Cruiser bikes became popular following the invention of the safety bicycle. The safety bicycle was the innovation that really brought cycling to the forefront of the public consciousness as not just a sport for daredevils, but something that the everyday lady or gentleman could enjoy. Previous to that, cycling was dangerous, as falls were brutal, and sometimes fatal. This was due in part to the high tower bicycle setup, where a rider was seated six feet or more off the ground.
Cruiser bikes came around during the first half of the 20th century. They featured swept back handle bars; a large, comfortable seat, and handlebar brakes. As time went on, the idea of gear shifting was also incorporated into the cruiser bike. These bikes were an integral stage in cycling evolution.
Cruiser bikes were also the basis for the first mountain bikes. Cruiser frames would be reinforced and the wheels would be swapped out for wider, more puncture resistant versions to allow them to ride off road. These first mountain bikes were called Klunkerz because of their ungainly look. The cruiser bike has made a comeback as a retro-styled road bike in recent years. The style is uniquely Americana and a new cruiser wouldn’t have looked out of place in the 50’s, the revival is that accurate.