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TOPIC: Are Beach Cruisers good for exercise?

 
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December 23, 2011 10:28 PM
I'm wanting to buy myself a beach cruiser for xmas. I recently sold my road bike because it hurt my back and hands. It was miserable. Too much too soon! My fitness level is a zero. Would a beach cruiser help to burn fat and calories or is this wishful thinking?
  13476468
December 24, 2011 3:19 AM
You will lose
Enjoy it
Make it a lifestyle
  7497630
December 24, 2011 3:31 AM
QUOTE:

I'm wanting to buy myself a beach cruiser for xmas. I recently sold my road bike because it hurt my back and hands. It was miserable. Too much too soon! My fitness level is a zero. Would a beach cruiser help to burn fat and calories or is this wishful thinking?



oh man!! why did you sell the road bike??? you should've gone to your local bike shop and got it adjusted. i bet if they had raised and adjusted the seat for you, and you had bought a more comfortable saddle and some gloves, you would've loved the road bike.

when i started losing wheight, all i did was ride my bike. i'd put in at least 50 miles a week on it. i read a lot about what needs to done to get the most out of a work out. so many people ride a bike completely wrong. while you may want to be able to put your feet flat on the floor while sitting, this is wrong. you should be barely on your tip toes to ride your bike. that alows your leg to almost fully extend while peddling and you get the most energy out of your legs.

a beach cruiser is great for nice flat areas without any hills. its good for doing errands around the neighborhood, but for a dedicated cycling work out plan, i wouldn't consider it.
December 24, 2011 3:43 AM
If you mean a pedal bicycle for the beach, I don't see how it couldn't be good exercise.
The only problem with bikes is that its very easy to just cruise around and not burn calories.
However I imagine if you are on the sand, you have to keep pedaling.

Enjoy.
March 2, 2012 3:45 PM
Im curious about this too. It seems to me that getting a cruiser to 10 mph is much more work than on a road bike. I think It has to do with gear ratios, weight of the bike, aerodynamics, riding position and etc. I think as far as mechanics go... it would be comparable to BMXing which is a huge work out.
Edited by MasRoberts9 On March 2, 2012 3:46 PM
April 5, 2012 9:26 PM
I ride a beach cruiser now and it is definitely a work out. The calorie calculators unfortunately are all geared to street bicycles because, as said before, it takes serious work to get it much above 12mph on a flat road. The fastest I have ever gone was around 20mph on a downhill. Pedaling becomes useless because the gear ratio is low.

Another thing to remember is that cruisers weigh much, much more than the road bikes. Many road bikes weigh less than 10 pounds. Cruisers are much heavier. Mine is at least 25 pounds, which adds a lot when you are pushing yourself and the bike uphill. So for very hilly or mountainous areas, a cruiser may not be ideal.

That said, I love the cruiser. It gives you more time to look around and enjoy the scenery. It often gets complimented, cars seem to see me more easily than road bikes and seem more courteous. Plus looking at it just makes me want to ride it. I'm all for cruisers, or any bike, for weight loss. They are a great way to get cardio without overly straining your joints. Especially since I am heavy, running or other high impact work outs destroy my knees and leave me gimpy and unable to work out for days. Bikes are much better for this, cruisers included. It is elitist and simply wrong to think that you can't get a decent work out on a cruiser.
Edited by walruswalrus On April 5, 2012 9:27 PM
April 5, 2012 9:45 PM
I believe that beach cruisers are amazing for workouts, contrary to road bikes they allow the rider to sit upright which takes an amazing weight off my lower back. Like walruswalrus my cruiser is upwards of twenty pounds.
The weight alone allows me to get a great lower body workout that is low impact, and if I get on a steep hill, I may be moving slower than a road bike but I'm working much harder.
I would equate a cruiser ride on the same terrain as a road bike to be a rapid weight lifting exercise like squats than a cardio exercise, but make no mistake it does get your heart pumping!
The muscle tone in my legs is returning after three years and I'm proud of the fact that (not offense meant) I'm not one of the jerks that don't stop at stop signs because I'm trying too hard to get "great" cardio in my work out.
I love my cruiser, it is a wonderful workout, and don't let other people discourage you from liking what you like!

