Beach cruisers are a fun and comfortable way to get around at a relatively low speed. Many riders who are fans of cruisers naturally begin to wonder if they can pull a bike trailer with a cruiser.
But is it feasible and safe to pull a bike trailer with a bike that is primarily designed for recreational outings?
In this article, we’ll cover exactly what you need to know about pulling a bike trailer with a beach cruiser, as well as some limitations to consider.
Can you pull a bike trailer with a beach cruiser?
Cruiser bikes that have a quick-release can pull a bike trailer without issues. If a cruiser has disc brakes, then an adapter will likely be needed for around $60. However, cruisers are not the best type of bike to pull a bike trailer because of the lack of power transferred to the legs.
3 limitations of pulling a bike trailer with a cruiser
Even though cruisers are comfortable to ride, there are some significant drawbacks that make it worth considering a different type of bike.
1. Cruisers have few gear options
Beach cruisers are designed for flat roads and are not ideal for climbing hills or pulling heavy things. As a result, they are not typically made with many gear options.
The lack of shifting availability will make riding up hills more challenging. Alternatively, you could just treat it as good exercise!
2. Cruisers are typically not very durable
Not all, but some cruiser bikes are made from plastic-based materials that are not designed for pulling heavy trailers. There is a chance that over years the material fades or cracks due to the increased pressure.
With that said, if you are planning to do occasional recreational rides at low speeds, then this might not be an issue for you.
3. The riding position on a cruiser is not ideal for transferring power to your legs
Cruisers are designed to keep the rider comfortable for extended recreational outings, with the seat lower to the ground and the rider’s body in an upright position.
This seated position also brings the knees higher, which is not an optimal position for your legs to push down on the pedals. You will find that the lower your seat is, the less power your legs have to push down on the pedals.
These drawbacks are important considerations, as there might be a better option available to you, such as a mountain bike or road bike. However, if you plan to do occasional recreational trips with the family, then pulling a bike trailer with a cruiser can definitely be an enjoyable experience! Below are some tips to make it even more enjoyable.
My recommendation is to use a road bike to pull the bike trailer. Here’s an article about why road bikes are the best for attaching bike trailers.
7 tips to make pulling a bike trailer with a cruiser easier
Cruisers are already the gold standard for comfort and style, with their cushy seats, relaxed geometry, and upright seated position. But there are a few things you can do to make pulling a bike trailer even more enjoyable.
1. Use lower gears to make pedaling easier
Beach cruisers are designed for flat roads and are not ideal for climbing hills. As a result, they are not typically made with many gear options.
If you do have a few gears available, you can ride in the lowest gear to make pulling the extra weight easier. Pedaling at a higher cadence will make pulling a bike trailer easier because you will not be over-exhausting your legs too early.
Especially when climbing hills, choosing the optimal gear ratio is essential. It’s tempting to want to go fast and get to your destination quickly, but it’s actually safer and less exhausting in the long-run to keep a higher cadence and just take it slowly.
On downhill descents, just cruise and give your legs a well-deserved rest.
2. Raise your seat to put more power in your legs
It can be intimidating to raise your seat past your comfort level, but a higher seat will put your legs in the optimal position to transfer more power into every pedal stroke.
Keep raising your seat little by little until your legs are almost locked straight at the bottom of the pedal stroke. If your seat does not go that high, which is the case for some cruises, then just raise the seat as far as it will go. Your legs will thank you later!
3. Remember the benefits of riding
Remember why you’re riding. Reminding yourself of the benefits of riding with your child will absolutely help with the mental aspects of pulling more weight.
Shift your mindset from “this is so much harder” to “this is great exercise and my kid loves it!”.
Remember, you are putting down some serious power and getting better exercise due to the added weight. More importantly, your child is reaping all the benefits of being outdoors and learning the importance of cycling as a lifestyle.
4. Realize that it will get easier
If you maintain a relatively low speed (under 10 mph), then pulling a bike trailer with your cruiser will become easier for you over time. Reminding yourself of this will help every time you face that massive hill in your neighborhood.
It’s also helpful to remember that the added weight means better exercise for you.
5. Plan the flattest route possible
Again, cruisers are designed for flat roads. This one sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised by how many local backroads there are that you never knew existed until you looked it up on Google Maps. Any map app on your phone will be your best friend when mapping out your ride with the bike trailer. Google Maps can even estimate the difficulty of the ride by the gradients of hills on the route.
My family was living in a busy part of New Jersey when I first bought a bike trailer. I was immediately intimidated by the big hills and high traffic volume, until I took out Google Maps and actually found some very quiet, flat backroads that took me exactly where I wanted to go.
Go out on a solo ride before taking your bike trailer out to test the roads for safety and flatness. If you run into a few hills, just treat them as good training and they will get easier over time 🙂
6. Try not to stop pedaling
Stop-and-go traffic is the single greatest time and energy waster. Try to plan ahead as much as possible and avoid stopping whenever you can. This could mean just slowing down earlier before a stop sign or crosswalk. You’ll learn very quickly that braking and starting up again are quite taxing on the legs.
7. Fill your tires, especially the rear tire
Deflated tires on your bike, as well as on the bike trailer, will make it much more difficult to pedal. Be sure to check your tire pressure before every ride.
Pro tip: inflate your rear tire to the maximum pressure to improve rolling resistance, since there will be more weight on the rear wheel from the bike trailer.
5 examples of cruisers that can pull a bike trailer
Below are some top-rated popular beach cruisers that all have a quick-release, which means most bike trailers would have no problem attaching.
I always recommend checking the product description page of the bike trailer and cruiser to check compatibility.
Sixthreezero Around The Block Women’s Cruiser
Around $220 (view on Amazon)
Huffy Nel Lusso Women’s Cruiser
Around $200 (view on Amazon)
Sixthreezero Around The Block Men’s Cruiser
Around $230 (view on Amazon)
Huffy Panama Jack Cruiser
Around $350 (view on Amazon)
Sixthreezero EVRYjourney Women’s Hybrid Cruiser
Around $750 (view on Amazon)
Can any cruiser bike pull a bike trailer?
Most bikes are compatible with all major bike trailers for kids. Bike trailers either attach to the axle of the rear wheel or to your bike’s seat post. In most cases, you’ll be able to easily attach your new bike trailer right out of the box, with all accessories included. Specifically, if your bike’s rear wheel has a standard quick-release (skewer that goes through the center of the wheel), then most trailers will attach easily to your bike.
Some types of bikes, however, may require a simple adapter in order to attach the trailer. Typically, bikes that have thru-axle wheels or hooded-style dropouts may require an adapter.
If you are unsure about what style of bike you have, we’ve included helpful guides for some of the main bike trailer manufacturers.
Conclusion: My Recommendation
The limitations of pulling a bike trailer with a beach cruiser are important considerations, so if you’re thinking to buy a new bike, I recommend going with a mountain bike or road bike.
However, if you already have a cruiser or you’re just a big fan of them, then pulling a bike trailer with a cruiser can definitely be an enjoyable experience! Any bike is a great bike, as long as it gets you and your family outdoors riding!
Need help finding the right bike trailer?
If you need help finding the right bike trailer for you, my recommended trailer for most people is the Swhinn Joyrider, which is an affordable double-seater that converts beautifully to a stroller. Check out my full review with photos here.
Check out the Ultimate Guide to Buying a Bike Trailer for more help with choosing a trailer. I also have compiled a list of the top bike trailers for every common situation, which you can check out here.