People tend to forget about comfort when buying a bike. When looking through the Harleys, Indians, Yamahas, and Hondas that dominate the cruiser market, comfort tends to be put on the back burner. Instead, people tend to look at engine displacement, torque, and all of the aesthetics that will make your bike turn heads and drop jaws. Comfort tends to go unaddressed until your first long ride. A couple hours on your bike is likely all you’ll need to find any discomfort that your bike can produce.
Whether in the form of back pain, a stiff knee, windburn, or your arms falling asleep, your body will make sure that you know there is a problem. We’d imagine that one of these telltale signs is what brings you to us now. The good news is, a solution to your pain is near. You’re not the first person to wish for a more comfortable cruiser, and there are plenty of great options to make this wish a reality.
One of the largest culprits for riding discomfort is the wind. Without a windshield, you are left to withstand the elements all by yourself. That means wind, rain, rocks and bugs, all coming right at your face at freeway speeds. Put a windshield on your cruiser, and count your blessings every time you see a bug hit your windshield.
Fairings will offer you very similar protection from the wind. Fairings aren’t right for all bikes, but they are a great investment for cruisers that they will accept mounting. A large fairing will block the wind all the way from your hands to your face, and they offer all the protection you’ll need to be comfortable on a long ride.
Seats are another common problem. Stock seats tend to be either too hard, too thin, or too wide, depending on your posture and your build. The result might be a numb butt, legs, or back pain. If you can relate, then a new seat is just the thing for you. The aftermarket is packed with tons of great options, all of which are extremely easy to swap out. So, if you want to stick with a small, stylish seat for your short rides, and a cushy pillow of a seat for your long hauls, you’ll find it easy to do.
Seat cushions are a cheaper alternative to buying a full new seat. They’ll save you money, but offer limited results. You’ll need to weigh your bottom dollar against your the needs of your bottom to decide what will suit your best.
Sometimes, all you really want is a chance to stretch your legs. Add some highway bars to your bike and stretch out in the middle of your long haul. They mount easily to your engine guards, and depending on your bike, can even be mounted to your frame. Your knees will thank you
Floorboards are another great way to reposition your feet on your bike. There is plenty of debate as to whether pegs or floorboards are the better option, and it isn’t really our place to say. But, we will say this: If your pegs feel too small and simply aren’t cutting it, floorboards are absolutely worth a try.
Apehangers might offer the look you want, but hanging your hands above your head for hours at a time is a hobby more suitable for a monkey than a human like yourself. But, it’s not just Apehangers that will give you grief. Handlebars are some of the hardest parts to fit comfortably. You need to get the rise, angle, and pullback just right so that your arms don’t grow tired, your wrists don’t get sore, and you aren’t forced to slouch or stretch. Stock handlebars might suit you fine, but one size doesn’t always fit all! If your current handlebars aren’t working, your arms will let you know.
Well, there you have it. Six easy ways to make your next cruiser ride at least a little bit more comfortable. By optimizing your cruiser for comfort, you’ll be able to enjoy the ride and the sights, instead of longing for your next chance to stop and find some relief. If you have any other ideas that might make your bike more comfortable, or any questions, let us know in the comments below.