Stay motivated!
August 14, 2012 4:35 PM
26 years ago I bought a beach cruiser at the age of 16 with money I earned announcing Little League games.
Not long ago I mentioned in passing that I'd like to start riding my old bike for stress relief. This bike has sat in the garage for the last 20 years collecting dust. This Fathers Day my wife and kids had it fixed up (tires, chain,
Etc...) as a surprise gift. 4 months ago I started riding nightly for fun. I downloaded myfitnesspal.com and mapmyride.com to help put me on some type of structured program. I started riding 1-2 miles around town a night to now I'm riding 12-15 miles 5-6 nights a week! In 4 months I have gone from 244lbs. to 214lbs. and I feel amazing!
My classic cruiser has rejuvenated me and with the help of myfitnesspal.com
and mapmyride.com I have an amazing, recorded exercise program to follow. My wife has recently joined me on her NEW cruiser and it has been fantastic. I am so glad I kept this cruiser and now my wife and I look forward to riding every evening. Happy, Safe Riding to ALL.
Edited by Pj1969 On August 14, 2012 4:38 PM
August 14, 2012 4:50 PM
yes they are. they are harder to get to higher speeds trust me lol i bought a 3 speed one a couple years ago and get a good burn on just a half hour ride, plus if its what you're comfortable with and you arent currently doing anything else to be fit, it absolutely cannot hurt to ride it for exercise. just make sure you're actually pushing yourself and not making it a leisurely ride around the block lol.
July 25, 2013 6:13 PM
I just got a 3 speed Beach Cruiser, after not riding a bike for nearly a decade. I am so out of shape, a half hour ride on flat terrain beat me up. Going up hill, even a small hill is mega challenging. (for the unfit such as myself) I was wondering if anyone can recommend a good training program for someone who's fitness level is very low. Is there a program out there?
November 14, 2013 12:07 PM
pj1969: Thanks for sharing this information about beach cruisers! I have one that I bought from a yard sale (80's, no gears, and weighs maybe 50lbs?) about 6 years ago. I've been using it to ride to work for exercise, however, I could not seem to find a website that would help me calculate time, ground grade, and miles,etc. I went onto the www.mapmyride.com and it was just EXACTLY what I was looking for, the only thing, is that it does not save my calculated workout with the calories and date attached to it... but it's doable!
Edited by bellamireya On November 14, 2013 12:09 PM
November 14, 2013 12:10 PM
laugh
QUOTE:

pj1969: Thanks for sharing this information about beach cruisers! I have one that I bought from a yard sale (80's, no gears, and weighs maybe 50lbs?) about 6 years ago. I've been using it to ride to work for exercise, however, I could not seem to find a website that would help me calculate time, ground grade, and miles,etc. I went onto the www.mapmyride.com and it was just EXACTLY what I was looking for, the only thing, is that it does not save my calculated workout with the calories and date attached to it... but it's doable!
January 21, 2014 12:30 PM
Great question! I have a pretty, bright yellow, Beach Cruiser that I WON at a church raffle. Anyway, I ride to work which is 2 miles one way. I have to believe that I'm burning more calories on this thing. Because it only has 1 gear and the ride is not pleasant on my body, especially when I go up in elevation. The bike doesn't even seem to Cruise for me. If I stop pedaling then the bike stops. It may be that I carry extra weight on back due to carrying my backpack w/ clean clothes & gym clothes/make-up/shoes. My legs feel tight when I'm done riding. My heart rate goes up pretty high. But I don't think I've ever gone faster than 7mph according to MapMyWalk, which live tracks my rides (includes the route I take, elevation levels, speed, etc).. Plus I ride in the morning when the temps are cold. I just wish I could get an accurate count.
January 21, 2014 12:40 PM
You should try MapmyWalk. Not sure how different it is from mapmyride, but MapMyWalk live tracks your rides and does include an estimated amount of calories burned. Plus tracks your average speed, shows you the elevation levels, distance, & duration. It's fantastic! I actually wish MyFitnessPal did that. But I'm only here to track my food intake/calories whereas I like to track my exercises through MapMyWalk
January 21, 2014 12:56 PM
I live at the beach and ride my beach cruiser every other day! It only has one gear (petal back to break) so you have to really push to go fast. Now, if you just "cruise" on it, you won't get much calorie burn.... but I petal fast down the boardwalk and stand up and push HARD to get myself up the hills around SoCal. I always log it as exercise as I ride at least 25-65 minutes each time around my town.
  11388410
January 21, 2014 1:04 PM
Sure, why not? Anything's better than sitting on the couch.
  1531505
January 21, 2014 1:21 PM
My boyfriend works in the bicycle industry and while I've not asked him specifically about your question, I can tell you that the proper fit and gear is IMPORTANT. It doesn't matter if it's a roadbike, a beach cruiser, a street racer, or a tricycle. What matters is:

