Mountain vs. Cruiser: Which Bike Should I Get?

Mountain vs. Cruiser: Which Bike Should I Get?

Cruiser bikes and mountain bikes have some similarities, but their differences are more significant. In terms of cost, comfort, performance, and make, they are very different from each other. As for their similarities, they both have characteristically wider tires and large frames.

Cruiser bikes are very traditional and pretty much straight to the point in terms of usage, as compared to other bicycles. Usually equipped with a single-speed setting, these comfort-oriented bikes require very little maintenance, and this makes them perfect for beginners and no-fuss riders.

The frames are usually made out of durable materials like steel and aluminum alloy, and these are built to last years of consistent use. Since comfort is the main priority of this bicycle, the high handlebars allow for an upright seating position.

Extra-wide balloon tires add a wide seat that is usually equipped with springs to help keep the ride smooth by absorbing the bumps of rough pavement. The cruiser bike is excellent for comfortably riding on flat terrains, and one may feel the limits of the bicycle when attempting to climb hills because of the usual single-speed drivetrain and heavy frame.

For mountain bikes, the angle of the handlebars and seats are different, and this places the rider in a less upright position. This position is great for speed and control and uses a high bottom bracket clearance to help the rider get through a difficult landscape.

In terms of ease of usage, a mountain bike is much more complicated than a cruiser bike mainly because of the diverse variety of gears. The mountain bike’s frame may be made from materials such as steel and aluminum to carbon fiber and titanium, and this is the factor that mainly affects the price of this bike.

Because of its resilient rims and wide tires, off-road conditions like nature trails and parks are much easier to maneuver. Mountain bikes can get quite complicated because of their features, and certain features might make them more expensive.

The features of this bike also call for more frequent maintenance, thus potentially increasing the costs of owning one.

The cruiser and the mountain bike are both able to absorb the bumps from roads and paths, and this makes the riding experience comfortable and enjoyable. The added features of the mountain bike, though, might make it a better choice for most conditions.

However, choosing a bike will mainly rely on your needs and your purpose of buying one. For many cyclists, the cruiser bike’s no-fuss characteristics makes it a better choice financially, especially if it fits your needs.

These two bikes are very different from one another, but either one can be a better choice, depending on your needs as a rider.

Understanding the workings of each bike can help in narrowing down the right bike. Here is a list of factors which can help you in choosing which bike is right for you:


Cruiser bikes are the people’s bike which are built for sidewalks, pathways, and roads around town which are meant to be shared with other cruisers and pedestrians. Mountain bikes can also do the same, but they are made for a much rougher treatment.

The gears and shocks of the mountain bike are sturdier, and they have special features which make them far more expensive than cruisers. Typically, a mountain bike may cost between $400 to more than $3,000.

Cruiser bikes are usually found within the $100 to $500 price range.

Sitting Position

In a cruiser bike, the rider has an upright sitting position, similar to your posture while sitting in a chair. This kind of posture is ideal for slow rides and watching the scenery, but inefficient for traveling long distances quickly.

Mountain bikes enable the rider to lean forward, thus giving the rider more power, better handling, and the ability to climb steep hills. This posture also allows the rider to stand up while riding on the bike because the weight-forward balance is very stable.


In terms of equipment, mountain bikes are a sure winner. Cruisers are mostly made to have one gear, and mountain bikes have up to 10 gears on the back and three on the front.

The greater number of gears means an advantage in power and speed. Mountain bikes are also more stable on rocks or off-road because of the shock absorbers found on the front and, sometimes, on the rear.

Using both bikes on the pavement, though, will not present a significant difference.


Both bikes are equally attractive, and choosing one for its looks will depend largely on your taste. Cruisers have an elegant and sophisticated appeal with beautiful paint jobs, and some even have artwork and different prints.

Some cruisers are such works of art that they have graceful and beautiful details that are meticulously painted on. Mountain bikes, on the other hand, are very tough and rugged in appearance.

Stocky and equipped with large and mean-looking tires, they usually sport racing logos on the frame and equipment.

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