A handful of business minded e-bike builders have figured out that Cruiser Bikes make great electric bike conversions. The long wheel base is good for high speed. The laid back riding style is comfortable for long rides. The huge frame gives plenty of space to hide big battery packs. The thick tires give good stability and a comfortable ride over road imperfections.
Most importantly, the awesome styling smashes the “E-bikes are for dorks” stereotype with a hammer, and makes the bikes much easier to sell because they are more stylish and refined looking.
Here we list 10 samples of cruiser electric bikes available to the public now. Click on the e-bike name to go to company website.
This electric bike was lovingly crafted in Estonia with many custom components. It uses a rear hub motor with a custom fitted 3 speed IGH for pedal gearing. The end result is stunningly beautiful. Like many of the E-bikes below, it is styled after the classic “board track” racing motorcycles from the turn-of-the-century USA.
This electric cruiser was inspired by the Indian Motorcycle, and it uses a rear hub motor with a Shimano IGH as a “jackshaft” located at mid frame for the pedal gearing. Notice all the frame space for the very large lithium battery, a 48V 20-Ah LiFePO4 which allows extra long cruises. It has a Crystalyte rear hub motor providing the power.
Wood goes well on an electric cruiser. The Marrs is beautifully crafted with 48V 15-Ah battery hidden behind the wood panels and a direct drive hub motor to give you plenty of power and speed. This thing is a true work of art.
I have ridden this E-bike and it is a sweet ride. The 50V / 10-Ah LiFePO4 battery is beautifully hidden in the meticulously crafted gas tank. It is powered by a rear hub motor.
PG-bikes is best known in the electric bike world for their $80,000 cruiser the Blacktrail. (read our story) This bike is available in both a hub motor and a Clean Mobile mid drive configuration. We highly recommend the Clean Mobile mid drive on this bike because it allows both you and the motor to share the same transmission which can be a desirable IGH that’s built into the rear hub.
You’ll notice right away that the front geared hub motor is somewhat small, but that’s because this attractive cruiser is made for the European market, with its silly 200W power restrictions. At least it runs off of 36V (instead of the weaker 24V), but the size of the battery is a tiny and sad 6.6-Ah. 36V on a small hub will provide a mild assist, but on long hills the small motor can get very hot.
This bike uses the standard Chinese hub motor and controller, and the battery is hidden in the expertly crafted gas tank. In stock form, this Euro-spec system is low on watts. However, once you get it home, a battery and controller upgrade will really hot rod this retro-innovative frame, since the stock direct-drive hub has plenty of copper mass. The primitive-style front and rear suspension systems both have a short stroke, but coupled with the fat tires and sprung saddle, I have to give this company credit for making an awesome frame available to the public.
The Swiss Cruiser Happymaker is the only bike on this list (other than expensive optional Clean Mobile drive system on the the Black Block) to not go the easy way out and use a hub motor. It has a mid drive system which uses an over-sized gear on the rear wheel and a small sprocket on the motor to provide the reduction needed to run the electric motor at the necessary high rpm. This is a fast bike which will set you back 3,000 euros. It has a purpose built frame to hold the battery pack.
I saw and rode this bike at the 2012 Makers Faire. It features the well-regarded headway cells, a rear hub motor, and has a built in amplifier to power speakers mounted to the front handle bars.
Compared to the other extreme cruisers on this page the Pedego is a simpleton when it comes to its design. The Pedego specializes in affordably priced cruiser bikes imported from China. You can read our review on my favorite Pedego cruiser, the Interceptor here.
Written by Eric, July 2012