Does it fit your body? If not, get it adjusted.

How does the saddle (seat) feel? Get the one that feels the best.

Proper gear is essential, from saddle, to handlebars, even to the grips! I love my Trek but we had to put new gear shifters and grips on it to make it work. Even tilting the handlebars forward 1/4" made a huge difference in how I felt.

It doesn't matter what type of bike you get. What matters is will you ride it? A good bike shop will make sure it's the proper fit, most offer a 30-day recheck to make sure it's still the best fit for you and will usually do free adjustments longer than that. My boyfriend does it all the time. A tweak here, a tweak there, customer is happy and riding.

Seriously, the little things make the difference between "Gee, I guess I'll go ride my bike....." indifferent and "I'm going to go ride my bike!!!!"happy happy
  28309177
January 21, 2014 1:42 PM
My first time losing weight, I did quite a lot of cycling to get there. Like 100-200 miles per week every week for 18 months. Riding position will not be a big difference in how many calories someone burns per hour. More upright and wider hand position will cause more drag and make it harder to go fast. You just burn more calories per mile due to the drag.

Multi-gear versus single gear will make a difference. A single speed is a compromise. For a beach cruiser it's probably a compromise that makes it not terribly hard to start and reasonable to ride at a comfortable pace on flat surface. Up hill, the gear will be too high. Down hill, the gear will be too low. And if you're pushing pace, it will be too low. If you're pushing pace on your bike, you're in a gear that lets you maintain a cadence and a certain amount of pressure on the pedals constantly. On a single speed, you may be pedaling slower than ideal, which reduce power output because you will be less efficient. Or you may be going too fast and have to coast until you slow down. Again, reducing power output.

You can get a multi-speed beach cruiser, fitness bike, hybrid or whatever. That will help. Even with this, road bikes have a little more advantage than just multi-speed and aerodynamics. More beginner comfort oriented bikes have the seat further back from the pedals. This tends to emphasize quads more. Road bikes will better utilize hamstrings and quads together, which gives you more miles until fatigue. Road bikes also have a lot more hand positions, which help with comfort on long rides. I don't think I could ever do a 4 hour ride on a beach cruiser. I have done it on a road bike...at 30 pounds lighter.

My recommendation would be to do what's comfortable and affordable. If you're not comfortable with a road bike, start with something easier. I would probably go with something more hybrid-like than a beach cruiser. I did this with a Giant FCR3. Then graduate up to a road bike if you get into it enough. After doing my first 100 mile ride with the Giant, I got myself and Orbea road bike.

I've seen a couple funny numbers thrown around on bike weight. UCI, the main cycling governing body, set a 15 pound minimum weight on competition road bikes. You have to spend thousands on a road bike to get there. The $800 road bike down at the shop probably weighs 22 pounds give or take a couple. The $1200 bike is probably 20+/-2. A beach cruiser or comfort bike is going to have massive variation. I would guess 30+/-5.
  54500232
January 21, 2014 1:47 PM
sounds fun!!
  18764101
January 21, 2014 1:50 PM
I bought a Schwinn cruiser and I LOVED it. But it's a big, heavy, bulky bike. After two years of riding it, my butt really started to hurt. My friend gave me a mountain bike and that made my butt hurt a lot less, but then my back started to hurt from being hunched over. I got rid of the cruiser and the mountain bike and bought a comfort bike (a mix of the two) and I LOVE this bike. You get the comfort of sitting up tall like on a cruiser but without the bulk. It's sporty and functional like a mountain bike.
  2789939

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