a cruiser bike. Whether your bike is a reliable, long-term, and powerful companion or not may depend largely on these criteria.

Frame quality and geometry are the most important when talking about the quality of the bike. The frame should be sturdy, lightweight, and durable, yet strong enough to withstand your weight. The most ideal frame material for good cruiser bikes is steel, aluminum, and carbon fiber.

The geometry plays an essential role in the performance of a cruiser bike, including children’s cruisers, so try to choose the model with suitable structures. A little tip for casual riders who often wear dresses, you may want to consider a bike with a sloppy and lower tube design for better convenience.

The brake system is also worth mentioning in the process of selecting a cruiser bike. For safety, there should be a handbrake or rear brake that works smoothly. The brake should be able to stop the bike right at the moment without too much shock.

The price range for cruiser bikes is huge too, starting at a few hundreds of dollars to quite a few grants. However, the more expensive bike is not superior in quality, a lot of cheap models work just as well. Don’t let the price tag fool you.

Of course, high-end models may have the better hands in bike frame materials and gears. Big brands in the cruiser bike industry often offer bike insurance included in the price, so you can consider that.

FAQs

Which activities are cruiser bikes good for?

Cruiser bikes are good for trail excursions and city riding.

Are cruiser bikes suitable for all ages?

Yes, cruiser bikes can be used for all ages.

Can cruiser bikes go uphill?

Going uphill with cruiser bikes is possible, but single-speed cruiser bikes are not excellent in this part.

Can you custom an old cruiser bike?

Yes, you can custom an old cruiser bike.

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The Author

Jim Felt

Jim Felt, a man with a genuine love of speed. A man who designed his very first triathlon frame for Johnny O’Mara – the star of Motorcross at “The O-Show” – then got big successes in 1990. In 1994, Felt incorporated with Answer Products to launch his brand, starting a 7-year relationship until 2000. In 2001, Jim Felt relaunched the Feltracing brand in conjunction with Michael Müllmann and Bill Duehring. Our product lines were then expanded into a full line of commuter bikes, cruisers, MTBs, MBX, even road and tri bikes. The total number of models were up to 140 distributed in 27 countries.

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