There’s nothing like a cruiser to help you explore a new city.
When I first received the Azure City Bike by State Bicycle Co., that’s exactly what I did. I live just outside Washington, DC, and there is no shortage of bike lanes, riverside trails, and sub-city-like areas to ride a bike.
If you’re looking for a bike that’s fashionable, yet looks classy at the same time, this is the bike for you. “That’s a beautiful bike!” one guy commented, “Gotta love that California blue.”
We started chatting and pretty soon I was sharing all the specs. “It’s great for cruising around the city,” I said. “I kind of wish there were more gears though, this one has a setting where you can switch between three.”
“Oh wow,” he laughed. “That wouldn’t work for me with all the long trails out here. I need a ton of gears”
Next thing I knew, he sped ahead down the path. I started down the trail in the same direction and planned to ride the Arlington loop, a more complicated trail system that brought you around in a 16 mile circle.
While this bike is definitely designed for shorter city distances and quick cruise rides, it held up great during the long trail ride as well. There’s a nice size basket at the front which can hold a purse or wallet easily. Even if you wanted to make a quick run to the grocery store, it’s perfect for bringing a bag of your favorite foods back home with you.
There’s also a water bottle holder built into the basket, which I found was a neat design compared to regular ones (where your water sits on the bar between your legs). It was easier to drink more water while I rode (major plus) and I could fit a larger water bottle in my basket if I happened to have one that didn’t fit the holder.
About half-way through my 16-mile ride, I realized how nice it is to have the placement of the handlebars so close to my body — I wasn’t nearly as hunched over as usual. Bending over to reach the handlebars is one of the major causes of lower back pain in bikers. Of course, the upright design makes it more leisurely, but I found it really beneficial.
Pretty soon I noticed a biker up ahead of me and moved to the left to pass him.
“It’s you again!” he said. “I guess you don’t need more than three gears.”
I laughed when I recognized the biker from earlier. I’m still not sure how I was able to catch up to him but I did it on the Azure city cruiser.
You’ll want to be aware of the leather seat — it’s a beautiful feature that really makes the bike look incredible, however, it’s not as comfortable as it could be. I wish the seat had a lot more cushion so I could ride it easier for longer distances. Then again, it’s not the kind of bike you typically bring for long-distance trail workouts.
In addition to the basket, there’s also a rear bike rack for holding extra gear. You could easily tie down a backpack or stick another bag of groceries on the back.
The tire fenders are a great additional feature. If you’re heading out for a scenic ride, (probably dressed up more than your typical workout clothes) you won’t end up with streaks of mud up your back after accidentally riding through a puddle.
I made it through the 16 mile ride, caught up to a trail-biker, and even explored some new city sights. While you’ll want a softer seat for longer rides, this bike works great for shorter distances or a fun night out. Definitely a cruise to remember.